"Sharing a Vision and
Improving Our Lives"
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Karen Walker, at the time of this interview, recently quit her job in St. Louis, MO to pursue a writing hobby and to become more active within the East St. Louis community. A resident of the Lansdowne neighborhood for most of her life (but for a minor hiatus), she has resided at the same address since the age of eight. Coming into her own as a community activist, Karen also recently joined the Lansdowne Steering Committee. This is in addition to her participation in activities with the East St. Louis Action Research Project.
This recording offers insight into the true condition of the Lansdowne neighborhood, from both a historic and contemporary perspective. It also lends a unique view toward the true plight of the entire East St. Louis community. Karen Walker's love for the area is conveyed through her depth of knowledge concerning her neighborhood and the surrounding communities. Karen relates her new view of the comunity to stepping outside of her own door to see what is going on. Her role in the community is one of an activist, but also as someone who humbly avoids the spotlight. Karen is dedicated to doing whatever she can to get things done for Lansdowne, in an effort to restore the East St. Louis community as a whole.
"Things have got so bad, it's like you hit rock bottom. You have to look around too, and you just see that if I don't take a stand, and if I don't do something, then it's not going to happen. So let's start with ourselves and see where we can go from there. " ~Karen Walker
"I think, um, as a community, we kind of lost our way. And
you know you don't think it's so important until it's gone. We didn't
realize it was such as bad as what it was, but, and now realizing it, we
are trying to restore our water." ~ Karen Walker
Group "F" (from Left): Jason Winslow, Perry Toscas, Beautiful Jones Park Fountain, Lansdowne Neighborhood
John Sabey*, Kathleen Wilson, Heather Jankowski
*Not group member