Pathways of Change


The Pathways of Change is a new program by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics being launched this summer for a cohort of Duke University students interested in the following three areas: business and human rights/csr, and, conditional on funding, women’s rights and environmental justice.  Students will intern with different types of organizations working for social change across these three fields, and will work together during the summer and fall 2017 to explorePathwaysofChange Graphic the  tradeoffs between different approaches towards social change.

  • Each internship will come with a $5,000 dollar stipend.
  • The partner organizations will be pre-selected, and serve as hosts to the summer intern.
  • Students will participate in an interdisciplinary ½ credit seminar in the Fall of 2017 on Theories and Strategies of Social Change.

List of Partner Organizations:
We have begun posting a list of our partner organizations below. This list will be finalized by Mid-January (we will note on the website once it is final). Please continue to check back for updates.

Business and Human Rights/CSR:

Accountability Counsel, an NGO in San Francisco. Flexible with start/end date. Requires a 10 week commitment.

Business for Social Responsibility, a non-profit consulting organization based in San Francisco. Flexible start date and requires an 8-10 week commitment.

Corporate Accountability International, an NGO in Boston. Tentative start date is May 29th, and internship goes through August 14th, with a maximum of 30 hours a week.

International Corporate Accountability Roundtablean NGO based in Washington, DC (please note this updated and correct information). Flexible start date and prefers a 10-week commitment.

SAS, a multinational software company based in Cary, North Carolina. Flexible start date and 8-10 week commitment.

Women’s Rights: (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 30, 2017)

Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), located in Arlington, Virginia just outside of D.C.  Summer internships with FMF run June to August (8-10 week commitment) with specific dates to be worked out with FMF.

The Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South (RCWMS), located in Durham and is looking for an intern to commit 8-10 weeks of their summer with specific dates to be negotiated.  The Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South weaves feminism and spirituality into a vision of justice for the world. We have offered workshops, festivals, retreats, publications, and support to women and men who seek to protect the earth, its people, and its creatures. In the current political climate, issues-based advocacy in central North Carolina is an important component of our work. In addition to advocating for women’s rights, including women’s reproductive rights, issues may include voting rights, LGBTQ rights, white racism, mass incarceration, immigration, and environmental justice. We seek a summer fellow to help shape and coordinate our advocacy activities. A strong candidate would help navigate the ethical challenges inherent in allocating limited staff and financial resources to best achieve our mission of advocating on behalf of justice and equity

Environmental Justice:

North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, a non-profit community-based organization in Duplin County, NC and Southern Environmental Law Center, an non-profit public interest law firm in Chapel Hill, NC. Flexible with start/end date. Requires a 10-week commitment. (Position will be located in the offices of the NCEJN and co-supervised by NCEJN and SELC.)

Orora Globa, a for-profit company using renewable energy to address global energy poverty based out of Durham, NC. Flexible start and end date. Requires a 10-week commitment.

Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help, a non-profit community-based organization in Duplin County, NC and Southern Environmental Law Center, an non-profit public interest law firm in Chapel Hill, NC. Flexible with start/end date. Requires a 10-week commitment. (Position will be located in the offices of REACH in Duplin County and co-supervised by REACH and SELC.)

Sustainable Finance Center at the World Resources Institute, a non-profit policy-oriented research institute in Washington, DC (topic will be Climate Finance and Human Rights). Flexible with start/end date. Requires a 10-week commitment.

Applications and Deadlines:
Applications will be due January 25th, 2017. To apply to the Pathways of Change program, please include the documents noted below in a single PDF, in the order listed, with pages numbered:

  • Application Form (available here)
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • Writing Sample – 5-10 pages, please note at top which class this was for.

Please send complete applications to Kate Abendroth.

Questions?  Look to our FAQs first. If you still have questions, please email Suzanne Katzenstein.

Information About the Application Review Process: 

Below is a rough timeline of the application review process. Please note that there may well be delays, as partner organizations have to juggle various and often unexpected deadlines.  If you are at any point under a deadline to make a decision about another offer, please let Kate know. 

