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Migrant youth, families, community understanding, and justice – 2022

Durham, NC - The Brodhead DukeEngage Durham Program
Dates May 8 - July 2, 2022
Program Focus

Working directly with local migrant youth and their families and in partnership with Durham community organizations to address growing inequalities in sectors such as housing, health care, education, and employment.

Dates subject to change

Program Leaders
Program Themes
  • Children
  • Community Development

President Emeritus Richard Brodhead

In 2017, Duke University received a gift from The Duke Endowment to name the DukeEngage Durham program(s) after President Emeritus Brodhead, commemorating his deep commitment to Durham. “Thanks to this support,” said Brodhead, “Duke students will be able to deliver their classroom knowledge in service to the Durham community and integrate their DukeEngage experiences with their curricular learning.” Read more about President Brodhead’s connection to DukeEngage.


The COVID-19 crisis has both highlighted and deepened long standing challenges in Durham. Systemic inequities—often racialized— are only magnified as the most vulnerable amongst us have only become more vulnerable. For many communities this is a moment of unprecedented collective trauma. Both housing and food insecurity are on the rise, and access to health/mental health care and education are all much more challenging. Migrant and refugee youth and their families are some of the most affected by these challenges. They should, of course, be at the forefront of the work of mending.  

The Durham Mending Project is an effort to begin the work of restoration and repair together with the Durham newcomer community. By restoration and repair we mean two things: first is the long-term work of socio-economic change, and second is community repair and wellbeing. Duke students will work alongside both a set of Durham city offices and non-profit organizations AND local Durham migrant and refugee youth to develop innovative strategies to address these systemic challenges and work toward the repair and regeneration of the Durham community in the wake of COVID.

Weekly community development workshops will bring together social innovators, activists, artists and policy makers to collaborate with Duke students and migrant youth on creatively design interventions to these persistent and growing challenges. Weekly justice and wellness workshops with the Durham community push forward the work of collective repair. Weekly cultural activities will create opportunities for migrant youth and Duke students to learn more about the rich culture and history of Durham–their shared new home.

The hope is that both Duke students and Durham youth and their families will develop working relationships and friendships that will continue long beyond this summer.


Community Partnerships

Community partners with whom we have worked in the past:

  •   Lincoln Community Health
  •   Durham Children’s Initiative
  •   Durham Public Schools and Multilingual Resource Center
  •   U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Raleigh


Program Requirements

Language: Primary language of the program is English but knowledge of Arabic, French, Kinyarwanda, Pashto or Spanish a plus.

Skills: Experience in community development and/or work with migrants both a plus, but certainly not required.

Personal Qualities: Collaborative, committed and creative. Flexible and fun.



Housing, meals, and transportation: Students will be living in apartment-style housing during the program and will be relying on public transportation or walking or biking to get to and from placements, meeting, and programing.


Academic Connections

This program is open to all, and because many of the internships have a data/evidence component, the program might especially appeal to students willing to put time into “getting” an organizational culture that may be new to them and either know they are interested in research (often connected to policy) and want more experience, or want to find out what research looks like in city government or not-for-profit settings.

Students who have participated in this program or previous DukeEngage programs offered by Professor Tobin (Dublin, 2008-2019) have come from every imaginable major and program at Duke and have gone on to fields that range from finance to education to law to medicine and, in several instances, the  intersection of more than one of these fields.


Potential program cancellations

DukeEngage cannot guarantee that any program will occur. Programs may be cancelled for various reasons, including COVID considerations.