Cori Bush

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Cori Bush profile photo at Conscious Campus

Cori Bush is running to represent Missouri’s 1st congressional district. She is one of several prominent "Ferguson and St. Louis street-activists" to run for various political office, in addition to Rasheen Aldridge and Bruce Franks.[1]

She was a 2016 Democratic candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from Missouri. Bush was defeated by Jason Kander in the Democratic primary.

She is Pastor of Kingdom Embassy International, which she started in 2011.[2]

According to her biography at Conscious Campus,[3] "Cori has been on the frontlines of the Ferguson movement as a protester, as clergy, as a medic and as a victim of police assault on the day of the announcement not to indict Darren Wilson."


Pastor Cori Bush was "the daughter of her politician father and a computer analyst mother. Cori is the proud parent of two amazing teenagers and the sibling of two."[4]

Cori Bush was introduced to activism by her father, according to an article at the Toledo Blade:

"Social action is in Pastor Bush’s genes. Her father was a politician, and'early in his career it was all about social justice, so he taught us that,' Pastor Bush said. 'He took us around. We did all the marches, all the boycotts, but I did it because my father made me.'[5]

Mobilize Missouri quoted Cori Bush as saying: "Growing up, my dad was involved in politics. I learned from him and the seeds were sown young."


Pastor Cori Bush attended Harris-Stowe University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Lutheran School of Nursing.[6]


Cori Bush was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She is an ordained pastor and a registered nurse who supervises "nursing services for several mental health facilities in St. Louis city that serve the homeless, underserved, underinsured and uninsured."

From her bio at Mobilize Missouri:

"Born and raised in the St. Louis Missouri area, Cori is an ordained pastor, an activist & organizer with Ferguson Frontline, co-director of the Truth Telling Project (with David Ragland), an international presenter on nonviolent conflict, and a Nonviolence 365 Ambassador with The King Center, and a part of Ferguson’s Women’s Caucus. She is an organizer with Michael Brown Sr.’s Chosen for Change Foundation and is the host of her own internet radio show titled ‘ground.ed’ on BlogTalkRadio produced by Tribe Family Channel and Gumbo for the Soul. Cori is also in the process of forming the new Ferguson/ St. Louis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to help ensure that the Kingian philosophy on nonviolence is ever present in the St. Louis area."[7]

Cori Bush is an activist and organizer with numerous organizations in the St. Louis area. She received a 2015 Woman of Courage award from the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation."[8]

Cori Bush (right)

She is "a mother of two, a nurse, co-Director of the Ferguson Truth Telling Project..."[9],[10]

Cori Bush with Amy Vilela and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cori Bush with Amy Vilela and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Cori Bush Tweeted from SXSW Conference & Festivals held March 8-17, 2019:[11] March 11 2019: "It was great to have this moment together @sxsw with my lovely sisters @amy4thepeople Amy Vilela and @AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! But it wasn’t the same without @paulajean2020 Paula Jean Swearengin, we missed you! #KnockDownTheHouse"

Leader of Anti-Police Protest in Sept 2017

Cori Bush was cited as an organizer of protests that turned violent in the St. Louis suburb of University City after a police officer was found innocent of murder after shooting a heroin dealer who engaged police in a high speed chase.[12]

"The message is simple: stop killing us," Cori Bush, a social worker and activist who helped lead marchers early Saturday evening, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Black folks say, stop killing us."

African Americans for Bernie

In June 2016, Pastor Cori Bush was featured in a Facebook video at the African Americans for Bernie Facebook page.[13]


"Supporting a living wage for all Americans and Equal Pay for women and minorities; Expanding Medicaid and reducing the costs for prescription drugs; Fully funding public education and improving the quality of public schools; Fair Policing and Criminal Justice Reform; Eliminating the school to prison pipeline; Tax relief for blue collar workers and small businesses; Eliminating loopholes for corporate tax breaks; Reversing the damage done by Citizens United; Grassroots funding for political campaigns; Stabilizing Social Security for future generations; Mental Health reform aimed at reducing gun violence; Supporting veterans transitioning from deployment to the workforce."

