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Speak Up St. Louis

Author: Quinton Ward + Tre Alexander

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Speak Up St. Louis is a podcast that elevates the diverse voices in our community, broadcasting the shared stories, ideas, and creative contributions of our city’s cultural fabric.
59 Episodes
Mark Saxon is a local baseball writer who covers the St. Louis Cardinals. He's worked for decades in the industry as a beat reporter with organizations such as The Athletic and ESPN, and is a frequent contributor on local sports radio.Mark joins the podcast to have a "meta" discussion about Cardinals Baseball. Beyond just the day-to-day tactics of the team, Mark outlines the history of the franchise, and the nature of it's uniquely close relationship to the St. Louis fan base. We also talk about the state of the game of Baseball as a whole, and how it compares to other sports in the American psyche.Mark Saxon is one of the most insightful and FUN baseball commentators out there, and we thank him for sharing his thoughts with the Speak  Up St. Louis listeners!Follow Mark on Twitter @markasaxon
KYJUAN is a rapper from the legendary Hip-Hop group the St. Lunatics! Hailing from U-City, KYJUAN and his brother Murphy Lee made it HUGE in the music industry, and put St. Louis on the map for hip-hop internationally.On the podcast, Kyjuan tells the legendary story of how  he met Nelly and the Lunatics were formed, recording early songs at Saints roller rink, what is was like to blow up on Country Grammar, advice for navigating the business side of the industry, and the INDEPENDENT release of Murphy Lee's new album 2nd Time Around, featuring a track with Kyjuan.This may be my favorite episode so far! Kyjuan is a legend and personal hero of the podcast.BUY THE NEW ALBUM HERE!INTRO - 93 Riverfront FlowOUTRO - 2nd Time Around
Katie Finch is the Director of AmeriCorps at Mission St. Louis, and oversees 150 AmeriCorps service members across 30 nonprofits in our region. As a result, Katie has her finger on the pulse of the St. Louis nonprofit ecosystem.In this episode, Katie joins us to discuss the AmeriCorps program: it's purpose, history, and impact on the St. Louis region. She also tells the story of her journey into service, and shares her optimistic view towards St. Louis, and our ability to solve the problems we face in our community.Katie is a passionate and dedicated servant of St. Louis, and we thank her for sharing her story on Speak Up St. Louis!
Jeffrey Blair (and his wife Pamela)  are the owners and founders of EyeSeeMe African American Children's Bookstore. While raising children of their own, they sought to change a key problem with their education: the absence of books that reflected their own history and cultural heritage. Jeffrey and Pamela began curating books that featured African American children as main characters, so they could SEE themselves in the stories, protagonists, and overall narratives. Not surprisingly, their children became incredibly high achievers, attending Harvard, Columbia, and Bard colleges.Seeing the success that these books brought to their own family, Jeffery and Pamela started EyeSeeMe African American Children's Bookstore to bring it to the larger community. Their store in University City features thousands of titles by black authors, featuring black children, and accentuating African American history and culture.On this episode, Jeffrey discusses his family's journey of discovery, philosophy towards education, role of books in cultural life, and the founding of the business. Please visit the EyeSeeMe bookstore located at 6951 Olive Blvd in University City, and browse their WEBSITE to look at their many books and titles.Thank you to Jeffrey and Pamela for sharing their WONDERFUL bookstore, and philosophy, with the St. Louis community and beyond. We appreciate and support you!
Senator Brian Williams represents the St. Louis region's 14th District in the Missouri Senate.Brian joins the show to discuss his entrance into politics, what drives him as a lawmaker, how he creates legislative impact despite being in a super-minority, navigating the dynamics of Jefferson City, and what St. Louis can do to move forward as a region.Senator Williams is a brilliant political mind, and hardworking change agent who brings the voice of the people to the halls of power. We thank him for his work serving his constituents, and for taking time to come on Speak Up St. Louis!
