Ecumenical Leadership Council presents 2017 Black Tie Ball on September 29th

St. Louis Mo-, Influential pastors, powerful politicians, elected officials, and some of Missouri’s most well known leaders attended the “2017 Ecumenical Leadership Council Black Tie Ball”, on Friday September 29th, at the New Northside Conference Center, located at 5939 Goodfellow, St. Louis, Mo

The keynote speaker was the honorable Sen. Claire McCaskill, the senior Senator for Missouri. Over 250 will be in attendance at this special event. The Black Tie Ball was the first social event bringing together Ecumenical Leadership Council chapters from all parts of Missouri. Currently there are Council chapters in St. Louis, Kansas City, Southeast Mo, and Central Mo. Collectively over 200 predominantly African American churches in Missouri are members of the the Ecumenical Leadership Council of Mo.

The Black Tie Ball will featured a dynamic keynote speaker, as well as recognized speakers in their respective fields. As part of its mission of economic empowerment for the state’s African American population, the decision was made to hire a facility owned by African Americans, instead of other facilities, such as the Ritz Carlton Hotel, which hosted the Council’s previous events.

According to Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, president of the St. Louis chapter,”We need to start building an economic base with our own dollars. African Americans have developed an unhealthy distrust of doing business with each other. That creates a problem for the Black business community, while perpetuating lucrative opportunities for other ethnic groups. African Americans must adopt the practice of first looking among their own for the goods and services that they need and want.

The evening’s program for the 2016 Ecumenical Leadership Black Tie Ball included a reception prior to the Ball, a keynote speech by Sen. McCaskill; Foreword by Michael McMillan, president of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis;Rod Chapel Jr., President of the Mo Chapter of the NAACP; Stephen Webber, Chairman of the Mo Democratic Party; Kim Gardner,
first African AMEriacn Cirtcuit Attorney in St. Louis.

Attendees will rnjoy a delicious dinner, musical entertainment, and remarks by Bishop Lawrence Wooten of St. Louis, Bishop Mark Tolbert of Kansas City, and Rev. Adrian Henderson of Central. Bishop Ronnie Webb, representing Southeast Mo, is also expected to speak.

High homicide rate unchanged for two years

St. Louis,Mo; Homicides have become routine in St. Louis as the city closed out 2016 with 188 homicides. Coincidentally, the homicide number for 2015 was also 188. In 2014, the number was 159. Collectively that means 535 people have died as a result of a homicide. More particularly it means that over 500 African American males have been removed from society. It also means that if only 50% of the perpetrators of homicides are caught, another 250 or so Black males will be removed from society and remanded to the state penitentiary. That means over 750 Blacks that will be not be working, not marrying, not voting, not being a father
to their children.

Homicides in St. Louis County are also to be watched. In 2015 there were 66 homicides in St. Louis County. 2016 saw 63 homicides, which represents a drop of three homicides below the preceding year.

Here’s what the Ecumenical Leadership Council of Mo–St. Louis Chapter plans on doing to re-direct the energies of young
Black men.

1. First, pressure will be put on political leaders to re-direct more public resources towards Missouri’s
most at risk population (Black Males)

2. A full throttled voter registration effort

3. Reach out to the ex-felons to inform them that according to Missouri law, once they are released from prison or parole, their voting rights are restored. They only need to register to vote.
4. Unify with African American clergy across the state of Missouri
5. Develop political partnerships with other demographic groups.

The president of the Ecumenical Leadership Council in St. Louis Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, and vice president Rev. Rodrick Burton, stated that, “2017 should be the year that the African American population in Missouri recognize that the target should not be young Black men, instead the target should be more entry into college, more entry into skilled jobs, more trade among Blacks themselves”. African Americans must realize that the Black church can help lead the way, as it did in the 60″s.

Bishop Wooten enjoys quoting the old Harriet Tubman saying, “I freed a thousand slaves, and I could have freed a thousand more, if I only could have convinced them that they were slaves”.

Young man cuts the heads off grandparents

Quinton Dashawn Laster was arrested in the shooting and decapitation of his grandmother and her husband. (Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office) An Oklahoma man has been arrested in the shooting and decapitation of his grandmother and her husband in their home, where the couple ran a day-care center for several young children.

Quinton Dashawn Laster, 20, was taken into custody Tuesday after police found Sharon Reed, 59, and James Earl Reed, 78, dead in their Oklahoma City home, police said. Authorities told the Oklahoman that Laster “fully confessed” to shooting the couple and then “cutting their heads off.” Laster was booked Wednesday and is being held without bond on two counts of first-degree murder, according to booking records.Police said they discovered “three small children” in a converted garage that was being used as a day-care center.

“The children were unharmed, removed from the scene and later reunited with their families,” police said in a statement. [‘Lock the door!’ 911 caller says during Oklahoma beheading. ‘He has stabbed someone.’] Jerry Lyon, a neighbor, said Laster showed up at his door Tuesday, saying someone had killed his grandmother.“He was scared and nervous and confused, like he didn’t know what to do next,” Lyon told the Oklahoman, adding: “He kept saying ‘grandma, grandma,’ but the way he said it was so fast I didn’t understand.
“I said, ‘Spell it.’ And he spelled ‘S-H-A-R-O-N.’ “

Lyon told the newspaper that he saw a gun in Laster’s pocket and asked him to put it on the ground. Laster did, but picked it up again, he said. Several neighbors called 911, according to news reports. About 2 p.m., police conducted a welfare check and found the bodies in the house.“He didn’t deserve it, and she didn’t deserve it,” Sharon Reed’s sister, Brenda Jackson, told NBC affiliate KFOR. “I just don’t know why either one of them are dead.” [‘Listen lady, the baby is deceased,’ man says on 911 call about decapitated infant]

