DukeEngage Blogs Summer 2013

Read more, then click here to Volunteer.(Click here for Summer 2014 opportunities)

About DukeEngage

DukeEngage enables roughly 425 undergraduates to provide eight weeks of immersive service in partner communities throughout the world each summer. DukeEngage projects span a range of civic engagement activities, including environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, social justice and more. Students who participate in these DukeEngage opportunities are blogging about their experiences. Dedicated readers who follow the blog and post comments will help the students engage an audience for this form of public writing.

Four Corners with the Reader Project

This summer, as an extension of our Blog Reader program, we’re partnering with four DukeEngage projects based in four corners of the US. The students placed in New York City, Portland, OR, Tucson, AZ, and Durham (both NC and England!) will be focusing on different themes. New York: women’s social justice and advocacy; Portland: environmental concerns; Tucson: immigration and border issues; Durham: community and economic development.

What does a Blog Reader do?

The logistics of the blogging project are different than our traditional matching system with students in courses. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to follow the group blog for the students at that site. You can expect around 2-4 students to post updates every week over the time they’re at their sites. You don’t need to comment on every post, but we encourage you to read them all. If you are interested in participating but have questions, we will be happy to help you get started. (Contact us.)

When you read the blog posts and comment, we’d ask you to do a couple of things:

  • Start by posting two comments: first pick a post with the fewest comments already, then pick the topic that most engages you
  • Consider posting your name and grad year to give the students a sense of context of where you’re coming from. (First names are fine if you would rather not publicly post your full name.)
Consider these things in your comments to students:
  • Acknowledge and validate their voice as they wrestle with difficult topics.
  • Add insight or value to the blog with your comments. It’s always nice to hear, “I enjoyed your post,” but the most useful responses go on to add more for the student to consider or add depth for the author as well as other readers.
  • Politely and critically push the students: to consider counter arguments, to apply their thinking to other contexts, to look at possible consequences both intended and unintended, etc.
  • Ask questions that might encourage a conversation in the comments.
  • Consider this a community in which you are part of an ongoing conversation throughout the summer, so respond to the blog post and to other comments to continue the dialogue between the students and readers.

FAQs about being a Blog Reader 

RP Blogs for Summer 2013

Here are descriptions and details for the blogs we will be including this semester.  

DukeEngage in Durham, NC

Program Dates: May 29-July 4 (Durham, NC), July 5-August 3 (Durham, UK) 

Service Focus: Comparing and contrasting approaches to community economic development through service partnerships with various non-profits in two cities: Durham, NC, and Durham, England.

More information at DukeEngage

Readers Needed: Readers with experience with community and urban economic development, nonprofit management, employee development, history, and general passion for civic engagement; especially readers interested in engaging students in thinking about Durham, NC, since they are already excited about the UK!

DukeEngage in New York City, NY

Program Dates: June 3 – July 28

Service Focus: Working with women’s social justice and advocacy organizations.

More information at DukeEngage

Readers Needed: Readers with an interest in women’s rights or social justice issues, specifically in the domestic setting. This project would be of most applicable to readers with expertise or interest in policy, services or activism related to violence, labor rights, immigration, and LGBTQ rights, particularly as those intersect with the experience of women and girls. Working in research, non-profits, government, or philanthropy around these issues would also be applicable to the topics discussed. 

DukeEngage in Tucson, AZ

Program Dates: May 29 – July 28

Service Focus: Partnering with community service organizations focused on immigration and border issues.

More information at DukeEngage

Readers Needed: Readers with experience or interest in immigration and connecting the US/Mexico border to local realities across the United States.  We invite a wide range of readers, from those interested in immigration at large to those who are knowledgeable about any/all of the following topics: immigration to the US particularly from Latin America; impacts of NAFTA; proposals for comprehensive immigration reform; human rights topics particularly along the border; and immigration policy enforcement in AZ specifically, but also across the US.

DukeEngage in Portland, OR

Program Dates: June 13 – August 10

Service Focus: Serving with non-profits/government agencies focused on environmental management, law, advocacy, policy, conservation, and education.

More information at DukeEngage

Readers Needed: Readers should have experience in environmental policy, management, conservation, advocacy, or related work in government, non-profits or education.

Ready to Volunteer? Click here.