Ferguson panel brings congressmen and business leaders together to discuss area’s future

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Leaders from across America including a St. Louis billionaire joined together Friday night to tackle major issues in the African-American community. This forum was tied to the 5th anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Instead of focusing on the past the participants wanted to look to a better future for African- Americans.

Panel members recalled the death of Michael Brown and the unrest that followed.

“What came out of the tragedy involving Mike Brown was there was a concentration of poverty throughout the African-American community," said St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay.

“It’s imperative we come to together and work together from a non-profit, government and business standpoint to try to bring investment and infrastructure to areas that have not had it in years," said Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis President, Michael McMillan.

"It’s not all doom and gloom in the urban community," said Ron Busby, the president of the U.S. Black Chamber Inc. “Ten years ago there were 1.9 million black-owned businesses. Today there 2.7 million black-owned businesses.”

Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis billionaire and the creator of Twitter and Square was on hand. He did not talk to the group. But, he was apparently taking in all the information.

Fox 2’s Shirley Washington hosted the event. It was lived streamed on many of our platforms, including Twitter.

Some of the people on the panel also addressed the importance of voter turnout in the African-American community. One man said voting gives voice to the voiceless.

“People have now woke up and said this country should not be going in this direction, the voters will be energized,” added Congressman Clay.

He expects a big turnout in the African-American community come election day.

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