Apr 112016
 April 11, 2016

Arianna-photo-400This year, in addition to Kenan Summer Fellows and a Duke Engage Dublin cohort, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is supporting a group of student interns in human rights through the Pathways of Change program offered by the Duke Human Rights Center at KIE.

Four Kenan Summer Fellows will undertake projects meant to explore answers to the question “what does it mean to live an ethical life?” Their topics include a documentary film on the Uyghur diaspora population, facilitating a non-profit initiative to subsidize the cost of travel for children of incarcerated parents in the Baltimore-Washington corridor; a deep look into jury selection to uncover racial, gender, and socioeconomic biases employed in criminal proceedings through interviews with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges; and an exploration of entrepreneurship and profiteering in countries neighboring areas of violent conflict. The students will be writing weekly reflections on their projects throughout the summer.

This will mark the ninth year of the Duke Engage Dublin program, as another eight undergraduates prepare for placements with local NGOs, community organizations, and government agencies that address issues of immigration and multiculturalism.  In the process students come to understand both the ethical challenges of global migration and the often profound impediments to sustainable community-based change, all while having more fun than they ever could have imagined. Each student will post a “letter home” describing their work during the course of the eight weeks that they are in Ireland.

Pathways of Change is a new program providing matched summer internships with partner organizations in the field of business and human rights (including private sector and NGO). In addition to working with the partner organizations, the students will work as a team on a project to examine the best ways of effecting change in corporate human rights practices.

Mar 282016
 March 28, 2016

MontiStoryTelling (1)On Wednesday, April 20th at The Rickhouse in downtown Durham, The Monti and Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics are teaming up for an important and provocative evening of storytelling on the theme of race.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR STORIES! Do you have a story related to race—something that defined you or someone close to you? Your story can be serious, funny, or simply bewildering. We want the program to explore the full range of race in America.

As much as we wanted to believe in 2008 that the election of Barack Obama was a huge step toward a post-racial America, race continues to play a defining role in our neighborhoods and cities and on our college campuses. Our hope is to fill this program with stories that will engage, inform, and inspire us into conversation and dialogue.

If you are interested in telling a story, send your pitch of no more than 200-words to pitch@themonti.org. Good pitches include the following:

  • A summary of what happens in the story.
  • How do the characters change in the story?
  • What do you think the story is about?

We will consider pitches as we receive them, so do not wait to submit.


Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016

BCD-400Over the summer of 2015, the Kenan Institute for Ethics supported two Duke student directors and a group of Durham high school students who produced, for the first time, The Bull City Dignity Project, a documentary theater project based on the lives of Durham’s diverse community members. Having compiled this production from transcripts of over 20 interviews with Durham residents old and young, the students explored the forces that shape the city’s changing landscape, history of inequality, and unique culture and community. For our 2016 program, twelve Durham students will be selected to spend the summer acting, writing, and working closely with community members to produce this year’s show. This year’s theme of “the body” may include topics such as: health inequalities, mass incarceration, gender violence, and immigration.

Interested students should fill out the interest form. Interviews/auditions will begin on Saturday, April 16.

Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016

This year, The Kenan Institute for Ethics has supported a Bass Connections project through the Silver Family Fund connecting locally resettled refugee youth with Duke researchers to identify solutions to ease the transition for refugees. Dubbed “The Citizenship Lab,” the project works to encourage civic engagement by the youth as well as together find ways to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that often make access to resources, jobs, education and social support difficult. As quoted in the Duke Chronicle, fourth-year graduate student Alex Oprea says:

Since this is our first year, our first challenge was to understand the particular challenges faced by a displaced population. For all of [our students], we hope that because they know so many more people in the community, they’ll be able to use these community resources as they move forward. We’re trying to help them build a network and to understand that they’re not outsiders.

Mar 232016
 March 23, 2016

EnJusticeThe Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in coordination with faculty at the Duke Department of Economics and the Nicholas School of the Environment, invite research paper submissions for presentation at a workshop on new directions in the analysis of environmental justice at Duke University August 23 and 24.

The workshop is designed to facilitate discussion around research approaches across disciplines, identify future research directions, and facilitate longer-term collaboration among attendees. The aim is to connect those from a variety of fields (including law, economics, sociology, political science, philosophy, public policy, and health) with an interest in environmental justice scholarship. Our broader goal is to build long-term and committed collaborations on cutting edge research around issues of environmental justice that have practical relevance for informing policy.

