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 […]

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 […]

Washington University designated ‘Voter-Friendly Campus’

By Diane Toroian Keaggy  • March 15, 2019 Originally featured in The Source Washington University in St. Louis has been recognized, for the second time, as a “Voter-Friendly Campus” by the Campus Vote Project and NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.  The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, through its comprehensive Engage Democracy initiative, increased voter […]

Class of 2021 Spotlight: Andrew Whitaker

By Leslie Gibson McCarthy  • October 28, 2020 Originally published in The Source Andrew Whitaker has spent his undergraduate career at Washington University in St. Louis giving back. A biomedical engineering major at the McKelvey School of Engineering, he has danced and played with kids who have cerebral palsy so they can put on a dance recital through Dance […]

Class of 2021 Spotlight: Jessica Yu

With involvement in Civic Scholars, WashU Undergraduate and Graduate Workers’ Union (WUGWU), Asian and Pacific Islanders Demanding Justice (APIDJ), and Abolish WUPD, senior Jessica Yu is no stranger to student activism. In high school, she got involved in a community organization for Asian youth, which exposed her to social justice and community-centered initiatives. As these […]

Fall Break with a Twist

With a truncated Fall term due to the pandemic, the academic term was devoid of the coveted annual Fall Break. Nevertheless, the Civic Scholars Program continued to provide current cohort members with a virtual immersive experience geared toward learning more about housing security and land use in the greater St. Louis region. Civic Scholars had […]

Staff Spotlight: Dwayne T. James

We are delighted to have Dwayne T. James join the Civic Scholars Program as the co-instructor for the Class of 2022. Dwayne is the County Program Director for University of Missouri (MU) Extension – St. Louis County. He has served as a Council Member for the City of Ferguson, is the Race Director for the […]

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3

By Diane Toroian Keaggy  • October 30, 2020 Article featured in The Source Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and the Washington University in St. Louis Athletic Complex is ready to welcome students, faculty and staff who are registered to vote in St. Louis County.  Polls open at 6 a.m Tuesday and will remain open until all voters […]

Half of WU students voted in 2016. Turnout this year may look different.

Matthew Friedman | Associate Editor • November 3, 2020 Originally featured in Student Life When Lindsay Gassman was a second year student at Washington University in the fall of 2018, she noticed that few of her peers were thinking ahead about voting in the upcoming midterm elections. The midterms generated some energy and enthusiasm on campus, she recalled, […]

Skandalaris Startup Webinar: Pitch Workshop

Wednesday, November 11,  3:30-4:30 PM CSTLearn how to pitch your idea with confidence and identify the investment needed. Discover how unconscious bias affects questions asked during pitches and learn how to reframe your answers. Learn more.

St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellowship

Applications due Monday, November 9 Open to current WashU first-years, sophomores, and juniors from all majors the St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellowship is a year-long exploration of entrepreneurship at WashU and in St. Louis. The program features a spring seminar, a paid summer internship at a local startup, and a fall capstone project. Learn more.

Join the GSS Non-Partisan Get Out the Vote Call Day

Thursday, October 29, 5-6 PM CST Join the Graduate Student Senate for a virtual Get Out the Vote Call Day to encourage voting this Election Day! In partnership with the non-partisan Reclaim Our Vote campaign, we’ll be phonebanking to call voters in six states to encourage voter turnout for the 2020 election. No experience is necessary […]

Former Congressman Gephardt part of panel on election integrity

The article below was written by By Diane Toroian Keaggy  and published in The Source on October 21, 2020. Former Congressman Richard Gephardt does not know who will win the 2020 presidential election. Nor does he know when the race will be called. But Gephardt does believe the election will be safe, secure and fair. “People […]

Goldman Fellows Program Pivots During COVID-19

Back in March, it was hard to imagine what the summer might hold. Indeed, the decision to move forward with the Goldman Fellows Program this year was fraught with concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting our students and St. Louis community organizations. Ultimately, moving forward with the program in a remote format proved to be […]

Community Engaged Courses Move Online

Planning to teach Community Engaged Courses this year has presented new challenges, but also opportunities. Seema Dahlheimer, Senior Lecturer at the McKelvey School of Engineering Communication Center, and Tucker Krone, Adjunct lecturer at the McKelvey School of Engineering Communication Center, were teaching their community connected course, Engineers in the Community, when Chancellor Martin announced the transition […]

