Our mission is to bring back pride and prosperity to the streets named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The non-profit organization Beloved Streets of America is implementing a comprehensive plan to reverse the urban decline and decay of the communities surrounding the streets named after Dr. King and provide a positive environment for growth.
In a 10 years nationwide study of MLK streets, the majority of these streets were found in impoverished cities, located in distressed neighborhoods, considered areas were blacks predominately live, they are considered unsafe, crime ridden places were whites and non-blacks seldom travel. These streets typically experience a lack of sustainable community economic development or cultural revitalization activities. There are so many places that once so proudly adopted his name that have been long neglected to become some of the most distressed neighborhoods in the country.
St. Louis is a prime example and it is in a position to be a leader on this issue for the rest of the nation. This endeavor can set the standard and be a focal point in the nation by ultimately expanding our mission to the over 900 places in America that have a street named after Dr. Martin Luther King that is currently in a condition that dishonors the man and his memorable life, words and deeds. This initiative will bring dignity to these streets in line with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the respect that his message deserves.
Our goal is to revitalize the St. Louis Martin Luther King Drive first, then mobilize our initiative in 16 additional cities over the next five years.
To begin the process we are planning a park that will be dedicated to teaching about the Legacy of Dr. King where there can be speeches and rallies, food and music, and annual events to mobilize the community to spur on the additional planned transformations. We have developed a complete Program of Neighborhood Amenities and Site Improvements for the Martin Luther King Drive here in St. Louis and to be implemented as framework to re-use throughout America. We will focus on educational and recreational programs for the youth, creating jobs, reduce crime, encourage new businesses back to the neighborhood, and provide mentorship programs, nutritional education, and the promotion of urban agriculture, green technology and sustainability. The revitalization will be in three phases: first low-cost efforts that can be done immediately to clean and secure the vacant buildings and lots; secondly repair and renovate buildings that can be re-used; and then new infill development projects at key locations.