Civic Engagement Magazine Articles




Black male child watching a white girl at an ice cream counter

September 26, 2020

Writer:

Alonzo Felder

I grew up in the house my grandparents built in 1923. It sat on 31st Street and 12th Avenue South in the D7 section of the town of St. Petersburg, Florida, also known as “the Gas Plant,” according to the city’s redline map. I was four months old when they found Emmett Till’s body in Mississippi. A Jet magazine, with the photos of his mangled, tortured body, was always on the living-room coffee table.

September 26, 2020

It’s been four years, but it feels like it all happened yesterday. The first week of July 2016 was tumultuous. The nation was rocked by two killings of Black men at the hands of law-enforcement officials. On July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after an altercation with police officers. Philando Castile was shot and killed the next day after alerting a police officer that he was legally carrying a gun.

Homework

July 22, 2020

Years before COVID-19 turned the educational world topsy-turvy, Douglas Michelman ’82 was concerned about the “homework gap.” Michelman had joined Sprint as the chief communications officer in 2014, and because his portfolio included corporate responsibility, the CEO asked him to reimagine how Sprint could create social impact in a relevant way.

In 1967, protesters confront federal troops in Newark

July 22, 2020

Protests sparked by police actions. Anxiety over (invented) outside agitators. “Lawand- order” leaders drawn into competing crises. Media accounts—Newsweek, in one case—offering assessments that to be Black in America is to assume “that America is after all a racist society.”

A damaged and abandoned sailboat near Beaufort

July 22, 2020

Writer:

Corbie Hill

Memorial Day 2020 and Carteret County was as mobbed by tourists as Liz DeMattia has ever seen it.

August 12, 2019

Robert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of medicine and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

What aspect of your current life would have most surprised your college-age self? That I became a scientist.

What’s the best thing college students can do to prepare for careers that may not even now exist? Get as rounded an education as possible. And make sure you are well-versed in computer science, whatever [your] major.

August 12, 2019

It has been a great spring and summer in beautiful and historic Beaufort, North Carolina, my hometown. Hundreds of visitors daily have come to explore the glorious coastal ecosystem, just as they have every summer. Yet the normality is just surface. Beaufort is still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which struck the area just under a year ago. 

May 17, 2019

When I visited Durham’s Lakewood Elementary last month, the smart students in Ms. Ledwith’s first-grade class were having a spelling contest. Divided into teams of five, they raced each other to spell green, week, feet, and—perhaps for the benefit of their visitor—Duke.

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

Billy Pizer, professor of public policy, economics, and environment, and his colleague Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, wanted to find a hands-on way to engage students with the issue of emissions regulation. The Bass Connections energy-theme courses, in which graduate students and undergrads work together in small interdisciplinary groups, seemed the ideal setting in which to launch a new research project on the topic.

September 30, 2014

Writer:

Louise Flynn

When Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway ’91 stepped behind the podium last March to announce he would no longer defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban, he was, in effect, walking onto the national stage. He was not the first attorney general to take such a stance—there had been seven before him, and more since—but his five-minute, heartfelt remarks went viral, and the moment became another turning point in the marriage-equality movement.

September 26, 2014

December 26 marks the tenth anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters of all time—the Indian Ocean tsunami, which devastated Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing some 160,000 people. Since 2005, Elizabeth Frankenberg, a professor of public policy, has led an Indonesia-based fieldwork project that has followed a group of 32,000 people (first interviewed, pre-tsunami, in 2004).

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

At the opening of the new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity last year, President richard H. Brodhead acknowledged that the deeply entrenched homophobic prejudice in the U.S. also played out at Duke. “This university regrets every phase of that history,” he said.

September 25, 2014

Writer:

Bridget Booher

During the hot, humid summers spent on her grandmother’s farm in Randolph County, North Carolina, Terrie Moffitt witnessed the endless universal loop of creation and destruction. She and her fourteen cousins delighted in bottle-feeding calves and finding nests of baby rabbits, learned to spot snakes camouflaged in garden rows, suffered the painful curse of poison ivy. Nature, in all its majesty and violence, gave rise to discoveries both wondrous and frightening.

August 1, 2014

Symbols wield immense power over people, but often their meaning is different for each of us. This story reflects on an encounter with a particularly polarizing symbol long-steeped in American southern culture in the voices of diverse students from across the country.