2022-2023 Events

Beyond the Discourse Series

Each year, Duke Service-Learning sponsors an academic program that furthers the work of service-learning.  The 2022-2023 theme was Beyond the Discourse: Words Become Action.

In the academy, words are currency. We read, write, listen, convince, argue, persuade and/or prove. For those seeking to foster community-engaged teaching and learning, however, words can create echo chambers, slow us down, and facilitate inaction. Service-learning and community-engaged practices are also based in words and scholarship, but in this model of the engaged university, it doesn’t end there. 

This theme organizing Duke Service-Learning invites us to consider how service-learning and community-engaged practices and practitioners are charged with engaging, challenging, and moving beyond words. We can, and do, talk at length about the challenges and injustices of our 21st century world, from white supremacy and racial injustice to the housing crisis, underfunded schools, climate inaction and wealth disparities. How can we move from so much talk to action and in the process meeting community members’ drive for change? Our challenges include sharing institutional resources in respectful, generative ways and developing students ready to leave our institution with models for social change and a sense of efficacy for engagement and action. 

We are spared from having to recreate the wheel to imagine models of social change as Campus Compact’s Social Change Wheel offers a way to move beyond dissecting words to give us points of entry for transforming words into action and engagement. 


Dean Gary G. Bennett

Why Are We Here?  Transcripts and Lifescripts

Duke Service-Learning recently hosted a student-centered conversation with Gary G. Bennett, dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Global Health, Medicine, and Nursing. A group of about 60 undergraduates gathered in an East Duke Building parlor to speak with the dean and two dozen faculty and staff members about their purposes and experiences here at Duke. The conversation centered on the topic "Why Are We Here? Transcripts and Lifescripts."


AAC&U Panel

A Conversation with the Authors of the 2022 AAC&U Report

On February 28, 2023, Duke Service-Learning sponsored a virtual discussion with Jessica Chittum, Kathryn Enke, and Ashley Finley, research scholars from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The session focused the 2022 report, The Effects of Community-Based and Civic Engagement in Higher Education:  What we Know and Questions That Remain, and was followed by a discussion on research findings, replicable models for assessment, and action opportunities for institutions. In the opening address, Dr. Finley reinforced the AAC&U committment to “advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education.”   


Community Organizer Panel

Organizing for Action

On November 11, 2022, three local community organizers joined the Duke Service-Learning team to share their work and experiences as community organizers within the Durham community.  The panel session was moderated by Dr. Joan Clifford, Program Director of Duke Service-Learning.  Panelists included Kathy Thelemaque of Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods), Maria Luisa Solis Guzman of Luma Consulting, and Tabitha Blackwell of Book Harvest Durham. 


Community Action Project - Iglesia Emanuel

Community Action Project with Iglesia Emanuel

In October 2022, Duke Service-Learning sponsored a Community Action Project as part of the 2022-2023 series, Beyond the Discourse:  Words Become Action.  Students from Dr. Joan Clifford’s Spanish 306 (Health, Culture, and the Latino Community) service-learning course bagged rice and beans for community partner Iglesia Emanuel, an organization offering a food pantry and tutoring center targeting the Spanish-speaking community.  They were joined by others from the service-learning network, as well as Margaret and Miguel Rubiera, the leadership team at Iglesia Emanuel.  Rice and beans were donated to the project through Duke Service-Learning and the Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs.


Faculty Kick-Off

Faculty Kick-Off

Moving Beyond Discourse:  Finding Points of Entry for Transforming Words into Action
Ideally, service-learning and community-engaged courses integrate our personal intellectual interests and academic courses with meaningful community engagement. How do we avoid getting caught up in ideas of social change and fall short of meeting community members' actions for social change?  

 Join us for an exploration of diverse points of entry for meaningful partnerships using Campus Compact's Social Change Wheel. This framework offers strategies for engaging university resources in respectful, generative ways as we work to transform words into action.