Every Action Counts: Civic Engagement in the Time of COVID

Although this semester has been anything but normal, the Gephardt Institute has been working hard to sustain and adapt the Engage Democracy Initiative despite the added layers of uncertainty. By identifying new and creative ways to educate the WashU community about the processes and civic skills needed to participate in a thriving democracy, both professional […]

The Making and Debut of #ThisCivicMoment Series

Background   The foundation of civic and community engagement is in reflection and reflexivity – a process of thinking about critical incidents that help us to learn, grow, and deepen our civic commitments. In the spirit of reflexivity, the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement began a new initiative this summer called This Civic Moment. […]

Civic Engagement Fund Projects Go Virtual in 2020

The Civic Engagement Fund is a resource for Washington University students, faculty, and staff that provides funding for civic projects and community initiatives in St. Louis. Among the different Civic Engagement Fund Grants, the Community Partnership Grant specifically supports the development of new initiatives, as well as the further expansion of smaller projects. These projects […]

Washington University students get out the vote on campus, in the community

The article below was written by Diane Toroian Keaggy  and published October 9, 2020 in The Source. View the original post. Washington University in St. Louis students are not only excited to vote in the upcoming election, they are stepping up to help others on campus and in the community cast their ballots as well. […]

Nominate Someone You Admire: Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Awards

The Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award recognizes a select group of people who exemplify a character of service and engagement with the St. Louis region. Any member of the WashU community, past or current, who resides in and serves the St. Louis community is eligible to receive the award. Honorees will be announced and celebrated in […]

Join WashU Together in the People’s Ecochallenge this October

The Office of Sustainability is inviting everyone in the WashU community to join team “WashU Together” to amplify individual and collective action, camaraderie, and friendly competition for a better shared future. Once you’re in, you can select actions to take that align with your individual values and make a 21-day commitment to complete those actions, all the […]

Apply to the Civic Engagement Fund

The Civic Engagement Fund provides necessary financial support to launch, expand, and at times sustain community partnerships. The Gephardt Institute provides consultation and support through the development and implementation of project plans, site visits, and evaluations. All members of the WashU community are encouraged to apply. Learn more.

Watch Divided City Graduate Summer Research Fellow Presentations

Please join us for a series of virtual PechaKucha-style presentations on the research of Divided City Summer Graduate Fellows. Graduate students in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, architecture, urban design and landscape architecture present their research on urban segregation broadly conceived. Learn more.

Attend Wildlife Photo Tagging Training for UWIN

During the Tyson Conservation Corps’ first general body meeting, staff from the Tyson Research Center will be holding a wildlife photo tagging training for the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN). Attendees will learn how to turn camera trap images from the greater St. Louis region into useable data. Sign up for TCC here to receive the link.

Register for Two Pandemics, One Election: The Future of Justice

As the global COVID 19 pandemic rages on, racialized policing, prosecutorial, and incarceration practices are under increased scrutiny. The cumulative effects of brutalization of black and brown people calls into question the United States’ commitment to equality and liberty for all. How do we envision and realize a future just society that incorporates a more […]

Sign up for Election Protection Training, Field and Social Media Monitoring Training

Join the fight for democracy with the St. Louis Area Voting Initiative (SLAVI), the Center for Social Development (CSD), and the St. Louis Area Election Protection Coalition (STLVPC). The organizations are seeking help and participation in Missouri’s nonpartisan Election Protection effort for the November 2020 elections by participating in the Virtual Election Protection Training Series. You […]

Attend WashU Virtual Connecting

Join the Skandalaris Center for a weekly Meetaway. This is 30 minutes of virtual connecting and all of WashU is invited, so spread the word! You never know who you might bump into. If it’s someone you know, catch up like you would in a hallway conversation. If you’ve never met, tell each other how […]

Attend Film Screening and Discussion: ‘Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook’

Tuesday, October 20, 7-9:30 PM CST Narrated by Jeffrey Wright, “Rigged” chronicles how our right to vote is being undercut by a decade of dirty tricks – including the partisan use of gerrymandering and voter purges, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The film captures real-time voter purges in […]

New in the Lou: Through the Eyes of Start-Ups and Small Businesses

Thursday, October 22, 4-5 PM CST The Gephardt Institute is hosting New in the Lou, a series of panel discussions to catalyze dialogue about St. Louis through the eyes of our local community. Conversations are geared towards undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty/staff, with attention on new members of the WashU community. Attendees will be […]

