Good Reason is a two-day virtual immersion in a new kind of space where artists, activists, academics and practitioners from a range of policy fields re-imagine how public policy can build a better world. Inspiring keynotes, panel discussions from various vantage points, and team-based problem-solving exercises with alumni will facilitate a meeting between the messiness of the real world and the tidiness of classroom work.
This workshop is a program of the Purpose Project. The Purpose Project, sponsored by The Duke Endowment, makes matters of character, questions of purpose, and explorations of one’s life work signature features of the Duke experience.
The Sanford School for Public Policy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics invite you to hone your own sense of purpose as you consider what it means to work for the public good, what it takes to sustain yourself in the process, and how to imagine creative, boundary-breaking work in the public sector. The experience will help you find your own good reason for doing good work.
Thursday, January 14th
Opening Remarks — Judith Kelley, Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, ITT/Terry Sanford Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science, and Bass Fellow
Opening Keynote — Van Jones, CNN Commentator, author, criminal justice reformer
Jones is one of the architects of the First Step Act, a criminal justice bill signed by President Trump in December 2018. Under President Barack Obama, he served as a green jobs advisor. Jones is the author of two New York Times best-selling books: The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream.
Panel 1: Working for Good on Purpose
Panelists will reflect how they develop and sustain a sense of purpose in their work. Why work for the public good in the first place?
Panelists: Reggie Love T‘05 (former presidential aide), Meg Garlinghouse T‘89 (Head of Social Impact, LinkedIn), Pearce Godwin T’08 (CEO and Founder of Listen First Project), and Sister Helen Prejean (author of Dead Man Walking). Moderated by Mac McCorkle.
Panel 2: Finding the Good in Everything
A unique round-up of practitioners will showcase the breadth and depth of where and how we can think about working for the public good.
Panelists: Jon-Sesrie Goff MFA’16 (artist and activist), David Estrin T’13 (CEO and founder of Together We Remember), Lisa Borders T’79 (former president of Women’s NBA, CEO of LMB Group). Moderated by Christina Gibson-Davis.
Reason Again: Session 1 (Government)
In this roleplaying exercise, you will reimagine the basic components of community life following a major catastrophe.
Concurrent Workshops: The Point of Art
Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering (Free e-book for all conference participants)
Marcus Ingram, Art/Film as Advocacy
Jaimie Woo T’13, Podcasts as Social Change Platforms
(Students choose one)
Panel 3: When Doing Good Goes Bad
Panelists will explore the trade-offs, roadblocks, failures and challenges that inevitably came with their triumphs to illuminate how they found the grit and resiliency to continue.
Panelists: Nancy Schlichting T’76 (former CEO of Henry Ford Health System), Gina Hawkins (Fayetteville Chief of Police), Bree Newsome (activist). Moderated by Peter Ubel.
Evening Keynote w/ Virtues & Vocations — Vivek Murthy, Former US Surgeon General
Murthy is the co-chair of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID19 Advisory Board. He is a former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. He is the author of the book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.
Friday, January 15th
Opening Remarks — Day Two
Reason Again: Session 2 (Education)
Panel 4: Rethinking Good
Panelists will define how they think about moving from where we are to a more just and equitable world.
Panelists: Larissa MacFarquhar (New Yorker journalist, author), Julie Wells (local youth organizer, Durham Children’s Initiative), Ladonna Brave Bull Allard (historian, pipeline protester). Moderated by Sandy Darity.
Reason Again: Session 3 (Public Safety)
Closing Keynote — Tonya Robinson T‘92, Vice Chair and General Counsel, KPMG in the U.S.
After working for then Senator Joe Biden on the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, Robinson served as Special Assistant to President Obama, focusing on fair housing issues, sentencing reform, voting and election reform, and workplace equality. She went on to be Principal Deputy General Counsel and then Acting General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) before joining KPMG in 2017.
Closing Remarks — Abdullah Antepli, Associate Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy,