February 2022
Deaconess Community,

As we celebrate Black History Month, I am exceedingly grateful for all the leaders, system-changers, healers, abolitionists, revolutionaries, and trailblazers that have come before us. In living the Deaconess mission, we strive to carry on their legacy as we focus on elevating and developing liberatory practices to heal ourselves, each other and our communities reeling from the generational impact of institutionalized racism and systemic oppression.

For two years COVID-19 has magnified these harms while also reminding us of the interconnectedness of our communities. At the onset of the pandemic, we saw its first waves uniquely devastate the elder community. The most recent variant, Omicron, has impacted our children more than ever before and continues to do so. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force has reported that a record number of children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and often need to be placed in the intensive care unit. Yet, there have been repeated attempts by governmental bodies and special interest groups in Missouri, Illinois, and many other states to undermine health and safety recommendations that aim to reduce transmission of the highly communicable COVID-19 virus, particularly in schools.
Many of us, our children, and those we know are adhering to the health and safety recommendations and suggested mitigation tactics, and yet we may learn that we have been exposed to the virus and/or have tested positive for the virus. The reality is, the last two dominant variants, Delta and Omicron, are more easily transmissible and have spread even as people take the proper precautions to protect themselves, their families and communities. Rush University Medical Center recently published an article, “Stressed Due to COVID-19? You’re Not Alone,” acknowledging the persistent trauma that we all face at this time and encouraging us to be compassionate with ourselves, first. Many of us are doing the best we can, and in some instances, we are doing so within systems that have repeatedly and deliberately failed to serve us equitably.

In this moment, I encourage you to center your own healing. Ultimately, individual healing will heal communities.

We are in this together. We will persevere together.
In service to the mission,
Bethany Johnson-Javois 
President & CEO
Deaconess Foundation
Program Manager
The responsibility of this full-time position is coordinating routine processes for grant making within Deaconess Foundation's program portfolio and relationship management and constituency support services to the Foundation's volunteers and prospective/funded partners.

The position assures effectiveness of grant making program operations by enhancing communication with partners and devising and implementing efficiencies of workflow.

The Program Manager will support the management of Deaconess resources while remaining partner-oriented and allowing funded partners to hold true to their mission and organizational goals. The Program Manager is able to think outside the box of traditional grant making organizations and will help to drive day-to-day grant making functions, keeping close ties with Deaconess Foundation's core values and principles of trust-based philanthropy.

Relationship Coordinator
The primary responsibility of this full-time position is providing Deaconess Center relationship management support to the Director, Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being.

The Relationship Coordinator will be responsible for greeting all building entrants in a joyful manner and assisting them with deliveries, meetings, and appointments in the Deaconess Center, including navigating people to their appointments and/or desired locations.

Duties include communicating effectively with volunteers, visitors, co-locators, Deaconess Center and Deaconess Foundation team members, and all other persons who enter Deaconess Center, and notify all co-locators of visitors. The duties also include utilizing good telephone etiquette with all who call Deaconess Center, convening space scheduling, calendar management, prioritizing and managing multiple projects simultaneously, and exercising independent judgment.

Deaconess is seeking proposals from consultants/agencies/firms to provide strategy refinement and facilitation services to ensure the Foundation’s public policy priorities are inclusive and reflect the wisdom and vision of the community in Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. The consultant/agency/firm will design and facilitate a community and participant-centered equity-driven process that will yield recommended public policy priorities that will guide Deaconess’ advocacy, policy development, organizing, and investment efforts.

To learn more about this RFP, including submission guidelines and selection timeline, visit our website. Proposals must be received by March 4, 2022.
Last fall we announced our transition to a new grantmaking portal, and we have successfully completed our first round grant proposal submissions with the new portal. We are now excited to share that we have transitioned our convening request process to that portal to increase efficiencies.

