Introducing Mia: A Champion for Change in the Community

by | Mar 20, 2020 | Community Leaders Cabinet

FLOURISH is led by a cabinet of community members, who bring their own experiences to help identify which solutions will best address families’ needs, as well as connect their neighbors to vital resources. Read Mia’s story, one of our cabinet members, to learn why she is committed to ending infant mortality and racial inequities in St. Louis. 

 Mia’s Story  

Growing up in St. Louis, I experienced first-hand the hardships that came from living in this city. But, sometimes the gravity of the situation doesn’t really hit you until you see the statistics. When I started attending the Missouri Foundation of Health meetings, I heard about FLOURISH’s work to improve the lives of Back mothers and babies in certain zip codes. Then it hit me – those zip codes included ones I’ve lived in. I realized that many of my neighbors in these areas might have babies that don’t make it, and it wouldn’t be their fault. Years of chronic stress and systemic racism were to blame, but that might not stop them from blaming themselves. That is why I felt the need to get involved with FLOURISH, to learn the reasons behind the inequity in infant mortality, especially in St. Louis, and find out how I could help change it. 

 After joining FLOURISH’ Community Leaders Cabinet, I began learning about change. We have a lofty goal of zero racial inequalities in infant mortality by 2033, and there are so many things we want to accomplish by then. I had to learn how to prioritize what the community needs right now in order to see long-term effects. 

 By serving on the cabinet, I’m being molded into a leader for my community. I love that I’m helping my neighbors through the work –after all, I come from the same areas as the people affected by the problems we are trying to change. In the past, groups have tried to help our neighborhoods, but they didn’t know our experience firsthand. When people see events and projects ran by people who have shared experiences and come their neighborhood, the results are much more impactful. That’s why I believe the Community Leaders Cabinet can be the ones to actually make a difference. 


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