These campus exhibitions and installations tell stories of the desegregation of Washington University School of Medicine and the Washington University Medical Center.


Desegregation History of the Washington University Medical Campus

Ophthalmologist Howard Phillip Venable, MD, joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1958 and was later promoted to assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology. He was also a physician and director of ophthalmology at Homer G. Phillips Hospital.

BJC Institute of Health, 2nd floor link
Permanent Exhibit and Website

In April 2024, Washington University School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare unveiled a permanent display highlighting the history of desegregation at WashU Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The history explores more than a century of perspectives of doctors, nurses, patients, students and staff at the Washington University Medical Center, with an emphasis on the leaders who fought for desegregation and continue to fight for equity today.

Desegregation History Sharing Circles

The Sharing Circles will provide space for WashU Medicine and BJC HealthCare community members to discuss their reactions, thoughts and questions related to their experience of the desegregation history exhibit and the story it tells of our institutions and the region. Sessions will be held in April and May of 2024, on Zoom and in person. Please register as we are capping each session at 25 people to ensure all voices are heard.

The Desegregation History timeline is located on the second-floor link of the BJC Institute of Health on the Medical Campus. An expanded timeline is also available online.


In Their Own Words: Stories of Desegregation at Washington University Medical Center

Ella Brown, RN, MSN (second from left) was a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital from 1947 to 1979 and director of nursing from 1973 to 1979. She shares her experience at the hospital in the oral history exhibit.

Bernard Becker Medical Library
February 2023 – June 2023

Drawing on oral histories, photographs, architectural plans and other documents, “In their own words: Stories of desegregation at Washington University Medical Center” highlighted the experiences of Black people and their allies who faced institutional racism and fought for change at the School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals.

The exhibit included audio excerpts from oral history interviews, which are available on Becker Library website.