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Contextualizing St. Louis
We live, we teach, and we learn in St. Louis. It only makes sense that we integrate St. Louis in its many contexts – social, political, historical – into our work through research and teaching.
Contextualizing St. Louis can help bridge the divide between theory and practice, giving our work renewed relevance and make its impact tangible and visible to our students and the broader community. Our connection to place strengthens a sense of purpose and belonging that’s invaluable to understanding how we ourselves can positively impact social fabrics.
The resources provided below are meant to be a starting place. They should open up new lines of inquiry and better position us to introduce St. Louis to our work and our classrooms. When contextualizing St. Louis, it is important to complicate dominate narratives with the inclusion of many voices, for that reason, no list of resources would ever suffice to help one say they “know St. Louis." Knowing St. Louis is a continued action in which we always seek new knowledge, new histories, new stories, and new voices. Including a cross section of voices and perspectives often means presenting students with opposing storytelling and asking them to make sense of it – we must do the same. Some of that work is done directly with community through community engaged learning, but that work can also be done by developing relationships with our neighbors and welcoming community voice into our professional domains.
Curated Relevant Content
- Land Acknowledgement
- American Indians in Missouri Timeline
- Forward Through Ferguson Report
- Dismantling the Divide Report
- Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the American City (Book & Website)
- St. Louis Reports and Case Studies (Digital versions of government reports about St. Louis)
- Higher Ground: Honoring Washington Park Cemetery, Its People and Place
- The Seeds of Regionalism
- Fragmented By Design: Why St. Louis Has So Many Governments
- Dr. John A Wright, Sr. Book Series (African Americans in Downtown St. Louis, African American St. Louis, Kinloch: Missouri’s First All Black City, The Ville: St. Louis, and St. Louis: Disappearing Black Communities)
- Nine Network | Living St. Louis
- Mean Streets: Viewing the The Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television
- The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
- We Live Here (Podcast)
- Monument Lab rethinks memorials and historic sites of St. Louis (Cut & Paste)
- The Broken Heart of America (St. Louis On the Air)
- The Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers Zoom "In St. Louis" learning sessions
- The In St. Louis Project
- Documenting Ferguson
- Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis
- Humans of St. Louis
- State Historical Society of Missouri Digital Collections
- Missouri Historical Society Research Library
- Local Museums
Community Engagement Fellow
Assistant Director for Community Engagement
Meet the Teaching Schema Designers
The schema is a collaborative project made possible by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Teaching and Learning with additional contributions from others around Washington University in St. Louis.
Associate Director for Faculty and Academic Engagement
Associate Director for Educational Development
Scholarly Publishing and Digital Scholarship Manager
Emily provided publishing support and completed the layout in Scalar
Marketing and Communications Assistant
Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement
Elizabeth was the graphic designer for this project
Building in the Election
The youth voter turnout rate consistently falls below national averages. Students at Washington University are no exception. One best practice for addressing this disparity is integrating election content into classrooms.
Connecting students’ area of studies to relevant policies and political platforms and emphasizing the importance of voting as a response to material learned in the classroom has been proven to increase student voter turnout. In addition, students face numerous procedural barriers to voting.
Many students have never voted before and must navigate various processes, deadlines, and forms in order to successfully vote on Election Day. Including voter education as part of the classroom education experience will address many of these barriers and equip students with the information necessary to complete the steps needed to vote in a timely and accurate manner. Given the University’s interest in increasing the voter turnout rate among its students, adding elections content to courses is crucial.
- Full Courses and Syllabi
- Assignments and Lesson Plans
- Other materials
- Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement Faculty Voter Engagement Resource This webpage has been curated especially for Washington University faculty. It includes election resources to add to courses, including syllabus language, PowerPoint slides, Canvas announcements, and more.
Curated Relevant Content
- Pedagogical Value of Polling Place Observation by Students
- I’ll Register to Vote If You Teach Me How: A Classroom-Based Registration Experiment
- Embedding Engagement in a Political Science Course: Community College and University Students and the Help America Vote College Poll Worker Program
- Institute for Democracy and Higher Education Election Imperatives 2020 Note faculty-specific strategies on pages 8 and 9.
- Making Sense of... The Vote by Mail Conversation
- Block the Vote: Voter Suppression in 2020
- Volunteer at the on-campus polling location
- Engage Democracy events – The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement will be hosting civic education events throughout the semester. These will include events that discuss important policy issues, how the pandemic is affecting the vote, and more.
- Become an academic voter engagement hub – Some WashU academic departments have been trained on voter registration and voter engagement strategies to better help the students in their department turn out to vote. If you are interested in having some members of your department trained, please contact Lindsay Gassman, Voter Engagement Fellow, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Be a poll worker. Please note that this activity has heightened risk at this time. The Gephardt Institute is not encouraging this for students this year.
Voter Engagement Fellow
Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Education