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The STLr City Working Group & Indigenous STL Gathering Seeks Project Coordinator

The STLr City Working Group
is seeking a Project Coordinator to support the planning and realization of a summer/fall 2023 gathering, “Indigenous STL,” as well as several advance community engagement sessions.

The position will begin in mid-to-late January and run at least until the end of June, with a potential for extension into late summer or fall TBD. Weekly work hours and schedule will vary, beginning part time at the start of the year but expanding around major milestones: in particular the culminating gathering, but also a handful of advance events (research trips and listening sessions).

The position is ideal for a young or aspiring event coordinator, academic, public programs curator, or community organizer—in particular those with experience or interest in Indigenous Studies and Native communities, especially in the context of so-called St. Louis.

The Project Coordinator will work directly with the STLr City Working Group lead, Gavin Kroeber, and interface regularly with all Working Group members (see “About” section below), as well as Divided City staff at Washington University (see “About” section).

Primary responsibilities include:
● Manage a weekly cycle of Working Group meetings and updates. Meetings are primarily conducted on Zoom. (During the Spring 23 semester, full-group meetings are planned to alternate Wednesdays at 1pm and Thursday at 10am).
● Manage the Working Group’s files and working documents (primarily on Google Drive).

● Work with Working Group members to coordinate meetings (online and in-person) with various advisors, partners, community members, and conference participants, updating the wider Working Group on key points, decisions, and next steps.
● Work with Working Group committees to plan and coordinate the Indigenous STL gathering.
● Work with Working Group committees to plan a handful of advance community engagement events. These will include listening sessions in St. Louis, but potentially also trips to Oklahoma and perhaps elsewhere. The Project Coordinator is not expected to travel for out-of-town events (but may have the option to, if interested.)
● Act as a primary point-of-contact for advance event partners and participants, setting schedules, agendas, and other details.
● Act as primary point-of-contact for conference participants, confirming travel plans, schedules, soliciting bios and other materials for programs/website, etc.
● Act as primary liaison with partner venues and Divided City staff re: conference planning.
● Coordinate with The Divided City regarding conference promotion (press releases, website, social media, etc.)
● Act as primary event coordinator during the run of the conference itself, working in collaboration with partner venue staff and overseeing a small team of production assistants or volunteers.
● Oversee all post-conference wrap-up work.
● Produce interim and final reports on the project for The Divided City and the Mellon Foundation. Ideal applicants will be organized, focused, independent, clear, sensitive, and personable. Applicants should be based in the St. Louis region. Recent graduates and current graduate students are encouraged
to apply, especially those with experience in Indigenous Studies, conference management, community organizing and community engagement, public programming, event coordination, event production, stage
management, or other relevant fields.

Payment will be made as a series of lump-sum fees, attached to specific dates or deliverables, based on mutually agreed-upon goals and work hours, calculated at a $15-20/hour rate (dependent on experience).

To apply:
If interested, please submit a single pdf with a brief cover letter (2 paragraphs max) and resume at the URL listed below. Preference will be given to applications received by January 15th, although applications will be accepted past this date.

About The STLr City Working Group & Indigenous STL Gathering

The STLr City Working Group is a growing coalition of staff from St. Louis universities and cultural institutions, working to deepen relationships with STL-connected Indigenous groups (based here, in Oklahoma, and elsewhere). We are currently planning a series of meetings and exchanges with various Indigenous communities, culminating in a 2023 gathering in St. Louis: Indigenous STL.

This effort is animated by a recent groundswell of Native-facing work by local institutions—exhibitions, classes, and other initiatives—but it is also a response to the many challenges to deeper Indigenous engagement that structure so-called St. Louis’ settler institutional landscape. The Indigenous STL gathering and advance events are intended to 1) produce connections among local settler organizations stepping into Native-facing work 2) variously establish or deepen relationships with locally-connected Indigenous groups (including communities living in St. Louis, Oklahoma, and elsewhere) 3) help move Indigenous issues, Indigenous senses of place, and Indigenous voices closer to the center of STL’s public sphere, 4) take stock of best practices for this work and 5) lay foundations for more ambitious future projects and partnerships.

As of December 2022, our membership includes representatives from Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Counterpublic, Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Humanities, Missouri Historical Society, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, SIU Edwardsville’s minor in Native American Studies, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
University’s Department of American Studies, Saint Louis Zoo, and multiple units at Washington University in St. Louis, including American Cultural Studies, Art History, Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies, and Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Arts. The group is currently entering into introductory conversations with multiple Indigenous communities, advisors, and partners as planning for the conference begins.

About The Divided City

The STLr City Working Group & Indigenous STL Gathering is a project of The Divided City, an urban humanities initiative in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, the Center for the Humanities, and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis.

In 2014, faculty in the humanities and in architecture and urban design at Washington University began their initial drafting of what would become “The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative.” Our intent was to develop a four-year project that would focus on the ways in which segregation in its broadest
sense has and continues to play out as a set of spatial practices in cities, neighborhoods, public spaces, landscapes, and buildings. Using the St. Louis metropolitan area as a base, we wanted to deploy a variety of research methods and engage a range of community partners in order to explore the often hidden intersecting social and spatial practices of separation in North American and other global urban environments. Our primary goal was to bring humanities scholars into productive interdisciplinary dialogue with architects, urban designers, landscape architects, legal scholars, sociologists, and others around one of the most persistent and vexing issues in urban studies – segregation.

We received word in June 2014 that the Mellon Foundation had funded our Divided City project. Barely two months later, an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb just a few miles north of our campus. Brown’s body was left in the street, on Canfield Drive, for over four hours. The protests and the militarized police response over the next year catapulted our city to the forefront of national and international news and brought an urgency to our initiative and a razor-sharp focus to our city that none of us could have predicted in the preceding months.

Over the past four years, “Ferguson” (and all it has come to symbolize) has profoundly shaped the work, the goals, the priorities, and the collaborative energy of “The Divided City” and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. While there have been some structural changes, particularly in municipal policing and court systems, since the Ferguson Commission released its report in October 2015, Forward through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity, regrettably far too much is as it was and has for so long been. Thus, as we reflect on the past four years and as we look to the future, we believe that the central theme, which both anchored and animated our original proposal – segregation – is no less pertinent than it was in 2014. Indeed, in a time when the world’s richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined, where religious fundamentalism, national protectionism, populism, white
supremacy, and fascism are on the rise, and where humaneness and humanistic inquiry are increasingly devalued, a focus on segregation locally and globally is more pressing now than ever.

Galvanized by the institutional partnerships, faculty collaboration, and graduate student cohorts developed over the past four years, and with a shared conviction that we have much yet to do, we recently requested and were granted four more years of support from the Mellon Foundation. In Fall 2018, we launched the Divided City 2022.

Our goal during these next four years is long-term institutional sustainability through:

1. The provision of new opportunities in design pedagogy for humanities students, simultaneously aimed at enhancing a more diverse humanities-enriched pipeline into architecture and urban design

2. The construction of strong, sustainable curricular bridges connecting the humanities, architecture,
and urban design at the undergraduate and graduate levels

3. Support for humanistic research on the built environment that prioritizes new collaborations around innovative knowledge production, community engagement, and new training sites (local and global) for faculty and graduate students working on the Divided City.