Join Us! Calls to Action

Let's Be a Community that Invests in Anti-Racism and Racial Equity Across the Board!

Let's Be a Community that Invests in Anti-Racism and Racial Equity Across the Board!

Did you know that Give STL Day (May 1) is the important fundraising day of the year for We Stories? We know that it can be a noisy day in our region and that some folks have a love/hate relationship with this 24-hour fundraising event. But for us at We Stories we’ve really come to embrace this important day. Really! We mean it.

Let us tell you 5 Reasons why we LOVE/LOVE Give STL Day.

White Parents' Role in Replicating Inequality and Our Responsibility to Get #offthesidelines

White Parents' Role in Replicating Inequality and Our Responsibility to Get #offthesidelines

One week ago nearly 400 of us sat together for an evening of extraordinary connection, challenge, conviction. When most people looked around the room they saw friends, neighbors, their children’s teachers, peers and community leaders who have been instrumental in their own anti-racism journeys.

Together we considered our role in the systems we have and our responsibility in helping to create the systems that we want - and that our region’s children deserve.

Progress Needs People, Pressure, and Perseverance. That means YOU!

Progress Needs People, Pressure, and Perseverance. That means YOU!

The last few months have shown us so many inspiring examples of individual people joining together, in the name of democracy, to fight for the issues that matter to them and to push for racial equity. We’ve seen what the person-to-person, hour-by-hour, small-moment work looks like and how it adds up to big change.

We know that what we say to our kids matters - but what we DO matters more.

We Stories families are raising children who not only prioritize racial equity but who understand the importance and power of civic engagement. Who know deep in their bones that it’s their responsibility to show up and that when 1+1+1+1+1 work together, change is possible.

Because progress needs people, pressure and perseverance. If nothing else this election was marked by incredible people power. Initiatives and races that weren’t destined to succeed but captured the readiness of many individual people willing to work for the future they desire.

Join 700+ Families Working For a Transformed St. Louis

Join 700+ Families Working For a Transformed St. Louis

We’ve seen such amazing growth with the Family Learning Program over the past 3 years since our first cohort. And as we prepare to usher in our 11th (you read that right, ELEVENTH!) cohort, I’m filled with such energy around the wonderful families we have the privilege of calling our community and the things that they’ve done and said because of their connection to We Stories.

Our original original pilot group of around 80 families that went through the program has grown to a community of more than 700 families! Our families come to us from over 75 zip codes from the greater St. Louis area, with kiddos that range in age from newborn to middle school. Because while our program is focused on kids in the 0-8 range, it’s never too late to start practicing conversations about race and creating habits in our homes to break down the taboos around speaking out about race, particularly for white people.

Not In Our Name...A Rally to Push for Progress in Clayton, MO

Not In Our Name...A Rally to Push for Progress in Clayton, MO

I have three messages I want to share today: the importance of defining problems, the power of apology, and the role of community in supporting action.

As anyone will tell you, you can’t solve a problem until you’ve defined the problem.  Or as Nicole Hudson, one of the most consistent and courageous voices for racial equity in our region has put it - “diagnosis determines treatment.” 

I spent a lot of time preparing for this rally by conducting imagined conversations in my head with quite a number of white folks - folks who worry that a rally is divisive, who bristle at the word racial profiling, who think this topic has been given far too much time and attention already, who use their position or power to wonder aloud if racism is OR isn’t a problem holding our region back, and who with equal fervor declare that they could not, would not, are not racist as if their individual intent alone is all that truly matters.

Your Story, My Story, We Stories

Your Story, My Story, We Stories

Change often starts with a nudge, a subtle but intentional shift that can’t always be seen by others. A push against what’s stuck, perhaps an old habit or limiting belief. A small step towards a new connection or way of thinking.

Over time, the nudges and small steps add up, turning into strides. A new pace is established. It feels good…like progress.

Most people have experienced something like this.

But it’s different when this is happens in community… when those nudges are known to others, and those strides are taken together. When there is a common purpose and an eagerness to help each other push against the forces that hold us collectively in place.

