In St. Louis is an annual project designed to explore — through the experiences, scholarship, work, and voices of St. Louisans — what it means to be in St. Louis today.

The 5th anniversary of the Ferguson uprising, the movement that followed, and the work ahead is our entry point for reflection in this inaugural offering. In St. Louis is a project of Washington University’s Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in partnership with the Office of Public Affairs.

Five years after the uprising in Ferguson, what does it mean to be in St. Louis?


Everyday People Can Show Up

What can everyday people do to support racial equity? These St. Louisans who are invested in racial equity work say everyday people can do something simple but powerful: show up.

In the Way

Bethany Johnson-Javois, CEO of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network, says that what most stands in the way of progress for St. Louis is an unwillingness to believe that we already have the people, resources and insights we need to move forward.

Make Meaningful Change

How do we make effective, meaningful change? Jason Purnell, associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University and director of Health Equity Works, says the top-down, old-boys’-network approach to leadership that St. Louis is used to is no longer sufficient for solving the types of problems we face today.

More Equitable Decisions

Paul Woodruff, the executive director for Prosperity Connection and VP of community development for the Saint Louis Community Credit Union, describes what it looks like to have an inclusive decision-making process, and explains the difference it makes to the organization.

More Listening

Lindy Drew, Co-Founder and Lead Storyteller of Humans of St. Louis, says what the St. Louis region needs as it reckons with generations of racial inequity is more listening.

The First Stop

Nicole Hudson, assistant vice chancellor of the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Washington University in St. Louis, describes how the stories people tell themselves influence our collective ability to change, and suggests that understanding narrative is the first step toward making any real progress as a region.

Wisdom of Youth

David Dwight, executive director and lead strategy catalyst for Forward Through Ferguson, talks about the challenges of being a young leader in St. Louis as the region works toward racial equity.