This week on Going Public. Missouri has found itself in the center of an ongoing conversation on racial issues in America once again. Over the weekend, people hit the streets in protest after former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of first degree murder when he shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man in St. Louis.
These forms of protest are nothing new for the St. Louis area. The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer sparked protests in Ferguson on the issue of police brutality. In 2015, protests at the University of Missouri by African-American students led to the resignation of UM System President Tim Wolfe, but forced the university to tackle issues of race and diversity.
Recently, a group of people in Cape Girardeau came together to figure out how to address this problem. Rev. Renita Marie Green of St. James AME Church and Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs an instructor and the director of health communication for the department of communication studies at Southeast Missouri State University are just two of the four creators behind a new community conversations series providing verbal tools to embolden people to speak out against racism.