Feb 092017
 February 9, 2017  Tagged with: ,

From covering the death of a Chicago teen to the importance of ethical policing, Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Practitioner-in-Residence Jamie Kalven covered an array of topics related to government accountability during a public lecture as part of Kenan’s “Cover-ups and Exposés” series Feb. 8.

Kalven, who won a 2015 George Polk Award for Local Reporting after breaking the story of Laquan McDonald’s death, spent time on campus meeting with students and faculty discussing issues of accountability, abuse, impunity and institutional denial. During his talk, Kalven examined the cultural and moral implications of each topic through the lens of his reporting. What he found in recent years, he said, are questionable behaviors ingrained “in the DNA” of the institutions created to help Americans, from aspects of racism to shielding those in power.

“The process of building more credible and transparent systems has only partially advanced,” he said. “The challenge now is to figure out how to heal. To do it without lying about the realities. To do it without receding from intermittent clarity about underlying systemic conditions.”

Kalven saw this difficulty first-hand in his uncovering of McDonald’s death. In October 2014, Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke shot the teen 16 times, but it wasn’t until Kalven successfully issued a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain McDonald’s autopsy report that the narrative created by the department became clear. In the following months, Kalven learned how officers worked to lead witness reports and craft a story implying that McDonald was responsible for his own death. Through his reporting, Kalven found the opposite occurred, and before Van Dyke shot McDonald, the teen was acting calmly with first responders.

“What becomes apparent at this point is what the investigators are doing as their essential function, as they understand it, is actually not to figure out what happened, it’s to figure out how to justify what happened,” Kalven said. “That orientation is so strong it raises the possibility that the gravitational field of institutional imperatives is so powerful that they don’t actually see the wrongdoing. What they’re contending with is a problem to be solved in the interests of the institution.”

In the aftermath of uncovering the truth behind McDonald’s death, city leadership created the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired and thousands of pages of government emails were released, showing a concerted effort among officials and administrators to create a unified narrative of the incident.

Kalven warned that kind of behavior isn’t out of the norm and in order to create a more connected and informed society, it will be important for all people – from citizens to those in power – to expand their knowledge, understanding and empathy of the world around them.

“The challenge is to break into people’s moral imaginations,” he said, “to elicit their fellow feeling, to somehow subvert the stories they already know so there’s some space for perception.”

Kalven’s lecture was co-sponsored by the Forum for Scholars & Publics and Department of Political Science.

Feb 062017
 February 6, 2017  Tagged with: ,

CoverUpsA collection of faculty from the Kenan Institute for Ethics were recently awarded an Intellectual Community Planning Grant to additionally fund Kenan’s “Cover-ups & Exposés” series, which seeks better understanding on mass institutional cover-ups and what happens when they’re exposed.

The awards, presented by Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth and Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Ed Balleisen, provide $3,500 to $5,000 to support faculty pursuing the development of a new or existing collaboration. Cover-ups & Exposés is led by Kenan’s Suzanne Katzenstein and Ruth Grant. Along with Duke faculty, additional collaboration comes from UNC-Chapel Hill faculty.

As part of the Cover-ups series, Kenan is hosting investigative journalist Jamie Kalven Feb. 6 to 8, including a public lecture on police abuse and accountability at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Details are available here.

For more information about the grant and a full list of groups receiving funding, visit the Interdisciplinary Studies website.

Jan 172017
 January 17, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Scholars-SymposiumThe Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University is calling for submissions for its third 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 8th 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 Wednesday, March 1st at 5:00pm to Kate Abendroth.


Jan 162017
 January 16, 2017

From February 6th to the 9th, Jamie Kalven will be a visiting Kenan Practitioner-in-Residence with the Cover-Ups project at KIE. Mr. Kalven is an investigative journalist who has done groundbreaking reporting on police abuse and corruption in Chicago, including exposing the truth about the police killing of Laquan McDonald. More recently he has written the four-part series for the Intercept, “House of Cards: How the Chicago Police Department Covered Up for a Gang of Criminal Cops” and worked with the Exoneration Project to overturn wrongful convictions of citizens associated with the cover-up. Two individuals have been released so far, which one member of the Exoneration Project remarks is the “just tip of the iceberg.”

