Food for Thought is a weekly pop-up event series curated by the Gephardt Institute. From 12 – 2 p.m. each Wednesday afternoon, students, staff, and faculty are invited to drop in for casual yet insightful conversations around the day’s theme. Each week features a different topic, many of which are co-hosted by a campus partner or student group. Local snacks are always provided.

Would you or your group like to partner with us? Email our Associate Director for Civic Engagement, Alannah Glickman at

Upcoming Events

Seasonally, Food for Thought operates as an outdoor event. In cases of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled or moved indoors. All event cancellations are announced on the institute’s social media pages.

Event History

  • Sept. 9, 2022. Mobility and Access. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability and Access STL. Featuring special guest, Aaron Naperstak.
  • Oct. 19, 2022. Legacies: Leaving your Mark.
  • Oct. 26, 2022. Building Community. In partnership with the Residential Life.
  • Nov. 2, 2022. Turn out the Vote. In partnership with WashU Votes.
  • Nov. 9, 2022. Take a Pause. In partnership with the Office of Religious, Ethical, and Spiritual Life.
  • Nov. 16, 2022. Languages, Accents, and Perceptions. In partnership with the Office of International Students and Scholars.
  • Nov. 30, 2022. Discussing Gratitude.
  • Dec. 7, 2023. Getting the Grade.
  • Jan. 25, 2023. The STL Connection.
  • Feb. 1, 2023. Class and Higher Education. In partnership with Office for Student Success.
  • Feb. 8, 2023. Reframing Failure.
  • Feb. 15, 2023. Random Acts of Kindness Week. In partnership with WashU Kindness Club.
  • Feb. 22, 2023. Gentrification. In partnership with Black Anthology.
  • March 1, 2023. Innovation. In partnership with Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • March 8, 2023. How to Do Good, Better. In partnership with Effective Altruism WashU.
  • March 22, 2023. Trans Rights. In partnership with WashU’s Women and Non-Binary Multicultural Organization (WMNA)

Program Goals

  • Zoom out from daily school work to think about big questions and practice dialogue.
  • Introduce students to an informal opportunity to be civically engaged or begin conversations on civic issues.
  • Expand and build campus groups’ and departments’ civic outreach to students.
  • Give the WashU community an informal and reoccurring access point to Gephardt programming.