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Lauren Brown Shares What It’s Like Being ‘Black At Mizzou’ In APM Reports Documentary

"Black at Mizzou: Confronting race on campus" is an audio documentary from APM Reports, available Aug. 14, 2020.
Rachel Sender
APM Reports
"Black at Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus" is an audio documentary from APM Reports.

As co-host and producer for “We Live Here,” Lauren Brown delves into the effects of race and class on underrepresented communities in St. Louis. And in a new hourlong documentary by APM Reports, Brown takes listeners down memory lane — back to her time at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Brown didn’t have the typical freshman-year experience at Mizzou. For one, she was a Black woman at a predominantly white institution. And during the fall semester of 2015, the university was forced to confront its issues with racism when a coalition of activists demanded change.

The activist group, called the Concerned Student 1950, formed in order to expose racial hostility bolstered by students and administration on the campus. The group's name refers to the year the university admitted its first Black student. The movement led to the resignation of then-UM System President Tim Wolfe.

Lauren Brown is a host and producer for the "We Live Here" podcast, produced by St. Louis Public Radio and PRX.
David Kovaluk
St. Louis Public Radio
Lauren Brown is a host and producer for the "We Live Here" podcast, produced by St. Louis Public Radio and PRX.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Brown joined host Sarah Fenske to delve into the “Black at Mizzou” documentary, in which Brown details how Black students fostered their own community, what they call “Black Mizzou,” as well as the racism she faced on campus and how Black Mizzou inspired her to hold administrators accountable for change today.

The documentary also highlights changes made at Mizzou over the past five years and looks at where the leaders of the Concerned Student 1950 movement are today and what they think of the movement’s legacy.

Brown said she wanted to delve more into the community that inspired the movement, instead of solely focusing on the protests.

“Because I felt like that story was being told over and over again. And it kind of seemed like, ‘Oh, it was just a couple of protests, these Black students were just mad.’ And I wanted to show the type of community that we built with each other,” she explained. “So I wanted to tell that story, the story of those people that inspired me to be the person that I am today.”

Black at Mizzou: Confronting Race on Campus” airs on St. Louis Public Radio at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18. It will also be available on APM Report's website and the “Educate” podcast from American Public Media.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.