Sandra Abron is a native of St. Louis, born and raised in Pine Lawn, MO. She is a product of Normandy School District. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, (Nutrition & Fitness emphasis) at University of Missouri-Columbia. Sandra’s professional experiences in public health nutrition include: Nutrition Program Specialist with Missouri DESE, Food and Nutrition Services; Nutritionist with Grace Hill Settlement House Head Start/Early Head Start on a contractual basis; WIC Nutritionist with Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers Inc., and Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers Inc. Her most recent experience includes Recovery Center Specialist at Places for People where she helps individuals with mental illness and drug addiction navigate their journeys to recovery.
Sandra's civic engagement hours include:
-Committee member: Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scouts Pack 854.
-Feeding less fortunate families during the holidays.
-Volunteer Nutrition Educator with Operation Food Search.
-ACLU of Missouri-St Louis (2016, 2017 Lobby Captain, Legal Observer, phone bank volunteer).
-Reading/tutoring kids and adults at local library.
Honed by years in public health and community service, Sandra has the experience, skills, and drive to get things done, and has gained valuable experience in a full spectrum of issues affecting the community. Top
Julia is a lifelong resident of the Historic Ville Neighborhood. She is the mother of two, Laurel (deceased) and Xavier. She also has an adopted Diva Doggie Gabby. She is the Regional Liaison of Region 2 for the CLAIM Foundation. Region 2 includes St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Jefferson County and Franklin County. Allen joined CLAIM as a member of AmeriCorps. She has a Masters in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. Julia is also a graduate of the American Society on Aging’s New Ventures in Leadership Program and the very first cohort of the Washington University’s Department of Surgery’s Community Research Fellows Program. She has over 15 years of experience working and advocating for the Aging Network in St. Louis In 2018 she received the 2018 Humanitarian Award for Advocacy from the Eddie Mae Binion Southside Welfare Rights Educational Organization. She serves on the Patch Advisory Board and is a founding member of the 4theVille Neighborhood Organization. Top
Academy Sherman Park
With her background in Public Policy, Sherri Bailey has a history and evolving commitment as a culturally responsive leader in both the space of community engagement and art. As a leader in the 26th Ward, Sherri is actively engaged with other leaders and businesses. Being active in Public Policy, she provides her community with continuous communications from the federal, state and local areas of government to community-building, engagement art projects.
With 10 years of experience as an event planner, Sherri creatively organized capacity events for: lobby days –Missouri and Illinois, leadership trip to Washington D.C., Illinois vs Missouri legislative softball game at Busch Stadium, press conferences, Public Affairs Networks, neighborhood tours.
According to her strength finder, she is a Connector. She has a natural gift of building successful relationships with high-profile civic leaders in the region, Chambers of Commerce, universities, and minority businesses in the region, to name a few. She has also been successful in fundraising and sponsorships. Working in Public Policy and community engagement is easy for her as she seeks out the strengths of individuals that will make the “dream work”, inspire, and empower to help navigate towards our shared vision. Strength in high-dollar fundraising and creating sponsorships opportunities. Top
Amanda Davis works at a Company called Zoltek in the position of Account Payable Specialist for 3 yrs. She holds a Master Degree MBA. Amanda is very active in my community by making positive change in these issues: Juvenile Justice, Gentrification of Neighborhoods and Save Our Streets with Federation of Block Units. She loves reading books, watching movies and jigsaw puzzles. Right now, Amanda is working on Federation of Block Units Nomination committee to bring in new people with new ideas on the growth of this organization and Communication committee and “Save Our Streets “walk 5k this spring. Top
Ms. Niya Foster is a native of St. Louis born and raised on the city’s Greater Ville Neighborhood. She attended both Parochial and St. Louis Public Schools and is a proud graduate of Charles Sumner High School. After graduating from high school Ms. Foster attended Jackson State University, only to return to St. Louis were she completed her B.S. in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies at Harris Stowe State College. Ms. Foster is a dedicated Social Service Professional with over 15 years of experience working in various capacities for city government and non-profit agencies. In 2017 Ms. Foster began her employment with Urban Strategies Inc., and currently serves as Senior Case Manager. In her current role Ms. Foster is responsible for the oversight of the Case Management Team which provides intensive case management services, focusing on housing stability, education, health, and employment. In her spare time Ms. Foster enjoys spending time with family, going to movies, and swimming. She has two boys who keep her busy with their many sports, community, and school related activities. Top
Ernest H. Gauss is the founder of Validated Housing. Validated Housing has been validating home owners for the past five years across the United States of America. Ernest has always believed that invalidation is the source of mistreatment in today’s society. Invalidation can destroy frequencies and make an environment toxic.
