St. Louis, Missouri is a city with a rich history of people who have fought for change in the face of discrimination and injustice, from Dred and Harriet Scott in 1846 to the community members who sparked the Ferguson Uprising after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in 2014. Many of those who rose up against injustice knew they would face great personal risk and still pursued their cause. This conference honors this ethos of resistance and resilience and examines our own role as educators and advocates in supporting clients and communities seeking social and legal change. 

Ten years after the Ferguson Uprising, the 2024 Clinical Conference will examine what lessons can be drawn from it and other continued efforts to advance and protect the rights of marginalized communities in the face of backlash and retrenchment. The conference invites exploration of how the lessons of the Ferguson Uprising and other moments of resistance can help us teach students about policing, the criminalization and exploitation of poverty, residential segregation, community divestment and investment, the power of protest and grassroots organizing, strategies for engaging with social movements over time, and centering race in advocacy strategies. 

Reading Groups

The Planning Committee invites faculty to deepen their reflections by reading about the history of St. Louis and the Ferguson Uprising through a clinic community book read at their school or through cross-institution study groups. We have created a sign-up sheet for anyone who would like to join a reading group, or you are welcome to organize your own group. You are welcome to meet with your self-facilitated group as often as you prefer, and to read as much or as little as is feasible. We hope the study groups help us build community and deepen our education in preparation for the conference.  

More information along with a list of books, articles and podcasts is available at the link below, and we invite you to add more to the list. We recommend starting with The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States by Walter Johnson.  

Many thanks to Brendan Roediger (Saint Louis University School of Law) for his generous suggestions and guidance throughout the planning process.