Foundations of Engagement

Are good intentions enough?

Is service the best response?

How prepared are you to make the changes you want to see in the world?

Foundations of Engagement, a set of modules developed by Duke Service-Learning, the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), the Global Education Office, the Center for Leadership Development and Social Action, and the Duke Office of Civic Engagement, provides an opportunity to explore essential questions related to community engagement. In a 75-minute introductory session, we address topics of identity and positionality (Who am I as I go out to serve the community?), power and partnerships (How should I go about doing service and creating partnerships?), and root cause analysis (–What gives rise to this need for service in the first place? Is my service an appropriate response?). In addition to the introductory session, we offer in-depth explorations of each topic in stand-alone modules.

To learn more about these workshops or to schedule a session for your class or organization, please email us at



Quotes from participants:

“I think it is always good to take a step back and reflect on the service you are providing and whether it is ethical and meaningful and how to improve it. I think this workshop has given me that opportunity and has opened my eyes to new ideas that I will continue to think about throughout the semester.”

“This workshop really impacted how I view my social identity and how that can influence my abilities as an individual partaking in service work.”


Thank you to our contributors and facilitators:

Hayley Broadhead, Global Education Office

Emily Durham, The Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program

Dane Emmerling, Duke Service-Learning

Victor Gordon, The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program

Jane Ifekwunigwe, The Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference (GRID) and the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center

Brian Lackman, Center for Leadership Development and Social Action

Megan McCurley, America Reads/America Counts

Jesse Simmons, Center for Leadership Development and Social Action

Emily Stewart, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute

Vicki Stocking, The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program

Patience Wall, Policy Bridge

Morgan Williams, Duke Academic Resource Center