Sep 252017
 September 25, 2017

Join Team Kenan as we mark the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, from 3-5pm on Friday, October 20, in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (West Duke 101) on Duke’s West Campus. Stop by to join the conversation on the TK Couch, for information on this year’s What Is Good Art? competition, to make your mark in our photobooth and for the chance to pick up one of our ‘real/fake major’ t-shirts. This event also marks the official launch of the Summer 2017 issue of Encompass, our student produced ethics magazine.

Team Kenan provokes the Duke undergraduate community to consider the notion that ethics is everywhere through fun, engaging and sometimes unconventional programs. Team Kenan is the social and intellectual bridge between those students already engaged by the Institute’s offerings and those that are not, serving as the core of a vibrant intellectual community of students, blurring the line between the study of ethics and its application throughout students’ lives.

Mar 282017
 March 28, 2017

The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, along with the Duke Islamic Studies Center, will launch a yearlong series Sept. 28 examining the current human rights crisis for Muslims in the U.S. and abroad.

The “American Muslims, Civil and Human Rights” series will host its first event with Zareena Grewal, associate professor of American studies and religious studies at Yale University. She will present the talk, “Before Kaepernick: Dissent, Human Rights, and the Black Muslim Athlete.”

Open to the public, the event will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (101) in the West Duke Building on East Campus.

Additional programming for the series will take place over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Mar 272017
 March 27, 2017

The Kenan Institute for Ethics will host a small number of undergraduate and graduate students to join author, educator, and environmentalist Bill McKibben for a casual conversation about the prospects and role of environmental activism in today’s context.

The event will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Blue Parlor in the East Duke building on East Campus. Space is limited and for students only, and an RSVP is required to attend. Students can sign up here. Light snacks will be served.

In addition to the afternoon program with McKibben, the entire Duke community is invited to his talk that evening, “Climate Crisis/Climate Hope.”

Mar 272017
 March 27, 2017

The Kenan Institute for Ethics will host author, educator and environmentalist Bill McKibben at 5 p.m., Sept. 27 at Duke Divinity School’s Goodson Chapel, where the renowned writer and activist will present the talk, “Climate Crisis/Climate Hope.”

The event is the first biannual Luce Lecture. Part of the Kenan Institute’s programmatic focus “Ethics & Environmental Policy,” it launches the Anthropocene Project, led by Norman Wirzba, a Senior Fellow at Kenan and Professor of Theology, Ecology, and Agrarian Studies, and Jedediah Purdy, the Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law.

McKibben serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and was the first of a dozen books written by McKibben. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world.

McKibben’s presentation, a Q&A with Wirzba and Purdy, and the reception that follows are open to the public.

Directions are available through Duke’s campus map, with parking provided for visitors in the Allen Lot (click for directions). The event will be in the Goodson Chapel (click for directions).

From the Allen Lot, stairs and sidewalks lead uphill to West Campus’ Abele Quad. Turn left on the quad to walk into campus and then right toward Duke Chapel. Goodson Chapel, located in the Divinity School’s Westbrook Building, is located to the right of the Chapel. Signs will be posted along the way.

Mar 252017
 March 25, 2017

The Kenan Institute for Ethics, along with the Center for Comparative Philosophy and Department of Religious Studies, will host a lecture on Sept. 25 with Anne Monius, Professor of South Asian Religions at Harvard Divinity School.

“Poetry and Moral Formation in South Asia” will explore the role of narrative, its relationship with dharma, and the close aligning of dharma or ethics and narrative aesthetics in South Asia. The lecture is at 2 p.m. Sept. 25 in Rubenstein 153. Leela Prasad, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Duke, will respond.

The event will be followed by a roundtable discussion Sept. 27 to further cover topics raised in Monius’ lecture and comparative approaches to the study of ethics. That event will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Divinity School Library. A RSVP is required to receive lunch by contacting

Mar 212017
 March 21, 2017

Human rights norms and principles are now seen as central to global health, offering universal frameworks for the advancement of global justice through public health. Despite the development of health-related human rights under international law, the implementation of these rights requires global governance to translate into policies, programs, and practices.

Join the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sept. 21 for a panel conversation about  organizational efforts to implement human rights and analyze the distinct institutional factors that facilitate or inhibit human rights “mainstreaming” for global health advancement. The event takes place at Duke’s School of Nursing in room 1014, with a reception afterward.

