Blake Strode and ArchCity Defenders Awarded Grant for Freedom Summer STL

Blake Strode (’15), Executive Director at ArchCity Defenders, was quoted by The St. Louis American discussing ArchCity’s $100,000 Deaconess Foundation grant to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the historic ‘Freedom Summer’ of 1963 (“Voter Rights Education a Focus of ‘Freedom Summer,’” Apr. 17). With a range of events kicking off Juneteenth and culminating in a rally and march in August, Freedom Summer STL will focus on voting, expungement, abolition and housing justice. “It will create a space of service, activation, and recommitment to justice and transformation,” Blake said. “Sixty years ago, Freedom Summer called into question the disparities between the American ideal and the reality of American democracy. . . . We step into this legacy knowing that now is the moment to both celebrate the strides we have made and recenter and recommit ourselves in the work to transform the policy landscape to make our region a more just place. With Freedom Summer STL we aim to ensure our community is equipped with the information and resources to actively participate in the democratic process.”