We Dream, We Build, We Win

November 29, 2022

We Dream, We Build, We Win


If Harriet Tubman didn’t dream, if Dr. King didn’t dream, if Dolores Huerta didn’t dream–where would we be?


Dreams are sacred and necessary. They reveal possibilities, and affirm the necessity to create a different future. Dreams allow us to unleash ourselves and our families from the nightmares of racial, economic, and educational injustice. Dreams give us hope. However, we have a responsibility to not only dream big, but to bring those big dreams to bear. Harriet, Martin, and Dolores didn’t just dream, they built a movement. They won lasting changes from which we all benefit. We must do the same – for our babies, our communities, our futures. Dream, build, win. And, that’s exactly what we are doing at WEPOWER.


We started 2022 dreaming together, learning together, and reflecting together. We spent hours strategizing and plotted a path forward for this year and next. Our dreams focused on caring for ourselves and each other, creating physical spaces for joy and community building, forming synergy between our changemaker and community wealth building teams, building and wielding power towards early childhood and local economic policy wins, and increasing access to support and resources for Black and Latinx businesses to thrive.


Rooted in our mission, we’ve relentlessly grounded ourselves in this dream and continually refine our strategies on how to build a people-powered movement. In less than 12 months, here are just some of our wins throughout 2022: 

For Our Babies

  • Won $5.6 million in ARPA funding in St. Louis County AND as of Dec 13, $2 million for St. Louis City for a total of $7.6M secured in 2022 to attract and retain approximately 1,500+ child educators!
  • Launch and scale of the Early Childhood Power & Policy Action Group which has 150+ members representing the childcare, philanthropic, governmental communities

For Our Communities

  • Launched the Community Wealth Policy Coalition with 70+ members
  • Made our first $50,000 investment to Black-owned start-up Bold Xchange via, WEPOWER Capital, one of the few investment funds of its kind in the country.
  • Built beloved community and held space for joy via the first ever WEPOWER Weekend that brought out 700+ St. Louisans and engaged 14,000 digitally. 

For Our Futures

  • Trained 15 Black and Latinx women  – Chisholm’s Chair Fellows –  as they prepare to become future public leaders in St. Louis and East St. Louis
  • 2 Chisholm’s Chair alums across St. Louis and East St. Louis filed to pursue public office in the upcoming spring 2023 elections.
  • Trained 17 new community organizers to lead work early childhood and economic policy campaigns
  • Trained and supported 16 Black and Latinx founders via our business accelerator
  • Disbursed year to date is 24 loans totaling $167,000 via our Kiva Lending Partner

Every day, we try to honor the foundation of dreams laid by our ancestors – freedom fighters like Harriet, Martin, and Dolores– by identifying and creating space for WEPOWER changemakers like Adesha Armstrong and entrepreneurs like Tiffany Wesley. And, we will continue to do so, because our babies, our communities, and our futures demand that.

Adesha Armstrong, founder and operator of Early Adventures in-home family child care center in Florissant, MO. Photo by Nyara Williams.

Adesha Armstrong,
WEPOWER Early Childhood Changemaker

“I had never really thought about advocacy work. As the sole operator of my in-home family care center, I had the mindset of, “I’m just a family care provider.” I knew there were major systemic issues at hand that make ECE work much more of a struggle, but what could I do about them? I was being supportive of my families in the fullest ways I knew how, and I didn’t yet know that more was possible.

I had always thought that it would be great to have a group of ladies in the field getting together and helping each other, but I had no idea that it already existed! Luckily, one day a couple friends of mine invited me to a gathering for ECE advocacy work happening in the community. I started meeting people who had similar passions, and I learned of work happening through WEPOWER.”


Tiffany Wesley,
WEPOWER Entrepreneur

“It’s thanks to WEPOWER Accelerator that I’ve raised $45,000 including grants just this last year, I was able to crowdfund an $8,000 interest-free loan through WEPOWER’s partnership with Kiva, and I’m about to close on a $60,000 SBA community advantage loan through their partner, Justine Petersen. But one of the most valuable contributions from Elevate/Elevar was the way it helped shift my mindset and make Pure Vibes worker-owned.

WEPOWER destroyed the myth that caregiving and entrepreneurialism are mutually exclusive paths. Business, I’ve learned, doesn’t need to be a ruthless endeavor, it can center equity and justice.”

Thank you for your time, passion, energy and support. We can’t do this without YOU. Help us activate more changemakers and entrepreneurs to dream, build, and win, with an end of year gift as we close out 2022. We’ve got so much work to do – dreams to cast, movements to build, fights to win, and joy to immerse ourselves in.