WHAT WE DO
"If you come to help me then you are wasting your time. But if you come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson1
The Citizenship Lab is creating a neighborhood by understanding, explaining, and responding to migration and refugee resettlement in Durham, NC and beyond.
This neighborhood is built on family-like relationships between Duke undergraduates and newcomer students. These partnerships are anchored by weekly meetings and characterized by care, concern, and the deep desire for what is best for the other.
These relationships also reveal structural problems in education, employment, transportation, healthcare and housing. The Lab, then, becomes a place to address these challenges and ensure that people, ideas, and initiatives that deserve a future, have one. With high school and college newcomers, this is done collaboratively.
High school and college newcomers develop interpersonal, analytical and leadership skills that can help them (and by extension, their families) negotiate a new world. Duke students are challenged to use their education and experiences to identify and address needs, especially those that are unstated because they appear to be insurmountable
Together, members of the Lab are refining a style of change that is at once personal and experimental. This method is animated by a creative, urgent, and strategic exercise of “voice.” The style is visible in the Lab’s collaboration with Durham Public Schools, city and regional transit authorities, and employment agencies, among many others.