Mr. Kaven is also the founder and executive director of the Invisible Institute, which has the mission to “whose mission is to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable.” His work extends beyond issues of police abuses, and has focused on Chicago’s inner city housing projects. He has created a program of “grass roots public works” to provide alternatives for ex-offenders and gang members and has worked to establish new human rights monitoring strategies.

During his week-long visit, Mr. Kalven will engage students, faculty, and the community about his work. He will meet with a number of undergraduate and gradate groups, as well as with a faculty working group on cover-ups. He will participate both in a “Conversation in Human Rights” panel with investigative journalist for the News and Observer Mandy Locke on Tuesday, February 7th at 4:00 pm at Duke Law School, room 3037 and in a community workshop.

He will give a public talk, “Police Abuse and Accountability: The Struggle for Police Reform in Chicago,” on Wednesday February 8th, in Gross Hall 103 (West Campus), beginning at 6:30 pm.

Mr. Kalven is also taking part in a Do Lunch for undergraduate Duke students on Monday, February 6th at noon. Details and RSVP form here.

Nov 172016
 November 17, 2016

KRP_Launch400_revThe Kenan Institute for Ethics launched the Kenan Refugee Project website with an event on December 2nd.

In addition to housing information about the Institute’s portfolio of refugee-related programming in one place, the site features easily accessible information about the status of refugees around the world; refugee oral histories, and archived editions of the weekly InFlux newsletter.

Click here to visit the new Kenan Refugee Project website.

Oct 202016
 October 20, 2016

Immerse 2016UpdateExplore the dynamics of the current crisis and the challenges it poses for refugees, host communities and international law. Work with refugees locally and internationally. 4 courses. 4 weeks in Jordan. A life-changing experience.

Courses listed in AMES, CULANTH, ETHICS, ICS, POLSCI, and SOCIOL. Codes include ALP, CCI, CZ, IE, QS, R, SS, AND W.

The deadline to apply to DukeImmerse: Deconstructing/Reconstructing the Refugee Experience is Tuesday, October 25th at 5pm.

Click here to download the application.

Please direct questions to Suzanne Shanahan.

