Joan F., from receptionist to certified community Health worker and Reiki practitioner

Joan F.

Joan F. was born in St. Louis, but summers with family in the deep south taught her how to strike up a conversation with just about anyone. This skill—along with her kind eyes and big smile—have been essential to her work helping underserved and marginalized communities in St. Louis. From the early years of the […]

Chaka cares for the immediate needs of sex workers in St. Louis


The first things you notice about Chaka Aza Amahle are her tall stature, her large, vibrant glasses and her eclectic, self-designed jewelry. Talk to her for a bit, and you’ll discover she has a passion for taking care of women, and a desire to be outside. For the past eight years, those two things have […]

Mayor Terry Epps improves Pine Lawn community through collaboration

Mayor Epps at Narcan box outside Pine Lawn City Hall.

According to data from the 2020 U.S. census, the City of Pine Lawn, Mo., in north St. Louis County has over 2,700 residents, a median income of just over $23,000, and the median age is 24.5 years. For the past seven years as mayor, Terry Epps has worked to undo Pine Lawn’s history of local […]

Positive multicultural representation fills the shelves of EyeSeeMe bookstore

Pamela Blair

Pamela Blair taught her children at an early age about the positive, and often hard-to-find, stories and histories of African Americans. When she noticed how other parents and teachers were struggling to find representation, she decided to open her own multicultural bookstore in University City—no business plan, just a hundred books and a passion. History […]

Rev. Shug and her wife stay involved with church and anti-racism education

The Reverend Shug G. will be the first to tell you subtlety is not one of her gifts. She and her wife Doris never dreamed they would end up in the Midwest, be legally married, and be so accepted in church. Shug currently serves as Deacon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ladue. On July […]

Physical therapist and Special Olympics coach Melanie K. perseveres through pandemic

At the start of 2020, Melanie K.’s main concern was how her shoulder surgery in July would impact her year. She had no idea the COVID-19 pandemic would threaten even greater limitations. However, Melanie dealt with her obstacles in great form; she provided physical therapy to young clients, coached gymnastics with the Illinois Special Olympics, […]

Ajuma focuses on mental health of Black youth

Ajuma Muhammad

Licensed psychotherapist Ajuma M. uses his life experiences and innate talents to focus on the mental health of young Black men and help them find their path through an obstacle-filled world. He is also a motivational speaker and author who has traveled the world. He learns new languages as a hobby, allowing him to deepen […]