He has been equipped with a unique skill set graduating from Lincoln University and growing up in North Saint Louis. Ernest has also worked in the telecommunications industry for 20 years and has a good grasp on the changing landscape of our planet. Ernest is duty bound to produce justice daily, justice being defined as making sure that no person is mistreated and guaranteeing that the person that needs help the most gets the most constructive help. His endeavors now are in service to his community. Ernest’s ultimate goal is to leave his environment in better shape than he found it. Ernest believes there are only two actions in the universe, productive and nonproductive. He believes that being part of this cohort is a productive action that will produce justice. Top
As a Ferguson Collaborative Member, Fran Griffin advocates for empowered community input into the Federal Consent Decree agreed upon by the DOJ and the City of Ferguson. This decree centralizes the voices of those most affected by unconstitutional policing in Ferguson by calling for accountability, transparency, community legitimacy, equity, and equality.
Fran was instrumental in the creation of South East Ferguson Community Association, which highlights the voices of some of the most disenfranchised residents within the community, and currently sits as its Vice-President. She has served as an advocate for the displaced residents in SE Ferguson by raising awareness around the crisis, bringing adequate resources to assist displaced families, and informing the residents of the community that they too, have rights that should be protected.
She serves on both the Facilitation Team and Municipal Codes and Ordinance Team, two Subcommittees of the Neighborhood Policing Steering Committee (NPSC). The NPSC assists in the development policies to improve community relations, implementation of the Neighborhood Policing Plan, and promotes improvement of bias-free policing through policy creation. Some other policies she’s helped revise include the Use Of Force, Stop Search and Arrest, and Recruiting and Hiring Policies. The NPSC provides recommendations to the City Council. Top
Monti Hill is a freelance consultant that works with nonprofits, political organizations, and private agencies. Monti’s mission is to support organizations and people to accomplish goals in a compassionate and efficient way. Monti has been given opportunities to work with political leaders, community builders, youth, and local residents around the region. These opportunities have enabled her to develop not only personal skills, but also valuable and transferable skills in a fast-paced environment. Top
Gary L. Johnson was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and currently resides in Jennings, MO. As a child, Gary was an active member in Mathews Dickey Boys & Girls Club, he excelled in multiple sports and programming. In 2001, Gary graduated from Normandy Senior High. As a student-athlete, he received a scholarship to play college football. Gary received his B.S. in Urban Affairs/Planning from Harris Stowe State University and M.A. in Secondary Education from Southeast Missouri State University. Within the 10 years of working in education, Gary has experience in many capacities. Currently he is the Behavioral Specialist at Ferguson Middle School. Gary prides himself on being a philanthropist and a resource for the community. He founded Saving and Organizing our Neighborhoods by Serving (S.O.N.S.) in 2017 to address and repair community issues. He focuses on mentorship, education, activism, and economic development. Gary is currently active for several organizations. In the City of Jennings he serves as the Chairman of the Planning Commission, Vice-President of the Historical Society, and a member of the Architectural Review Board. Gary coaches and mentors athletes at Explosion West Sports Foundation. Gary has one son, Gary L. Johnson II. Top
Beverly Yvonne Jones is the fourth of eight children born to Berniece and Lawrence Jones on February 20, 1963. She was raised in St Louis, County from 1968 until 1981 when she finished high school at Normandy Sr. High. Beverly was a wife and a mother at the age of 18 and she resided in St. Louis City where she has resided ever since. Being a housewife was not something that she was too fond of so, Beverly worked and raised her children for the most part.
