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Painting for Peace in Ferguson Author Awarded for Role in Youth Advocacy

Ferguson native and author Carol Swartout Klein was awarded the inaugural Jerry Paul Youth Advocacy Award Nov. 6th at Art & Soul V for assisting and empowering children and youth in the St. Louis area.

The award was established in 2015 to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Jerry Paul, a former Neighborhood Houses board member and leading advocate for children and youth in St. Louis. Klein is the first recipient of the award, which will be given each year to a deserving individual or organization.

Klein is best known for her children’s book, Painting for Peace in Ferguson, which tells the story of how hundreds of people of all ages and races came together in Ferguson to bring peace, healing, and hope to the community using a paintbrush and vivid colors. Boarded up windows on damaged buildings in Ferguson, Dellwood and South Grand in St. Louis city were transformed into works of art that both inspired and compelled those who viewed them. The book contains 140 pieces of art and is the result of efforts put forth by over 300 artists and volunteers who participated in the Paint for Peace St. Louis project.

Neighborhood Houses President and CEO Darlene Sowell said, “Carol Swartout Klein was the perfect person to receive the inaugural Jerry Paul Youth Advocacy Award. Through her book and through her support of Neighborhood Houses, Carol has shown the kind of dedication to children that aligns beautifully with Jerry Paul’s legacy of supporting the wellbeing of all St. Louis children.”

Klein said, “I am truly humbled to receive this honor in the name of Jerry Paul, a true advocate for children. This award goes to the remarkable people of Ferguson and St. Louis whose story I told in the book Painting for Peace in Ferguson. It’s a community that showed that in the depths of crisis there is always hope. And that when we reach out across the lines that divide us remarkable things can happen.”

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