Oct 172016
 October 17, 2016

2015-2016 Global Human Rights Scholars

Michael Bleggi is a junior is pursuing majors in Political Science, International Comparative Studies and a minor in Economics. He is interested in applying culturally relevant business strategies to addressing human rights concerns. During his time at Duke, Michael has been involved in multiple research initiatives and labs, including the Center for Advanced Hindsight, which focuses through the lens of behavioral economics. During the past two summers thanks to the Duke Dean’s Summer initiative and an independent DukeEngage, he has worked for an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, India, as a teacher, gender equality advocate and business analyst. Michael hopes to work with NGO development and relationships, from government to the private sector, in the near future, in order to tackle pressing human rights concerns. In his free time, he likes to run, hike, talk with strangers and explore new places.
Ekim Buyuk is a freshman, pursuing a major and minor in a combination of Economics, Statistics and the Computer Sciences. Born in Turkey, she moved to New York at the age of 5. She believes that there is a pretty even split between the two worlds in regards to her upbringing and subsequent cultural values. Ekim is interested in studying the effects of different levels of education on the development of kids in developing and how that eventually affects that country’s economic development. She is also interested in cost-benefit analyses and believes strongly in the importance of effective money allocation in the non-profit sector. In her free time, she enjoys teaching, volunteering, and playing ultimate frisbee and tennis.
Rinzin Dorjee is a junior, pursuing a double major in International Comparative Studies (Europe), and Italian and European Studies (French and Italian), with a certificate in Markets and Management Studies. During his freshman year at Duke, he co-founded the civic engagement organization, ‘With Love From Duke’ to empower orphaned refugee children in India and connect them to Duke students studying refugee and resettlement policies.  Rinzin grew up in Refugee Camp no. 4 in Orissa, India and came to the US to attend university after completing his I.B. diploma in the UK. He is interested in learning and working on issues related to statelessness, forced migration and global politics, international refugee protection, and asylum procedure. He is currently doing an independent research study on forced migration, resettlement/relocation and integration of refugees in the E.U. and is especially interested in the political economy of the refugee burden-sharing in the E.U. and the working towards a common European asylum system.
Bochen Han is a Political Science and International Comparative Studies major from Ontario, Canada. At Duke, she is the President of the Duke East Asia Nexus. She co-directed the 2015 Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit, and has taught at a school for migrant children in Beijing with DukeEngage. This past summer she worked at an Oxfam shop while studying abroad at Oxford University and attended The Third Hague Peace Conference in Den Haag, Netherlands. All her experiences so far have solidified her interest in researching humanitarian intervention issues in the Asia Pacific. In her free time, she writes for the international affairs magazine The Diplomat and enjoys meeting new people.
Ebony 2
Ebony Hargro is a sophomore who loves writing and laughter. She is majoring in International Comparative Studies (with a concentration in Francophone African Studies), minoring in French Studies, and hopes to obtain a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. She is passionate about race, gender, and economic equality broadly, but has a particular interest in studying migration, the African diaspora, refugee resettlement rights, and the question of how place can shape the meaning of race.
Kalif Jeremiah is a freshman, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In high school he played football every year and picked up track his senior year. In addition, he participated in student government for all four years, in varying roles: from class representative to grade president. In his final year he helped to pioneer and lead his school’s first male step team as co-captain. In the classroom, Kalif gravitated closer to the humanities over time, finding a new passion in poetry and spoken word. Far from his original plan to become an engineer, his current track leads toward a career as a lawyer.
Coleman Kraemer is a freshman from Bronxville, NY who attended Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx. At home, he enjoys reading theological books and working at a cheese shop. He works at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and is involved in Visions for Interfaith Action and Cru. He began to understand the challenges of human rights this past year while traveling on the Kivu Gap Year, which is an eight month facilitated gap year with internships at six global destinations, living in Denver, the Philippians, Tanzania, Rwanda, Israel, and Jordan.
Laura Roberts is a senior from Dallas, Texas majoring in History and double minoring in Religion and Political Science. Outside of class, she is involved with Duke International Relations Association, WISER, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the undergraduate Student Advisory Board at the Duke Human Rights Center. Her specific interests in human rights concern women’s rights and international law.
Amulya Vadapalli is a freshman considering a Public Policy major, and a decision sciences certificate. She grew up in and around Asia and North America, and currently lives in Thailand. Her human rights interests lie primarily in women’s rights in developing countries, a product of her community work in India. She can most often be found in her room listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and watching The Good Wife.
Jenna Zhang is a junior studying Political Science and English. A DukeEngage, Cape Town alum, she returned to South Africa last summer to conduct research for her senior thesis on political reconciliation. Her hobbies include reading, taking long walks, and learning non-extant languages. Someday, she would like to go continue going to school and own a gramophone.
Sep 272016
 September 27, 2016

campus-grants-400The Campus Grants program allows members of the Duke community to incorporate ethics into their own work. Grants of up to $500 are available to all members of the Duke community—students, faculty, and staff—to support initiatives that promote ethical or moral reflection, deliberation, and dialogue at Duke and beyond.

We welcome diverse perspectives and submissions from organizations and individuals in all areas of the University and the Medical Center. Campus Grant funding provides support for speakers, workshops, meetings, curriculum development, publications, organizational collaborations, and other activities. Travel grants for attending conferences or other individual activities will not be awarded. 

To view previous awardees, visit the Campus Grants page.

For consideration, the application form must be completed and sent to amber.diaz@duke.edu.

Download the form now: Word.

Sep 012016
 September 1, 2016

KIE CRW Report FINAL-1Last spring, the Kenan Institute for Ethics sponsored a second year of the undergraduate Business and Human Rights Advocacy Lab, a course taught by DHRC at KIE project director Suzanne Katzenstein. The report, written and edited by five Duke University undergraduates, was created for Corporate Responsibility Watch, an NGO based in India, features research on nine companies, focusing on the relationship between corporate policies and actual business practices. Each case study provides an important vantage point for understanding how a company’s industry, reputation, or performance on CRW’s policy metrics impacts the relationship between corporate policy and practice.  Taken together, the cases studies seek to spur discussion of how to evaluate and encourage companies’ commitment to the NVGs and CSR more broadly.

Read the report now (PDF).