What began as an exploration of health disparities among African Americans in St. Louis has evolved into a mission to eliminate racial inequities and improve the health of all people in our region.

With funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health, For the Sake of All began in March 2013 as a collaboration between scholars at Washington University and Saint Louis University to report on the health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region by highlighting social, economic and environmental factors that drive differences in outcomes. The academic team was assisted by a Community Partner Group with representation from public health, healthcare, business, education, civic organizations, and media. With extensive community engagement, the team produced five policy briefs in 2013 on topics including poverty, education, mental health, residential segregation, and chronic disease. In March 2014, community members were invited to participate in a Community Feedback Forum to provide their input on draft elements of the final report.

Immediately hailed by local media as a “landmark report,” For the Sake of All: A Report on the Health and Well-Being of African Americans in St. Louis—And Why It Matters for Everyone, was released on May 30, 2014 at a community conference at the Missouri History Museum. The report made recommendations for increased attention and investment in the areas of:

These six recommendation areas have guided the subsequent work of the project to mobilize community members and key stakeholders in the private and public sectors to respond. For the Sake of All also emerged as a crucial resource for the region following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, less than three months after the report’s release. In the second phase of the project, Discussion Guides and Action Toolkits were developed and distributed at Community Action Forums to give the community a deeper understanding and concrete tools for taking action. The work continues, as the project now focuses on engaging all levels and sectors of the St. Louis region in strategic implementation of the recommendations.

A report on the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis and why it matters for everyone