Lead the Way Durham: Civic Engagement, Social Innovation, and Community Leadership in the Bull City

PUBPOL 270S

VIDEO: Kaylee Rodriguez talks about how "Lead the Way Durham" gave her an opportunity to explore and study the city that would be her home for the next four years. 

“This course really taught me a lot about what students can do as facilitators of social change. One of the things we did was an archival project and we looked at The Silent Vigil here at Duke. We saw how students took charge in leading this big movement on campus. I was really interested to see how we as students can continue to be activists here on campus. I think there are a lot of social issues that we can definitely be a part of. This class gave me more courage to engage with those types of things. It also taught me that anybody can be a leader and I think that’s important to remember as we go through our academic careers; that we can be leaders now, it doesn’t have to be in the future.” -Kaylee Rodriguez, Duke '23

This Hart Leadership course will facilitate the exercise of innovative and resourceful leadership to address important social and civic needs in Durham. We will engage issues of participation, citizenship, equity, justice and well-being in the context of the Durham community. In short, we will explore how democratic participation shapes local leadership through grassroots work. Small teams of students will partner with community-based organizations in Durham whose work centers on development of capital - natural, social, economic, political or human. We will consider leadership as a shared endeavor in facilitating social change. With an understanding of various models of change and active ethical engagement with local organizations, students will identify a need and garner the necessary resources to develop a ‘context specific’ solution to address this need. Through active participation and mindful reflection, students will have the opportunity to shape and refine their personal models of civic engagement, social change and leadership.

In Fall 2019, students learned about the history of Durham, collaborated with the City of Durham Office of Public Arts and Culture on the Bull Moon Rising ‘pop-up’ art exhibit, partnered with StepUp Durham to produce a video to help raise funds, and created a digital interactive timeline entitled "THE DUKE SILENT VIGIL: CONTEXT AND IMPLICATIONS."

Read the Article

Project Foci: 

  • Building natural capital – sustainability, preservation of natural resources, land use. 
  • Building social capital – housing, community renewal, community building. 
  • Building economic capital – employment opportunities, job training, business development, job creation. 
  • Building political capital – community organizing, political mobilization, voter registration. 
  • Building human capital – access to education, arts, health and wellbeing. 

TUESDAY/THURSDAY, 1:25 - 2:40, SANFORD 07.

Read more about Instructor Lalita Kaligotla here.

This course will facilitate the exercise of innovative leadership to address important social and civic needs in Durham. We will explore and shape democracy through grassroots work by engaging with issues of participation, citizenship, equity, justice, and well-being in the Durham community. Learning about Durham’s history and with the goal of helping create positive change, students will identify a need, garner the necessary resources, and develop a context specific solution to address this need for the service-learning component of the course. Through active participation and mindful reflection, students will have the opportunity to shape and refine their personal models of social change. Instructor consent required. Instructor: Kaligotla

Enroll Consent

Instructor Consent Required

Curriculum Codes
  • EI
  • SS
Typically Offered
Fall Only