Dr. Art McCoy is a trailblazer, educator, entrepreneur, evangelist, and leader passionately empowering people. He is the former Superintendent of Ferguson/Florissant and Jennings School District, and is currently the Champion of Workforce Development at STL.Works.On this episode, Dr. McCoy describes his journey from becoming the youngest teacher in the state of Missouri, to a Superintendent, CEO, and community leader. He shares his philosophy on life and career, while tying everything back to his new role at STL.Works, and their mission of providing high paying jobs to thousands of St. Louisans.Dr. McCoy is a charismatic speaker, brilliant multidisciplinary thinker, and passionate advocate for change in St. Louis. Whether your interests are education, leadership, or community development, you will thoroughly enjoy listening to Dr. McCoy!
Julia Ho is the Founder of Solidarity Economy St. Louis. She has been living and organizing in St. Louis since 2011 and has been heavily involved in dozens of campaigns, coalitions, and organizations in the region.On this episode, Julia Ho and youth organizer JD Carranza explain what the Solidarity Economy movement is, how it's being cultivated in St. Louis, the journey of the activist and community organizer, and the importance of living your values.Thanks to these amazing young people for the great work they do in St. Louis, and for coming on the podcast to share their perspective! To get involved in Solidarity Economy, check out the link below.
Javyn Solomon is a St. Louis based Artist and Designer.He is the founder of LouTopia, an art experience that envisions a more creative, sustainable, & mindful version of St. Louis. He is also the Vice President of AIGA St. Louis, & co-founder of STL By Design podcast.In this Episode we discuss Javyn's journey as an artist, the philosophy of action and activism that fuels his artistic practice, and the purpose of LouTopia and how we can envision a more beautiful, equitable version of St. Louis.Jayvn is a blast. He's insightful, hilarious, and very multidisciplinary. We absolutely loved having him on the show! Check out his work below: By Design Podcast
Speak Up St. Louis turns 50!Join us on this special 50th Episode featuring Shavanna Spratt. Shavanna is a Mother, Doula, Ferguson resident, and host of Da Hood Talks, a great podcast highlighting community voices in St. Louis. Shavanna is very active in the Ferguson community, and has dedicated her life to empowering community voices.In this Episode, we discuss Ferguson (and St. Louis) since Michael Brown, black maternal health, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, and the ins and outs of Da Hood Talks Podcast. We are honored to share the mic with Shavanna Spratt for our 50th episode: a passionate, lively, intelligent, strong, and kind person who is making a difference in her community. She embodies what is great about St. Louis!
David Kirkman is a independent filmmaker from St. Louis, and the founder of Woke Nation. Raised in Ferguson, David has become a force to be reckoned internationally. He is best known for legendary Black Sci-Fi movies including Hardware, Icon, and Static Shock. In this episode, David discusses his origins as a filmmaker in North County, the genre of Afrofuturism, the relationship between music and movies, the burgeoning local film scene in St. Louis ,  and what it means to recapture the black imagination.David is busy doing BIG things, and it was a complete honor to have him on the show!Check out all of David's films here:Static ShockIconHardware
David Stavron is the Co-Founder and General Manager of Morning Glory Diner on Cherokee Street. He is an artist, fabricator, businessman, musician, and 13 year veteran of the Merchant Marines.In this very fun and engrossing episode, Dave talks about growing up on the Southside, his adventures as a Sailer, building the MetroMarket bus, the mission/genesis of the Morning Glory Diner, surviving the pandemic, and the spirit of Cherokee Street. Thank you Dave for coming on the show, and all you do in St Louis! And if you haven't yet, go check out Morning Glory Diner on Cherokee!Morning Glory WebsiteFacebook PageYELP
JerMarco Britton is a musician, advocate for the arts, and founder of Soul Shed STL.Soul Shed is a bi-weekly jam session and musical university that develops the  local community of musicians through training in performance, business and wellness. In this episode, JerMarco explains his musical roots, ecstatic experiences on stage, beating performance anxiety, and the spiritual elements of music, as well as the founding of Soul Shed, the challenges overcome, and major plans for future growth.JerMarco Britton is a brilliant human doing crucial and impactful work for local musicians; we thank him for sharing his story, time, and perspective with our listeners!JerMarco Britton
