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ArchCity Defenders

By: David M. Foster, CFP®, CAP®

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Hello listeners and welcome to the 11th episode of the Gateway Giving Podcast!

I think most people, at this point, would agree with the idea that our justice system often does a poor job of meting out justice, and that the negative consequences of that disproportionately fall on black communities, particularly in a city as segregated as St. Louis.

That’s where the organization we’re profiling today comes in. My guest is Blake Strode, the executive director of ArchCity Defenders, a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color.

Even if you don’t know exactly what it is that ArchCity Defenders does, odds are good that, if you live in the St. Louis area, you’ve at least heard of them. That’s for two reasons: 1) they have done a tremendous amount of good in the community over the years, and 2) they truly excel at promoting themselves and their work through their media and policy advocacy.

There are two things I would like to emphasize before we get to the interview:

#1) Did you know that public defenders are only available for state courts and not municipal courts? I didn’t know that before conducting this interview, and that was rather shocking to me. That is one of the gaps that ArchCity Defenders tries to fill, and I think that is especially important in the St. Louis region given our uniquely convoluted and extractive municipal court system.

#2) In this interview, Blake and I have a discussion about the terms and the movements behind defunding the police and abolishing the police. If you reflexively recoil at either of those notions, that’s understandable. I think we’ve all been conditioned to believe that the police are keeping us safe, and, absent their presence, the world around us would descend into chaos. However, Blake argues that most of what we call “public safety” is not keeping anyone safe, and we’d all be better off if at least some of the resources we currently allocate to those services were diverted elsewhere, say to mental health and homelessness, for example. Regardless of your feelings on the matter, I would ask and encourage you to keep an open mind, and listen to what he has to say.  

As always, if you have any questions, requests, or suggestions for people or organizations for me to interview, you can email me at david@gatewaywealthstl.com. Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Blake Strode!

Blake Strode and ArchCity Defenders are not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial, Gateway Wealth Management, or Cornerstone Wealth Management.


David Foster, CFP®, CAP®

Hi, I'm David Foster! I am the host of this podcast, and I am also the founder of Gateway Wealth Management, LLC. I hope you found something valuable in what you just heard/read.  If you'd like to read more about me, click here. If you'd like to read more about my firm, click here. Thank you for listening!