Khatib AF Waheed serves on the steering committee of WeCollab in the west end of St. Louis. WeCollab is a resident-led neighborhood planning collaboration between the West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods of St. Louis.
Steering Committee members shown (left to right): Rasheedah Furquan, Gordon
Carlson, Annetta Vickers-Bentil, Doneisha Bohannon, Myrina Otey and Khatib. Members not shown: Valerie Amith, S. Hero Harrell, Nancy Mastin, and Nathan Plumb. Team — We Collab Website (wecollabstl.com)
"I participate in the WeCollab effort because it represents a realistic neighborhood-based community building planning opportunity to pursue the achievement of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion with highly dedicated, like-minded resident, business, faith, city-wide, and elected leaders,” Waheed stated.
“I have lived in the West End for more than 42 years. I moved in to try to help stabilize and improve the neighborhood. I am involved in the planning process because I am tired of outside developers coming in and doing development without the input from the neighbors. I am hoping the plan will develop guidelines, standards, and priorities for the future of the neighborhood set by the people who live here.” Gordon Carlson said.
“I grew up in the West End area for the first 16 years of my life. I worked with Harambee as a teenager and have some really deep-rooted relationships with the people and businesses in the area. I’m grateful for the revitalization because this neighborhood deserves it. Our homeschool co-op Sovereign University in the West End appreciates WeCollab for the work put in to having a beautiful place that will inspire the children to continue the work that we’re doing today.” Marina Otey said.
The Steering Committee of the west end works with the planning team to carry out and deliver a comprehensive community development plan. Specifically, the roles and responsibilities of the SC will include, but are not limited to, the following:
Provide relevant information about the neighborhood to the planning team
Assist the planning team in connecting the process to residents/stakeholders and vice versa
Inspiring, enabling and in some cases co-leading engagement efforts
Reviewing and providing input, insights and recommendations
Championing the planning process. The plan that will emerge from this process is intended to guide growth and development in an organized, efficient, and equitable manner over the next 20 years. The project is funded by Invest STL and is in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the Cornerstone Corporation.