Marquis Govan is an undergraduate student studying Social Work and Sociology at Saint Louis University. He currently is a community organizer and policy fellow with Action STL, a nonprofit policy-focused organization working to improve living conditions in St. Louis. Marquis is exploring some of the systematic ways that individuals living in poverty experience disparities in their access to health care, education, housing, and employment. He is particularly interested in investigating the determinants of urban violence and policy initiatives that may curb it. He has served as field staff for several local, state, and federal officials. On campus, Marquis has leadership positions in the Resident Hall Association and the Student Government Association and is a recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship.
I got my start within the realm of activism in 2014 after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. I began to attend meetings about unfair policing practices and the effects racial inequities were having on the STL region and our country at large. After being active in this movement, I also began to work with groups within the community on an accreditation crisis that had hit two majority-black school districts in North St. Louis County. Shortly after I became involved with these movements, I began to work under the direction of state legislators with a focus on addressing the issues of poverty, violence, and militarism that had brought me to this work. There I developed a strong passion for social, racial, economic, and reproductive justice. On campus, I help organize with an unaffiliated student group that advocates for the sexual and reproductive health of all students. That is in addition to my duties serving as a student Senator where I advocate for first-year students as well as those who happen to have marginalized identities. I am currently employed at Action STL, where I work on policies surrounding housing, criminal justice, and poverty.