What is Break the Pipeline?

Break the Pipeline is Metropolitan Congregations United’s campaign to address the school to prison pipeline. It can start with school discipline, in-school and out of school suspension, and this can lead to a child being labeled a problem, causing him/her to be over-supervised. Black youth are already over-policed in their communities and it often isn’t any better when the police are in school as School Resource Officers. Black and Brown youth far outpace white youth in being referred to juvenile detention centers, are least likely to have a personal lawyer or to be offered restorative alternatives. The inevitable end result is adult prison. The pipeline does its work in a systemic and efficient way. Continue Reading

A Brief History of Metropolitan Congregations United

Faith based community organizing was introduced to St. Louis in 1990 through the efforts of a group of interfaith clergy. They enlisted the service of the Gamaliel Network to help them create three organizations. Those organizations, or clusters, served North County south of 270, North City, and South City. Later two other clusters were formed, one north of 270 and one in South County. There was also a Spanish speaking cluster for a short time. In 1997, the need to act more regional was recognized and Metropolitan Congregations United was formed. By 2012, all of the geographic clusters were dissolved and MCU had become one united organization. Continue Reading

I Am MCU – Thomas Payton

Thomas Payton, photo by Bill Drendel

“Working with MCU matters to me because it allows me to address a broad spectrum of issues that all tie into the inequities in Juvenile and Social Justice. It gives me the chance to be an advocate not just for my grandchildren, but for the younger versions of myself who, are often dismissed and marginalized by the systems that are in place.” — Thomas Payton Continue Reading