Mar 092017
 March 9, 2017  Posted by

Bryce Cracknell, a junior who has participated in the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeImmerse program, Pathways to Change and serves as a Kenan research assistant, recently traveled with several Duke classmates to Atlanta to take part in the Feb. 16 “Climate & Health Meeting” national conference to address climate change.

Cracknell, who is majoring in public policy with a concentration in race and poverty and a minor in environmental science and policy, has spent his three years at Duke researching aspects of sustainability and human rights. In addition to participating in Kenan programming, he has performed research with Catherine Coleman Flowers, director of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and a practitioner-in-residents with the Duke Human Rights Center @ the Franklin Humanities Institute. Flowers acted as a panelist at the Climate and Health Meeting, and extended an invitation to Cracknell t attend.

At the conference, Cracknell spent the day meeting with policy makers and thought leaders in public service and higher education. “We heard a lot about how it’s important to make health a larger component of climate change,” he said. “Making humans the face of climate change instead of only polar bears and penguins.”

During his time at the conference, Cracknell had the chance to meet former vice president Al Gore, former president Jimmy Carter and hear from European Union leaders who presented on best practices of monitoring climate change and data collection.

The topics were of particular interest to Cracknell. In August 2015, he spent time as part of a team with Flowers in Lowndes County, Alabama, where he worked to conduct surveys with local community members about their access to wastewater infrastructure.

“We can look for ways to create policy solutions for rural communities around us with infrastructure, clean water, wastewater and even coal ash here in North Carolina,” he said.

Feb 142017
 February 14, 2017  Posted by  Tagged with:

What is Good Art? 2017The Kenan Institute for Ethics has extended the deadline for this year’s “What Is Good Art?” exhibition to allow students additional time to enter projects that explore how we should live, the role that art plays in our lives and its impact on how we see the world.

To allow for additional entries, Kenan has extended the submission deadline until 11:59 p.m. Feb. 21.

This year’s theme is “What Were You Thinking?” and is is open to all current Duke students. Selected artwork will  be displayed in the Keohane-Kenan gallery in the West Duke Building. Crash prizes are also available.

What Is Good Art? is sponsored by Team Kenan, the student branch of the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Submission guidelines, information about the prizes, and more can be found on the exhibition website.

Jan 232017
 January 23, 2017  Posted by  Tagged with: ,

wiga_gray_400-01Each spring, Team Kenan holds the WIGA competition around a different theme. Duke University students are encouraged to submit entries to compete for four prizes, and have their work displayed in a collective exhibition in the Keohane Kenan Gallery of the West Duke Building. A distinguished panel of experts in art and/or ethics convene to select pieces for display. All Duke students are invited to submit works in any medium for the spring contest and exhibition around the theme of “What Were You Thinking?.”

As always, the WIGA theme is intentionally broad and open to many interpretations.


  • First Prize: $500
  • Second Prize: $300
  • Third Prize: $100
  • Gallery Choice Prize: $100

How to submit:

  • Download the submission guidelines and submit with a digital photo or video of your work.
  • If you have any questions, please email
  • Submissions will be due on Tuesday, February 21st by 11:59:59pm EST. The exhibition opening and prize announcement will be scheduled for mid-March.
  • Submit your artwork!

Sep 072016
 September 7, 2016  Posted by

Team-Kenan-ColorUndergraduates, are you interested in joining the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ group of highly motivated students who want to plan and implement programming to increase ethical dialog across campus? Join Team Kenan and be part of the Institute’s larger community of students, faculty, and visiting practitioners, and get in on the ground floor of guerilla ethics like Ethics Couch, the WIGA art prize and exhibition, and more!

Those interested should contact Dan Smith,

Jul 082016
 July 8, 2016  Posted by

Liz-Photo9-400Elizabeth Hoyler (’16, Economics and Global Health) has begun writing about her experiences working with Janalakshmi Financial Services, a microfinance organization in Bangalore, India. Over the course of the coming year, she will travel to Senegal and Thailand to work with Burmese migrants and refugees, in part with the organization Dreamlopments.

While at Duke, Hoyler worked with Bhutanese refugees in Nepal through the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program, followed by a KIE-sponsored internship with the World Food Programme outside Damak, Nepal. This past year, she was one of the student organizers of our Supporting Women’s Action (SuWA) refugee community partnership. She says of her experiences:

Kenan has formed me in more ways that I could probably know. I am so grateful for the opportunities, and the team that made it happen!

