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We Stories was created in response to Mike Brown’s death. Now it's closing

Someone who appears to be a white mother reading to children who also appear white.
Michele Verna Photography
We Stories
We Stories developed materials, largely focused on books, to provide white adults with resources to help them talk about race and racism with their children.

We Stories is among several nonprofits and advocacy groups in the St. Louis area founded shortly after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Now, after seven years of helping people teach young children about diversity, equity and inclusion, We Stories is closing its operational doors. All of the nonprofit’s resources will be available for free on its website until it shuts down on June 30.

Part of why We Stories board member Pamela Washington (L) and executive director Maggie Klonsky (R) joined the organization is because of the conversations they were having at home with their own children.
Avery Lea Rogers
St. Louis Public Radio
Part of why We Stories board member Pamela Washington, left, and Executive Director Maggie Klonsky joined the organization is because of the conversations they were having at home with their own children.

“Over the last seven years, our organization has provide[d] resources, support and a community for folks to practice leaning into anti-racist parenting skills,” said Executive Director Maggie Klonsky. “Hopefully [this would] help move some of the political will in St. Louis towards racial equity by activating previously unengaged parents.”

The board of We Stories decided to shut down the organization because there was a sharp decrease in participation over 2021 and 2022. Board member Pamela Washington told St. Louis on the Air that We Stories has worked hard to make resources accessible to institutions, individuals and families, and that its job is to continue anti-racist work.

“The question is … ‘What are you going to do to change your actions to be anti-racist?’ Not, ‘what additional free resources are there?’” Washington said. “The same books that we used were always available for free at public libraries. They were before and they still are now. The guides that we have on our website are simply to support the work.”

Hear about Maggie Klonsky’s and Pamela Washington’s recommendations on being anti-racist by listening to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

Maggie Klonsky and Pamela Washington join St. Louis on the Air

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 produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

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Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.