Panelists include:

  • Lawrence O. Gostin (University Professor, O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, Georgetown University)
  • Benjamin Mason Meier (Associate Professor of Global Health Policy, Zachary Taylor Smith Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Alicia Ely Yamin (Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Adjunct Lecturer on Law and Global Health, Harvard University; Panelist, UN Secretary General’s Independent Accountability Panel for the SDGs (EWEC); Global Fellow,Norway’s Centre on Law and Social Transformation)
  • The program will be moderated by Gavin Yamey, Professor of the Practice of Global Health at Duke.

This event is part of the on-going discussion series Conversations in Human Rights, bringing together panelists from other institutions and Duke faculty to engage with their research on hot-button international human rights issues. The series draws together the social sciences, humanities, law, and policy.

To RSVP for the event, email Deirdre White at by noon Sept. 18,

The event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 1014 at the School of Nursing.

This event is co-sponsored by the Duke Global Health Institute, Center for International and Comparative Law and the UNC Department of Public Policy. 

Mar 192017
 March 19, 2017

Rethinking Regulation at the Kenan Institute for Ethics will host two events on Tuesday, Sept. 19 featuring Cass Sunstein, professor at Harvard University and former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama Administration.

Public sessions will be held in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (101) in the West Duke Building on East Campus:

9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Sunstein will discuss his book, “#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media,” on political fragmentation, polarization, and extremism—and what can be done about it. Sunstein will also talk about a recent paper, “How People Update Beliefs about Climate Change: Good News and Bad News,” which showed that people on both sides of the ongoing debate over climate change tend to change beliefs in response to new information in ways that widen, rather than reduce, polarization. RSVP here.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Sunstein will discuss his paper, “On Mandatory Labeling, With Special Reference to Genetically Modified Foods.”In his article, Sunstein evaluates four competing approaches to assess the costs and benefits of mandatory labeling, and applies them to debates over genetically modified foods. RSVP here.

For more information about Sunstein’s visit, see this story.

Mar 172017
 March 17, 2017

Two Kenan Institute for Ethics’ community programs focused on interacting and empowering the local refugee community will host an open house on Sunday, Sept. 17.

The MASTERY and SuWA programs, which partner with locally-resettled refugees, will hold an annual gathering to provide an opportunity for Duke students interested in serving as tutors to get acquainted with the families with whom they’ll be working. Students interested in participating are welcome to attend the open house to learn more and sign up to volunteer for the upcoming semester.

Both programs are student-organized and offer a way to better understand global issues on a local level. See images from a recent MASTERY program in this story.

The event will include refreshments for all and activities for the children.

Sunday, Sept. 17
3 to 5 p.m.
West Duke Building

Mar 162017
 March 16, 2017

Join the Kenan Institute for Ethics Sept. 16 to celebrate the work of Katz Family Fellow Libia Posada, a Colombian surgeon and artist.

Posada will showcase her art installation “BE PATIENT | SE PACIENTE,” which is comprised of materials collected from Duke’s Medical Surplus Warehouse and her own work. The event runs 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fredric Jameson Gallery (115) in the Friedl Building on East Campus and is open to the public.

The installation will remain in the Friedl Building through Sept. 20. Posada’s visit is supported by the Katz Family Women, Ethics and Leadership Fund and in partnership between the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke Global Health Institute, and the Artist Studio Project.

For more information about Posada and her stay on campus, see this story.

Mar 162017
 March 16, 2017

Education professionals are invited to join the Kenan Refugee Project at Duke University for Rethinking Newcomer Education, a one-day conference focused on challenges and solutions for refugee youth in the public education system.

The program will include morning panel discussions with leading experts on interrupted education and childhood trauma, followed by small group workshops with individual panelists in the afternoon.

Registration for the conference has hit capacity – thank you to all who signed up.

Schedule of Events

8 a.m.: Check-in and breakfast

8:45 a.m.: Opening remarks

9 a.m. Panel: “The Newcomer as a Student”

  • Educational consultant Dr. Andrea DeCapua
  • Las Americas Middle School Principal Maria Moreno
  • Doris Henderson Newcomer School Curriculum Facilitator Valeria Kouba

10:30 a.m. Panel: “Trauma and Learning”

  • Clinical Psychologist Dr. Molly Benson
  • Research Scientist Dr. Katie Rosanbalm
  • Legal Advocate Michael Gregory

Noon: Lunch

1 p.m.: Roundtable Workshops

3:15 p.m.: Closing remarks with reception to follow

Panel Discussions

Panel 1 – 9 a.m.

“The Newcomer as a Student”

Educational consultant Dr. Andrea DeCapua, Las Americas Middle School principal Maria Moreno, and curriculum facilitator for the Doris Henderson Newcomer School Valeria Kouba evaluate and address the varying challenges of newcomer education both in the classroom and at an administrative level.

