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Sam Fox School Commitment

The Sam Fox School values diversity, equity, and inclusion within and beyond our walls. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our community, cultivating inclusive learning and work environments, and promoting a culture and ethos of equitable success. We acknowledge that it is our responsibility as a School to engage critically with social justice issues on campus and in the greater St. Louis community. We believe that art, architecture, and design are fields positioned to address these challenges and issues in unique and meaningful ways.

We are committed to working toward a more inclusive and equitable future. We recognize that Sam Fox School community members from marginalized communities may face microaggressions, interpersonal discrimination, systemic forms of oppression (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, language discrimination, and more), and other identity-related challenges inside and outside of the Sam Fox School. We strive to proactively combat these challenges and forms of oppression and support each other through intentional programming and dialogues, critical analyses of existing structures and systems, and a commitment by all community members to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hope you will join us in this commitment.

Meet Our Assistant Director, Stephen Deaderick

Stephen Deaderick, PhD (he/him/his) joined the Sam Fox School in July 2021 as the inaugural Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In his role, Stephen will help deliver educational programming and trainings about various social justice issues; support community members with resources and one-on-one consultation; ensure diverse hiring and recruitment strategies for students, staff, and faculty; and work with community members to foster inclusive learning and work environments. Stephen is also here as a support system and advocate for students, staff, and faculty who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx/o/a, multiracial/multiethnic, LGBTQ+, international, women, gender non-conforming, first-generation, low socioeconomic status, religious minorities, and other marginalized identities. Stephen is connected with other staff and faculty in the greater University community and can refer students to resources based on their needs, as well.

Stephen strives to be a transparent and synergistic leader and sees his position as impacting long-term culture change in the Sam Fox School. He hopes to meet with many students, staff, faculty, and alumni and always welcomes questions, suggestions, and feedback. You can find Stephen in the Ralph J. Nagel Dean’s Suite in Weil Hall (Rm. 105) or contact him at

Diveristy, Equity, & Inclusion News

Our context in St. Louis

Located on the nation’s most important interior waterway, St. Louis is at once a borderland, a commercial hub, a major point of transit, and a space of confluence and division. St. Louis is our home, and its complicated history and present-day context shape our work and experiences in the Sam Fox School. Our city faces challenges that are present across the United States, but it is vital to confront the historical roots of St. Louis’ specific legacies of racism, sexism, displacement, exclusion, and political division.

The consequences of institutionally sanctioned displacement and exclusion in St. Louis are felt in everyday inequities: in healthcare, education, nutrition, housing, public safety, the legal system, and other basic human rights. They are made manifest in events that make national headlines and in subtler, everyday offenses that escape public scrutiny. The Sam Fox School is committed to working with individuals, organizations, governments, and communities in the St. Louis region through our research, teaching, and practice to address these pressing issues.

As a place-based learning environment, it is important for us to understand how history has shaped our present context. Key events that occurred in this place include: the departure of Lewis and Clark, the Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott trial, the 1904 World’s Fair and Olympics, women’s suffrage, Pruitt-Igoe’s construction and demolition, immigration, the Ferguson uprising, and more.

It is also important to acknowledge and recognize, with respect, that the land we are on today is the ancestral homeland of several native populations, including the Mississippian mound-building culture, and, later, the Osage and the Illini, whose populations were forced out and destroyed in the 18th and 19th centuries by settler colonialism. We also acknowledge the land we are on is embroiled with the history of enslaved peoples. This acknowledgment embodies the Sam Fox School’s commitment to continue learning and understanding our institutional and local history.