January 2023
Deaconess Community,

The year 2023 has been gifted to us. Each year I inquire of the Lord to know what my focus should become. I am not big on making new resolutions at the start of a new year, but I am big on, “doing the will of Him that sent me and to accomplish His work.” (John 17:25).

The year 2023 is a year to pronounce blessings and favor. We are powerful by our very nature of being created in the image of God. "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). We create the future by first, speaking it, then believing it while working towards it becoming our reality. Examine the words that you speak. What power do you unleash in your life and in the world by what you say?

Deaconess Foundation has a 100-year vision in mind. We speak into existence the realization of a beloved and thriving community where the allocation and realization of power and the distribution of resources, benefits and opportunities bless our children and our children’s children to the seventh generation. Data proves and we intrinsically know that when Black families and the oppressed are unsaddled from burdens, the beloved community becomes possible.

Thank you in advance for joining us on this seven-generation journey. Enjoy and embrace the pronouncement of blessings and favor for 2023 and beyond.

Blessings and favor will overshadow me.
I will not live in the old, I will live in the new.
I release old mental models that no longer serve my liberation or the liberation of our people.
I am single minded and focused.
My mind is clear, sound and healed. My body will fall into alignment with my mind.
I will find joy and abide there.
I will walk in new strength and right directions.
I will sing new songs.
Love will find me, and I will embrace love.
I will enjoy abundant harvest.
I will operate in new boldness.
A new river will flow in my life.
My mourning will turn into dancing.
I will go where the Spirit leads me.
God is with me.
God is within me.
God is with US.
In service to the will of the Spirit and the mission,
Bethany Johnson-Javois
President & CEO
Deaconess Foundation
2023 Coro Fellows

The Deaconess team welcomed three members of the 2023 Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs from the University of Missouri-St. Louis for a group project placement.
During this four-week placement, The Fellows are working on projects that further advance Deaconess and our mission. Projects include researching a community-based approach to implementing a Resilience Hub and researching fund endowment and best practices.

Meet the Fellows:

Saida Cornejo is from Hayward, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Ethnic Studies and Legal Studies. Saida is eager to apply her community-centered lens to her placements and explore how the public and private sector intersect in the St. Louis region.
Ch’aska Farber is from Santa Cruz, California. She attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota where she majored in Sociology, Anthropology and Race and Ethnic Studies. Ch’aska can’t wait to utilize her passion for the human experience to help guide her social and civil justice work in the future.
Adam Soliman is from Hamilton, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University, where he majored in Political Science, Religion, and Global Studies and minored in Spanish. A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Adam is excited to use his passion for law and civic engagement to understand how St. Louis functions as he prepares to apply to law school.
St. Louis Art Place Initiative’s mission is to build wealth and equity for low-to-moderate-income artists through homeownership. The Initiative was formed in 2017 around a community mandate and effort to design and implement a plan for affordable for-sale housing to artists in Gravois Park. The neighborhood is exceptionally artist-dense and artists – as predominantly low-income earners – were among the first displaced as gentrifying development practices began impacting the Gravois Park community. St. Louis Art Place Initiative works closely with the neighborhood beyond housing. They work with the residents, stakeholders, and the Initiative's homeowners to facilitate the creation of a community land trust that will collectively own all public and commercial space. The community governs the design, planning and development.

Deaconess Foundation supports the Initiative through the Responsive Grant Fund to support their efforts in the Gravois Park neighborhood, developing affordable housing and green space, as well as community organizing with residents and local institutions.

Learn more about API here.
Neighborhood group files nuissance lawsuit against Northiside over property

Jacob Barker | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | December 26, 2022

ST. LOUIS — The historic ABC Auto Sales building has been crumbling onto the sidewalk for years.

Unsecured entrances allow criminal activity and drug use near the busy intersection of Page and Grand boulevards. Its owner has been slapped with major code violations since at least 2014, when city officials condemned the structure. But beyond the exchange of letters and citations, the dangerous structure has continued to deteriorate, unaddressed by one of St. Louis’ most notorious landowners — Paul McKee’s NorthSide Regeneration.

Now, a recently formed neighborhood association wants a judge to wrest control of the building at 3509 Page Boulevard and give it to the group, arguing it is better positioned to secure the structure and keep it from further damaging nearby property values and quality of life. Read more.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen approves guaranteed basic income program for more than 400 families

The program will provide $500 monthly payments for the families for 18 months. The money will come from the city's ARPA funds.

Mark Maxwell, Sam Clancy | KSDK | December 13, 2022

ST. LOUIS — More than 400 families living in poverty will soon see direct cash payments from the City of St. Louis for at least a year and a half under a new bill approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen (BOA).

The BOA on Tuesday approved a bill to allocate millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and includes $5 million on a guaranteed basic income pilot program for parents living in poverty. 

The bill now heads to Mayor Tishaura Jones' desk for final approval. 

Jones has signified support for guaranteed income programs. She was one of dozens of "Mayors for a Guaranteed Income," including mayors from cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and New Orleans. Read more
Gloria Hampton Receives Outstanding Afterschool Award

Congratulations to Gloria Hampton at partner Unleashing Potential for being honored by the Missouri Afterschool Network with the Outstanding Afterschool Professional Award. Read more.
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Upcoming Events

  • January 18: Ameren Rate Case Community Meeting & Testimony Training by Metropolitan Congregations United of St. Louis. Register.
  • January 19: Annual Meeting and Membership Assembly by Metropolitan Congregations United of St. Louis. Register.
  • January 20: “Bound by Blood” An Art Exhibition Explore the Impact of Fatal State Violence by ArchCity Defenders. Register.
  • January 20 (Weekly on Fridays): Weekly Legislative Update Calls by Kids Win Missouri. Calls occur every Friday at 10 am from January through May to hear the latest news from the Capitol. Register.
  • January 24: "Child Health Summit & Advocacy Day" by The Cover Our Kids Coalition. Register.
  • January 24: Project LAUNCH Vitality Café by Vision for Children at Risk. Register.
  • January 25: DRT Member Meeting by Defund. Re-envision. Transform. Register.
  • January 26: Volunteer Information Session by CASA St. Louis. Register.
  • January 31: Monthly Renter’s Meeting on the last Tuesday of every month (no December meeting) by Action St. Louis and ArchCity Defenders. Register
  • February 18: Community First Responder (CFR) First Monday’s Series by The T. Register
  • February 18: 2nd Annual Community Resource Fair by A Red Circle. Register
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