Over the last two weeks, the St. Louis Post Dispatch has featured pieces on the heroin and opioid crisis gripping our region. At the same time that we are reeling from these overdose deaths, our region is in the fight of our lives to save the next generation from record lethal gun violence. White, brown, red and black lives are all impacted on both fronts. The gravity of these problems is tremendous, and yet it cannot give way to despair. It must give way to focus and urgency. Focus and urgency are only possible when we are hopeful that our efforts—however small or big—can make an impact. We need to believe that we can emerge victors. My prayer for our region is that we double down on our efforts to tackle these fatal issues head on, that we remain a hopeful people compelled to act.
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