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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.

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Upcoming Events

Latest News & Opportunities

Washington University is Designated a ‘Voter-Friendly Campus’ For a Third Straight Year

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement successfully led efforts to register voters and helped the university community vote safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington University ranks third in the nation for number of students — 2,600 — who registered to vote and receive voting alerts via digital voting platform TurboVote.

Course Spotlight: “Just Do It! Skills That Turn Passion Into Policy”

As part of the Gephardt Institute’s commitment to civic education and our Engage Democracy initiative, the institute and the Department of Political Science collaborate to offer one credit courses that teach students to leverage the political process to achieve a policy or advocacy goal.   In 2020, David Leipholtz balanced his full-time commitment as Executive Director for the Center of Civic Research and […]

“New in the Lou” Connects WashU to St. Louis, Even from Afar

The Gephardt Institute hosted a series of virtual conversations this fall designed to introduce St. Louis to new residents, and create dialogue about the region through the eyes of our local community. The conversations, titled “New in the Lou,” were created for WashU students, faculty, and staff new to the St. Louis region or with a desire […]

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 […]