A Red Circle Promotes Community in North St. Louis County

By Andrea Breaux, Healthy Healing Eats

Many African American residents of North St. Louis County, Missouri live in low-income households and neighborhoods that are food desertsno restaurants, grocery stores, or gardens. Development in this district has lagged for decades. When Erica Williams, a fighter for social justice causes, and an expert in economic development for vulnerable communities, became aware of what was happening, she started A Red Circle, a collaborative, community benefit organization “to stimulate the investment needed to revitalize North County.” 

While studying for a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration she read a paper that focused on pastors’ valuable influence on their congregations. “If a pastor gets behind eating healthy and exercising, that helps the congregation do the same,” she explains. Inspired by this, she sought and received the support of the 24:1 Clergy Coalition, led by Pastor E.G. Shields, who...

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