| Program: || People Reaching Out for Unity and Diversity (PROUD), Ferguson, MO |
| Contact(s): || Dan Duncan, Co-chair: (314) 962-3456 |
| Purpose: || To promote the idea of people of all races living together and working for the common good of all residents |
PROUD was an outgrowth of the Oak Park Exchange Congress of 1994, a forum for the free exchange of ideas for achieving and enhancing racial harmony and economic growth in the community. PROUD follows the Oak Park mission statement by celebrating the diversity of its community and by actively addressing the patterns of resegregation, where a community gradually shifts from all white to all black. PROUD positively embraces diversity of its residents by promoting shared values, and by developing, encouraging and acknowledging the connection between cultural activities, neighborhood stability and economic development.
PROUD welcomes anyone to join its committees which promote cultural activities, education, public relations, economic development and housing and real estate development. These committees conduct projects that highlight the community's diversity and ensure fair and beneficial opportunities for all residents. Community celebrations focus on bringing together people of all backgrounds, and Proud's quarterly meetings feature notable speakers who address issues such as family, unity and diversity. The small business assistance program aids Ferguson community businesses in obtaining loans for expansion, capital improvements and start-up costs. PROUD also promotes fair housing and neighborhood stability by providing information about all available housing in Ferguson to anyone interested in the community.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
PROUD educates community residents about diversity and addresses issues such as neighborhood stability and minority inclusion in local community activities. Minority participation in PROUD has increased from 3 to 4 percent in its early stages, to 15 percent this year. Minorities also play an integral role in PROUD's leadership group. This interracial collaboration has made PROUD a model for neighboring communities, such as Florisant, Missouri. Through its work with Florisant, PROUD has furthered its efforts to teach integrated communities how to live together.