Beverly is the mother of five girls, twenty grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was taught at an early age that no matter what type of work you do, you do it to the best of your ability. This manta has stuck with Beverly her entire working career. She doesn’t want to do something if she is not going to give it her best. As time moved on and her girls were growing up, she became divorced and the sole breadwinner for her family. Beverly made sure that they participated in all aspects of school and stressed that their job was to bring her good grades and participation in after-school activities. In later years, Beverly was talked into going back to school to earn a degree at the community college. In the beginning, she was dead set against it but she gave it a shot because the person who convinced her to go paid for her first semester, books, bus passes and all.
Beverly worked for a local not-for-profit organization for twenty years and it all started with a volunteer position. She realized that she was getting a lot of experience in social service through the ups and downs of her own life, so it was easy for her to help others.
Today, Beverly has an AA in Human Services with a certificate of proficiency in Criminal Justice, BOS in Organizational Studies, and a MM in Management. Her children are all grown up but, her grandkids keep her busy. Beverly works in her community and she works with young people age 16-24. She wants to be that person that people can rely on always. Top
Cathy Lovins is a teacher in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. She teaches fourth, fifth, and sixth grade Reading at Griffith Elementary School located in Dellwood/Ward I of Ferguson. This is her third-year teaching in the district. Previous to this experience, Cathy taught in two rural Missouri elementary schools. She moved to Ferguson, purchased her house in Jeske Park, and works there because she loves the community. Cathy wants to make an impact and influence change in the St. Louis Promise Zone. Her career goal is to become a school administrator in the very near future. She completed an EdS program through the Educational and Policy Analysis Department of The University of Missouri-Columbia December 2017 and is certified to be an elementary principal in the State of Missouri. Top
Angela Mayes is an artist and graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis having earned double bachelors in Fine Arts (drawing and painting) and a minor in art history. She has also received a certification for a Community Health Worker as well as CPR and First Aid.
Angela is employed at Mission: St. Louis where she is the Community Engagement Specialist and works with the Job Leadership and Training Program and new venture Switch Coffee.
She is also a mom of four who has a passion for reading, cooking, and crocheting. She hopes to pursue her master’s degree next spring and is currently rehabbing her new home with her fiancé and children. Top
Pamela McLucas is a Broker-Associate with Inhabit Properties, LLC. In this role, Pamela leads a real estate brokerage overseeing Real Estate Agents, including all aspects of selling and buying for St. Louis clientele. Prior to starting her independent real estate business, Pamela worked for Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield for three years and became vested in the company. She began her real estate career in 2001. Pamela’s past work experience is also comprised of a diverse range of organizations, including the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), Edison Schools (Confluence Academy Old North), Community Health In Partnerships (CHIPS), and the private sector. Passionate about city living and its possibilities, Pamela specializes in community volunteerism such as neighborhood beautification and clean ups. This includes school support at Washington Montessori St. Louis Public School and Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls club. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Association, Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (M-Slice) and is a SLACO Vacancy Best Practices Sub Committee Co-Chair. Pamela is an active mother of three children and is engaged in her local church. In her spare time, she enjoys music, singing, reading, and gardening. Top
Rene Murph is a native of St. Louis, parent of two biological children, a grandparent, and foster parent to 29 foster children in 27 years.
For the last 28 years, Rene has been employed at Webster University and she is a member of Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church. In 1997, Rene attended the Million Woman March in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with family members and returned with a personal commitment to advocate for children’s mental wellness. That has been her mission since that time.
Over the years, Rene received Mother of the Year recognition from Mathews Dickey Boys and Girls Club, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and The Learning Tree Foundation. She is a facilitator and co-trainer of the following trainings: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Adults, and for Children, STARS (Specialized Training, Assessment, Resources, Support and Skills) training for prospective foster parents, and trainer of Missouri Family Support Partners in Missouri.
