What happens when good intentions go wrong?


Time and time again, well-meaning people dedicate their time, financial resources and political capital to ‘help.’ Yet, without an understanding of the systemic issues at play, not knowing what racial equity means, these good intentions often fall flat or, even worse, leave people feeling more disconnected, more disenfranchised, or even angrier than when the ‘help’ began.

The goal of this toolkit is to provide St. Louisans with a baseline understanding of race and the systems that have been – and continue to be – in place that further define and separate black and white in our community.

Once we see it, we can begin to dismantle it and make strong strides toward a racially equitable region.

The Catalyst Circle is meant to provide a safe space for tough conversations around a difficult subject. The toolkit walks participants through some deep learning. It is our sincere hope that, when finished with the toolkit, each participant will be a new catalyst for change in our region.

Racial Equity: A reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin.

Catalyst Circle Project Team:

Kelly Annis, Urban Land Institute – St. Louis
Bill Bayer, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
Missy Kelly, Downtown STL
Turan Mullins, Maryville University
Jacinta Witherspoon, Community Volunteer & Entrepreneur

Thank you!

Thank you to the following individuals who were instrumental in providing resources and guidance throughout this process:
Mary Ferguson, YWCA St. Louis
Nicole Hudson, Forward through Ferguson
Dr. Terry Jones, University of Missouri – St. Louis
Stacey Lewis, St. Louis County Library
Felicia Pulliam, FOCUS St. Louis
Kristin Sorth, St. Louis County Library
LaTia Thomas, FOCUS St. Louis Intern
Dr. John Wright, Educator