Deleted Twitter account

A snapshot of Cori Bush's now-deleted Twitter profile

Cori Bush deleted her previous Twitter account, which has several days archived. In one tweet, she urges people to meet in Ferguson and to "wear masks."[14] Another screenshot which was taken from a blog-talk radio program appears to show Cori Bush wearing a mask herself.

Cori Bush as seen on cover of BlogTalkRadio show

Views on 2016 election

Regarding the election of November, 2016, Cori Bush was quoted by Mobilize Missouri as saying that she is "[M]ortified to say the least. I can’t believe we will have five conservative statewide officials. And when you think about the regression all the way up to [President Donald] Trump it’s overwhelming. I can’t picture Missouri under [Governor Eric] Greitens and I anticipate heavy law and order rhetoric and expansion of police."

Kingdom Embassy International

Kingdom Embassy International is "a St. Louis-area church" that Cori Bush started in 2011, although it was "closed during a search for a new location" in August 2014, when Michael Brown, 18, was killed by a police officer who was later cleared of wrong doing. The tragic event was used as a cause célèbre for communist and socialist activists around the world, who continue to use the tragedy to create a narrative about institutional racism and foster anti-police sentiment.

“Mike Brown happened, and then ministry started right there on the streets,” Cori Bush was quoted as saying at the Toledo Blade in January 2016. “That became my ministry.”

Claims of being assaulted by police

Cori Bush claims that she was assaulted by police "on the day of the announcement not to indict Darren Wilson."[15],

Claims of death threats from the Ku Klux Klan

In October 2015, an article at TheHoya addressed the founding of the Truth Telling Project, where Cori Bush claimed to have received "violent threats, such as death threats from the Ku Klux Klan:"

"...Co-Directors Cori Bush and David Ragland spoke about their experiences on the frontlines of the police brutality protests in Ferguson, Mo. Friday morning in the Healey Family Student Center.
According to both Bush and Ragland, their participation in the movement came at a personal price. Bush said that she has received violent threats, such as death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, but she said that she refuses to back down in the face of adversity.
“We keep protesting because they keep killing us,” Bush said. “It’s not OK that I have to fight to be free the way a white woman is free. What makes my son different that I have to fight for him to be able to walk out of my home and walk to the corner store and come back safely? Why do I have to fear? That is a reality in my community every day. My son may not come home.”[16]

"circling neighborhood with flags and masks on"

During a BlogTalkRadio show posted in August 2015, Cori Bush described the scene previously "shots rang out" from her position "on the ground" in Ferguson:[17]

"I'm right on the ground. I'm right here in the middle of it so there's chanting behind me...As a matter of fact, I was riding in a car...circling the neighborhood with flags and with our masks that night after the shots rang out...people did witness the police pursue...a young man...a high schooler...pursue him and shot him down..."

Truth Telling Project

Pastor Cori Bush appears to have joined the Truth Telling Project after it was started by David Ragland in November 2014. The Truth Telling Project was "inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa," which was headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.[18]

"The Truth Telling Project is an initiative that promotes discussion of structural racism and injustice as a response to the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in August 2014 and the subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson."[19]

Rally in December 2015

An article describing a protest in December 2015 "one year after a grand jury decided not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr." quoted Cori Bush:[20]

"One year later we fought, we fought, and we fought! This night we stood up under this season greetings sign and we were tear gassed and hurt. And we are still being oppressed today of all days we are not only thinking about Mike Brown, we’re thinking about what’s going on in Chicago. We’re thinking about that young man that was shot 16 times. We’re also thinking about those five protestors that were just shot in Minneapolis. All of this at the exact same time we should be at least celebrating some type of victory but we are actually going the opposite direction," said Pastor Cori Bush of Kingdom Embassy International Church.

Other protesters were listed as "Anthony Shahid, Zaki Baruti, and Rev. Starsky Wilson, co-chairman of the Ferguson Commission and pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ in nearby St. Louis."

NARAL fundraiser


On March 6 2017, Cori Bush spoke at a NARAL fundraiser at the Workers' Education Society, which serves as the headquarters of the Communist Party USA in Missouri.

