A QuikTrip convenience store destroyed during unrest in Ferguson will be rebuilt as a community center. Nearly one year ago, massive demonstrations occurred within the St. Louis suburb and across the nation to protest the death of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown. He was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
The center’s creation was funded by three companies: QuikTrip, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Starbucks. The center’s focus will be on much needed job-training and placement for African-Americans. The Urban League has also pledged to train and find jobs for 500 young people in this area by the end of the summer.
A groundbreaking ceremony occurred last week, but there hasn't been a completion date set.
In St. Louis, the unemployment rate for African-Americans is 9.5 percent compared to 4.8 percent for white residents.
The store served as a symbol of the uprising and racial tension occurring within Ferguson. In August 2014, the building was looted, burned and spray-painted with the words “R.I.P Michael Brown.”
Race relations intensified throughout the country as protests were met with heavily armed police forces. In photographs taken in Ferguson, officers can be seen pointing rifles and firing tear gas into crowds of demonstrators.
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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)