For Students:
Apply to a Signature Program Today

A New Podcast:
Listen now to American Democracy Lab

Welcome to the Gephardt Institute

We foster a vibrant culture of civic engagement throughout Washington University with a vision of civic health in St. Louis and around the world.

Educating Students for Lifelong Engaged Citizenship

We inspire WashU students to actively engage in addressing social challenges. This arc of engagement begins with the first-year experience and continues beyond graduation.

Cultivating Campus and Community Partnerships

We catalyze campus and community partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities. We focus on trust, collaboration, and shared goals. 

Infusing Civic Engagement Throughout WashU

We advance WashU’s mission by supporting civic learning, leadership, and impact that reaches students, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and supporters.

Ready to Get Involved?

Upcoming Events

Latest News & Opportunities

Navigating Black Grief and Joy: Recent Grant Recipient Curates Art Exhibition

Precious Musa, a second year graduate student completing her MFA in poetry, received a Community Partnership Grant in May from the Gephardt Institute to curate “Listen Look: A Reconciliatory Journey Through Black Grief and Joy”, taking place on February 20th 2021 from 3-5pm CST. The multi-media art exhibition centers Black St. Louis artists grappling with […]

Q & A with Dr. Shruti Desai

Our Associate Director and Chief of Staff, Dr. Shruti Desai, is making exciting leaps and transitioning to Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Campus Life at Duke University! Here, Shruti reflects on her time at the Gephardt Institute and offers advice for the next leader to fill her (big!) shoes. What is a favorite […]

Democracy is a Substitute for War

When Congress reconvened in the late hours of Wednesday evening, January 6th, following the cascade of violence that swept through the halls of the Capitol earlier in the day, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer recalled the words of our founder, former Congressman Dick Gephardt, to capture the severity and magnitude of the moment: “Democracy is […]

#MyFirstElection Social Media Campaign

This fall, the Gephardt Institute launched #MyFirstElection, a storytelling campaign that shares individuals’ experience engaging in the U.S. 2020 presidential election. Posting a series of short videos on our Facebook and Instagram social media accounts, we aimed to address any uncertainties that first-time voters may have been feeling toward the election. Featured stories shared other […]

US Elections 101: Partnership with the Office for International Students and Scholars

In preparation for Election Day, the Gephardt Institute and our campus partners mobilized efforts to register voters, educate voters, and ensure voters make their voices heard. Suffrage is at the core of U.S. democracy, but for the international student body of Washington University, civic engagement is still possible outside the ballot box. International students comprise […]