DukeEngage Dublin is a collaboration between the Kenan Institute for Ethics, DukeEngage, and more than a half dozen community based organizations in Ireland grappling with migrant and refugee issues.
Each summer eight students spend eight weeks in one of the most dynamic and increasingly diverse cities in Europe. Students are placed in small organizations that work on a range of issues. Some placements are about direct service — working with unaccompanied minor refugees as they transition to a life in Ireland, designing and running a summer civic engagement program that brings together both disadvantaged Irish and migrants, or choreographing and performing a dance at a local festival. Some placements are about community organizing and creating the infrastructure necessary to support the successful integration of migrant and refugees into Irish society — designing a dental hygiene outreach program for migrant children, setting up a citizenship application clinic, or providing gender violence workshops for refugee women. And some placements are about advocacy and policy making — writing for Ireland’s leading multicultural newspaper, Metro Eireann, developing new national legislation regarding female genital mutilation, or helping design local migrant councils to create a mechanism for migrant and refugee concerns to be heard and addressed.
But wherever they are placed, the goal for students is not simply to participate but to undertake projects that could simply not have happened without student leadership, energy and insight. Students deploy their skills in ways they never could have anticipated. They expand their sense of the possible in ways only their fellow participants will ever fully understand. For many Dublin becomes their second home. And the results are often extraordinary. 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.
Applications for 2017
Publications and Output
Each year, as part of their stay in Ireland, students reflect on their time working with immigrants and refugees and how it changes them and their perceptions of the world. Through a series of “letters home,” students share insights gained through their experience, which are also published in the weekly Irish publication, Metro Eireann.
In 2013, participants Sam Marks and Gayle Powell created a case study in partnership with Educate Together, an NGO focused on bringing diversity and equal opportunity to Irish schools, on changes to the Irish population and ways in which other countries have adapted educational systems to changing demographics.
Sara Evall is a rising sophomore from Los Angeles, California. She is considering studying Public Policy and Global Health or of designing a Program II Major focused on Refugee and Migrant Studies. Sara likes to travel and explore new places in her free time, and is a huge fan of Game of Thrones.
Razan Idris is a Sudanese-American and rising junior, studying International Comparative Studies and Political Science with a minor in Religion and focus on the Middle East. Her interests include the intersection of Islam, citizenship, and women’s rights in an increasingly globalized world. She enjoys reading, watching animation, and writing in unobtrusive-looking notebooks.
Dan McGough is a native of Manhattan Beach, California. He intends to study both neuroscience and philosophy. Few know this, but Dan’s neck is more famous than all the rest of him, serving as the teaching case for all pediatric spinal injury rotations in the UC system after he was nearly paralyzed at four years old.
Shobana Subramanian is from Raleigh, NC. She is a senior majoring in neuroscience, with a minor in history. Although she spends most of her time working in a neurology lab, she also enjoys reading the classics and watching historical dramas with her friends.
Jackson Steger is from Lima, Peru and Falls Church, Virginia. An aspiring sports journalist, he is majoring in Public Policy with certificates in Arts of the Moving Image and Policy Journalism + Media Studies. In his free time, he loves to play basketball or ultimate frisbee. He’s also pretty decent at whistling.
Catherine Ward is a rising junior from New Bern, North Carolina majoring in English and minoring in Education. Catherine enjoys tutoring in Durham, participating in marathon readings, and developing her understanding of other cultures.
For more on the program from the participants themselves, watch “What is Discover University?”