Rene has served on several local and state committees as an advocate for children’s mental wellness. She currently serves on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) advocacy committee and the St. Louis Region Systems of Care Executive Committee and Council. Rene is the Regional Director for Missouri Families 4 Families-St. Louis, and a family consultant for the St. Louis Region Systems of Care’s Family Leadership Center. These two organizations collaborate to sponsor monthly support group meetings for children (and their families) who are at risk for, or have, a serious emotional disorder. Top
Phedra Nelson is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of Fontbonne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services /Social Work. She is also a proud resident of Ferguson.
She attends Westside Missionary Baptist Church and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc, Gamma Omega Chapter. Phedra is a firm believer in putting your passion into action; her mother taught her that at a young age. Therefore, whatever that passion may be, the key is to “just do it”.
Being a resident of Ferguson for 11 years and having such grand respect and loyalty to her community is key because it's where she Lives, Works, Learns and Plays. Therefore, it is only right that Phedra helps to advance her community. She is a hard worker and strongly believes in Education, Justice, and Social Action. She believes that the city of Ferguson, which is still trying to heal, should be afforded the same opportunities as anywhere else to move forward when it includes the health and well-being of others.
Ms. Nelson has been employed with the Gateway Region YMCA for 15 years and 10 of those years serving as the Emerson Family YMCA Membership & Marketing Director, while developing and overseeing an annual operating budget for 3 departments; totaling $690,000. Phedra is currently employed as the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities Wellness Director funded through the Missouri Foundation for Health while developing and overseeing an annual operating budget totaling $350,000. In this role, Ms. Nelson uses her passion and understanding of the North County Communities to advocate for change that increase access to healthy food and physical activity where our kids live, learn and play. Beginning January 2019, she will be attending Lindenwood University to peruse her master's degree in Non-Profit Business Management. Top
Tosha Phonix was born and raised in North St. Louis City. She graduated from Soldan International Studies High School. Tosha is a mother of a 7-year-old son and an urban grower. She attended St. Louis Community College as well as the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is also the owner of Blacks Organized for Self-Sustainability (B.O.S.S.) that works with black communities through agriculture to become self-sustaining. Tosha also is the Food Justice Organizer for Missouri Coalition for the Environment, working to bring food access to North St. Louis and the Metro East. Top
Marcel Scaife is the Manager of Safe and Thriving Communities at the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Prior to joining the United Way, he was a kindergarten teacher at KIPP Wisdom Academy, and a Project Manager at the Fathers’ Support Center St. Louis. He is also a veteran of the United States Army serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Marcel earned a master’s degree from Webster University. He is a Steward in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a proud member of Ward Chapel AME Church. He is an avid reader and vinyl collector. Marcel and his family reside in St. Louis County. Top
Unincorporated North St. Louis
Lisa Smith has lived in North Saint Louis County for five years. In 2014, she stood in solidarity with her community against police brutality, racial bias, unlawful police and court practices. In 2015, she became an advocate for a group of African American injured workers called “Citizens Against Discrimination”. She stood in solidarity with the injured workers and protested the Division of Workers Compensation due to racial bias and injustices displayed by the department. She also supported legislation and engaged legislators in support of injured workers. In 2016, she spearheaded United People Farmers Market. A food justice cooperative, she worked in community gardens and engaged legislators in support of family farmers. She soon became an education reform advocate. She advocates for all children in Missouri to have access to quality education. Lisa has testified in favor of several school choice bills, testified before the Saint Louis County Council demanding street lighting on Chambers Road due to many pedestrian accidents, and in 2017 she organized United People Farm Camp. She actively engages with the Commission On Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the courts as a community liaison. In 2018, she became a Community Volunteer Parent Liaison with Legal Services OF Eastern Missouri Education Justice Program. Top
Tonnie has a degree in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Marketing. She worked in retail management for 13 years and Branch Banking Management for 8 years. Her family has lived in the West End for almost 13 years now. About six years ago, Tonnie was able to step away from working. For the last four years, she has been working on learning how to revitalize her neighborhood. To that end, Tonnie participated in the NLA and CAT programs, attends many seminars on neighborhood revitalization, and listens to various webinars on the same topic. She am most proud that she is a part of the West End team that wrote and awarded the InvestSTL capacity building grant. Top
Danielle Stewart is a 39-year-old and has one child. She graduated from Harris's Stowe University with a degree in Urban Education.
