Bridging Communities News

For Scholars, Content and Culture on Social Justice @Sanford

Quick Recap!

Last Wednesday Bridging Communities hosted a lunch discussion entitled, "Dr. King's Dream in the Age of Obama" where we discussed the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy within President Obama's second term. Bridging Communities along with a number of Sanford students recently attended the Racial Equity Institute's Anti-Racism Training in Chapel Hill, NC on January 10 and 11. Bay Love (MPP/MBA (UNC) '13), an organizer for the Racial Equity Institute, gave a brief overview of REI's mission and why anti-racism training is critical to having a deeper understanding of structural racism in the United States.

Director of Graduate Studies Mac McCorkle joined us for lunch as we discussed our lessons learned from the conference and how the workshop provided deeper insight into our roles as future policymakers. For instance, one question we've raised is how can we incorporate social issues to provided added relevance and context to curriculum? Many students in attendance agreed, along with Prof. McCorkle, that forums to discuss community-based issues (such as historic context, and power dynamics of race, class and gender) would be valuable to new and current students.

Thank you DGS McCorkle for attending lunch with us and welcoming our ideas!

Keep Reading for
  • Bridges Over Lunch this week!
  • Screening "Durham A Self Portrait"
  • Food For Thought with Lynn Holmes
  • Pop Quiz

Bridges Over Lunch: Social Entrepreneurship in a Hyper-capitalistic Society

Wednesday, Jan. 30th 2013 at 12:30-2pm

Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC

NEW TIME 12:30pm Wed. (an appeal to folks who get out of class at 1pm)

Every Wednesday 12:30 – 2:00pm

Sanford Commons

MIDP and MPP students are invited to join us for desserts/light fare and conversations on culture, news, and topics of interest (all students welcome to submit conversation ideas). Desserts/snacks for your lunch box! If you’d like to bring something to share, you’re more than welcome!

Jan. 30,

The Future of Social Entrepreneurship in a Hyper-capitalistic Society:

As we move into President Obama's second term, unemployment remains high, the income gap amongst the ultra-wealthy and poor continues to widen, and public education continues to shortchange under-served population. Given daunting statistics, is it any surprise that the richer continue to gain wealth, while wages remain stagnant for low-income citizens?

As future policymakers, politicians, advocates, and managers:
What is our role in addressing larger social problems that come as a result of ventures that uplift few, weaken the opportunities of the majority, or exploit ?
What roles do businesses have to play in improving social outcomes?
Is social entrepreneurship a route to change?


If you would like to submit a conversation topic related to social justice or cultural dialogue for the “Bridge over Lunch” Series every Wednesday, email

"Durham: A Self-Portrait" Documentary Screening

Monday, Feb. 4th 2013 at 5:30-7:30pm

100 Fuqua Drive

Durham, NC

"Durham: A Self-Portrait" Documentary Screening

Monday, February 4, 5:30-7:30, Dansby Classroom (Fuqua School of Business)

Who are the Dukes? Why is it the Bull City? How much do you really know about Durham's history?

Join Net Impact and the Black and Latino MBA Organization as we dive deep into the history of Durham and the role the city played in the Civil Rights Movement. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the documentary's director and other Durham city leaders. This is not an event to be missed!

Sanford Food For Thought: Lynn Holmes

Thursday, Feb. 7th 2013 at 12-1pm

223 Sanford, Rhodes Conference Room

In addition to the topic below, Ms. Holmes will address questions such as:
What are the challenges you face in ensuring that public service delivery, especially with regard to workforce development, is both "equitable and efficient"? What has been the role, if any, of cultural sensitivity in your work?

Lynn Holmes: Lessons from a Career inside and outside Government

12:00 – 1:00 PM, 223 Sanford (Rhodes)

Immediately after graduating from Georgetown Law School, Lynn served as a US Senate staffer for her home state senator, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker of Tennessee. After leaving Capitol Hill, Lynn worked over 20 years as an executive for Bell South, primarily in federal and state governmental relations. She was the first African American to be named as one of North Carolina's Fifty Most Influential Lobbyists. In 2010 Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue appointed Lynn to head the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, which is the state agency responsible for unemployment insurance and workforce development in the state.

Pop Quiz!

Let’s break it down. If you’re interested in any of the following, come chat with us!
  • Cultural and social dialogue between local and global communities
  • Sharing your work or interests in social change
  • Social justice issues (e.g. poverty, power, community-based development, social impact development, social and political movements)

Join our facebook page and tell us what you're passionate about or want to discuss.

Pop Quiz: What is Social Justice?!

Does any of the following describe your idea of social justice? How do you define it?

Drop your response on the BC Facebook page here! suggested it’s, “the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society.”

Merriam-Webster says… “a state or doctrine of egalitarianism <the causes of human freedom and of social justice — Sir Winston Churchill> <promote the common good and social justice — G.J.Schnepp>”

John Rawls anyone? “A set of principles is required for choosing among the various social arrangements which determine this division of advantages and for underwriting an agreement on the proper distributive shares. These principles are the principles of social justice: they provide a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of society and they define the appropriate distribution of the benefits and burdens of social cooperation” (4).

“… Among individuals with disparate aims and purposes a shared conception of justice establishes the bonds of civic friendship; the general desire for justice limits the pursuit of other ends” (5).

Does any of this describe your idea of social justice? How do you define it?

Drop your response on the BC Facebook page here!

What is BC all about?

Our Mission

Bridging Communities is a graduate student interest group that strives to ensure a welcoming, inclusive community for diverse students and advance the interests of social justice at the Sanford School of Public Policy. We aim to build stronger relationships within the Sanford School of Policy’s professional programs: Master of Public Policy, Master of International Development Policy and PhD, along with Duke’s professional programs.