To Bridge ‘Delmar Divide,’ Community Program Aims to Get Neighbors Talking

By on October 16, 2018

From St. Louis American:  A St. Louis nonprofit group is developing a program to bring neighbors from north and south St. Louis together.

The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations hopes to officially launch their Sisterhood Initiative next year. The program will pair neighborhoods north and south of Delmar Boulevard for year-long working partnerships in an effort to bridge the so-called “Delmar Divide.”

SLACO Executive Director Kevin McKinney said the initiative is an extension of another of the organization’s programs known as Neighborhoods United for Change.

That program, which began in 2016, facilitates conversations between neighbors from north and south St. Louis communities and takes them on half-day bus tours of each other’s neighborhoods.

“We felt that the Neighborhoods United for Change program was a great place to start, but it was just breaking the ice,” McKinney said. “You need to have more interaction, so you can learn about each other and communicate with each other. That’s why we’re putting the Sisterhoods Initiative in place.”

The scope of the program will be open-ended by design, with neighborhood leaders responsible for developing the partnerships.

The goal, said McKinney, is to start a conversation between residents that will help them find common ground.

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