January 26-February 6th : Review of applications and first round of interviews (review of women’s rights applications will be slightly delayed given the extended timeline). Please note that receiving an interview does not guarantee that your file will be passed to a partner organization and not receiving an interview does not indicate that your file will not be passed along to a partner

Week of Feb. 6th:  You will be notified about whether or not your file was passed along to at least one partner organization, or if you were placed on a waitlist. 

February 6th-February 20th: Partner organizations conduct interviews and make offers. Please note that they vary — some partners choose to interview all candidates recommended tot hem and others interview only one or two.  

Pathways of Change, Summer 2016

Last summer, a group of undergraduates had the chance to participate in mentored summer internships with partner organizations in the field of business and human rights. These organizations adopt distinct strategies for effecting change and promoting corporate accountability. The list of possible partners included:

In addition to working with the partner organizations, the students conducted profiles of the people in their organizations and wrote “letters home” about the best way to effect change in corporate human rights practices.  Each internship came with a $5,000 dollar stipend.

Read letters home from our 2016 students and interviews they conducted profiling business and human rights professionals.

2016 Placements

KhalidMichelle Khalid, placed with Corporate Accountability International, is a rising senior from Clermont, Florida. She is majoring in Political Science and International Comparative Studies. She participated in the Duke Immerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program freshman year and has since been involved in the Displacement, Resettlement, and Mental Health Bass Connections team. She helps co-direct the SuWA program and spends her Saturdays volunteering with the Community Empowerment Fund.


SmithSydney Smith, placed with Corporate Accountability International, is a sophomore pursing a major in Public Policy and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. She is passionate about environmental justice, sustainability and preservation of regional and local ecosystems. At Duke, Sydney is a staff writer and associate editor for Duke Political Review and a member of Duke’s Climate Coalition. Throughout her academic activities and personal endeavors, she has discovered that law and policy are critical when fighting for justice, fairness and equality. Her interests extend to visual arts and creative writing. While at Duke, she hopes to continue to express her creativity through writing and artwork.

SmylesMaura Smyles, placed with Foley Hoag, is a rising junior pursuing a degree in Public Policy and a certificate in Child Policy Research. She is passionate about policy reforms that would improve the wellbeing of marginalized youth populations, specifically focusing on migration and education policies. Maura is a member of the Displacement, Resettlement, and Global Mental Health Bass Connections research team, through which she traveled to Amman, Jordan last summer to conduct field interviews with Syrian and Iraqi refugees. As co-founder and editor of inFlux: A Weekly Dispatch on Global Displacement, she seeks to spread awareness about issues facing refugee and immigrant communities around the world. She also helps to facilitate various tutoring and mentoring programs for students in Durham, including America Reads/America Counts and
Citizenship Lab.

SpeizmanSydney Speizman, placed with Accountability Counsel, is a junior majoring in Public Policy with a minor in Cultural Anthropology.  Since the beginning of her college career, she has sought out international learning opportunities and spent the summer after freshman year in Accra studying Ghanaian culture and society. Last fall, she traveled to Brazil, South Africa, and India to explore how urban development impacts human rights, sustainability, and social justice. In her spare time, she loves performing and satirizing campus controversies on her weekly Duke Student Broadcasting show “In Other News.”


Jack Stanovsek, placed with Praxis, is a graduating senior pursuing a degree in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with an Arabic concentration and minors in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology. His studies focus on the historiography of the recent Arab Spring uprisings and the political, cultural and sociological impacts these demonstrations created across the Middle East and North Africa. During his time at Duke, he participated in several intensive programs including Duke Engage and Duke Immerse at the Kenan Institute for Ethics which saw him travel, research, and intern in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, and Australia. At the beginning of 2017, he will attend Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne, Australia where he will pursue a Juris Doctor. He hopes to become a solicitor with dreams of eventually becoming a barrister and working in immigration at some capacity.

Honorary Pathways Member

Frank-Jiang-200Frank Jiang, placed with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), is a rising senior pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science. Within the business and human rights space, he is particularly interested in the salient impacts of companies’ supply chains, and the emerging dialogue over digital human rights. As a Robertson Scholar based at UNC, he serves as Undergraduate Student Attorney General, and he has also previously interned with a management consultancy. He’s excited to combine those interests in investigation and advisory services at BSR, where his work will revolve around both conducting human rights impact assessments and developing sustainable corporate strategies moving forward.