Oct 172017
 October 17, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Are there lessons from South African anti-state activism for global human rights movements? Join the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics Nov. 15, 4:30 – 6:00pm, for a panel conversation about the novel ways in which South Africans are critiquing their chaotic and corrupt government. In everyday action, language and discourse, South Africans are developing new languages of resistance, redefining their relationship with media and politicians, and are finding new ways to reshape their country. These gestures, whether lived or mediated, build on and evoke earlier sites of struggle in South Africa.

Panelists include:

  • Kerry Chance, Department of Geography & Anthropology, Louisiana State University
  • Rosalind Morris, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University
  • Moderated by Catherine Mathers, International Comparative Studies, Duke University

The event is part of the on-going discussion series ‘Conversation in Human Rights,’ which brings together panelists from other institutions and Duke faculty to engage with hot-button international human rights issues. The series draws together the social sciences, humanities, law and policy.

The event takes place at the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (101) in the West Duke Building.

Please RSVP to Deirdre White at deirdre.white@duke.edu by 5pm on November 10.

May 252017
 May 25, 2017  Tagged with:

Experts from across research and industry fields within healthcare gathered May 22 at the Kenan Institute for Ethics for a special symposium, “Access to Medicines: Policy and Practice.”

Vishy Pingali, Kenan’s 2016-2017 George C. Lamb, Jr. Regulatory Fellow, presents during the “Access to Medicines” symposium.

Hosted by Kenan’s Rethinking Regulation program, about 25 scholars and entrepreneurs took part in discussing topics that addressed the role governments, nonprofits and private entities can play to ensure more people have the ability to care for illnesses – especially due to rising prices and lack of access in developing economies.

Conversation was built around results from the United Nations High Commission’s Special Panel on Access to Medicines, which found that countries must find new approaches to health technology and ensuring access so that all people can benefit from medical advancements.

The event was spearheaded by Kenan’s 2016-17 Lamb Regulatory Fellow, Vishy Pingali,and Julia Barnes-Weise, Executive Director of Global Healthcare Innovation Alliance Accelerator. Experts in attendance work in fields ranging from international intellectual property to public-private global health partnerships and ethics.

Deborah Drew, CEO of Drew Quality Group, Inc. talks about the non-profit organization that is looking to provide generic drugs.

According to Pingali, the group found three main issues emerged as a goal for our future work after hearing from economists, legal scholars, public policy experts and practitioners in medicine. Pingali, who presented research on how government regulation can increase access to medicines, was among a dozen speakers who offered insight on topics that ranged from intellectual property and innovation to policy.

“We need to develop business models for better incentivizing parties to make medicines more affordable and create new paradigms to consider healthcare holistically to answer bigger questions around affordable healthcare and pharmaceuticals,” he said. “We need to have robust public policy frameworks for policy making in this space.”

May 082017
 May 8, 2017  Tagged with:

Used motor oil gets dumped into the ground in large quantities every year in Ghana. Photo courtesy of Bass Connections.

Studying the environmental and societal impacts of the disposal of motor oil in Ghana was at the center of a recently completed project supported by the Silver Family Kenan Institute for Ethics Fund in Support of Bass Connections.

The effort, which was led by faculty from Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, School of Medicine and Kenan Institute, included six undergraduate and graduate students, as well as two community team members from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

During work abroad and on campus, students analyzed the health and wellness of Ghanaians who may be impacted by exposure to chemicals that include lead, chromium, iron and manganese. The results will provide a basis for an education and awareness campaign in Ghana to prevent health risks and ecosystem damage.

Learn more about the project and meet team members in a video on the Bass Connections website.

May 042017
 May 4, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Kenan is now soliciting proposals for two new, year-long faculty fellow positions within the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Two-page proposals should detail a new research project the fellow plans to pursue over the coming year. Proposals should also provide a timeline of activity, expected year end outcomes and a budget.

Faculty fellows will receive $7,500 each. Funds can be used for research expenses, to support research assistants, or for summer salary or course buyout. Fellows must be in residence throughout the academic year, are expected to participate in DHRC@KIE events and, where appropriate, provide intellectual leadership for the Center. Work may be collaborative or independent.

Preference is for fellows whose research focuses on international institutions, business and human rights, women’s rights or forced migration.

Proposals can be sent to kie@duke.edu and are due at noon May 8. Awards will be announced by May 12.

Mar 222017
 March 22, 2017  Tagged with: ,

The latest batch of posts from the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Global Human Rights Scholars Rights Writers is posted for the month of March. The monthly series of articles written by Duke students focuses on six different human rights topics, each chosen by the author.