From Facebook:

"Grrls to the Front! A Workers' Education Society Benefit 4 NARAL" This was our most phenomenal event to date! Hearing from incredible community leaders like Alison Dreith (NARAL), Cori Bush (Ferguson Frontline), Zenobia Thompson (WES), and others, we learned tremendously with one another. All of the musical acts were woman/femme fronted, like Bates (FemCee Nation), Duck Brown, and Cara Louise. Together we built solidarity, reenergized for the struggle, and raised money. Thank you to all who attended!

Introduced Bernie Sanders

During her failed run for the Missouri Senate, The Daily Kos wrote that Cori Bush "is running as an unapologetic Bernie Sanders supporter. She is running on his issues and his platform. When Bernie appeared earlier this week in Edwardsville, Illinois, Cori crossed the Mississippi to open for Bernie and she electrified the crowd of thousands."[21]


Cori Bush is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[22]

Brand New Congress

In a mass email sent in April 2017, Cori Bush was identified as the "first candidate for Brand New Congress."

Justice Democrats

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Cori Bush was endorsed by Justice Democrats as their "first official candidate."[23]

The announcement was posted on April 21 2017:

"Friends, today we are proud to announce the launching of our first official candidate and their campaign: Cori Bush.
Cori isn’t just our first official candidate. She’s yours. At the start of our nomination drive, you recommended Cori numerous times. And she has responded to the call to challenge the Democratic establishment and become MO-1's next Congresswoman.
Cori’s the first of many candidates who we will be supporting in the 2018 primary and general elections. She embodies the spirit of St. Louis and represents the lived experience of both people in her community and around the country. She understands that leadership is needed to spark systemic change. She's served as a nurse and will be a strong advocate for Medicare For All when elected. She's stood on the frontline against police brutality and is unafraid to speak truth to power.
Like all of our candidates, Cori seeks to challenge the status quo of American politics. It's a challenge which will be unpopular in DC. But our work, our candidates and our success will be defined not be our detractors, by ourselves, our actions and our commitment to the people.
Sign up at Cori's site, RSVP for her rally, tell your friends in St. Louis, follow her social media, donate to her campaign, contact her to join her already growing volunteer base — do what needs to be done to show support for Cori's campaign and make Missouri's 1st the start of a historic movement to unseat the elites."

Gun Control

Pastor Cori Bush was a speaker at the "Faces Not Forgotten" exhibit in August 2014, which "remembers young victims of gun violence." The article describes "Pastor Cori Bush, of the nondenominational Kingdom Embassy International church in St. Louis, has been active in Ferguson, counseling and marching."[24]

Going left

Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Benjamin Jealous and others appear to be part of a trend among minority candidates who have defeated moderate Democrats by campaigning on liberal policy priorities.

Key to that strategy is mobilizing people who don’t vote regularly, mostly people of color and progressive white voters. “You do that by organizing,” Jealous said. “We will build an army of organizers across our state to turn out voters by talking to them.”

Part of that strategy is recognizing the that there is often a gap between eligible Democratic voters and the margin of victory, said Steve Phillips, author of "Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority".

In Maryland, he said, only 800,000 Democratic voters turned out for Hogan’s 2014 election, compared to about 1.1 million who turned out to elect former Governor Martin O’Malley.

Those voters, Phillips and others have argued, could be swayed to turn out with a progressive agenda of economic and social justice.

Jealous said that as the former president of the NAACP, he knows how to bring out voters.

Like Ocasio-Cortez, he campaigned on Medicare for all, as well as free tuition at public colleges and universities in Maryland, police reform and legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

Other Democratic candidates using this strategy include David Garcia, who is running for governor in Arizona, Chardo Richardson running in Florida’s 7th Congressional District and Cori Bush, running in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.

While candidates of color have embraced this strategy the most, Phillips said that white candidates “can and should” use it as well, citing New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as examples of those who are.

“Unfortunately much of the Democratic white establishment does not believe in this strategy,” Phillips said. “They still harbor this notion that you can win back Trump voters without the empirical evidence.”[25]

Communist/socialist speakers at birthday event

Julie Salih & Tony Pecinovsky speaking at a Cori Bush for US Congress campaign event at The Ready Room in St Louis on July 21, 2018.[26]

[Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

July 22 at 7:49 PM · Activists from many organizations and community groups, in particular Coalition for Truth in Independence and St. Louis Workers Education Society, spoke at Cori Bush for U.S. Congress, MO-01's birthday party July 21, 2018. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the guest of honor at the event. Bruce Franks for State Rep 78th District also honored Cori for her outstanding community work and dedicated friendship.[27]


Annie Rice April 14 near St. Louis, MO.


