Agency in Times of Change Series

It is challenging to consider how to be an agent of change in the political and social realities of our time. In a post-Covid world that has highlighted the disparities in access to life-giving resources, how do we find our voice and spaces for action? How do we integrate well-being into our decision-making? Our fractured political leadership amplifies tensions that pervade all aspects of our identities. Working in solidarity with local communities invites each individual to reimagine service-learning and community-engaged teaching and learning. When considering change, it seems easy to default to dissonance and negative consequences, but change has many possible outcomes and we can choose to focus on positive possibilities of change, including transformative learning, self-efficacy and equanimity, and new ways of being in community.  

In 2023-2024, Duke Service-Learning will focus our programming on Agency in times of Change, inviting us to act as subjects in our stories and agents in our lives. Duke Service-Learning advocates for community-engaged teaching and learning that promotes social equity and social change. We hope you will join us this year for programming and conversations that consider the positive possibilities of change. 

Upcoming Events:

Recent Events:

Faculty reading group poster for Nov 9 event

Faculty Service-Learning Reading Group 

November 9, 2023 
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm 

How do we facilitate student empowerment and agency in times of change? 

Let's meet to explore themes presented in Faculty Service-Learning Guidebook: Enacting Equity-Centered Teaching, Partnerships, and Scholarship (Cress, et al., 2023) The text is a pedagogical tool ". . . to design, teach and assess critical service-learning in order to facilitate student empowerment and agency, advance community improvement and efficacy, and expand engaged scholarship within the contexts of advocacy for social justice and democratic equity." There is something thought-provoking for everyone in this text!  
We will target Chapter 8 "Critical Engagement and Conscientization" (pp. 243-283), a chapter that explores teachable moments created by the complexities of community issues. To further explore the 2023-2024 theme "Agency in Times of Change," this text provides us with ways to analyze and transform existing cognitive paradigms and biases and to contextualize the engagement through the lenses of our academic disciplines. As our world changes around us, come and chat with colleagues about the role of engaged pedagogies in conscientization and community efficacy.


Clayton Hurd

Community-Engaged Research with Clayton Hurd

October 19, 2023
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Clayton Hurd is the Director of Community-Engaged Research at the Stanford Haas Center for Public Service.  He leads programs on engaged scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students and works to expand the Center’s efforts to build capacity for community-engaged research. 

Clayton spoke on the foundations of ethical community-based research, which emphasizes the collaborative relationship between university researchers and their community partners by acknowledging the expertise and investment that community partners bring to the table. Community-based research is done with the community, rather than on or in the community.  His talk was sponsored by Duke Service-Learning. 

These relationships will not be sustained – the partnerships will not work – if there’s not a sense that people are invested in each other – not just as instrumental partners, but as partners that share values.  A lot of that is building relationships over time.