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Institute to host WashU’s inaugural”The Longest Table” next week

 On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the Gephardt Institute will host WashU’s inaugural The Longest Table event.  

The event will bring together hundreds of WashU students for a dinner—and facilitated conversation—on long rows of tables on Mudd Field, for a low-pressure environment for students to progress on their journey to civic involvement. 

“The goal of The Longest Table is to bring people together from different backgrounds and perspectives to engage in civic dialogue. Through this, participants develop a better understanding of their own civic journey as well as the role their peers and community play in working towards social change,” said Graduate Assistant for Student Civic Learning Eric Jones.  

The Longest Table launches the institute’s dialogue-based event series Food for Thought and Civic Café, which garnered participation from over 400 people in the 2022-2023 school year. The Longest Table events have been held at other campuses and cities, for students and community members to share stories, build connections, and communicate freely. The WashU event is part of the Gephardt Institute’s Engage Democracy Initiative. 

“I am excited for the vibrant conversations that will be had and for the connections that will be made. I hope people leave The Longest Table wanting to be in more spaces where this type of space is the norm, not the exception” Jones said.  

On a diverse and fast-paced campus like WashU, it is crucial to create environments dedicated to establishing connections across the WashU student body. At The Longest Table, students are encouraged to seek out peers they may not find in their immediate circles, and to learn more about the range of perspectives in our community as we build our collective future. 

Students may register here, and day-of arrivals are also welcome. Faculty and staff are welcome to observe the event.