Anniversary of Ferguson: Faith Leaders and Activists Unite to Continue Advocating for Justice
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Image: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This week, organizations, activists and community leaders are prepping for the anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Activists and clergy in Ferguson and across the country are planning events to further advocate for change and push for civil rights for people of color.

The anniversary of Brown’s death is on Sunday. Planned events, according to reports, range from marches; many organized by Brown’s family, to social media chats and documentary screenings. Most of the weekend’s events would be “family-friendly, open to the public, and free of charge,” Nabeehah Azeez, of ‘Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment,’ told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Organizers also indicated that they have planned a day of “civil disobedience” on Monday.

Local news in St. Louis reports that The St. Louis County NAACP is hosting a commemoration event called the Ferguson First Friday Brunch, where city leaders and law enforcement will discuss progress made in the community since last August. “It’s a day to remember what we have done and how far we’ve come and how far yet we have to go,” Esther Haywood, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, told

PICO National Network, a national network of faith-based community organizations, is hosting conversations about the violent consequences of racial bias and solutions to change systems that support it during their Ferguson Week of Righteous Resistance. Their efforts also include a film screening of 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets about the shooting death of Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Fla., and the trial of his killer, Michael Dunn. The film will be followed by a discussion with the Davis family.

Reports also indicate that though law enforcement in Ferguson don’t expect any “acute problems,” they have taken extra precautions, reportedly canceling time off for nearby precinct personnel, in case they need to be called in as extra support. In the aftermath of Brown’s death protests, both in Ferguson and around the United States, emerged as black male deaths at the hands of law enforcement continued to occur in other cities. As  the Black Lives Matter movement continues and many around the world shine a light on injustices, take a look at insights from social media on taking action:

Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.