Racial Equity Accountability Project
We are thrilled to be part of a Statewide Racial Equity Accountability Project (REAP). Our REAP Leadership team is comprised of nine individuals from across St. Louis County who are currently serving as our CoC’s community advisory and action group to help ensure that racial disparities in the homeless response system are reduced and ultimately ended. Members include; Justin Reid, John Williams, Jerald Mitchell, Babette Sandman, Jordon Johnson, Louisa Eckstine, Nathaniel Coward, Salaam Witherspoon and Seraphia Gravelle.
The team has been meeting regularly to build relationships, learn from stakeholders and is in the process of identifying goals and mapping out next steps. The REAP Leadership team’s co-created values are:
1. Liberation: We support the creation and expansion of “boxes” and the elimination of barriers that oppress people and lead to housing instability.
2. Healing: We believe in transformation and forgiveness, knowing that a lot of times we are held back by our traumas. Therefore, we are committed to giving each other and ourselves permission to forgive ourselves so we can move forward. We value and will work to support people and community to trust and believe in people.
3. We value and will hold space for storytelling. Storytelling connects us, helps us make sense of the world and can create space for learning, teaching, healing, and transformation.
4. Trust: We know that change moves at the pace of relationships and relationships require trust. We are committed to building trust which requires vulnerability and humility. We acknowledge that we are all teachers and learners. We will assume positive intent and regard for each other and keep an open mind, especially as we engage in decision-making together. We are committed to consensus.
5. Equity: We value and are committed to centering equity in our work in all forms including language. Language is powerful, reflects our values and needs to be part how we do things differently.
6. We are committed to executing our action plan.