(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)…It is clear that major changes are coming with the November 3 election, but none of us is able to say with certainty exactly what those changes will be. The past year has made it clear, however, that newly elected administrations in Jefferson City and Washington, DC, will need to respond to multiple issues where outcomes differ widely, depending on the race/ethnicity of persons and communities. Excessive force by police, loss of income in the pandemic-related economic downturn, and diagnoses and deaths connected to COVID-19 are just three issues in which high levels of racial/ethnic disparity have been documented.
“The November 3 election will not solve the long-standing racial inequality exhibited in our state and nation,” said Jeanette Mott Oxford, Director of Policy and Organizing for Empower Missouri. “Individuals and organizations must grow the movement for racial equity throughout the remainder of 2020 and in 2021 – to promote access to basic human needs, compassionate and smart criminal justice reform, and other evidence-based public policy.”
Normally Empower Missouri would be hosting an annual conference on the Saturday after the election as a way to prepare advocates in Missouri for the General Assembly’s next Legislative Session. COVID-19 makes it unwise to hold such a face-to-face convening this year, and it may take a few days for the smoke to clear to know which administrations will be taking power in January, 2021. Because of this, Empower Missouri is hosting a “Racial Equity Summit” online on Friday, November 20 from 12-2 p.m., as a way to engage Missourians in the ongoing racial justice work that must be done post-election. Multiple organizations are co-sponsoring the event and will share opportunities for participation in their racial justice priorities.
Keynote speaker for the event is Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, a national thought leader in racial justice, community organizing, and movement building. Rev. Dr. Wilson is a pastor, philanthropist and activist, completing his tenure as CEO and president of the Deaconess Foundation in St. Louis, and recently called as CEO and president of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC.
Thanks to Platinum Level Co-Sponsorships by Maxine Clark and Bob Fox and by the Deaconess Foundation, Empower Missouri is able to offer free registration to all who wish to attend. To register, go to this LINK.