Loud & Clear
September 2021
September Program
Environmental Racism: Alive and Well in St. Louis
Thursday, September 9, 7 p.m.
Black children in the City of St. Louis are 2.4 times more likely than White children to test positive for lead in their blood. Black children in St. Louis make roughly 10 times more emergency room visits for asthma each year than White children do. Black St. Louisans are disproportionately harmed by lead poisoning, asthma, mold, and high energy costs—all associated with factors such as substandard housing conditions and air pollution due to living near industrial facilities, highways, and building demolitions. Indeed, environmental racism is alive and well here where we live.
We will explore these deeply rooted problems with Myisha Johnson and Jeannette Mott Oxford, members of the Metropolitan Congregations United Environmental Justice team at our virtual program.
Racial Justice Movie Club
Virtual Discussion of Video:

Wednesday, September 22, 7 p.m.
Heather McGhee, an American political commentator and strategist, and Chair of the Board of Directors at Color of Change, discusses how racism and greed create a destructive division in our nation and how she is learning to unpack her own stories about how she was taught to see the world. 
Participants should watch the video first
Runtime 1:01:40
Housing Authority Executive Director Slated for Lunch and Learn
Tuesday, September 28, noon

“A Look at the Local Landscape for Affordable Housing” will be the topic at this virtual lunch & learn with speaker Shannon M. Koenig, executive director of the St. Louis County Housing Authority.
Koenig oversees the Housing Authority’s mission to provide decent, safe and affordable housing in St. Louis County. She also serves as executive director for the public housing authorities in Hillsdale, Olivette and Pagedale.
Previously she worked in the Department of Human Services in St. Louis County, where she led the development of county-wide affordable housing strategy. She has nearly two decades of policy experience on issues relating to housing, human services, tax credits, and economic and workforce development. She was instrumental in the development of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in St. Louis County, and she led efforts to redevelop public housing in Wellston, a project that was supported by Women’s Voices.
Koenig holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a master of public affairs degree from the Harry S Truman School at the University of Missouri, where she served as a Capital Fellow.
Voting Rights Top Advocacy Agenda…Again
On August 26, we celebrated the certification on that day in 1920 of the 19th Amendment granting women’s suffrage. But we know that many women, prevented by states’ obstructive policies, were unable to vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Fifty-six years later we're still fighting for everyone to have the right to vote. We need Congress to pass the For the People Act (HR 1/ S1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (HR 4). By acting together, we can create a process by which every American can safely and freely cast their ballot, and we can deliver the positive outcomes of democratic voting, including pandemic relief; jobs; health care; and funding for infrastructure , schools, and communities. In the words of Abraham Lincoln in 1861, “The struggle of today is not altogether for today, it is for a vast future also.”
So, what can YOU do? Call your senators (1.888.453.3211); become informed by joining the weekly MO Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) calls every Monday at 10 a.m.; check our Facebook page and website for up-to-date information and advocacy opportunities; join the Advocacy Committee along with Karen Francis [chair], Ruth Ehresman, Susan Glassman, Laura Rose, Becky Clausen, Mary Clemons, Barb Harris, Karon Hatchett, Maureen Jordan, Liz Sondhaus, Michele Steinberg, Deanna Stevenson, Ginny Weil, and Carolyn Wolff, and attend our monthly meeting on the fourth Monday of the month.
Get Out the Vote, Support Democracy
National Voting Registration Day is the USA’s largest nonpartisan civic holiday dedicated to getting every eligible American registered to vote. Help build a vibrant, diverse and engaged democracy by dropping voter registration packets at people’s doors. Join other Women’s Voices members in a contactless, COVID-safe way to register voters. Details coming soon. Email voting@womensvoicesraised.org for more information.
Join the Transformative Justice Coalition as it kicks off a series of classes on Voting Rights as part of the Voting Rights Institute. This a fantastic and accessible program. Tune in online! It's free.
Safe Firearm Storage Critical Now
In the first eight months of 2021, more than 70 children have suffered gun-related injuries in the St. Louis metropolitan area. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that the number of children injured by firearms increased 40 percent in 2020 –-coinciding with a dramatic increase in gun sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that almost 800 firearm-related injuries occurred in the first six months of the pandemic, compared to a median of 570 in the three preceding years. Black non-Hispanic boys living in urban areas with high rates of poverty, violence, and limited economic opportunity suffered the highest rate of gun-related injuries.
Further research is needed to find the relation between this rise in injuries, the pandemic, and increased gun sales, but “in the meantime, it is absolutely imperative that we prioritize counseling parents and other guardians on safely storing firearms,” said Kelsey Gastineau, lead study author and a pediatric hospital medicine doctor at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Spreading this message while handing out free gun locks has been the mission of the Lock It for Love program since 2015. We would appreciate your support by making a contribution to fund the purchase of gun locks. Donate here.
Thanks to Donors Supporting Annual Campaign!
A big thank you to all of you who have already made your commitment to our annual campaign!
Thanks to you, Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice continues to educate and advocate for policies to rectify income, gender, occupation, and nationality inequalities.
If you are considering a donation to our annual appeal, now is the time! Support social justice work in the St. Louis community and help strengthen our collective voice. We have an exciting year of programs ahead and hopefully we will be able to gather in person for some of them. You can make your gift online or by mailing a check to Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, 7401 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130.
Are you eligible for a matching gift? Ask your employer today and double your donation.
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Women's Voices Members respond to injustice!
Judy Arnold, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, urges us to vote for politicians who make children’s safety a priority.

Debra Horwitz, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that the St. Louis County Council members and those who clapped when a mask mandate was voted down lack empathy and are not thinking about how to keep people safe.

Mary Phelan, in her letter to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, writes that our politicians seem more interested in legal battles than protecting our health.

Ellen Wentz, in her letter to the Webster Kirkwood Times, writes that we need to keep the conversation about affordable housing alive.

Ellen Wentz, in her letter to the Columbia Missourian, writes that Missouri politicians should back Medicaid expansion as a boon for the state. Ellen's letter was also published in the Eldorado Springs Sun, NewsPressNow, the Joplin Globe and the Gasconade County Republican.
Have something to submit for Loud & Clear?
Loud & Clear is the official monthly e-newsletter of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and is usually distributed on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. The general deadline for article submission is the Wednesday prior to publication. Click here to contact editor Laura Rose.
Membership Info
Even if you can’t come to meetings or become personally involved, your membership is important…and greatly appreciated.

Benefits of Membership
When you join Women’s Voices you:
  • Make our voice stronger when we advocate with elected officials.
  • Provide support to the organization by adding your name to our advocacy efforts.
  • Provide ideas and suggestions to help determine how to define our positions and choose our causes.
  • Are eligible to vote on important decisions such as Women’s Voices taking a position on a social justice issue or supporting/opposing a ballot measure.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Can take pride in your affiliation with a strong, progressive group of women working for social justice.
  • Help cover our administrative and outreach costs through your dues.
Annual Dues:
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$75 (Silver Level)
$100 (Gold Level)
$10 (Student Membership)
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 
Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130