Jackson told the Oklahoman that it was “a bloody mess everywhere” inside the home. “I saw their blood, black and turned dark,” she told the newspaper. “JR, his grandfather — he killed him in the front room, the living room — and Sharon was on her way to the closet. I think she was going to get her gun.” Jackson told the Oklahoman that Laster and his brother had been living in the home with their grandparents since last year.Authorities have not determined a motive. Jackson told the newspaper that Laster had not been diagnosed with a mental illness.[Pregnant Colorado woman stabbed, her baby ‘removed,’ after answering Craigslist ad]

Another neighbor, Hal Hartsock, told the Associated Press that the Reeds were beloved and respected within the community.
“They were the kind of neighbors everyone wants,” he said.

Law schools admit fewer Blacks

While law schools added about 3,000 seats for first-year students from 1993 to 2008, both the percentage and the number of black and Mexican-American law students declined in that period, according to a study by a Columbia Law School professor.

What makes the declines particularly troubling, said the professor, Conrad Johnson, is that in that same period, both groups improved their college grade-point averages and their scores on the Law School Admission Test, or L.S.A.T.

“Even though their scores and grades are improving, and are very close to those of white applicants, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans are increasingly being shut out of law schools,” said Mr. Johnson, who oversees the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic at Columbia, which collaborated with the Society of American Law Teachers to examine minority enrollment rates at American law schools.

However, Hispanics other than Mexicans and Puerto Ricans made slight gains in law school enrollment.

The number of black and Mexican-American students applying to law school has been relatively constant, or growing slightly, for two decades. But from 2003 to 2008, 61 percent of black applicants and 46 percent of Mexican-American applicants were denied acceptance at all of the law schools to which they applied, compared with 34 percent of white applicants.

“What’s happening, as the American population becomes more diverse, is that the lawyer corps and judges are remaining predominantly white,” said John Nussbaumer, associate dean of Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s campus in Auburn Hills, Mich., which enrolls an unusually high percentage of African-American students.

Mr. Nussbaumer, who has been looking at the same minority-representation numbers, independently of the Columbia clinic, has become increasingly concerned about the large percentage of minority applicants shut out of law schools.

“A big part of it is that many schools base their admissions criteria not on whether students have a reasonable chance of success, but how those L.S.A.T. numbers are going to affect their rankings in the U.S. News & World Report,” Mr. Nussbaumer said. “Deans get fired if the rankings drop, so they set their L.S.A.T. requirements very high.

“We’re living proof that it doesn’t have to be that way, that those students with the slightly lower L.S.A.T. scores can graduate, pass the bar and be terrific lawyers.”

Margaret Martin Barry, co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers, said that while she understood the importance of rankings, law schools must address the issue of diversity. “If you’re so concerned with rankings, you’re going to lose a whole generation,” she said.

The Columbia study found that among the 46,500 law school matriculants in the fall of 2008, there were 3,392 African-Americans, or 7.3 percent, and 673 Mexican-Americans, or 1.4 percent. Among the 43,520 matriculants in 1993, there were 3,432 African-Americans, or 7.9 percent, and 710 Mexican-Americans, or 1.6 percent. The study, relied on the admission council’s minority categories, which track Mexican-Americans separately from Puerto Ricans and Hispanic/Latino students.

“We focused on the two groups, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans, who did not make progress in law school representation during the period,” Mr. Johnson said. “The Hispanic/Latino group did increase, from 3.1 percent of the matriculants in 1993, to 5.1 percent in 2008.”

Mr. Johnson said he did not have a good explanation for the disparity, particularly since the 2008 LSAT scores among Mexican-Americans were, on average, one point higher than those of the Hispanics, and one point lower in 1993.

Over all, Mr. Johnson said, it is puzzling that minority enrollment in law schools has fallen, even since the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2003, in Grutter v. Bollinger, that race can be taken into account in law school admissions because the diversity of the student body is a compelling state interest.

“Someone told me that things had actually gotten worse since the Grutter decision, and that’s what got us started looking at this,” Mr. Johnson said. “Many people are not aware of the numbers, even among those interested in diversity issues. For many African-American and Mexican-American students, law school is an elusive goal.”

Ecumenical Leadership Council launches new program

St. Louis, MO-, The  Ecumenical Leadership Council–St. Louis chapter has launched a new program designed to provide options to African American consumers. The new program, titled, “SEEUS”, (St. Louis Economic Empowerment Urban Strategy), will present a list of highly recommended African American businesses to offer professional services and goods to the African American community.

Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, President of the Ecumenical Leadership Council says, ” Economic dependence is at the root of the social issues that create situations like Ferguson, the extraordinary homicide rate, and systemic poverty in the African American community. We don’t spend our dollars with each other. In fact we have foolishly imposed trade sanctions our own Black businesses. It’s time for us to start spending our money with each other and gaining the benefits of  economic independence that other ethnic groups have in their communities.”

The list of recommended Black owned businesses will be posted on the homepage of Blackchurchstlouis.org. The majority of the businesses will include a link to their website. Businesses will be listed totally free of charge. The only requirement for listing is a recommendation from a member of the Council.  All members of the Ecumenical Leadership Council will urge their congregations to review the list for the goods and services that they need or want.

Members of the Ecumenical Leadership Council represents over 165 predominantly African American churches throughout the St. Louis area.