Ferguson Commission Calls For Broad Reforms To Address Racial Inequality

"When people do not have equal opportunity to thrive, the entire region pays a price."

 A 16-person commission tasked with examining racial inequality in the St. Louis area in the wake of Michael Brown’s death found sweeping examples of institutionalized racism, according to a report released on Monday.

“We have not moved beyond race,” the report, titled ‘Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity,’ said. “St. Louis does not have a proud history on this topic, and we are still suffering the consequences of decisions made by our predecessors.”

The panel, appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in October, laid out 189 proposed reforms to tackle inequality, including expanding Medicaid and improving other social services, establishing stricter standards for police use of force and raising the minimum wage.

“When people do not have equal opportunity to thrive, the entire region pays a price,” the commission said. 

Read the full below, or check out the Ferguson team’s website for more information on their process.

Nixon assembled the panel after Brown, an 18-year-old African American from Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white police officer. Wilson was not charged in Brown’s death, but calls for police reform and racial equality grew after the incident. The case also helped spark a larger nationwide conversation about race. 

Nixon praised the report, according to the New York Times, though many activists worry that the proposals will go untouched. 

“The practicality of getting any of this done is close to null,” Missouri state senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal said, according to the Times.

As HuffPost’s Mariah Stewart explains, “the area’s deep racial disparities make it hard to talk about reform without first considering the widespread inequality.” 

Still, commission member Rev. Starsky Wilson vowed that the findings would inspire progress. 

“We’re already planning and discussing implementation and leave-behind support, so there can be an entity that has some responsibility for keeping diverse groups of people moving around the calls to action,” Wilson said.




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Ferguson Before & After