Virtual Educational Equity Opportunity for Students

Matriculate is a national nonprofit that matches high achieving, low-income high school students with current college students who advise them throughout the college process. The organization is currently recruiting new Advising Fellows to work with high school juniors. Students can learn more at matriculate.org, and find the full volunteer position description here. They can apply here and also […]

Volunteer To Virtually Help Foreign Students Practice English

ENGin is looking for volunteers aged 15-22 to serve as speaking buddies for international students. This is a super flexible and unique opportunity to make a difference without leaving your room. To join the team, please fill out this short form here. ENGin will reach out to schedule a 15-20 minute video call to provide […]

Fall 2020 Danforth Campus Ballot Notarization Events

The Gephardt Institute is offering notaries at the Danforth campus to notarize ballots for WashU students, employees, and contract workers before the November election. Please sign up for a 15-minute window. Before arriving to campus, you must complete the WashU COVID-19 screening and forward your results to lindsaygassman@wustl.edu. When you come to campus, you must wear a mask at all […]

Attend Community Engagement Training Sessions

Join the Gephardt Institute for a two-part series on Community Engagement. The two 1.5 hour sessions will be focused on developing community partnerships that are mutually beneficial, considering how social identities and systemic inequities affect community engagement, and understanding a strengths-based perspective. Participants will be invited to reflect on how their particular student group is responding to […]

Volunteer at the Danforth Campus Polling Location

Are you interested in helping with the on-campus polling location? Responsibilities will include engaging students while they wait in line, answering questions about voting, checking for voter suppression, and more. To express your interest, please fill out this form. Please note that this is a volunteer position and is different than working for the Board […]

St. Louis Artists Paint Murals Addressing Social Justice and Education

Usually by mid-September, the South 40 underpass would be painted with countless event dates and meeting locations, urging students to join student groups and to attend dozens of theme weeks or panels; it implores students to rush to make sure they don’t miss the extensive array of opportunities to learn and be involved. Now, in […]

Introducing New Gephardt Student Staff Members

This September, the Gephardt Institute welcomed four new student staff members to our team: Rose Shapiro, Lauren Ross, Louis Jones, and Jayla Butler. Over the course of the semester, they will focus on connecting students, faculty, and staff with community partners and organizations remotely, and will dedicate a significant attention toward pre and post-election efforts. […]

Student Group and Community Engagement in the Time of COVID-19

As students return to campus this fall, community engagement looks different than normal. Student groups are challenged with shifting their plans to adapt to current remote engagement guidelines. “We had a few projects planned,” said Engineers Without Borders student leader Naasik Syed. “We don’t want to create new partnerships that don’t match what we do, […]

Campus Election Engagement Project Virtual Summit Engages Voters Amidst COVID-19

For the third consecutive year, the Gephardt Institute is partnering with the Brown School Center for Social Development’s Voter Access and Engagement Initiative and the Campus Election Engagement Project to co-host the regional bi-state Campus & Community Voter Engagement Summit. While past summits have been day-long programs in person, the 2020 summit adapted to a […]

Faculty and Librarians Bring Information Literacy to the Classroom

In the current social and political climate, the need for information literacy is increasingly evident as we have seen misinformation campaigns about COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, among other issues.   A second cohort of the Information Literacy Learning Community (ILLC) took place virtually this summer from August 31 to September 3 with five […]

Adapting to Remote Engagement With Partners in East St. Louis

In March, student groups across the university were forced to stop operations as ‘normal’ due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some groups were able to continue meeting online. For community engaged groups, volunteering came to a complete halt. For Partners in East St. Louis (PESTL), this meant a disruption of their weekly program. […]

Class of 2021 Civic Scholars: Summer Spotlights

Over the past few months, Civic Scholars pivoted and exercised creativity to reimagine their Civic Summers. The Civic Summer is an integral extension of their coursework – a time for Civic Scholars to apply what they have learned over the course of two semesters, in partnership with community organizations or self-directed under the guidance of […]

Teaching and Learning for Social Impact: Resources for (Re)Designing Your Course

Teaching and learning this year are going to be unlike any time before. We are living in the midst of a global pandemic, our country is being forced to contend with racism and anti-Blackness, and we will teach and learn in the midst of an election that will undoubtedly have incredible ramifications. In addition to […]

Census Summer: Behind the scenes with Sophomore Otto Brown

“As a college student, completing the census is a way for you to give back to St. Louis beyond the time you spent at WashU.” Sophomore Otto Brown spent part of his summer as a census worker. Knocking on doors in his own neighborhood gave him a new perspective and appreciation for the work that […]