Events / MLK Week Keynote: David Dwight: Racial Equity Activism in St. Louis

MLK Week Keynote: David Dwight: Racial Equity Activism in St. Louis

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Zoom (Virtual)

This event is part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Week. It is free and is open to everyone. The conference will be virtual this year due to COVID-19 distancing restrictions. Registration is not required. This event will be recorded and available for later viewing.

Recording now available:

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David Dwight IV, lead catalyst at Forward Through Ferguson and a Washington University alumnae, will discuss the “The Path to Racial Equity” in our region, including the #STL2039 Action Plan and how Washington University School of Medicine can support.

After the death of Michael Brown, Jr. on Aug. 9, 2014, “Ferguson” came to symbolize racial strife and inequality in the United States. Throughout this country, the circumstances surrounding and following his death have sharply defined the challenges that demand transformation. The alternative to change is to accept an untenable environment that is fraught with inequities and continued conflict. The Governor asked a group of regional leaders — The Ferguson Commission — to study the situation and prove a path toward change. Forward Through Ferguson (FTF) was established as a 501(c)3 to be a catalyst for lasting positive change in the St. Louis region as outlined in the Ferguson Commission Report. Embracing the Commission’s mandate, FTF centers impacted communities and mobilizes accountable bodies to advance racially equitable systems and policies that ensure all people in the St. Louis region can thrive.


Driven by a passion for systems change and equity, David Dwight IV serves as the Executive Director and Lead Strategy Catalyst at Forward Through Ferguson (FTF), the organization created to carry on the work and vision of the Ferguson Commission, which was a wide-ranging community policy recommendation process engaging over 3,000 residents after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. In David’s role, he leads FTF, develops strategic initiatives, and directs the organization’s policy and systems advocacy strategy.

David has taken root in St. Louis where he has lived for nine years. He has served in a variety of leadership roles to engage community voice and apply a Racial Equity lens to regional issues. He received his degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. His experience co-founding Students in Solidarity—a multi-campus student advocacy coalition—led him to center equity, justice, and advocacy in his career. After graduation, he served as the communications fellow for the Ferguson Commission where he worked closely with the Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations working group. He is dedicated to supporting St. Louis region as we forge a path toward a transformed St. Louis where racial equity is the status quo.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all Washington University School of Medicine sponsored events.  If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact the Washington University School of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in advance at 314-273-2809 or

“The problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This event is brought to you by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Diversity Programs with a special thanks to the MLK Week committee members: Vicky Braun (WUSM IM- Gastroenterology), Joel Dalton (WUSM Diversity Programs, Biology & Biomedical Science) Rosie Jones (WUSM Diversity Programs, Biology & Biomedical Science), Valerie Joyner (Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), Dorian Pierce (BJCMG Access Center, WUSM Otolaryngology), Liz Riggs (WUSM Diversity Programs), Poli Rijos (WU Center for Community Health Partnership and Research Institute for Public Health),  Erin Stampp (Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), James Zerkel (WUSM Becker Medical Library)