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Dr. Norman White is Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University (SLU). White has long been known for his work for and with the under-served and under-privileged minority communities that surround SLU’s urban campus. In August 2014, after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri and during the protests and civil unrest that followed, White fielded numerous calls from the media for interviews and analysis. Those interviews brought White to the attention of newly inaugurated SLU president Dr. Fred Pestello. The two met in person, by chance, at an August SLU vigil calling for peace and justice in the wake of the violence in Ferguson. As the events of Occupy SLU unfolded a few weeks later, Pestello called on White as he sought to discern how to proceed. White played a pivotal role in administrative deliberations about how to respond to the occupation, as a voice who personally knew the communities and concerns being lifted up by the protestors and as a voice for SLU’s Jesuit mission. White’s reflection offers a narrative of the events of Occupy SLU as he experienced them and suggests how he was transformed by those events.



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