A broad range of paper topics will be considered, including but not limited to:

  • Types of environmental inequality (i.e., energy access, disaster vulnerability, climate refugees)
  • Theories and analysis of the causes of environmental inequality
  • Dimensions of environmental justice (e.g., distributive, procedural, corrective, social)
  • Effectiveness of policy and regulation to address environmental injustices (i.e., standard setting, efficacy of market-based approaches, permitting and enforcement issues)

Submission Information: Those interested in participating, please send a 1000-word abstract to duke.ej.conference@gmail.com by April 15, 2016. Authors will be notified of decisions no later than May 13, 2016. If your abstract is selected, a full paper will be due on July 15, 2016.

Covered Expenses: Workshop organizers will cover roundtrip, coach airfare and up to two nights lodging for selected presenters. No coverage will be provided for incidentals. Co-authored papers must name a single presenter.

Questions:  E-mail questions to christopher.timmins@duke.edu and kay.jowers@duke.edu.

Download the CFP now.

Mar 222016
 March 22, 2016

Scholars-SymposiumThe Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University is calling for submissions for its second annual Scholars Symposium in Human Rights, Ethics, and International Politics. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Kenan Global Human Rights Scholars, is an opportunity for seniors at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill to publicly present any honors or capstone project that broadly relates to the themes of human rights, ethics, or international politics. Projects can be written or artistic works. Students will present short summaries of their work in a conference-style setting. Distinguished faculty and alumni, as well as current students, will be invited to serve as discussants. This event is open to the public, and particularly for faculty, students and alumni of both Duke and UNC .

The symposium will take place on Saturday, April 16th in the West Duke Building, Duke University East Campus. 

Acceptance into the symposium is competitive. Applicants are asked to submit a 2-4 page extended abstract of their project. Please include the project’s 1) motivating research questions, 2) methods, 3) conclusion, and 4) overall significance to human rights, ethics, or international politics.

Proposals are due Friday, April 1st at 5:00pm to Daniel Baroff

Mar 212016
 March 21, 2016

Amit Sen, The UN Refugee Agency’s Regional Protection Officer on Statelessness for the Middle East and North Africa, will be a Kenan Practitioner in Residence with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics the first three weeks of April. Sen has worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2007. His current focus is on promoting the rights and security of children displaced by the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. Mr. Sen previously covered the Asia-Pacific region for UNHCR as a Regional Protection Officer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also adjudicated asylum claims for UNHCR in Turkey, and later served as UNHCR’s Protection Officer in Nepal, where he worked on Constitutional reform and refugee protection. You can learn more about Sen and his work on our Profiles in Human Rights page.

While at Duke University, Sen will conduct a three-part dinner seminar series open to graduating seniors, graduate and professional students Wednesday April 6, Monday April 11, and Wednesday April 20, as well as participate in an event in the Conversations in Human Rights series focused on Shari’a and the promotion of nationality rights and gender equity in the Middle East and North Africa. Stay tuned to the DHRC at KIE website for other events and full details.

Mar 152016
 March 15, 2016

Immerse-map-400-1Letters home from our six undergraduate students in the DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program are being coming in. The students are spending a month abroad examining the refugee crisis through field interviews based out of Jordan from late February through late March. The students reflect on the ethics of field work, how to process the personal stories of the refugees seeking resettlement, and the issues that plague them as they wait.

Mar 102016
 March 10, 2016

SuzanneAn article for Inside Higher Ed addresses the relevance of general education requirements in higher ed by looking at two major efforts to thoughtfully re-imagine core curriculum at Harvard University and at Duke University. The Duke committee is led by Kenan Institute for Ethics co-director Suzanne Shanahan.

Duke’s redesigned curriculum “needs to embrace the challenges of this new ecology creatively and deliberatively,” it continues. Graduates “still need to be ethically responsible, able to engage multiple languages and logics, be theoretically versatile, able to mount sophisticated arguments and able to deploy appropriate data and evidence. But how we cultivate this sensibility, these perspectives and capabilities needs rethinking at Duke and beyond. Our students need more than ever to be challenged and empowered to be intellectually and personally creative, agile and resilient.”