Advancing Racial Equity Through The Power of Storytelling
Life in St. Louis’s most vulnerable neighborhoods amid the coronavirus
This series is produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. Additional support is provided by the the Buckingham Strategic Wealth Pillar Grant Program, and the St. Louis Press Club.
Homeschooling when home isn't safe
Five-year-old Meegale Hundley can’t wait to race his bike outside.
It’s been 60 days since he’s been allowed to venture outdoors. He hasn’t gone to a park once or even stepped in the backyard at his grandma’s house. But today, he’s so excited he can barely sit still for his school work.
The coronavirus pandemic led to cancelled classes for him and his 4-year-old sister, Madison, since mid-March. His mom, Tyra Johnson, 30, set up a strict daily schedule for their distance learning.
Courtnesha Rogers is raising three pre-schoolers in the shadow of the pandemic.
Courtnesha’s first hint of the pandemic was the day she showed up at the Flance Early Learning Center to pick up her daughter, Angele. “Hey, you can’t go any farther,” she heard someone yell. A table with bottles of Germ X was set up outside, and she had to sanitize her hands before she could enter the building. What? Then she was told she could not bring Angele a My Little Pony cake with four big candles for her birthday.
And then she heard that her father’s best friend had died. He was 36.
She is quarantining in her apartment, near St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church, with her three little ones and a friend who just lost her job. Rogers has a cosmetics line but shut down her website, “because it’s not essential.
Kim Daniel, age 53, and living with a lifelong congenital heart defect, faces the pandemic alone
Kim has stared death in the eye more times than she can count. But this coronavirus has her more than scared. ‘“It’s intimidating,” she says. “I don’t walk out the door without a mask, gloves, baby wipes and rubbing alcohol.”
Kim’s door opens into a tidy two-bedroom apartment in an affordable housing development called Preservation Square. It is located just a mile west of downtown St. Louis, in a zip code that has been identified as ranking last in our region for social determinants of health. A lot of factors go into that ranking, but the key one is that, on average, people living in 63106 will die sooner than most anyone else in metropolitan St. Louis.
Rebeccah Bennett, founder of the InPower Institute, provides candid and useful guidance to Black St. Louisans on how to deal with the pandemic. It is offered through PrepareSTL, a portal for all things related to COVID-19.
Read this clearly-written and well-presented package from Forward Through Ferguson and Washington University's Prevention Research Center on how the pandemic falls most heavily on Black residents. It's a multi-part series with interactive graphics that is continually updated with fresh data and insights.