Welcome to the Gephardt Institute
for Civic and Community Engagement

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


Civic Action Week

The Gephardt Institute is thrilled to announce Civic Action Week (CAW), a weeklong initiative to highlight civic engagement opportunities throughout Washington University.

The Gephardt Institute Strategic Plan

Est. 2021

Democracy Youth Film Challenge

Make a short civic film for your chance to win cash prizes and a campus screening!

What We Do

The Gephardt Institute works with students, faculty, and staff across all seven academic schools—at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—to ensure robust and high-quality civic engagement opportunities on campus and in St. Louis.

We work closely with community organizations in the St. Louis region to facilitate effective partnerships with WashU departments and organizations to address community needs and priorities.

We also support alumni-led efforts to foster a lifetime of
civic engagement.

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.

St. Louis is a vibrant region with many stories and places to explore. This online guide to being an engaged member of the St. Louis community is just a starting place for your civic learning and journey at Washington University.


Gephardt Institute News and Events

Announcing Civic Action Week, Sept. 25-30

In collaboration with the Women’s Society of Washington University, the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is excited to announce the inaugural Civic Action Week, Sept. 25-30, 2022.  It’s a new initiative to highlight civic engagement opportunities available at WashU and in the St. Louis community. Working across campus with faculty, staff and community partners, […]

Otto Brown: 2022 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll Recipient

Today, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge announced the names of 82 college students who were selected for the Student Voting Honor Roll. Representing Washington University in St. Louis, Civic Scholar and WashU Votes President Otto Brown was selected as the 2022 honoree.

Student Spotlight: Sophia Dutton

Sophia Dutton has quickly become an advocate for the unhoused population of St. Louis whilst being involved with and now serving as president of Heart for the Unhoused. This interest for the intersection between healthcare and helping the unhoused community was something she realized while in high school, holding an internship at Johns Hopkins hospital. […]

Imagine The Future With Us

The Gephardt Institute is creating pathways for WashU students
to become lifelong engaged citizens. The urgent challenges today
require the focus, resolve, participation, and leadership of current
and future generations.

With your support, we will ensure that
WashU graduates embrace their opportunity to help make our
nation a more perfect union for all.