Community Partner Spotlight: A Red Circle

by | Sep 2, 2022 | Funding

Justice, fairness, health, and wellness—these are some of the core values of A Red Circle, an organization founded in 2017 to promote community betterment in North St. Louis County through a racial equity lens. We spoke with the Executive Director, Erica Williams, who explained that A Red Circle focuses on five areas: employment, education, holistic living, policy, and the arts. Currently, the most significant way they are working to better North County is through the food system. Their goal is to educate and bring good food into the region; historically, North County has lacked healthier food options in many of its neighborhoods. 

One way A Red Circle has approached food access is through their Healthy Moms & Baby Dinners; they received funding from FLOURISH to support this program.  Pregnant and postpartum mothers received information and social support around making healthy food choices as well as dinner kits delivered to them throughout the program which was a necessary shift when this program launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Erica shared, “we’re making it fun and we’re making it accessible. And we’re getting the nutrition into the bodies of these most vulnerable citizens.” They also received a grant from FLOURISH for their Parent Café, a program that allowed parents and families to have conversations that built meaningful relationships, and supported the development of emotional, social and leadership skills, as well as learning stress relief tactics.  These two programs are only a fraction of the work A Red Circle is doing to strengthen the community.  The organization also provides tutoring, mentoring, and social and emotional learning support in elementary schools in Ferguson Florissant School District. They help families get access to information about resources.  They also provide arts programming and summer youth employment, in a program called Chosen Pathways, to show kids they can make good choices for their lives and futures.  Additionally, since they have a garden and urban farm, residents are invited to decorate these spaces with sculptures and paintings or by planting flowers. 

Erica shared some of the challenges of being a Black-led organization, such as a lack of support and funding.  The nonprofit space has traditionally been competitive and whitewashed; there is little support for organizations where the community is trying to help themselves.  In addition, she says, “Black-led organizations are funded at a fraction of white-led organizations, and there’s a lot more that black-led organizations have to prove to show that we’re worthy of the funding.” Funding would allow A Red Circle to get better at what it already does well.  They are currently in the process of trying to acquire a building to co-locate their offices and community space with an incoming grocery store and are crowdfunding for the community store project on their website.

They will soon be launching a capital campaign to grow the organization and connect to larger donors.  Aside from monetary contributions, there are other ways you can support A Red Circle by volunteering or serving on their board. If interested, email

Read more about A Red Circle’s FLOURISH Grant Funded projects including Healthy Moms and Baby Dinners and Parent Cafés.

Photos in this post were taken by Latanya Ivy at Rustic Roots Sanctuary, a farm that creates access to fresh, local, organically grown food in St. Louis’ Promise Zone.


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