Molly W. Metzger

Service is living your values through relationships. Molly Metzger embodies this ethos as a way of life. Her passion for justice is evidenced through her tireless dedication to the St. Louis community and the many ways she uplifts those around her to do the hard work of community improvement.

While Molly’s teaching and research are connected to issues of civic engagement, public policy, structural racism, and residential segregation in the United States, she also embodies an ethos of service and scholarship that advances racial and economic justice for St. Louis citizens. As an organizing member of Team TIF (Tax Increment Financing), Molly and her collaborators work towards greater transparency and racial equity in tax incentive and tax abatement processes in St. Louis. Molly organizes community meetings; provides substantive knowledge on neighborhood, housing, and urban issues to area residents; and organizes concerned citizens to advocate for equitable tax policies at aldermanic meetings. Through her work, Molly is often the voice saying “we can do better,” asking the hard questions and encouraging others to go deeper into their assumptions, capacities, and dreams.

As Molly leads organizing efforts for a better St. Louis, she works to inspire these ideals in others. She collaborates with activists and others who care deeply about the St. Louis region to build their own knowledge and skills to make positive change in the community. She mentors individuals, galvanizes residents at neighborhood meetings, and motivates others to find their own critical voice and translate that voice into critical action. Molly is the kind of leader who inspires “leaderful” movements, making space for others to grow into powerful agents of change. As Molly’s Research Assistant Reuben Riggs notes, “Her deeply held values make her a ‘true north’ for others who value her authenticity, commitment, intelligence, trustworthiness, compassion, sense of justice, and spirit for adventure.”

Molly exudes community. She inspires us to take seriously our impact on those immediately around us and our potential to change our communities. Molly’s steadfast dedication to living her values is infectious and all who encounter her are better for it.