Child & Youth Well-being Report

Social Mobility: The Necessary Focus of St. Louis Investment in Black Males

The tragic killing of Michael Brown at the hand of Darren Wilson, a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, further highlighted the long-standing disparities in health, education, employment, and overall well-being disproportionately burdening Black boys and young men in the St. Louis region. Since that event and the associated developments, actions have centered on attending to structural determinants, racism, and equity. However, less attention has been devoted to the overall well-being of Black boys and young men ages 1829 in the St. Louis region and to the paucity of available economic opportunities. This Brief Report from the Race and Opportunity Lab’s HomeGrown STL project seeks to shift the focus by documenting regional trends in three economic social mobility indicators and crime rates. The analysis substantiates an urgent need for regional interventions to remedy the stagnant social mobility levels of Black males.

Project: Race and Opportunity Lab


Joe, S., & Motley, R. (2019, February). Social mobility: The necessary focus of St. Louis investment in Black males (Race and Opportunity Lab Brief Report No. 1). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development, Race and Opportunity Lab.