St. Louis Renewed | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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St. Louis Renewed


Registration Deadline:  September 28th

30 CEUs

Carmen Garcia Ruiz, MA
Felicia Pulliam, JD

St. Louis Renewed is a pioneering cohort-based anti-racism program that tackles key obstacles to personal and cultural change. Informed by social science research for multidisciplinary insights on complex systems, St. Louis Renewed is designed to build capacity for equity and reconciliation.  

Participants will learn to better understand themselves as human and social beings, to recognize the root causes and systemic nature of our racial disparities, and to design sustainable and effective strategies for personal and social change.  The program focuses on developing critical thinking, critical consciousness, and a strong sense of personal agency.  This supports development of key leadership skills, including: self-awareness, generative dialogue, perspective taking, collaboration, and systems thinking.  

We'll tackle important questions together like:

  • How can a better understanding of human nature and social life help us to think more clearly and behave in more intentional, fulfilling ways?
  • How can our reckoning with the American legacy of white supremacy empower us to work for a more equitable and viable St. Louis?
  • How can we apply insights from personal and social change theories to design sustainable and effective change strategies?

Program Outline


Oct 6 – Focusing on the core practices of self-reflection and effective communication, we will begin to explore the relationship between introspection and outrospection. Core themes include self-awareness, perspective taking, and generative dialogue. These tools provide a foundation for leadership and for building more authentic and effective relationships across social groups.

Oct 13 – We will examine what neuroscience and social psychology tell us about the workings of our ancient and modern brain structures and their effects on how we think and behave. Key concepts will include cognitive heuristics and the power of social context. These frames clarify our need to cultivate higher-order reasoning, self-leadership, and individual agency.

Oct 20 – Examining key meta narratives of Western European and American culture, the group will explore how social power interacts with these ideologies and shapes our interpretations of social reality. We will consider how these narratives have propped up and justified social inequalities and how different categories of oppression intersect with one another.

Oct 27 – In our fourth session, we will confront racism at the macro (socio-cultural) level. Following an investigation into the legacies of white supremacy in American history, the group will use data specific to the St. Louis region to develop a deeper understanding of how systemic racism has maintained and continues to perpetuate racial disparities in our local communities.

Nov 3 – Focusing on the micro (personal) level, participants will explore racial identity theory, the need for healing, and paths to more authentic identities. We will also consider how to support one another across racial groups even while pursuing different journeys to the same end.

Nov 10 – On our sixth gathering, we will explore research-based strategies for successful change at the personal and social levels. An introduction to core systems thinking principles and skills will be followed by individuals plotting their respective plans for personal growth and increased effectiveness.

Nov 17 – One goal of St. Louis Renewed is to build a community of effective change agents in the region. To that end, participants will help one another finalize their personal action plans and identify ways to provide ongoing mutual support and accountability. The day wraps up with the declaration of individual statements of purpose and a celebration.

Meet the Instructors

Camern Ruiz
Carmen Garcia Ruiz, MA

Carmen García Ruiz is creator and co-founder of St. Louis Renewed. She has worked in anti-racism and social justice efforts since 1981.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Carmen served on the Founding Faculty that created the Dismantling Racism program of the St. Louis office of NCCJ. She has served as a trainer, facilitator, consultant, and executive coach. Carmen has worked in higher education, as well as the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

As Director of Organizational Capabilities at Sara Lee Bakery Group, she created and led a company-wide diversity and inclusion initiative. Dissatisfied with conventional approaches, Carmen conducted multi-disciplinary research to develop a robust and innovative program to empower a community of change agents and accelerate our region's efforts to advance racial equity and reconciliation.

Currently, she serves on the board of Forward Through Ferguson, an organization formed by the Ferguson Commission to support regional efforts to fulfill the calls to action in the Commission's 2015 report.

Carmen has a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology from Princeton University.

Felicia Pulliam
Felicia Pulliam, JD

Felicia joined FOCUS St. Louis in 2012 and in the role of Development Director. She transitioned to Director, Policy & Community Engagement where she designed and directed the FOCUS Impact Fellows program. Using the Ferguson Commission report Forward Through Ferguson as its foundation, Impact Fellows developed three tools to advance racial equity.

  • The Catalyst Circle Toolkit which uses a book club model to teach race policy and social justice
  • The Racial Equity Opportunity- an initiative to increase diversity in construction professions with the potential to generate $400 million in new revenue for the St. Louis region
  • LEAD: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline, a campaign to eliminate disparities between black and white students in out of school suspensions and end suspension for Pre-K to third grade.

Appointed to the Ferguson Commission by Governor Jay Nixon, Felicia Co-chaired the Economic Inequity and Opportunity working group charged with designing a strategy to promote economic mobility.

Felicia is a co-founder of ONE Ferguson, trustee of the Come Together Ferguson fund and Incarnate Word Academy, board member of Prosperity Connection and Phyllis Wheatley Committee on Administration (COA) at YWCA Metro St. Louis and member of The Ferguson Collaborative. She received a 2016 St. Louis Business Journal Diverse Leader Award, 2015 Citizens for Modern Transit award and is recipient of two What's Right with the Region awards. Felicia served as Trustee for MICDS-Mary Institute St. Louis Country Day School and for Association of Fundraising Professionals as Chair of Mentoring.

A graduate of Tulane University Law School, Felicia regularly presents on topics related to community transformation including citizen engagement, capacity building, racial equity and economic mobility.

Please note that the program will be held in a variety of St. Louis locations relevant to the curriculum.  Participants are responsible for providing their own transportation.


Questions about the program content?  Please email
Inquiries about registration can be directed to or 314-935-7573.

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