Panel 2 – 10:30 a.m.

“Trauma and Learning”

Clinical psychologist Dr. Molly Benson, research scientist Dr. Katie Rosanbalm, and legal advocate Michael Gregory discuss the impact past trauma can have on children in the classroom and approaches to constructive intervention.

Roundtable Workshops

Attendees will be able to join one of these six roundtable discussions, which will take place concurrently at 1 p.m.

  • Las Americas: A Case-Study in Newcomer Education with Maria Moreno
  • Classroom Challenges: Building Strategies for Newcomer Student Success with Valeria Kouba
  • Beyond the Classroom: Trauma Sensitive Schools as Policy with Michael Gregory
  • Mutually Adaptive Learning: A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Newcomer Education with Dr. Andrea DeCapua
  • The Clinical Approach: Treating Trauma in Refugee Youth with Dr. Molly Benson
  • The Local Context: Exploring Trauma Intervention Strategies in N.C. Classrooms with Dr. Katie Rosanbalm

Speaker Bios

Dr. Molly Benson is the Associate Director for Refugee Treatment and Services at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She provides oversight, training, supervision, and support for program activities focused on the development and dissemination of treatment interventions and resources for refugee children and families. She is licensed clinical psychologist who has experience providing evaluation and treatment to children and adolescents, including those who are refugees and youth seeking asylum in US. For several years she provided clinical services and supervision through the Psychosocial Treatment Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and currently she maintains a small private practice.

Andrea DeCapua, Ed.D., is a researcher, educator, and educational consultant. Her interests include second language acquisition, intercultural awareness, and second language learners and the classroom. She specializes in teacher training for teachers working with students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) as well as other struggling culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Dr. DeCapua, alongside her colleague Helaine Marshall, has developed the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm (MALP®), transition struggling learners to the educational priorities and practices of formal education. She is a frequent presenter and trainer at conferences, national organizations, and school districts around the country, and the author of several books on SLIFE and other struggling language learners.

Michael Gregory is Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Senior Attorney at the Trauma Learning and Policy Initiative (TLPI), a collaboration between Harvard Law School and the Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Along with Susan Cole the director of TLPI, Mike co-teaches Harvard’s Education Law Clinic, in which law students represent individual families of traumatized children in the special education system and participate in TLPI’s larger systemic advocacy for trauma-sensitive schools. Mike is a co-author of TLPI’s landmark report and policy agenda Helping Traumatized Children Learn, and is also a co-author of Educational Rights of Children Affected by Homelessness and/or Domestic Violence, a manual for child advocates. In 2009, Mike was named a Bellow Scholar by the Association of American Law Schools, in recognition of TLPI’s advocacy for Safe and Supportive Schools legislation in Massachusetts. He received his JD from Harvard Law School in 2004, graduating cum laude, and he also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University.

Maria Moreno is the Principal of Las Americas Newcomer School. Las Americas is an English intensive school for recent immigrant and refugee students who have had a limited formal education in their native countries. Las Americas represents students from 32 different countries and 29 different languages, including Urdu, Nepali, Swahili, Arabic, and Vietnamese. She is a recognized member of the American Leadership Forum, Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter, Association of Hispanic School Administrators, Houston Association of School Administrators, and the Gulfton Youth Development Program. She is a featured speaker for the National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO), on the topic of Diversity Education in the 21st Century Classroom.

Valeria Kouba currently serves as the Curriculum Facilitator at Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Guilford County, NC, serving immigrants and refugees in their first year in US schools. She collaborates with several teams of teachers to design and implement curriculum, instructional units, and interventions to accelerate the language acquisition of ELLs in grades 3-12. In addition, she has focused on implementing appropriate assessment tools to monitor the academic progress of ELLs.  She has a special interest in creating opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills and for teachers to grow in their cultural competence. Mrs. Kouba, a national of Argentina, has experienced Newcomers’ education and its challenges both as a mother and as an educator. During her twenty-eight years in education, she has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Argentina, taught Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) in US, and facilitated professional development for teachers in Argentina, Japan, and US. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2008.

Katie Rosanbalm is trained as a child clinical and quantitative psychologist. Her work focuses on program implementation and evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, early childhood systems, and self-regulation development. She has conducted longitudinal evaluations of child welfare reform, early childhood Systems of Care, and manualized mental health and educational interventions. She has also served on multiple state-level boards and task forces to strengthen the evidence-based implementation of programs for children.