Isabel Lohman | KBIA

Isabel Lohman

A police car sits outside a local school.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

The event room in Papadoo’s Soul Food restaurant is particularly busy on Nov. 2 in the afternoon. With plastic forks and napkins in hand, community members stand in line as they eagerly wait to load up their paper plates with fried chicken and fruit salad. 

Once seated at their tables, attendees of the event launch into small talk about school and work life. However, that’s not what they are there to discuss. They are there to brainstorm ways to keep their children safe from violence happening in their schools and neighborhoods.

Adrienne Luther sits on a bench outside KBIA.
Isabel Lohman

Sometimes an artist just knows a person’s going to love their work. Jefferson City native Adrienne Luther knows when people ask her to doodle their cat, she’ll win their hearts.

But Luther does more than just doodle cats. She makes portraits, lettering and logos. She doesn’t want you to think she’s a starving artist. After all, thanks to Instagram, she’s not.

“I think when people think of people who are full-time artists, they think of people that have a stockpile of paintings that they haven't sold, that are just piled up in their sunroom, and who, you know, are just like smoking weed and painting all the time,” Luther said.

While Luther has a sunroom, she’s often in coffee shops making her art.

“The internet has really allowed me to stay afloat,” Luther said. “So I can just put something up on Instagram and sell it there. So I'm constantly hustling, but it's really fulfilling.”

Luther used to follow friends on her Instagram but felt it was becoming draining. She didn’t want to feel in competition with everyone, so she decided to only follow artists.

“My relationship with Instagram has really evolved,” Luther said. “And it was really scary at first to post my art because it felt vulnerable, and I didn't know what the hell to put in a caption.”

Once she started to just “be weird” with her posts, Luther said her work really took off. The Instagram story feature helped as well. Now, her followers are mostly in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Jefferson City.

“The engagement feels a little bit more authentic," she said, "than if I was just interacting with thousands of strangers."


Shaashawn Dial has worn a lot of hats. She’s a poet. A former host of an R&B radio station. A former head of equity and affirmative action in a state capitol. A business owner. 

But perhaps the most important role is a mentor. She’s helped people leave abusive relationships, adults get their GEDs and undergraduate students navigate college life. 

And now Dial is the first director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Stephen's College.

“I am about women making decisions for themselves mentally, physically, spiritually, economically,” Dial said.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

About a quarter of undergraduate women at the University of Missouri who responded to a survey from the Association of American Universities say they’ve experienced sexual assault or harassment while on campus.  The AAU report released today as a part of the organizations nationwide survey on campus climate says while MU’s numbers remain largely unchanged, students are more aware of resources available to them.

Isabel Lohman

For veterans, life after combat can be challenging. Jefferson City resident and direct sales vendor Reesa Sellnow knew that and wanted to make a difference. Her husband is in the National Guard.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The #metoo movement shed light on people in power taking advantage of those working for them, but in many homes across mid-Missouri, the power imbalance is right there…in people’s marriages, dating relationships and other partnerships with people. Mary Beck is looking to change that.

She is the director of the Family Violence Clinic where she oversees law students who represent survivors of domestic violence. These students help survivors with a litigation plan, economic plan and safety plan.

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 

Regional stories from the KBIA Newsroom, including: 

Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

Columbia residents voiced their concerns about equity in Columbia Public Schools Monday night.

In a five-hour Board of Education meeting, parents advocated for open recording of meetings where they discussed their students’ individualized education plan with instructors. Other parents condemned the district’s use of seclusion and restraint on students.

The board decided to look more closely at both of those issues.

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

A local community group plans to call for the resignation of Columbia Public Schools’ chief equity officer.


Race Matters, Friends president Traci Wilson-Kleekamp said Carla London is not doing enough to advocate for students of color and their families.

Wilson-Kleekamp said she wants the school district to more effectively track and analyze data on the training of teachers on restorative efforts and social justice.