Our Commitment to
What does it look like to challenge racial inequities at the systems level in a state like Missouri? This question is top of peoples’ minds, and we realize there are a lot of opinions out there on how to go about doing it effectively. We know we can’t just throw money at the problem and expect things to change. So we’ve taken it below the surface, having updated our mission statement in 2020 to capture a more inclusive purpose for MFH moving forward. And while we continue to grow in our approach to achieve racial equity, we think we’re getting a few things right.
In 2020, we supported several projects and initiatives that contributed to leveling the playing field. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made and how our commitment is showing up in communities.
Here are a few notable projects:
Building Power Toward Healthy Communities
Racial inequities have been intentionally created and perpetuated throughout the history of our country, limiting opportunities for communities of color to thrive. Transforming policies requires centering communities most harmed by current systems, policies, and practices. WePower aims to do this through building the capacity of Black and Latino community members who are engaged in equitable advancements across various sectors.
Racial Healing and Justice Fund
The Foundation is collaborating with Deaconess Foundation and Forward Through Ferguson to establish the St. Louis Regional Racial Healing Fund to invest in healing community trauma and changing the conditions that reinforce systemic racism. Through a community-led process, the fund will support efforts to develop capacity and infrastructure in the racial justice movement to envision, articulate, and create a transformed St. Louis region through community organizing and the arts.
Addressing Health Inequities for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
Though sickle cell disease can affect any person regardless of race or ethnicity, it is more common in Black Americans. Because it impacts every organ system, treatment for sickle cell requires coordination of care. Through a comprehensive care model, Washington University in St. Louis is ensuring patients have access to social and mental health services throughout their lives in order to improve health outcomes.
Community Engagement to Reduce Overdose Deaths Among Black Men in North St. Louis
Overdose deaths among Black men in St. Louis continue to increase, despite an overall decrease regionally. Through collaboration, The T STL and the University of Missouri-St. Louis are working to address this critical issue by focusing on the voices and needs of Black men. This community-driven project examines the root causes of racial inequities in substance use outcomes, establishes shared priorities, mobilizes community champions, and creates nontraditional access points to treatment and harm-reduction services to reduce overdose deaths among Black men.