Gephardt News Press Releases

Responsible Engagement in the Wake of Ferguson

Dear friends,
The students, staff, and faculty affiliated with the Gephardt Institute for Public Service are deeply troubled by the events in Ferguson. We mourn with the Michael Brown family as well the Ferguson community. We suggest that the precipitators and consequences of this tragedy rest on the civic fault lines throughout our region. As such, we aim to reverse these dangerous trends, encouraging a long-term and sustained civic approach to the region’s response to this tragedy.

We have worked with our campus and community partners to offer the following opportunities to reflect and respond. Additional programming is planned, and you will be informed of these efforts. Please join us in responding with your time, talent, and treasure to make St. Louis the most civically inclusive and vibrant community it can be.

Director, Gephardt Institute for Public Service
Bettie Bofinger Brown Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Social Work, Brown School
Faculty Director, Civic Engagement and Service, Center for Social Development

Responsible Engagement
Please refer to these evidence-based principles to guide effective community engagement. The hallmarks of these principles are community need and informed action.

The Institute is sponsoring a University-wide food drive in collaboration with our community partner, Operation Food Search, so that WUSTL members can directly assist Ferguson citizens and surrounding communities.

The Institute recently partnered with the United Way of Greater St. Louis to sponsor an online, searchable database of volunteer opportunities to the WUSTL community. Opportunities are available in Ferguson and the surrounding communities.

Civic Dialogue Facilitation
The Institute is collaborating with the Office of the Provost and others to sponsor training to faculty and staff on how to facilitate conversations with our students pertaining to the tragedy and the related issues that will undoubtedly emerge. The next session is on Thursday, September 4, 2014 from 8:30-10am in the Danforth University Center, room 276. Please RSVP in advance.
For questions, contact Robin Hattori, assistant director of the Gephardt Institute, at 314-935-8628 or

Conversation Circles
The Office of the Provost, Human Resources, and the Gephardt Institute are partnering to host a series of conversations about Ferguson. Conversations are scheduled to last one hour and are open to all Danforth Campus faculty and staff. No registration is required; please just drop in.

Wednesday, Sept. 3: Discussing Ferguson residents and their stories captured in the media

  • 8:30 a.m. Green Hall L0159
  • Noon Olin Library Arc Presentation Room
  • 4:30 p.m. Danforth University Center (DUC) 239

Wednesday, Sept. 10: What can we do now? What do we do now?

  • 8:30 a.m. Cupples 1 218
  • 8:30 a.m. Danforth University Center (DUC) 233
  • Noon Anheuser-Busch Hall Wright Jury Room (School of Law)
  • 4:30 p.m. Danforth University Center (DUC) 242