Open House

Duke Service-Learning Open House

Join us for an end of semester celebration in the new Duke Service-Learning suite in 01A West Duke (ground level).  Enjoy light refreshments, collaborate with colleagues, and reflect on the semester.



Faculty Showcase

Duke Service-Learning Faculty Showcase

Interested in the pedagogy and design of service-learning and community engaged courses? Duke STEM faculty will share models of engaged curriculum and offer insights into building generative community partnerships. Duke Service-Learning benefits from the expertise of colleagues in 39 academic units on campus - learn how they put words into action to work in solidarity with local communities!  Including showcases from Genna Miller, Lecturing Fellow of Economics; Minna Ng, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Psychology and Neuroscience; and Char Clarke, Associate Professor of the Practice of Sustainability in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy.


Context and Connections Series

Context and Connections is a signature program of Duke Service-Learning, engaging Duke faculty and staff interested in deepening their knowledge of and connections to the Durham community, as well as exploring connections with teaching, research, and service. Context and Connections is about getting faculty and staff off campus, introducing folks to Durham’s rich history, and facilitating introductions to community resources for service-learning and community-engaged (SLCE) courses. 

In Spring 2023 we offered three events over the course of the semester to highlight context and create connections for SLCE faculty and staff. As we aspire to get Beyond the Discourse, Context and Connections invites us to leave our university echo chamber centered on words and learn from communities about possibilities for action. 

Curating Durham's History

Context and connections

Museum of Durham History
500 W Main Street
February 21, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

We started our afternoon at the Museum of Durham History learning about their current exhibits and ways we can partner with the Museum. We then walked over to the Durham Arts Council to view the Civil Rights Mural and engage with colleagues about Durham’s mural tour and the resources of the Council.

Resources to Explore

The Museum of Durham History
Discover Durham Mural Finder
Mural documentary depicts a rich Durham Civil Rights history
Durham Civil Rights History Mural Project Pitch Video
Living Colors - the Durham Civil Rights History Mural Project (Rodrigo Dorfman)


The Durham Green Flea Market

Context & Connections 2

Tour the Green Market
1600 E Pettigrew St
Saturday, March 25, 2023
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Virtual Conversation
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Have you ever visited the Durham Green Flea Market? Operating for over 10 years, it draws a diverse segment of our community. Join Prof. Bethzaida Fernández on March 25, 11am-1pm for a stroll through the market and conversation about our Latinx community in Durham as we meet some Latinx vendors and sample foods. A second conversation will take place on campus March 28, 1:45-2:45pm with the objective to learn more about our local Latinx communities. You may sign up for one or both conversations (it is not required to participate in both).

Resources to Explore

The Green Market

The Durham Green Market Website
Durham Green Flea Market: It’s all about what you can give
For More than a Decade, the Durham Green Flea Market Has Been a Taste of Home for the Triangle’s Hispanic Community. Amid Closure Rumors, Vendors Hope to See It Carry On.
Biography:  Robert T. Perry
Biography:  Trans Perry

The Latinx Community

Timeline for Durham Food History
Download 2023 Latinx Infographic (pdf - 1.06 MB)
Download Context & Connections: Latinx Communities 2023 (pdf - 7.99 MB)

Black Wall Street

Context & Connections 3

Black Wall Street
Whistle Stop Tours
April 11, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Black Wall Street: The Price of Progress features performance-based walking tour company Whistle Stop Tours. This 75-minute walking tour is “ground zero for understanding the intersection of race, money, and power in Black Durham” includes stops at the former site of NC Mutual and John Merrick’s barbershop and features stories of Durham leaders and visitors.

Resources to Explore

A special space carved out here in Durham’: The rise, fall and impact of Black Wall Street
The Past, Present And Future Of Durham’s Black Wall Street
(Virtual) A Tour of Historic Black Durham, by Kyrie Mason and Geoff Gadsden
Civil Rights Collection
Bull City 150
Hayti Heritage Center