Food for Thought is a pop-up event series curated by the Gephardt Institute. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to drop in for casual yet insightful conversations around the day’s theme. Each event features a different topic, which is 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

There are not currently any upcoming events scheduled. Please check back for new events to be added.

In the meantime, if you’d like to explore campus events, please visit Happenings at WashU.

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.

Program Goals

  • Offer a low-stakes civic dialogue space for students to engage with big questions around social and political issues and discuss emergent civic topics 
  • Partner with other campus groups and departments to offer dialogue on a wide variety of topics and build cross-campus relationships 
  • Facilitate connections between students to build solidarity and a culture of civic engagement on campus 
  • Share information about opportunities to dive deeper into civic learning and action 

Event History

Fall 2022
  • 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.
Spring 2023
  • 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)
  • April 5, 2023. Safety. In partnership with S.A.R.A.H.
  • April 12, 2023. Where is your St. Louis? In partnership with the Office of Socially Engaged Practice.
  • April 19, 2023. Cultural Misconceptions. In partnership with the Office for International Students and Scholars.
  • April 26, 2023. Activism.
Fall 2023
  • Sept. 13, 2023. The Impact of Community Engagement.
  • Sept. 20, 2023. Where Did You Go for High School? In partnership with the Institute for School Partnership.
  • Sept. 27, 2023. Aspirations and Support.
  • Oct. 4, 2023. Entrepreneurship as a Vehicle for Social Change. In partnership with the Skandalaris Center.
  • Oct. 18, 2023. Exploring St. Louis.
  • Oct. 25, 2023. Well-Being. In partnership with the REC Center.
  • Nov. 1, 2023. Political Participation.
  • Nov. 8, 2023. Defining Self and Community Care. In partnership with Alpha Phi Omega (APO).
  • Nov. 15, 2023. National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In partnership with AlzBuddies.
  • Nov. 29, 2023. Cuisine and Culture. In partnership with the Office of International Students & Scholars.
  • Dec. 6, 2023. Celebrating our Cultural Holidays. In collaboration with the Office of International Student Engagement.
Spring 2024
  • Jan. 24, 2024: Inclusivity and Diversity Within WashU. In partnership with T.R.U.T.H Facilitation Group.
  • Feb. 7, 2024: Thriving in Turbulent Times. In partnership with the Office for Religious, Spiritual & Ethical Life.
  • Mar. 27, 2024: Safety & Support – Sexual Assault Awareness. In partnership with S.A.R.A.H.
  • Apr. 17, 2024: Sustainability. In partnership with WashU Green Ambassadors (WUGA).