SIRV Welcomes New Board of Directors Members: Rev. Rodrick Burton, Capt. Ron Johnson and Khatib Waheed

Posted by SIRV Staff, With 0 Comments, Category: Press Releases,

ST. LOUIS, MO (January 29, 2015) – The St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence (SIRV) has announced the following new members have been added to its board of directors: the Rev. Rodrick Burton, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson and Khatib Waheed.

Pastor BurtonPastor Burton is senior pastor of the historic New Northside Missionary Baptist Church. He has 14 years of experience working in the clergy and with youth, having served as facility supervisor at Gospel Assembly Church and as Director of Community Awareness for Teen Challenge of St. Louis. He earned a master’s degree in educational ministry at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Burton also serves as a Community Champion for Triumph, an initiative to reduce infant mortality in St. Louis’ 27th Ward; a member of the Metropolitan St. Louis Clergy Coalition; a member of the Ecumenical Leadership Council; a columnist for an urban newspaper; and a mentor for Covenant Seminary students

Capt. Ron JohnsonCapt. Ron Johnson joins SIRV after gaining national attention for his work in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown. Since then, Gov. Jay Nixon has tasked Johnson with overseeing Ferguson security. Johnson also serves as the chairman of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. He remains committed to strengthening relationships between citizens and police officers. With more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, he offers a unique perspective to SIRV. He earned his criminal justice degree and is a graduate of both the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy.

Khatib WaheedKhatib Waheed comes to the SIRV board after spending decades working to improve services for children and families of color. He has worked with law enforcement and mental health agencies, and also analyzed how structural and institutional racism and implicit bias have perpetuated long-term disadvantages for African-Americans and other minorities. Waheed served as a Senior Fellow for the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C., where he helped launch the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare. In 1989, Waheed co-designed and implemented the Walbridge Caring Community Program, which was expanded to 20 schools throughout St. Louis and 100 throughout Missouri. The program received international renown as an innovative approach to delivering family-centered services from a school-based setting. Since 2011, Khatib Waheed has initiated Racial Equity Learning Exchange sessions as a local and national consultant, presenter and facilitator to various judicial circuits, child welfare jurisdictions and organizations. Waheed earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Webster University, with a Missouri Secondary Education Teaching Certificate in Social Studies.

Tim FitchBoard member Tim Fitch, former St. Louis County Police Chief, has moved from the Advisory Board to the SIRV Board of Directors. He has served as a non-voting board member since SIRV was founded two years ago. Fitch recently retired after 34 years in law enforcement and now serves as president of the Missouri Peace Officers Association. The Association consists of 1,300 federal, state and local officers throughout Missouri. Fitch has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Truman State University and a master’s degree in management from Fontbonne University.

About St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence:

SIRV is a grassroots effort involving St. Louis communities, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, schools and community leaders dedicated to designing and implementing solutions to curb violence in the St. Louis region.

The primary goal of SIRV is to change the culture of violence that has taken over parts of our city. SIRV aims to change lives by empowering communities and individuals to take a stand against violence, and to educate kids and young adults in positive conflict resolution techniques. To learn more, please visit