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DE-Chicago 2019


Among the classes taught by Kisha Daniels, an instructor in the Duke Program in Education, one focuses on the confluence of hip-hop, community building and teaching in metropolitan areas.

This summer, seven Duke undergraduate students are getting a chance to experience the lessons taught in that course first-hand as part of a project organized by Daniels and Mark Anthony Neal, the James B. Duke Professor in African and African American Studies. The project, entitled “Connecting Culturally Relevant Pedagogy with Urban Education,” is made possible through DukeEngage, a program that provides students with immersive summer experiences that support community engagement.

The students are spending the summer in Chicago, working with five non-profits aimed at strengthening under-resourced communities.

Students are organizing festivals and aiding advocacy efforts with the Arab American Action Network, helping formerly incarcerated young people find their voice through poetry and music with Circles & Ciphers, recording an album of original music with the Young Chicago Authors, guiding students through their work documenting life in their community through Free Spirit Media and putting together programming for farmers’ market with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.

“I absolutely love teaching in the classroom, I wouldn’t change that for anything, but as faculty members, we are more than just our classrooms,” Daniels said. “We have projects and ideas that we can’t always play out in a 15-week semester. So the idea that Duke has a program like DukeEngage that gives faculty opportunities to take their content and mix it with creativity and instructional program design to support communities means everything to me.”

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Credit to Stephen Schramm