A Goldman Fellow in the summer of 2020, Russell Beckham (he/him) had the opportunity to work with Beyond Housing and an Economic Development Committee in Pine Lawn while learning about St. Louis alongside a group of other fellows.
As an intern for Beyond Housing, he assisted the organization’s community engagement and policy advocacy efforts, including the 2020 Census, Medicaid expansion, and voter registration initiatives. While working for the City of Pine Lawn, he helped the development and execution an economic development plan built to amplify community agency and give the community better access to quality resources and amenities. In the time he spent as a Goldman Fellow, he says that the program’s “dedication to pursuing positive community impact and engaging in a dialogue of understanding with St. Louis as a city” has shown him how to better advocate and learn by engaging with community members.
As an urban studies major and senior at WashU, Russell continues to question the nature of institutions in serving the needs of communities of color and researches solutions to reverse patterns of disinvestment in St. Louis. He currently serves as a Racial Equity Capacity Building Fellow at Forward Through Ferguson, an organization working to create systems change across St. Louis by implementing calls to action outlined in the Ferguson Commission Report.
Russell will next pursue a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Social Economic Development at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, continuing to learn and apply lessons in a lifelong objective to collectively eliminate racial and economic inequality.