Story Stitchers continue our work towards systems change through racial justice and economic opportunity. Efforts in racial justice include collecting, amplifying, and preserving BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) voices and music. Economic opportunity is improved by hiring BIPOC artists and youth and making space for artists to be paid to create new works.
On a civic level, Stitchers engaged multiple systems. Health and safety inequities were challenged by our work with the City of St. Louis on youth crime prevention and mental health through music; we engage BIPOC youth in civic leadership through year-round community service. Story Stitchers address healthcare and education inequalities, including mental health, through an evidence-based youth violence prevention program with culturally relevant mentors and friends and shelter with safe spaces to gather including indoor studio and outdoor spaces. Most recently, Story Stitchers are collaborating with the City’s Department of Health and Washington University’s Institute for Public Health on vaccine education, addressing healthcare education inequalities. Civic systems for equality in education and employment are challenged by free performing arts and music education, offered as workforce training by BIPOC artists for youth, with all economically compensated.
Justice system inequities are challenged by making safe space for justice-involved youth in our programs and through our work on violence prevention with the City’s Department of Public Safety, which supports creative youth development practices such as offering youth stipends, mentoring, safe spaces, and skill development to help young people steer clear of justice involvement.
We acknowledge the unique power of the arts to move mountains.
We acknowledge the power of the youth to steer the work in the most impactful direction for a more equitable tomorrow for all.
We follow the path of creative youth development and nonviolent collection action to bring the systemic change youth want to see.
Be a river. Join with others moving the the same direction to create powerful movement.
Be a bridge. Build a path to the future that all people can cross.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers wishes for everyone a productive and safe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday today.
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