It’s About Instilling a Sense of Hope

Watch For the Sake of All Director Dr. Jason Purnell discuss the importance of college savings plans for all children in this video done by Wells Fargo highlighting its Focus on College program. Done in partnership with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the program works with six St. Louis schools in high poverty areas to help parents open college savings accounts for their children. For the Sake of All is working with numerous partners to dramatically expand such accounts – also known as Community Development Accounts –  to reach more high-needs children in the St. Louis region. As Dr. Purnell puts it, “Having money saved for college is about more than just the dollars in the account, it’s about actually instilling a sense of hope.”

Of Water, Ice, Life & Death

In his TEDx GatewayArch talk, Dr. Jason Purnell uses the analogy of ice “floating to the top” to describe the circumstances needed for positive health outcomes. According to Dr. Purnell, “Water is a remarkable thing. All life on the plant depends upon it. Ice is pretty amazing too. But water cannot be ice on its own. Freezing temperatures under normal pressure are needed. This turns out to be a pretty compelling analogy for how individual effort and environmental context work to determine some of the most important outcomes in life—including how long we live.”


“Voices and Visions Of St. Louis: Past, Present, Future” Panel Three: Exposing Exclusion

This is a video of a panel presentation at a three-day event at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in April, 2016 that kicked off off a multi-year conversation about injustice, inequality, and racial exclusion in urban America.

The chief aim of this panel session is to share a wide range of reflections and materials—produced through various methodologies—that help reveal, represent, or interrogate the issue of exclusion. The presentation focuses on the lived experience of St. Louisans, particularly those who are the most excluded, stigmatized, or oppressed in the city today.

Moderator: Daniel d’Oca, Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD; co-founder of Interboro Partners
Panelists: Jason Q. Purnell, Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis; head of the “For the Sake of All” initiative; Denise Ward-Brown, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis; Catalina Freixas, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis; Sylvester Brown, Jr., Journalist, St. Louis


Two Lives of Jasmine – A simplified story of a girl told from the perspectives of two different starting points in life

The video below describes how the life and health outcomes of a little girl we’re calling “Jasmine” can be dramatically different based on the circumstances into which she is born.  Although there are multiple opportunities for Jasmine to make choices about her life, these choices are shaped by her starting point in life and the resources available to her.

Video by the Nine Network
Content by For the Sake of All
Graphics by Jager Boston


Gateway Gauntlet

There is a direct correlation between the quality of the neighborhood where a person grows up and adult health issues. This Telly Award-winning video explores the struggles our hero encounters as he attempts to save his community.

Read more about the “Gateway Gauntlet” in this St. Louis Public Radio article.

Produced and Directed by Benjamin Kaplan
Produced by Nicole Hudson, Sally Altman, Gabriela Camberos, and Jason Purnell
Written by Stephanie Schlaifer, Benjamin Kaplan, Brad Fann, and Elyse Kaplan
Edited by Benjamin Kaplan and Brad Fann
Music composed by Benjamin Kaplan
Narration by Brian Owens


FOCUS St. Louis 2016 Leadership Award Honoree, Jason Purnell

This video was developed for 19th Annual What’s Right with the Region Event, presented by FOCUS St. Louis. Dr. Purnell was recognized for his leadership on the For the Sake of All project and commitment to reducing health disparities in the St. Louis region.

This is Bill. He has diabetes. 

Learn about how the places in which we live, learn, work, and play affect our health by watching this video. Meet Bill and learn how a typical St. Louisan’s life and health depend on — and affect — his neighborhood and the overall welfare of our region. This film was produced for the St. Louis Beacon. Learn more about the project at


The Racial Wealth Gap in America

Though the United States is one of the wealthiest countries, to many Americans this prosperity remains out of reach. Blacks and Hispanics, who are striving to make a better life for themselves and their families, are not given the same asset building opportunities. This animation is based on research by Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, and Sisi Zhang of the Urban Institute. See the full research.



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