The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is a Washington University department dedicated to fostering a vibrant culture of civic engagement throughout the university that advances the collective good. A key institute goal is to catalyze community-university partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities, with a focus on the St. Louis region. To assure the effectiveness of the institute’s community engagement efforts and resources that are available to the whole university, the Gephardt Institute has formed a Community Advisory Council (CAC). This council will play a pivotal role in guiding the institute’s community engagement plans and strategy by offering community perspective, voice, and insights.
We are proud to introduce the inaugural members of the Community Advisory Council.
About the Council
The Gephardt Institute’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) is a representative group of volunteer members who live and work in the St. Louis region as part of nonprofit and other community organizations. The council serves as a bridge between Washington University and the St. Louis community, opening channels of communication to share projects, initiatives, interests, and goals of both the Gephardt Institute and the community. The CAC advises the Gephardt Institute in three key areas to foster partnership-based regional impact:
- The assets, priorities, and needs of the St. Louis community
- Processes and best practices for community engagement and community-university partnerships
- Areas of focus that inform the development of Gephardt Institute programs, resources, and strategy.
The CAC aims to infuse community voice into the planning, decision-making, and operations of the Gephardt Institute; support transparency and communication about the university’s community engagement goals, activities, and outcomes; and foster accountability, trust and capacity for effective partnerships between Washington University and the greater St. Louis community.
The CAC will consist of 11-15 members who represent organizations serving communities in the St. Louis region. Members will reflect a diversity of perspectives, work experience, professional training, and social identities. Members will serve two-year terms with an option to continue for an additional year.
- Priority access to one-on-one consultations and technical assistance with Gephardt Institute staff (e.g., exploring additional WashU connections with students, faculty, or staff, or opportunities for capacity building).
- Access to discounted Brown School Professional Development sessions.
- Regular opportunities to receive information and provide feedback on Gephardt Institute community engagement priorities, progress, and outcomes.
- Opportunity to participate on Gephardt Institute committees and taskforces to further effective community-university partnerships and related projects.
- Invitation to special events at WashU focused on community-university partnerships and topics of relevance to the St. Louis community.
The Gephardt Institute will ask the Community Advisory Council to provide recommendations for how the Gephardt Institute should proceed in addressing community-identified needs and priorities. This may include producing brief reports with recommendations for action as well as further guiding questions. The institute will at times request one-on-one consultation with Gephardt Institute staff for the purpose of sharing direct feedback on the institute’s programs and priorities. Finally, members will be asked to participate in recruitment and selection for incoming council members.
Following a brief orientation period, the Community Advisory Council will meet quarterly. The 2020 schedule is provided below:
|Welcome gathering||Thursday, December 12, 2019 – 12-2pm*|
|1st meeting||Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – 9-12pm*|
|2nd meeting||Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 9-12pm|
|3rd meeting||Wednesday, May 6, 2020 – 2-5pm|
|4th meeting||Tuesday, September 15, 2020 – 2-5pm|
|5th meeting||Thursday, December 10, 2020 – 4-7pm|
*The first two meetings will be held at the Gephardt Institute office at Stix House on Washington University’s campus. All other locations are to be determined, and will often occur at a variety of locations in St. Louis city and county.
If you have questions about the Community Advisory Council, please contact Stefani Weeden-Smith, Assistant Director for Community Engagement.