Ms. Stewart has worked in the Hospitality industry for 12 years and in Education for nine years. She is currently self-employed as an Educational consultant for the YWCA and also serves as a member of their policy council. Ms. Stewart is a recent graduate of WEpower and a member of Saint John AME.
Ms. Stewart is an advocate for education, children, her community and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, she sustained a severe personal injury four years ago that left her paralyzed from the waist down; it took two years to recover. This was the game changer that forced her into a deeper level of spirituality and self-discovery, which would be necessary for overcoming the biggest tragedy and receiving the biggest blessing of her life.
Ms. Stewart loves cooking, reading, storytelling, and inspiring others to overcome their fears. She likes encouraging others and challenging them to look at things from a different point of view. Now, as a survivor she is on a journey to not allow her past to define the rest of her life but, refine her life. Top
Ja-Mes “Jay” Watson, III was born on February 8, 1991 in Los Angeles, California. Ja-Mes is named after his grandfather; Ja-Mes A. Watson, Sr. Ja-Mes moved to Saint Louis, MO at an early age to join remaining family members. Ja-Mes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Missouri University of Science and Technology; with degrees in Applied Physics and Civil Engineering respectively. Post-graduation, Ja-Mes began his career in the geotechnical engineering and land surveying sectors. Ja-Mes is currently a project manager at the St. Louis Development Corporation, where he manages the City of St. Louis’ “Project Connect” Initiative, which aligns the interests of the City, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) and 8 contiguous neighborhoods surrounding the future NGA site in North St. Louis City. The NGA relocation to North St. Louis City is a large benefit to the entire region as a $1.75Billion design-build project with 3150 jobs and millions worth of real estate development in the surrounding areas. Ja-Mes is a proud husband of Timetria Murphy-Watson, and they have 2 beautiful children; Ja-Mes Watson, IV and Jade Watson. Top
Terry Wilson, age 37, is married to LaChrista Wilson and has two sons, Terry Jr and Logan. Mr. Wilson is a product of the St. Louis Public School System, graduating from Cleveland NJROTC in 2000. Terry received his undergraduate education at Lincoln University of Missouri; 2005 B.L.S. Emphasis area Education and Business. Terry was a member of the Lincoln University Blue Tiger Football team. After Lincoln University, Terry worked in the St. Louis Public Schools at Clyde C Miller Career Academy. Terry spent his summers working with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Program. This program is a national literacy and cultural enrichment program that helps thousands of children nationwide and promotes social action and the love self, family, community, country and world.
Mr. Wilson is a member of 100 Black Men of St. Louis, The NAACP St. Louis County Chapter, The Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and also serves on the Board of Directors for The North County Community Development Corporation.
Terry has received numerous awards. In 2014, Terry was the recipient of the North County Inc. 30 Leaders in their 30’s. In 2017, Terry was the recipient of the Delux magazine Power 100, he received the Alpha Phi Alpha Keeper of the Dream Award, and Lincoln University honored Terry with the distinguished Young Alumni Award. This past summer (2018), Terry received the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Lifetime Achievement Award.
Currently, Terry is employed with Beyond Housing as Director of the Pagedale Family Support Center. He also serves on the School Board in the Jennings School District in St. Louis County and serves as Jennings City Councilman Ward 2. Top
Alana Marie is a filmmaker that enjoys creating content celebrating wins of Black folk and educating many on the importance of preserving the stories of Black people, places, and spaces. Alana has a Bachelor of Communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) and a Master of Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her emphasis in the social work program was Social & Economic Development, where she studied the origin and impact of poverty and inequality in the U.S - more specifically in the Black community. Through her research and involvement in the program, she quickly learned that she wasn’t the average social worker. She defines social work as a way of helping to mitigate the social ills of the world and tackles these ills through story-telling and creating content on digital platforms to reach the masses and encourage them to take action. Currently, she is directing and producing The Kinloch Doc, a documentary about the rise and demise of Missouri’s First Black City - Kinloch, MO. In addition to filmmaking, Alana works in college access as an Administrative Coordinator with the Washington University College Prep Program. Top