With Richard Buthod, Cori Bush, John Theodore, Shelley Buffington Hoffman and Niles Zee.

WES connection

St. Louis Workers’ Education Society October 22, 2017.


With Celeste Ocana, Nicholas James, Scott Sandler and Cori Bush.

St. Louis Workers’ Education Society October 22, 2017.


With Elise Rose Kehle, Caitlin Morgan, Cori Bush and Erin Jameson.

St. Louis Workers’ Education Society October 22, 2017.


With Cori Bush, Scott Sandler and Niles Zee.

Second Annual WES Vegan Chili Cook Off

Second Annual WES Vegan Chili Cook Off by Niles Zee, Oct 17, 2017.

The Workers’ Education Society hosted the Second Annual Vegan Chili Cook Off Fundraiser on October 21st, 2017.

Nearly 100 people came, over 20 submitted chilis, and everyone tasted the best soups Saint Louis had.

Pizza Head, Rev. Cori Bush, and Lona’s Lil Eats are helped to judge the contest.

Thanks for coming, and if you couldn’t make it, we hope to see you next October![28]

Missouri comrades

Hannah Allison August 27 2018:


With Don Giljum, Joan Suarez, Megan Ellyia Green, Cori Bush Tony Pecinovsky and Maria Svart.

Building A Better 14th Ward

Building A Better 14th Ward March 3 2019:

I'm constantly amazed by the dedication of our volunteers. Thank you, everyone, for going above and beyond. Just two more days!

  1. VoteMarch5th #BuildingABetter14thWard — with Karisa Gilman Hernandez, K. Nikki Overmiller, Tony Pecinovsky, Cori Bush, Madeline Buthod and St. Louis Young Democrats.

Bernie 2020

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Kat Brezler, Cori Bush, Roy Tatem, Rose Ann DeMoro.


  1. The Ferguson Files, accessed April 23 2017
  2. ground.ed with Pastor Cori Bush reporting LIVE from Frontline Ferguson and STL, accessed April 23 2017
  3. Pastor Cori Bush, accessed April 23 2017
  4. Meet Cori Bush, accessed April 24 2017
  5. Pastor drawn into Mo. protest to give keynote at MLK event, accessed April 23 2017
  6. Ballots hold multiple candidates for U.S. Senate seat nominations, accessed April 23 2017
  7. The Ferguson Files, accessed April 23 2017
  8. Cori Bush, accessed April 22 2017
  9. PASTOR CORI BUSH, accessed April 23 2017
  10. Protest and Politics, Black Women and Leadership, accessed April 23 2017
  11. Cori Bush Tweet accessed March 11 2019
  12. September 17 2017
  13. , accessed April 24 2017
  14. , accessed April 23 2017
  15. THE TRUTH TELLING PROJECT, accessed April 23 2017
  16. Dialogue Project Founders Tackle Police Brutality, accessed April 24 2017
  17. Pastor Cori Bush with Ferguson's Frontline and #BLACK LIVES MATTER #MikeBrown, accessed April 23 2017
  18. Pastor drawn into Mo. protest to give keynote at MLK event, accessed April 24 2017
  19. Dialogue Project Founders Tackle Police Brutality, accessed April 24 2017
  20. Ferguson struggles far from over as commission seeks change, accessed April 23 2017
  21. MO-SEN Cori Bush -- Ferguson Activist Running for US Senate as a Bernie Sanders Democrat., accessed April 23 2017
  22. Berniecrats, accessed August 24 2016
  23. Justice Democrats announces the launching of first official candidate and their campaign: Cori Bush, accessed April 23 2017
  24. 'Faces Not Forgotten' remembers young victims of gun violence, accessed April 23 2017
  25. [ ABC News Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, other progressive minority candidates could aid 'blue wave' By ADIA ROBINSON Jun 30, 2018]
  26. [1]
  27. [2]
  28. [3]