Watch a recording of the July 18 roundtable

Watch on YouTube

 

Both of these upcoming roundtables stream live on the 24:1 Facebook page:

 

Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10AM
“Facing Our Today for a Better Tomorrow: A Live Roundtable Discussion with Candidates for St. Louis County Executive”

 

Saturday, Aug. 22, at 11AM
“Engaging Families, Schools, and Community: How Do We Rally Around Our Kids?”

Thanks to questions residents of the 24:1 Community shared leading up to “Facing Our Today for a Better Tomorrow: A Live Roundtable Discussion,” the July 18 online event was a heartfelt and informative exchange of perspectives by local Black leaders.

It was the first in a series of three online events for 24:1 residents to hear directly about issues that matter to their day-to-day lives.

By digging into the meaning behind slogans like “defund the police” and “get out the vote,” four local Black leaders offered modern insights and historic context on community safety and social justice.

The panelists shared their views—informed by their own lived experiences as well as their professional backgrounds—with moderator Chris Krehmeyer, CEO and president of Beyond Housing. The panelists included:

  • Attorney Jerryl Christmas, a St. Louis-based lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense, personal injury, and civil rights litigation.
     
  • Clay Farmer, the director of security and community engagement for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. He is also an officer with the Normandy Police Department and has long worked to break down barriers between the local community and law enforcement.
     
  • Dr. Gena Gunn McClendon, who directs the Center for Social Development’s Voter Access and Engagement and Financial Capability and Asset Building Initiatives at Washington University.
     
  • Dr. Katrina Thompson Moore, an associate professor of history at Saint Louis University who lives in the 24:1 Community. Her research explores the interplay between race, gender, and popular culture. She is the author of Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery.

Perspectives on community safety and social justice

When calls arise to “defund the police,” the goal can vary depending on the speaker. For Capt. Farmer, reallocation is important—this means channeling more money toward training and mental health care for police officers, to counteract the trauma of their job and “the pressure they feel to get it right 1000 percent of the time.” He also supports increased police-community communication, a shift toward more community policing, and changes to the juvenile justice system.

By contrast, Mr. Christmas feels strongly that police budgets should be cut across the board and more money should be spent on education, particularly in the early years so children from disadvantaged communities don’t start out behind their peers.

Dr. Gunn McClendon’s view is that it’s not possible to address the systemic problems with law enforcement culture unless more money is spent toward specific outcomes around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The multi-faceted responses underscored Dr. Moore’s observation: “You ask people what they want, and you get lots of different answers. There are no easy sound bites.”

Panelists also explored topics including voter education, how the civil rights movement has changed since the 1960s, and more.


Upcoming events

Saturday, Aug. 1, 10 AM
“Facing Our Today for a Better Tomorrow: A Live Roundtable Discussion with Candidates for St. Louis County Executive.”
Residents of the 24:1 Community will hear where each candidate in the Aug. 4 primary stands on important issues like community safety, social justice, economic development, education, and more.

Guests include:

  • Paul Berry (Republican)
  • Ed Golterman (Republican)
  • Ed Golterman (Republican)
  • Elizabeth Betsy Mitchell (Green party)
  • Mark Montavani (Democrat)
  • Sam Page (Democrat, current County Executive)
  • Jamie Tolliver (Democrat)
  • Jake Zimmerman (Democrat)
Event page

 

Saturday, Aug. 22
“Engaging Families, Schools, and Community: How Do We Rally Around Our Kids?”
Residents of the 24:1 Community will hear where each candidate in the Aug. 4 primary stands on important issues like community safety, social justice, economic development, education, and more.

 

Both the Aug. 1 and Aug. 22 roundtables stream live on the 24:1 Facebook page