This is the magic that we experience.

Securing Justice for All in St. Louis

Securing Justice for All in St. Louis

On Friday, September 15, a local judge in St. Louis City ruled that Jason Stockley, the former SLMPD officer who killed city resident, Anthony Lamar Smith, would not be found guilty of any charges from the case. As region-wide protests and economic direct actions ensued, Forward through Ferguson co-chairs wrote an open statement to the region—reminding us of the history and tools we embody to catalyze change and inviting regional civic and social organizations to help forward efforts to racial equity and police reform. 

READ MORE...

I Want to Tell You a Story

I Want to Tell You a Story

I want to tell you a story. A story about St. Louis. A diverse and vibrant city with a wealth of cultural resources and a proud tradition of prioritizing family life. A city with dozens of distinct areas but hearts large enough to care and advocate across divides. A city that embraces the old and new and that has the courage to dream big and work hard for the benefit of all citizens. This is a story of a St. Louis that I know is possible: big-hearted, courageous, and fiercely generous.

Last year I wouldn’t have believed this story. In fact until I began this work I believed our community’s conventional wisdom, which held that “white families in St. Louis don’t care about race and don’t want things to change.” I believed this because it reflected the reality I thought I knew.

And yet our ability as an organization to quickly amass nearly 300 white families interested in participating in We Stories without any marketing efforts tells us that this is a story that is not entirely true. Prepared to find resistance or apathy, we have instead heard from hundreds of families who are saying, “don’t count me out. I care and I can dream too.”

The Story is Already Starting to Change

The Story is Already Starting to Change

There is much research that shows that white parents don’t often talk about race at home, defaulting instead to generic, colorblind “all people are equal” messages. There are lots of theories as to why. Some parents believe that pointing out racial differences reinforces them. Some are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. Many live in highly segregated communities and therefore don’t talk about what they don’t encounter.

There is also some research that indicates that parents don’t want to talk about race with their children. One study conducted by Birgitte Vittrup, which was reported in the book “Nurture Shock” and is excerpted seemingly everywhere, showed that even parents who signed up to be part of a study on children’s racial attitudes displayed a great reluctance to have these conversations. A full 30 percent of study participants dropped out when they learned they were expected to talk to their children about race as part of the experience.

Taken together (most white parents don’t explicitly talk to their children about race and many don’t want to), it seemed more than a little risky to create a program that is predicated on just that…getting white parents to voluntarily and explicitly talk to their children about race. So, as we embarked on this process we endeavored to be cautious in our estimates while remaining bold in our vision.

What Would Happen If....? We Want to Know.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WHITE FAMILIES* FROM ALL ACROSS ST. LOUIS DECIDED TO START TALKING TO OUR YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT RACE AND RACISM?

WOULD IT CHANGE HOW WE SEE OURSELVES?

HOW WE SEE OUR CITY AND ITS PEOPLE?

WOULD IT UNLOCK OUR ABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO A MORE HOPEFUL FUTURE?

What if these families encouraged even more of their friends and neighbors to join this conversation?

First one, then another, and then a few more, until dozens upon dozens of St. Louisans stood together asking how our city can reach its promise.

What if the questions that began stirring in our hearts and homes allowed us to connect with all the other families across our community who also dream of a diverse, inclusive, and equitable future?

We are dreaming of a different St. Louis...

A St. Louis where compassion, understanding, and generosity of spirit extends well beyond familiar streets and community borders.

A St. Louis where diversity is not only valued but sought, and all of its children benefit from opportunities to thrive.

This St. Louis is not only possible but is already happening.

We Stories: Raising Big-Hearted Kids is a new and growing organization that uses the power of children’s literature to create conversation, change, and hope in St. Louis and a stronger, more equitable and inclusive future for all.

WE WANT YOU TO DREAM WITH US. TOGETHER CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.

*WHY WHITE FAMILIES? WE'RE GLAD YOU ASKED.