The protests happened the weekend following a judge’s not-guilty ruling of Jason Stockley, the former St. Louis police officer tried for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.
Nearly two dozen businesses suffered damage in the overnight hours September 17.
University City High School Sophomore Adrianna Albert said she felt compelled to make a difference. She participated in a peaceful protest at her school days after the ruling and said it was important to do more.
“I wanted to help these folks out, because for one—because one—we as a student body came in to help the community. So when we found out that businesses in The Loop—which is our community—were getting destroyed, we wanted to do something about that,” she said.
The help she refers to comes in the form of t-shirts. The shirts read, “U Woke.”
“’U Woke’ is being aware of the situation that is happening in your community,” she said. “Why they are happening, and how we can make them better.”
Componere Gallery Owner Eleanor Ruder said she was moved by the effort. Eight windows at her business were damaged during the violent protests.
“For them to realize that this is part of their neighborhood too, and they have an interest in it,” she said.
The University City School District is not sponsoring the sale of the t-shirts, but it supports the students’ efforts.
About three dozen t-shirts have been sold since they went on sale earlier this week. The t-shirts can be purchased online via Facebook.