Apr 112016
 April 11, 2016  Posted by

Arianna-photo-400This year, in addition to Kenan Summer Fellows and a Duke Engage Dublin cohort, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is supporting a group of student interns in human rights through the Pathways of Change program offered by the Duke Human Rights Center at KIE.

Four Kenan Summer Fellows will undertake projects meant to explore answers to the question “what does it mean to live an ethical life?” Their topics include a documentary film on the Uyghur diaspora population, facilitating a non-profit initiative to subsidize the cost of travel for children of incarcerated parents in the Baltimore-Washington corridor; a deep look into jury selection to uncover racial, gender, and socioeconomic biases employed in criminal proceedings through interviews with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges; and an exploration of entrepreneurship and profiteering in countries neighboring areas of violent conflict. The students will be writing weekly reflections on their projects throughout the summer.

This will mark the ninth year of the Duke Engage Dublin program, as another eight undergraduates prepare for placements with local NGOs, community organizations, and government agencies that address issues of immigration and multiculturalism.  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. Each student will post a “letter home” describing their work during the course of the eight weeks that they are in Ireland.

Pathways of Change is a new program providing matched summer internships with partner organizations in the field of business and human rights (including private sector and NGO). In addition to working with the partner organizations, the students will work as a team on a project to examine the best ways of effecting change in corporate human rights practices.

Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016  Posted by

This year, The Kenan Institute for Ethics has supported a Bass Connections project through the Silver Family Fund connecting locally resettled refugee youth with Duke researchers to identify solutions to ease the transition for refugees. Dubbed “The Citizenship Lab,” the project works to encourage civic engagement by the youth as well as together find ways to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that often make access to resources, jobs, education and social support difficult. As quoted in the Duke Chronicle, fourth-year graduate student Alex Oprea says:

Since this is our first year, our first challenge was to understand the particular challenges faced by a displaced population. For all of [our students], we hope that because they know so many more people in the community, they’ll be able to use these community resources as they move forward. We’re trying to help them build a network and to understand that they’re not outsiders.

Mar 022016
 March 2, 2016  Posted by

Fence-400Earlier in the semester, a group of undergraduates was selected through an application process for a trip to Tuscon, Arizona to immerse themselves in issues surrounding migration along the US-Mexico border. Throughout their time, the students will keep journals and share in evening reflections on activities including hiking along migrant trails in the desert with the Tucson Samaritans; meeting with a lawyer from the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project; crossing the border into Nogales, Mexico to visit the Home for Hope and Peace, a public art installation, and a Grupos Beta agency that provides essential services to migrants; visiting artist Deborah McCullough, who collects found items in the desert for her work; attending an Operation Streamline hearing; and visiting a detention center in Florence, AZ. Stay tuned to the Kenan Institute for Ethics website for images and reflections of their time after their return.

Feb 182016
 February 18, 2016  Posted by

Viewing-gallery-400This year’s annual ‘What is Good Art’ competition and exhibition ties into a larger programming initiative at the Institute this spring on the theme of Ethics, Food, & Culture. Students from across the university submitted a record-setting number of works that addressed themes including sustainability, food cultivation and consumption, body image, and the relationship of humans to nature. A jury of Duke faculty and students selected the art that currently appears in the Keohane Kenan Gallery of the West Duke Building on East Campus, as well as four prize winners. Attendees at the opening reception on Wednesday, February 17 voted for the gallery select prize. The exhibition will be on view through March 4. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Congratulations to the prize recipients:

1st Prize: Kristina Baker, “Blood Oranges”
2nd Prize: Bryce McAteer, “The Most Productive Body of Water”
3rd Prize: Michael Tauschinger- Dempsey, “iPan”
Honorable Mention: Francesca Davie, “Femininity Traces”
Gallery Choice: Robyn Guo, “Cores”

Jan 262016
 January 26, 2016  Posted by

The Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering two opportunities for Duke undergraduate students to engage in research and exploration this summer. The Kenan Summer Fellows program is accepting funding applications from undergraduates for projects exploring what it means to live an ethical life. Projects can be local, domestic, or international, and could involve creating a documentary film, conducting field interviews with community members, travel to conferences, and more. Each student will receive up to $5,000. Applications are due February 5. See the KSF page for application instructions and details.

The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering a unique opportunity for undergraduates interested in business and human rights. Pathways of Change will connect students with partner organizations in the public and private sectors for internships to examine ways to effect change in corporate human rights practice. Each student will receive a $5,000 stipend. Applications are due February 5. See the Pathways of Change page for application instructions and details.