On March 29, FOCUS hosted the 7th Annual Public Values Symposium in partnership with UMSL’s Community Innovation and Action Center. This year’s theme explored what it means to be a change agent in a divided nation, leading across political and ideological lines. Special thanks to media partners HEC Media and St. Louis Public Radio for their support of this event.
The morning kicked off with Keynote Speaker William Kristol, founder and editor at large of The Weekly Standard and national political commentator, as he discussed media and change agency, followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Sarah Kendzior, journalist and author of The View from Flyover Country, then took the stage to offer a counterpoint from the other side of the aisle.
Check out their joint Q&A, moderated by FOCUS’ Director of Civic Engagement Dr. Wally Siewert.
You can also listen to their segment on St. Louis Public Radio.
The half-day conference wrapped up with two dynamic panel discussions, including one on funding for change in a divided nation. Moderated by Cynthia Williams, Assistant Dean for Community Partnerships for the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, the panel included:
- Maxine Clark, CEO & Co-founder, Clark-Fox Family Foundation
- Bridget McDermott Flood, Executive Director, Incarnate Word Foundation
- Thomas McAuliffe, Director of Health Policy, Missouri Foundation for Health
- Felicia Shaw, Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
In the second breakout session, panelists discussed strategies for building effective and ideologically diverse coalitions for change. Moderated by Dr. Wally Siewert, this panel featured:
- Rep. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin), Chair, Missouri House Committee on Criminal Justice Reform
- Sean Nicholson, Principal, GPS Impact, and Organizer, Clean Missouri Campaign
- Robert Schaaf, Co-founder, Show Me Integrity
- Samantha Stangl, Programs Manager, Clark-Fox Family Foundation
Thank you to all who attended!