Events Archive

Past Events

Influencing Social Policy

2018 Policy Conference 2.0: The Next 20 Years!

May 31 – June 2, Brown School

ISP is a nonprofit organization for social work educators, students, and practitioners with passion for policy! This annual conference will be hosted at the Brown School for a third year and, in addition to 45 break sessions, will also feature keynote sessions with Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director of Empower Missouri and a former representative to the Missouri legislature, and Nicole Hudson, Deputy Mayor for Racial Equality and Priority Initiatives, City of St. Louis. Meet new colleagues and enjoy being part of a national policy network.

Social Media. Social Action. Social Policy.

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 12:30 – 2:00 pm (Lunch included)
Clark-Fox Forum, Hillman Hall, Brown School

Social media can play a powerful role in community organizing and advancing social change. During this dynamic presentation, three nationally recognized activists, design strategists, and master communicators will share their experiences and insights on the role of social media in the future of policy practice.


Hawk NewsomeNew York Chapter Director of Black Lives Matter
De NicholsSocial Media Entrepreneur, Social Impact Design Principal of Civic Creatives
Jonathan SchwabishSenior Fellow at the Urban Institute

Moderated by Gary Parker, Director, Clark-Fox Policy Institute, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

This panel presentation is part of the Influencing Social Policy (ISP) Policy 2.0 Conference. ISP is the only national membership organization dedicated exclusively to increasing social work efficacy in influencing policy at all levels of government. The annual conference is co-sponsored by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute and the Center for Social Development at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

All are invited to join us for this special engagement; lunch is included. This event is free, however, registration is required.

2018 Annual Fair Housing Conference: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

Featuring keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, author of bestselling book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

April 25, 2018
8:30 am – 4:00 pm
UMSL in the J.C. Penny Conference Center

Join the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and For the Sake of All at the 2018 annual Fair Housing Conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. This full-day conference will feature the release of a groundbreaking report from For the Sake of All on how the history of housing and land use policies connects to the divisions our St. Louis region feels today. Workshop sessions will focus on dismantling these divisions with specific recommendations to promote fair housing and access to opportunity for the next 50 years.  As part of its commitment to advancing social and economic justice, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute is a conference co-sponsor.

Register online at

Radical Listening Across Generations: Toward Healing and Health – Advancing Equity and Healthcare
Part 1: Youngdahl Lecture Series

April 5, 2018
Clark-Fox Forum, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

Misguided and Misdiagnosed: Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System
Friday, February 9, 2018, 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Clark-Fox Forum, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis*

On any given day in the United States, between 300,000 and 400,000 people with mental illnesses are incarcerated in jails and prisons. All too often people with untreated mental health disorders find themselves involved in the criminal justice system and subject to misguided policies and services that further compound the challenges they face. Pete Earley, journalist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, is all too familiar with these challenges. As the keynote speaker for this event, Earley shared his son’s battle with bipolar disorder and how the criminal justice system deals with the mentally ill. Following Earley, a panel explored policy changes for improved access to and treatment of mental health illnesses, particularly in the context of the criminal justice system.

Featured panelists included:

  • Susan W. McGraugh, Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • David M. Montani, M.D., Clayton Behavioral
  • Karl Wilson, former CEO of Crider Health Center
  • Moderated by: Sean Joe, Associate Dean for Faculty & Research and the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

View a recording of the program here.

Aligning Our Work with Action: Communicating During Times of Unrest and Uncertainty
Thursday, January 18, 2018
St. Louis History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112

Do you find it hard to communicate about social justice? Are you being intentional about your communication efforts around social justice and unrest in our region? St. Louis has garnered media attention around civil unrest in our community and as nonprofits we need to know how to deliver appropriate messages during these times.

Join the Community Service Public Relations Council in a panel discussion about the importance of messaging during these sensitive, but monumental times. Discover how you can be a change maker and take action in your organization, by being a courageous communicator for social and equitable change.

To learn more or to register, visit:

Human Trafficking and the Impact on Children and Families: A Congressional Briefing

November 14, 2017, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.

The Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School, in cooperation with the Human Trafficking Collaborative Network (HTCN), housed in the Institute for Public Health, is leading a delegation of Missouri researchers, advocates, representatives from law enforcement, service providers and survivors to Capitol Hill to bring attention to the dehumanizing industry of trafficking in persons.  After welcoming remarks from Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Congressman Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) the panel will highlight research and practice that can inform pending federal legislation aimed at assisting survivors and their families.  Numbers released by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center demonstrate that reported cases are on the rise.

“With this panel of dedicated experts and our bipartisan legislative partners, we will continue to educate policymakers about the supports needed to aid human trafficking survivors as they rebuild their lives,” said Gary Parker, director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute. Parker will serve as co-moderator for the panel along with Dr. Rumi Kato Price, HTCN founder and professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Panelists for the briefing include Brian Froelke, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Andrea Nichols, lecturer in sex trafficking at the Brown School; Christopher Prater, instructor in medical education; and Melissa Renae Kroll, clinical fellow in emergency medicine.

The briefing will take place on Tuesday, November 14th from 3:00PM-4:30PM in the Capitol Building hearing room HC-8 and is open to the public.  Registration is required to attend. Please RSVP to

Download the fact sheet here.


