2016 was a roller coaster of a year. Over 1,000 people died from police brutality (1146 people as of December 29th). Russia hacked the U.S. election. Every imaginable hateful -ism reigned over the country, and to top it all off, we lost David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fischer, Gene Wilder, AND Debbie Reynolds! That’s at least 10 childhoods dead, right there. (I’m sorry; it was a tough year. I’ll take any amount of levity I can get.)
But for all these national tragedies, we at Beloved Streets of America had plenty of personal victories. Here are our top 4!
We Appeared on CNN
January 16, we appeared on CNN’s national Martin Luther King Day special exploring the irony and disrepair of Martin Luther King thoroughfares across the country. Founder/CEO Melvin White himself was there to comment on MLK Drive in St.Louis.
We Built An Army of Interns!
Julie Brain, founder of SuperInterns.com, was one of the many people who saw the CNN Special. She liked our mission so much, she began a correspondence with Melvin White and Vice President Andre Blunt. She flew over to St.Louis, noted the lack of financial and local support Beloved Streets had, and promised, “I will get you an army of interns.” Months later, she made good on that promise.
First Annual Martin Luther King Legacy Dinner
September 9th, we hosted our first annual MLK Legacy Dinner and honored five activists in the St. Louis community! Honorees included Malik and Deborah Ahmed from Better Family Life, Sylvester Brown from the Sweet Potato Project, and Julia Tibbs-Abernathy from YouthBuild St.Louis. These people have been working to better the community for decades and we feel so privileged to work alongside them. The Dinner was so successful, we decided to combine forces and form the New Opportunities Alliance for Hope (N.O.A.H.)
We Appeared on Green Time TV
In October, Melvin White, Vice President Andre Blunt, and BSA board member Robert A. Powell were invited on local St. Louis program Green Time TV to speak about Beloved Streets’ origin and how far it’s come since it’s founding in 2009! Have a look
All in all, 2016 brought with it many blessings. We’re determined to make 2017 even better! Our resolution is to make every MLK Street, Drive, and Boulevard across the country beautiful and prosperous.