Marcus Howard, Ph.D.
Director of Strategic Innovations, Teach For America
After moving away to earn a Ph.D. and teach, Dr. Howard, who grew up on St. Louis’ north side, always knew he wanted to return home. But he wanted a comeback with purpose. Now, Howard has it: launching a Black-owned pharmacy and wellness center to provide culturally competent health care, scheduled to open fall 2021/spring 2022. African-Americans here are disproportionately affected by conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and infectious diseases like COVID-19. Black-owned pharmacies provide services like genetic testing, medication education, and weight loss programs to improve health outcomes. “It’s specific things that focus on what communities of color are experiencing,” Howard says. “[At a chain pharmacy], you walk up, you get your medicine, and you walk away. For communities of color, that’s not enough”.
What do you find most inspiring about your city?
St. Louis is a city of people who are independent, creative, and resistant. Despite the hardships of families of color in low-income areas, our people continue to move forward with style and grace.