AUGUST 21, 2020

What if...? An unwavering story of possibility.

WHAT IF?

What if our courage outweighed our fear? What if our belief in a better tomorrow guided our actions more than our complacency with the dangerously inequitable region as we know it today? What if we were more comfortable with the potential of our collective power than we are with the limitations of our individual influence? What if we were in a real relationship – where we pushed, allowed ourselves to be pushed, loved, supported, and nurtured – with one another rather silently destroyed one another? What if we truly transformed our region, together?

At some point soon, we must replace “what ifs” with “right nows”. This is the world of WEPOWER. Our deep conviction and belief in a radically different St. Louis fuels the daily actions we are taking right now.

Checkout the stories of WEPOWER community members in our latest documentary as they dare to align their daily actions and relationships with the future we know is possible and necessary.

WHAT IF WE REIMAGINED THE ROLE BUSINESS PLAYED IN AN ECONOMY THAT SUPPORTS THE WELLBEING OF BLACK AND LATINX COMMUNITIES?

On Saturday, August 29th, 2020, we invite you to join us for our first ever Elevate/Elevar Community Pitch Day (happening virtually). Our first cohort of entrepreneurs – plant-based chefs, urban farmers, organic skincare product creators, technologists – have been grinding amidst the pandemic to provide quality products and services across St. Louis with an aim to call North St. Louis for their startups. Through the Elevate/Elevar Accelerator, they have spent six months working hard with the support of business coaches, mentor teams, investors, accountants, and others to scale their companies and prepare to hire new team members. Celebrate with us as they pitch their companies to the community next Saturday.

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Also, we want to express so much gratitude to our many amazing sponsors: Wells Fargo, STL Made | Arch to Park, Invest STL, Kauffman Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Square Inc., Arch Grants, Commerce Bank, IFF, Public Design Bureau, Skandalaris Center, Mary McKay, and Ellen Sherberg.

Until we see you next Saturday, checkout Tyrean Lewis’ story of possibility, an inaugural Elevate/Elevar Entrepreneur, founder of Heru Urban Farming.

 

WHAT IF WE MADE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION A REGIONAL PRIORITY?

The WEPOWER community believes that every child deserves a powerful, affordable education experience. That’s why we’re proud members of the Ready by Five St. Louis campaign to increase public education about the opportunity to invest in early childhood education across public schools and community-based centers.

Ready by Five was launched in response to the voices of more than one thousand community members – mommas, grandmas, women of color who care for our babies (ECE educators), K12 educators, advocates, elected leaders, philanthropists, and policy wonks – who designed The Playbook together, an action plan to transform the early childhood education (ECE) system to be just and equitable for all.

Recently, Ready by Five has been an integral part of pandemic relief efforts for the families and educators of young children, this is also a central part of our mission. We’re excited to see our community-led campaign gain so much traction and grateful for the support of the STL City Alderpersons like Shameem Clark-Hubbard and also STL County Council members who are fighting to put this decision before the broader public.

This work is urgent and change can’t come quickly enough. When we choose to unflinchingly put our children at the center and value those who deeply and selflessly care for them, we will become a region that thrives, we will create a narrative rooted in justice, love, and liberation. This requires sacrifice, tough decisions, and the will to make a collective commitment this November and beyond to nurture ready children, ready parents, and ready communities. We can win. We will win. We have to win for our babies.

Checkout Ellicia Lanier’s story of possibility. Ellicia is the Executive Director of Urban Sprouts, a local early childhood education center, and also is a member of the Ready by Five coalition.

 

RIGHT NOW

We can shift from “whats ifs” to “right now” starting today. It will be a hard shift. It will require a change in mindsets, actions, who and how we are in relationship with one another. But, we can do this! I know we love our region more than we hate the discomfort that comes with change. Let’s pursue a St. Louis where our economy and our educational systems nurture the lives of Black and Brown families instead of destroying them.

Full of love and full of hope,

Charli

 

P.S. Again, we want to acknowledge and thank the organizations and leaders who are sponsoring our first ever Elevate/Elevar Accelerator Community Pitch Day. Don’t forget to RSVP: