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Hillary Clinton to stop at Florissant church Tuesday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - News11 confirmed Monday one of the first stops on the 2016 presidential campaign trail will be St. Louis.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is visiting a church Tuesday not far from the Michael Brown shooting scene in Ferguson.

Issues raised in Ferguson last summer are expected to come into play.

Clinton had planned a private, fundraising event at Grant's Farm Tuesday night.

She’s now added a panel discussion at Christ the King church in unincorporated Florissant.

Church pastor, Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, is a member of the Ferguson Commission, which met in Kirkwood Monday night.

“It’s an absolutely big deal,” Blackmon said before the meeting.

Commission members repeatedly spoke of last week’s racially motivated massacre and a Charleston, South Carolina church.

They pointed for a greater to need to address the issues Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed them to tackle:  the structural and systemic impediments behind racial inequity.

The issues that first boiled over in Ferguson last summer after the deadly Ferguson Police shooting of Michael Brown have dominated the national discussion ever since.

The former First Lady and Secretary of State staged an all out presidential campaign blitz in Missouri and St. Louis with her daughter and husband, in 2008.

She suffered a narrow defeat to then-Illinois Senator, Barack Obama, in the Missouri primary.  I

Clinton has insisted no candidate who runs for president can run away from the issue of America’s racial divide.

“You can’t watch massacre after massacre and not come to the conclusion that as President Obama said, we must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction,” Clinton said after the South Carolina tragedy.

“I think that it’s a wise move,” Blackmon said of Clinton’s visit to the Ferguson area.  “I’m grateful she thinks what the community has to say is worth her listening to.   I’m hopeful that anyone who’s running for the President of the United States will feel the same way.”

The panel discussion is open to invited dignitaries and church members but is closed to the public.