Focused on fostering meaningful connections with our local communities, the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) aims to cultivate, support, and sustain partnerships that bring about transformative social change for local communities and the region. The Brown School has identified priority geographic areas in the most critical need, making a measurable impact through social and economic justice.

We are Washington University in St. Louis, for St. Louis and with St. Louis.

Strategic Geographic Focus

Our partnerships extend into under-resourced geographic areas in need of support and investment: North City, South City, North County, and East St. Louis. These areas are not only critical to our mission but are also integral to the overall well-being of the St. Louis region.

A Win-Win Collaboration

Our collaborations yield mutual benefits. While enriching our academic mission, they also create real-world impacts by partnering with trusted community-based organizations that are addressing pressing social issues within St. Louis through a lens of social and economic justice.

The Connective Hub

The OCP serves as a bridge between the faculty, staff, students, and the community. It facilitates an organic network of collaborations, often connecting our academic community to impactful community collaborations.

Synergizing Efforts

The OCP collaborates closely with the Office of Field Education. This joint effort leverages our 300-plus affiliations with various organizations. This not only benefits our faculty and students but also serves as a connector to a hands-on training ground for our students in social work, public health, and social policy.

St. Louis skyline

Currently, the School’s Administrative Partners are but not limited to

Better Family Life logo

Located in St. Louis’ North City, Better Family Life (BFL) offers holistic solutions to issues that commonly threaten the family unit. They provide life-enhancing employment training and placement; education; housing and asset development; community outreach; and youth, family, and clinical services. The Brown School has commissioned space at BFL to be used for meetings, classes and workshops, which provides students, faculty, and staff with valuable insights into the needs of the area community.

Family Forward is transforming the way we understand the effects of childhood trauma. We use a trauma-informed, developmentally sensitive approach to understanding the impact of a child’s history on current functioning. Our comprehensive services support the child, family, and broader community.

Office of Community Partners map

Contact Us

For more information or to explore partnership opportunities, please contact:

Cynthia D. Williams
Assistant Dean of Community Partnerships
Contact Email:
Contact Number: (314) 935-8348 (o) or (314) 655-8064

Key Community Initiatives

HomegrownSTL Logo

HomeGrown STL, a project of the Center for Social Development’s Race and Opportunity Lab, focuses on building regional capacity to foster the positive development of young Black males in our community. The death of Michael Brown highlighted immense concerns regarding Black boys and young men in St. Louis, and responses yielded investments to programs. Lacking, however, was the data needed to guide strategic planning and evaluation. HomeGrown STL brings together key partners, under the leadership of Professor Sean Joe, to provide the infrastructure to better inform services and policies—and improve outcomes. Learn more about HomeGrown STL.

visit the homegrownstl websiteHomeGrown STL
Center for Human Services Leadership Logo

The Center for Human Service Leadership (CHSL) was developed to support the capacity and leadership of nonprofit tenants at Delmar Devine, a new real estate initiative in North St. Louis City dedicated to community development, social improvement and collaboration in St. Louis and the nation. Directed by Professor of Practice Barry Rosenberg, CHSL will use a racial equity lens to contribute to the long-term development of social service organizations, assisting in organizational governance, data-driven strategic thinking, innovation, talent development and collaboration.

visit the CHSL websiteThe Center for Human Service Leadership (CHSL)

Read news about additional community projects or programming.

Sean Joe

HomeGrown StL Wins Social Justice Innovation Award

HomeGrown StL, a Brown School program aimed at improving community-level capacity to reduce inequality in Black adolescents’ healthy transition to adulthood, has won an inaugural Social Justice Innovation Award from financial services firm Morgan Stanley and the nonprofit Centri Tech Foundation.

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Building the Nonprofit Ecosystem

Inaugural INsights at Delmar DivINe Event: Building the Nonprofit Ecosystem

Delmar DivINe and the Center for Human Service Leadership hosted the inaugural “INsights” event last month. An audience of nonprofit professionals, funders, students, community members, and stakeholders heard an expert panel, moderated by the Center Director Barry Rosenberg, discuss how to better build the nonprofit ecosystem. The evening was co-sponsored by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at Washington University.

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Brown School Professor Sheretta Butler-Barnes (center) discusses survey design with participants of the Girls Inc. Eureka! program.

Brown School Summer Partnership Builds Black Girls’ STEM Skills, Confidence

For six years, Butler-Barnes has partnered with the Girls Inc. Eureka! Program and WashU’s Institute for School Partnership, to lead a six-week summer intensive that engages Black high school girls in STEM research. After a COVID-19 hiatus, the program returned this summer to Washington University’s Danforth Campus with the addition of co-instructor Seanna Leath, assistant professor of psychological & brain sciences in Arts & Sciences.

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