Task force appointed in Creve Coeur to decide on memorial to be place in renamed park

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CREVE COEUR, MO - Efforts to correct a racial wrong from 60 years ago took another step forward in Creve Coeur Monday night. It began with the appointment of a new task force.

Sydni Jackson is a member of the new task force, “I’m pretty excited I definitely like doing community work,” said Jackson.

Sydni Jackson is the youngest member of the Dr. Phillip Venable Memorial Park Task Force. This all began in 1960 when Beirne Park came into being. White people wanted to keep 12 African American families from living in a neighborhood on what would become parkland. 11 sold their property, Dr. Venable fought to keep his home but lost. Now Creve Coeur is trying to make amends for the heartbreaking incident. Heath Silverman is a city council member and member of the task force.

“I don’t know if there is way to make it right. I think this is way to start to move forward and really be the community we want to be moving forward,” said Heath Silverman, Creve Coeur city council member.

The city council appointed her and Sydni Jackson and eight others as members of the task force which will decide what type of memorial should go in the park and education materials to accompany it.

City maps have changed and now says Dr. Venable Park, the same holds true for Google Maps. The rededication of the park and removing the Beirne sign will take place in May.

“It is our responsibility as the people that inherited this space and the power to do something about and right the wrong what’s happened,” said Jackson.

She said she also supports establishing a scholarship in the doctor’s name and helping minorities get some economic help when buying a home in Creve Coeur.

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