The online portal to request use of convening space in Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being may be accessed here. Learn more about how to submit a request via the electronic user guide or by visiting www.deaconesscenter.org.
Missouri Workers Center consists of a coalition of low-wage workers, Black, white and brown, urban and rural across the state of Missouri dedicated to fighting racism and winning economic justice for all. They believe that mass, democratic movements, led by working people, hold the power to defeat racism and win good jobs for all. By organizing across racial and geographic lines, Missouri Workers Center focuses on winning new policies to support working people while defeating the racist ideas that divide us. As a rooted anti-racist, working class base builds in Missouri, so too will the political power necessary to shift the political tide.
Deaconess Foundation supports Missouri Workers Center through our Responsive Grants Portfolio, funding, in part, their Campaign to End Preemption. This campaign will bring together partners from diverse issue-areas in a broad campaign to win public support for returning local control to cities, towns, and counties. This will give cities, towns, and counties the ability to legislate innovative solutions, increasing access to affordable, accessible child care, support families with livable wages, and increase access to services and supports which in turn will help families attain stability within a generation to help form long-term generational wealth for often neglected demographics.
Learn more about Missouri Workers Center: www.moworkers.org.
Missouri takes months to process Medicaid applications, longer than federal law allows

Bram Sable-Smith and Phil Galewitz | KHN, published in St. Louis Public Radio

Aneka French applied for Medicaid in October, not long after Missouri became the 38th state to expand eligibility for the program.

But her application sat for months in a backlog with tens of thousands of others. While she waited, French, 45, an uninsured medical technician from St. Louis, paid out-of-pocket when she was treated at a health clinic for a knee injury last fall.

For nearly a decade, Missouri’s Republican political leaders resisted expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for people with low incomes. It took effect in summer 2021 after a voter ballot initiative passed in 2020. Now, Missouri has more pending applications for MO HealthNet — the name of the state’s Medicaid program — than people enrolled through the expansion. While 64,210 people have been approved as part of the expansion, nearly 73,000 applications were pending as of early February. Read more >>>
Messenger: Seven years later, Ferguson victims still waiting on their day in court

Tony Messenger | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Seven years ago this week, Keilee Fant put her name on a lawsuit that was going to end debtors prisons in America. The lawsuit, labeled Fant vs. Ferguson, told in simple terms what was happening to poor, Black people every day in the conglomeration of cash-starved municipalities that make up north St. Louis County:

“In 2014, the City of Ferguson issued an average of more than 3.6 arrest warrants per household and almost 2.2 arrest warrants for every adult, mostly in cases involving unpaid debt for tickets. The City of Ferguson issues more arrest warrants per capita than any other city in Missouri larger than 10,000 residents,” read the lawsuit, filed by ArchCity Defenders, St. Louis University Law School Clinics and nonprofit Equal Protection Under the Law. Read more >>>
February 19-26: Register for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference 2022! This year’s theme is “Envisioning Something New: Can You See It?” Click here to learn more and register.

Beginning March 4: Forward Through Ferguson’s Systems Change Primer. Learn to build your organization’s capacity to envision and achieve Racial Equity. Click here to learn more and register.

Weekdays throughout the St. Louis region, free COVID-19 testing is available through Revive STL. Due to high demand, registration is required. Learn more about available times and locations at revivestl.com/get-tested.

EVOLVE is seeking to add more young adults to their Street Team! Individuals ages 16-24 passionate about their North City or County community should contact Kelly McGowan to learn more at: kellyxevolve@gmail.com. Learn more about Evolve at @314Evolve on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

ArchCity Defenders and Action St. Louis present "Under The Arch," a podcast discussing the issues facing our community and the people working to transform them. Season 3, Episode 2 with Dr. Angela Y. Davis is now available on Apple Podcasts or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

Missouri Health Care for All is gathering signatures opposing HJR79, which would effectively repeal our right to place initiative petitions on the ballot by more than doubling the number of petition signatures required. Click here to learn more and contact your State Representative today.

Missouri Jobs With Justice is gathering signatures – tell your elected officials to support raises for state workers! Sign on to email your Senator and Representative by clicking here.

Forward through Ferguson is hiring a full-time Director of Community Partnerships. Click here to learn more and apply.

Do you have an event you'd like to see in this Newsletter? Submit it here!
Delmar Avenue, which spans St. Louis, Missouri, from east to west, features million-dollar homes directly to the south and deep poverty to its north. The so-called Delmar Divide represents the racial and socioeconomic segregation that exists in many American cities.

That same racially driven divide also exists in the city’s health care. This short film from The Commonwealth Fund, featuring Bethany Johnson-Javois, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation, investigates the legacy of racism in health care in St. Louis and how one program is attempting to end it.

The Pipeline to Compassionate Care program teaches St. Louis medical students about the ways systemic racism has been built into the health care system, how those injustices have affected people’s lives and health and how they can be more compassionate and effective care providers.
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