2023 Activities

Volunteer Training: North City Photo ID Project

November 29, 2023 We had an inspiring evening learning about the systemic barriers to photo ID access and how we can help St. Louis residents navigate the complex systems required to obtain a photo ID. Possession of a valid photo ID is not only necessary to access a multitude of services, but is also required to vote in Missouri. Thank you to the Ashrei Foundation for sharing your expertise, you have energized us all!

Racial Justice Film Series: Transforming 911

October 20, 2023 Women’s Voices partnered with Eliot Unitarian Chapel and Metropolitan Congregations United to host a screening of Transforming 911: Reimagining Public Safety in St. Louis. Transforming 911 is a short film created by local filmmaker, Cami Thomas and Forward Through Ferguson based on their #Transforming911 project. Forward Through Ferguson developed this community accountability and advocacy tool which examines St. Louis’ 911 system and serves as a call to reimagine public safety. Visit transforming911.org to learn more about how 911 works in St. Louis, and to understand why if we want to reimagine public safety, we have to transform 911.

Lunch & Learn with Consumers Council of Missouri

September 28, 2023 Speakers: Sandra A. Padgett, executive director, Consumers Council of Missouri Jacqueline Hutchinson, director of advocacy, Consumers Council of Missouri
Sandra Padgett
Jackie Hutchinson
Sandra Padgett and Jackie Hutchinson discussed their work with the Consumers Council of MO to level the playing field for Missouri consumers. This includes scrutinizing utilities’ rate increase proposals and advocating for customer assistance programs that meet the needs of people who have low income. Watch the recorded presentation here.

Welcome Neighbor Supper

September 27, 2023
Thanks to the hard work of the WV Membership Committee, under Michele Steinberg’s dynamic leadership and with Laura Rose’s outstanding organizational support, Women’s Voices recently hosted over 50 members and friends at our first Welcome Neighbor STL Supper Club. Our gathering provided an opportunity for WV members and potential members to meet, get to know each other and invite those “not yet members” to join our wonderful WV community. Our other important goal was to support refugee families recently settled in St. Louis. Our new refugee neighbors prepared a delicious meal and shared their cooking skills by providing a table of traditional food from their countries of origin. We were also honored to hear a small part of their refugee stories as well as an inspiring overview of the Welcome Neighbor organization by board member, Amy Cohen. Welcome Neighbor suppers present an opportunity for people, especially women, who have been defined for too long as victims, to share knowledge and skills unique to them and to set them on a path of greater independence and confidence in their new lives here in the U.S. All of the proceeds from the WV supper club event will directly benefit the refugee cooks. Support for our community’s refugees is entirely consistent with WV commitment to social justice and human rights, especially in a time when refugees and immigrants have increasingly been targeted with hatred and vitriol, unfairly blamed for U.S. social problems they had no role in creating. Welcome Neighbor demonstrates how much refugees and immigrants have to offer our communities when given the opportunity. Having overcome what in some cases are unimaginable obstacles, refugees demonstrate a level of courage and commitment to their families few of us will ever be required to demonstrate. I am so grateful to have these new neighbors who add so much to our community’s diversity and strength. View the photo gallery here.


On the weekend of June 2-4, 2023, people came together at events from coast to coast to honor victims and survivors of gun violence and to spread awareness about this preventable crisis. Women’s Voices Lock It for Love volunteers participated in two local Wear Orange events to distribute FREE gun locks and provide gun safety information. https://wearorange.org/
Left: Karen Cloyd and Cathy Gilbert at the Wear Orange Prayer Service of Remembrance and Lament hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of MO at Tower Grove Park. Right: Joanne Kelly and Mary Schuman at the Gun Violence Awareness and Prevention March at Emmanuel Episcopal Church hosted by Churches Together. ​

Women’s Voices Submits Testimony on MO Clean Slate Initiative (HB 352)

March 27, 2023 Criminal Legal System Reform Task Force co-chairs Anne Litwin and Mary Schuman submitted testimony to the MO House Judiciary Committee in support of HB 352.
HB 352 would establish an automatic record-clearing process for the closing of certain records not excluded from eligibility for expungement and would create the “Missouri Expungement Fund,” which would be dedicated to the creation, operation, and maintenance of the program. Read the full bill text here.
Members heard from speakers Phil Christofanelli, MO state representative, District 104 and Jeff Smith, executive director, Missouri Workforce Housing Association about Missouri’s Clean Slate Initiative at the March 24 Lunch & Learn. If you missed the program, you can watch the recorded Lunch & Learn: MO Clean Slate Initiative video here. MO House Bill 352 was heard by the MO House Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 27. Support passage of HB 352:  Find a sample letter supporting HB 352 from Women’s Voices here. Feel free to copy and paste it as is or modify it and personalize it as much as you would like. Learn more about the Missouri Clean Slate Campaign here.   ​

Author Vivian Gibson Shares Stories of Growing Up in Mill Creek Valley

February 15, 2023
Liz Sondhaus (L) and Vivian Gibson (R)
Vivian Gibson, author of The Last Children of Mill Creek, joined us February 15 at Kirkwood Public Library. Gibson shared what is was like to grow up in Mill Creek Valley, a working-class neighborhood in St. Louis that was razed in 1959 to build a highway, an act of racism disguised under urban renewal as “progress.” She spoke about the people, history, and culture of Mill Creek and opened a long-needed conversation about universal experiences and shared humanity. See more pictures from this event here.

Lunch & Learn-Educational Equity: The Work of Special School District

January 20, 2023 Speaker:  Kelly Grigsby, executive director of schools and programs for Special School District of St. Louis County View the recorded presentation here.