Janett Lewis is the Founder and Executive Director of Rustic Roots Sanctuary, a community based organic farm and healing sanctuary in Spanish Lake. In this episode, she explains her journey from Stone Mountain Georgia, to becoming a powerhouse real estate broker, to discovering Spanish Lake and founding Rustic Roots, and what it means to manifest a vision. This conversation took place onsite at Rustic Roots, and covers sustainable farming, the Spanish Lake community, food equity, the need for healing spaces during the pandemic, and what's next for this social entrepreneur.Be sure to check out the weekly Farmers Market at Rustic Roots, and the arts festival on October 16th! Arts Festival
Kelly McGowan is the founder of EVOLVE, a community-driven platform that activates equitable food systems and built environments to support the wellbeing of all St. Louisans. In this episode, Kelly discusses growing up on the West Side, her journey towards founding EVOLVE, and the state of Public Health in St. Louis. We also touch on many other topics including food justice, local politics, community development, and North St. Louis.This was a fun episode, thanks to Kelly for always keeping it real and sharing her story with our listeners!Facebook - @314EvolveInstagram - @314evolve
Drew Jameson is the owner of Jamo Presents, and one of St. Louis's premier concert and event promoters. Drew is a key player in our local music ecosystem, and is behind some of the most exciting concert venues in the City, including The Foundry, Tower Grove Park, and the Lot on Laclede's Landing.In this episode we discuss Drew's journey into the business via Lucas School House and Nectar's in Burlington, his experience as a touring musician, St. Louis's top venues, Mississippi Nights, upcoming shows on Laclede's Landing, the impact of CoVid on the industry, and the lasting influence of the Grateful Dead.Drew is a stellar human, and a powerful positive force on our local music scene! We really enjoyed this interview with him. Check out the links below to support his upcoming events.!
Matthew R. Kerns is the Executive Director of St. Lou Fringe Festival, and Director of Emerging Leaders at Focus St. Louis. Matthew is a performing artist, member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in St. Louis. St. Lou Fringe is a free and uncensored performing arts festival held in Grand Center, showcasing theatre, dance, storytelling, spoken word, burlesque, acrobatics, and more. This year's festival will be held August 13-18th.In this episode, Matthew discusses his journey as a creative, the origins of St. Lou Fringe, and what the festival will look like in 2021. He also delves into the impact of CoVid 19 on the Arts Community, and offers his thoughts on the importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the St. Louis region.Matthew is brilliant, witty, creative, insightful...and fun!!! We appreciate him sharing his story and point of view on the Speak Up St. Louis Podcast. Enjoy this interview, links to St. Lou Fringe Festival are below!St. Lou Fringe FestivalA Wedding Under the St. Louis Arch
Jaer Jones is a middle school teacher, proud U-City native, and author of the My Invisible Father, a new novel about a St. Louis teenager navigating adolescence without his Father.In this episode, Jaer tells his life story. From U-City, to discovering his passions for writing, basketball, Hip-Hop, and working with children, to the discipline and creative process behind his new book. Jaer Jones is a deeply interesting, creative, and thoughtful person. His story contains soul, inspiration, poignance, redemption, and love. We thoroughly enjoyed this discussion with him, and wish this him success on his first book! We are confident there will be many more to come.Support Jaer and buy the book today at
Randy and Jeff Vines are the owners of STL Style House, a renowned St. Louis apparel line and clothing shop on Cherokee Street. Identical twins and St. Louis dynamos, Jeff and Randy are unapologetically proud of St. Louis. More then just clothing designers, they are passionate urbanists, historic preservationists, and big time STL enthusiasts and promoters. What don't we discuss in this conversation? From the Style House origin story, to the Vines Bros high school TV show, the St. Louis accent, city neighborhoods, local politics, their favorite bars, beers, and streets, we cover every little thing that makes St. Louis great.These guys represent everything that is right with St. Louis. They are witty, fun, intelligent, creative, and kind. We are proud to call them St. Louisans, and grateful for sharing their story with our listeners!
Deneen Busby is a former St. Louis radio talk show host, and current Director of Marketing and Communications for Care STL Health.In this episode, Deneen talks about her journey in the local radio business, her experience as a talk show host on Magic, transitioning into Public Health, how CoVid impacted the STL community, and so much more.This is a FUN, relaxed interview. We just hang out together on air, and Deneen shows us all her phenomenal personality, and that she still has skills in talk radio!Thank you Deneen, we appreciate you!
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