PART 1: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Cortex Innovation District
PART 2: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Cortex Innovation District

Campaign Crash Course covers all aspects of political campaigning in four intensive sessions over two days. Drawing on readings, case studies, policy practitioners, legislators and the instructor’s campaign experience, the course is a practical blueprint for anyone seeking office, managing a campaign, or otherwise hoping to influence an election. Tuition is $50 and covers meals and materials (scholarships are available). Registration is now open here. 

October 23, 2017

Angela Onwuachi-Willig – “Mothering After Trayvon”

12:00 pm, Anheuser-Busch Hall, Washington University in St. Louis (Danforth Campus)

Washington University Law School’s Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series, in partnership with the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, presents Angela Onwuachi-Willig as a keynote speaker this fall. Onwuachi-Willig is a leading scholar of law and inequality and writes in a variety of areas, including employment discrimination and family law. She is author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). She is the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. 

October 13, 2017

Transforming Healthcare in Missouri: Ideas for Innovation and Investment
8:30 am – 1:30 pm, Forest Park Visitor & Education Center, Trolley Room

Given the debate over healthcare reform, Missouri is exploring how best to serve its citizens and balance its budget. Save the date for this event co-hosted by the Center for Health Economics and Policy at the Institute for Public Health and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School, bringing together healthcare providers, payers, consumers, researchers, economists, advocates, and policymakers to discuss ideas for healthcare reform in Missouri. Register for the event here!

Keynote address by Robert Hughes, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Missouri Foundation for Health

Remarks by Randall W. Williams, MD, FACGOG, Director, Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services

October 5 & 6, 2017

POW! 2017 Annual Conference
Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, 7730 Bonhomme Ave. St. Louis, MO
This year Empower Missouri is putting the POW in EmPOWer with a theme of “Persisting and Organizing to Win.” From the pre-conference (presented by Jobs with Justice) through the closing session, the conference will focus on workers, their unions and their support systems, as well as the lack of access to basic human needs that workers are experiencing.

October 5, 2017
Thomas Shapiro and “Toxic Inequality”

1:00 pm,  Brown Lounge, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis (Danforth Campus)

The Department of Sociology, in partnership with the Brown School’s Center for Social Development and Clark-Fox Policy Institute, will host Thomas Shapiro, sociology alumnus (PhD, ’78) and former Brown School faculty member, for a lecture on his new book, Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future. Well known for his research on wealth inequality, especially inequality by race, Dr. Shapiro cowrote with Melvin Oliver the landmark book Black Wealth/White Wealth (1995).


September 26, 2017
“The Developing Brain: New Directions in Science, Policy, and Law”
8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Eric P. Newman Education Center Auditorium (Medical Campus)

Co-sponsored by the Brown School, this conference brings together multiple disciplines from across the Washington University campus to explore the ways in which a child’s early environment shapes brain development and behavior, and the implications for public policy. The program includes keynote speakers, a panel discussion and a poster session.

Featured keynote speakers:

Damien Fair, PhD (Oregon Health & Science University)
Pat Levitt, PhD (Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles/USC)
Elizabeth Scott, JD (Columbia University School of Law)
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, PhD (Northwestern University)

For  more information, visit: Office of Neuroscience Research (ONR) Conference on Neuroscience & Society

September 21, 2017
Clark-Fox Policy Institute Group Advising
5:00 – 6:00 pm, Hillman 100, Brown School

Monthly meetings are designed to help you connect the knowledge, skills, and work characteristics needed in today’s policy landscape. Meet your peers and learn more about how you can get involved in public policy. Light dinner included!

June 19-23, 2017
Community Organizing and Advocacy, Brown School Summer Institute

During the weeks of June 19 and June 26, the Brown School offered nearly 20 different skill-building classes as part of its Summer Institute. The Clark-Fox Policy Institute lead this course, which provided an overview of how methods of community organization accomplish goals that are relevant to social work and public health practitioners. Additionally, the course explored community organization activities that address the values of social justice and racial equity.

June 20, 2017
‘Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics’: Contextualizing Populist Resistance to Data Driven Policy-Making presented by Jeff Smith

The Clark-Fox Policy Institute sponsored a special luncheon program during Summer Institute (2017) which featured guest speaker Jeff Smith. Smith is a former Missouri state senator, author, professor, and currently serves as Head of Community Engagement and Policy for Concordance Academy. Click here to view the presentation.

June 1-3, 2017
Influencing Social Policy Conference: Policy Conference 2.0
Successes and Solutions: Policies that Work

Policy Conference 2.0 provides a collective space for social work students, faculty, and practitioners with a passion for social policy and policy practice to learn from each other; grapple with complex policy issues; and share research, practice, and teaching wisdom. Click here to learn more.

April 19, 2017
Amplifying Impact: Launching a platform for connecting evidence to policy
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Clark-Fox Forum, Hillman Hall, Brown School

The Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School officially launched on April 19, 2017. The launch event, “Amplifying Impact: Launching a Platform for Connecting Evidence to Policy,” featured an outstanding slate of speakers who highlighted the importance of using evidence-informed policy to improve the lives of children, youth and the adults who care for them. Click here for more.

March 2017

Social science professions, historically and currently, seek to promote social justice through the equitable provision of benefits and services to assist all individuals, families, and communities to develop and function to their fullest potential. Advanced policy analysis skills and the ability to advocate for policy change at the federal, state, and local level has been an important professional activity and remains now as part of “policy practice.”