This month, the Rights Writers posts include:

For more information about the Rights Writers, visit the program website. Bios of the authors and details about the Global Human Rights Scholars Program can be found here.

Mar 072017
 March 7, 2017  Tagged with: ,

Sherry Feng, center, goes over a presentation for Sawiana Enterprises with team members Jason Wang, left, and Saheel Chodavadia, right. The trio was one of two Duke teams to compete at the Hult Prize competition in Boston March 2 to 5.

For Duke students Saheel Chodavadia and Julie Williams, a recent competition has further spurred interest to help refugees around the world after Kenan Institute for Ethics’ programs first got them thinking globally.

The pair were part of two Duke teams at the Hult Prize competition, a collegiate social entrepreneurship contest held March 2 to 5 in Boston. During their time at the event, Chodavadia and Williams networked with peers from a variety of different countries, heard from leaders of non-profit organizations and shared their own ideas for how technology has the potential to positively impact vulnerable populations.

The Hult Prize Foundation, which provides start-up funding for its contest, had teams present ideas to help “restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022.”

“Being surrounded by so much knowledge and so many creative solutions, it shows you that there are incredible people ready to do great things in the world,” said Williams, whose team, REconomy, built an app to better integrate resettled refugees into new economies.

REconomy’s idea came after Williams and teammate Sanjeev Dasgupta traveled to Jordan in 2016 with the Kenan Institute’s DukeImmerse program to work with refugees. Chodavadia, who has participated in Kenan’s Refugee Project and Focus and MASTERY programs, was part of Sawiana Enterprises, a team working to create an app to connect refugees to share skills, like cooking, and interests, like starting a business

While a team from Rutgers University won top prize at the competition, Williams and Chodavadia said the lasting impact from the trip will be the way they think about how they can help those in need elsewhere in the world. A big part of that, they said, is having more face-to-face time with refugee populations to understand what daily needs are like to better tailor solutions to help them.

“Based on what they say and what you learn, you can find a solution to empower them, not just help them,” Chodavadia said. “Whenever I do something at Duke, I want to do it because I see a problem. With refugees, I want to help them because they tell me what their problem is.”

Williams echoed the sentiment, noting that interactions she had with refugees through DukeImmerse taught her about the need for sustainable solutions, not just quick fixes.

“What can we provide,” she said, “so that people can provide for themselves.”

Despite not winning the Hult Prize competition, both the REconomy and Sawiana Enterpreises teams will continue to seek funding for their projects.

Mar 012017
 March 1, 2017  Tagged with:

Julie Williams shared this image of children as part of a research journal from her 2016 DukeImmerse experience in Jordan.

Through a variety of unique opportunities and programming, the Kenan Institute for Ethics has inspired several undergraduate students participating in a national competition focused on helping refugees around the world.

From March 2 to 5, two teams in the Hult Prize competition, a leading collegiate social entrepreneurship contest, will have a distinct Kenan feel after experiences through DukeImmerse, MASTERY and others encouraged students to think globally. The Hult Prize Foundation, which provides start-up funding for its contest winners, has asked students to present on solutions to build “sustainable, scalable social enterprises that restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022.”

Kenan is funding the trip to Boston for REconomy, a team of four Duke students who have built an app that can help integrate resettled refugees into new economies. Inspiration for the app came from experiences through the Institute’s DukeImmerse program, which provided team members Julie Williams and Sanjeev Dasgupta the chance to work with refugees in Jordan in 2016. The goal of REconomy is to allow sellers to post goods and services with a price, location and contact information to formalize interactions among refugee settlements.

Kenan’s 2017 DukeImmerse team of students is currently testing the app to provide feedback.

Another Duke team in the Hult competition  has a Kenan connection through Saheel Chodavadia, who is part of Sawiana Enterprises, which is working to create an app to connect refugees to share skills, like cooking, and interests, like starting a business. Chodavadia has taken part in the Institute’s Focus program, Refugee Project, and has tutored local refugees through Kenan’s MASTERY program. This summer, he’ll participate in Kenan’s DukeEngage Dublin trip.

For more information about the teams and their projects, see this Duke Today story.

Feb 272017
 February 27, 2017  Tagged with: ,

The latest batch of posts from the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Global Human Rights Scholars Rights Writers is posted for the month of February. The monthly series of articles written by Duke students focuses on six different human rights topics, each chosen by the author.

This month, the Rights Writers posts include:

For more information about the Rights Writers, visit the program website. Bios of the authors and details about the Global Human Rights Scholars Program can be found here.

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.