St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones was elected as the city’s first Black woman mayor in April 2021. Prior to her election, she served as Treasurer of St. Louis and has worked on various initiatives focused on equity, economic development, and financial empowerment. Mayor Jones has also been vocal about issues such as police reform, racial justice, and affordable housing. Her election was seen as a significant milestone in St. Louis and was a symbol of progress towards greater diversity and inclusion in politics.
St. Louis has a complex history of racial segregation, discrimination, and inequality, which has led to ongoing challenges and struggles for many individuals and communities. Mayor Tishaura O. Jones continues to work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society and to address systemic racism wherever it exists.
During Juneteenth 2021 at Forest Park, Jones said, “So many people have been ignored and flat out left behind by our Government for far too long, and it’s time we right those wrongs, not only within city government but also within our city, because we can not expect our city to thrive if half of it is set to fail.” Less than two years later, she take steps that help “right those wrongs,” without wavering, with out fear.
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Mayor Tishaura O. Jones Appoints City of St. Louis’ First Reparations Commission
The Commission consists of nine members that live in the City of St. Louis and represent different backgrounds
March 10, 2023 | 2 min reading time
Mayor Tishaura O. Jones appointed members of the City of St. Louis’ first Reparations Commission established by Executive Order in December 2022. The volunteer commission will analyze the history of race-based harms in the city and reveal the modern manifestations of injustice. Ultimately, the commission will offer recommendations for methods to develop and implement reparations for Black St. Louisans and the descendants of enslaved peoples.
“St. Louis has always been a leader on civil rights, and we have the unique opportunity to address the damage that decades of racism and disinvestment have done to Black neighborhoods across our City,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “The Commission’s work is essential as we acknowledge the history of racial injustice in our City, work to rectify them, and build a better, fairer St. Louis for every family.”
The Commission consists of nine members. All members live in the City of St. Louis, and represent different backgrounds, including civil rights advocates, clergy members, attorneys, academics, public health professionals, and youth. The appointments are as follows:
- Will Ross, associate dean for Diversity at Washington University School of Medicine and professor of medicine in the Nephrology Division
- Delesha N. George, program manager at Deaconess Foundation
- Kayla Reed, co-founder and executive director of Action St. Louis
- William Foster, city resident and external audit generalist at PriceWaterHouseCoopers
- Gwen Moore, historian and curator of Urban Landscape and Community Identity
- Kevin Anthony, bridge pastor at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ
- David Cunningham, professor and chair of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis
- Jada Brooks, a Communications student at Harris-Stowe University
- Kimberly Hicks Franks, attorney, activist, and board member of Dutchtown South Community Corporation
“I am honored to be appointed by Mayor Tishaura Jones to the City’s Reparations Commission,” said newly sworn-in commissioner Delesha N. George. “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to promote restorative justice and identify opportunities to bring reparations to the people of St. Louis.”
Across St. Louis, residents are subjected to racial disparities in their neighborhoods. Studies show Black residents in the City of St. Louis are more likely than white residents to live in low-opportunity environments, in concentrated areas of poverty, and in areas with low access to healthy food. Also residents of majority Black neighborhoods are more likely to live in neighborhoods suffering from disinvestment.
St. Louis is one of many cities nationwide, including Mayor Jones joined the Mayors Organizing for Reparations and Equity (MORE) Coalition [moremayors.org] in 2021, an organization dedicated to analyzing best practices and approaches toward pursuing reparations initiatives. The administration’s Commission is its latest effort for advancing racial justice and addressing the toll racism has taken on Black neighborhoods by exploring opportunities to provide St. Louisans reparations at the local level.
The commission will hold its first meeting within 45 days.