Young Scholars Summer Research Institute

Video produced by Mohamad Chamas and Rahima Rahi, with guidance from Bruce Orenstein, Artist in Residence with the Samuel Dubois Cook Center On Social Equity, documenting the Cook Center's Young Scholars Summer Research Institute.


 

Program Description 

The Young Scholars Summer Research Institute is a three-week program that provides middle and high-school students enrolled in Durham Public Schools (DPS) in Durham, North Carolina, with training to enhance their writing, research, and presentation skills. The program is sponsored by the Samuel Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University in partnership with Durham Public Schools (DPS). In keeping with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center’s central mission as a community of scholars engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality, program participants will explore curriculum related to the economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions of inequality. During the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute, students receive instruction from distinguished middle and high school teachers, university professors, and leaders from community organizations. The program’s main focus is on the development of the students’ research, writing, presentation, and critical-inquiry skills, culminating in a capstone presentation of the student’s individual research projects.

Program Goals

  • Enhance student research, writing, and presentation skills within an academically high-achieving environment

  • Facilitate student ownership of learning and develop tools for critical inquiry 
  • Foster collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the causes and consequences of inequality 
  • Facilitate student production of individual research related to the varied causes and consequences of inequality and possible remedies for achieving equity and social justice (involving the intersections of class, income, wealth, gender, race, health, law, employment, and education)
  • Identify and recruit the next generation of scholars engaged in the study of causes and consequences of inequality and design of remedies for addressing group-based disparities and conflicts

Eligibility and Selection

Applicants to the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute must be students enrolled in Durham Public Schools entering the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade.  Students there are will be selected on a rolling basis based on statement of interest and teacher recommendations. 

Program Administration and Faculty

Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
  • William Darity Jr., the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University is the senior administrator for the program. Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap.
  • Addison Malone, is the program coordinator and teaching assistant for the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute. She oversees recruitment, development of program informational materials and assists lead teachers and administrators with day-to day activities while the program is in session.
Durham Public Schools
  • Daniel Kelvin Bullock, Executive Director for Equity Affairs with Durham Public Schools, is the program liaison to the school system, working alongside the Cook Center staff to identify teachers and develop program curriculum.

About Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools serves more than 33,000 students in 54 schools across the city and county. Student-participants in the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute must be currently enrolled in Durham Public Schools and entering the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade.  Schools in the district in which eligible students may be enrolled include:

Middle Schools
  • Brogden Middle School
  • Carrington Middle School
  • Githens Middle School 
  • Lakewood Montessori Middle School 
  • Lowe's Grove Magnet Middle School
  • Lucas Middle School 
  • Neal Magnet Middle School 
  • Rogers-Herr Year-Round Magnet Middle School 
  • Shepard International Baccalaureate Magnet MS
Secondary Schools
  • Durham School of the Arts​
  • ​The School for Creative Studies 
High Schools
  • City of Medicine Academy
  • Hillside High School
  • Hillside New Tech High School 
  • Holton Career & Resource Center
  • J.D. Clement Early College High School 
  • Jordan High School
  • Middle College High School at DTCC 
  • Northern High School
  • Riverside High School 
  • Southern School of Energy and Sustainability 
  • The Durham Performance Learning Center

Young Scholars in the News

"Young Scholars Summer Research Institute Highlights Local Student Research On Inequality"
Monday, August 14, 2017
Duke Today

Student participants in the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity Young Scholars Summer Research Institute presented research projects before more than 200 parents, Duke faculty and staff and teachers and administrators from Durham Public Schools, at the program’s capstone conference July 31 at the Nasher Museum of Art.

The presentations culminated the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute, a three-week instructional program sponsored by the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke in partnership with the Durham Public School System (DPS) for students in grades 8-11.

In keeping with the Cook Center’s central mission as a community of scholars engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality, the institute develops students’ writing and research skills and identifies and recruits the next generation of scholars concerned with the causes and consequences of inequality and the assessment and redesign of remedies for inequality and its adverse effects. Students explore the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of inequality during the institute under the direction of middle and high school Durham Public School System teachers, university professors and Cook Center researchers.

William A. Darity Jr., founding director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke, paid tribute to the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity’s three-year collaboration with Durham Public Schools in his welcoming address.

“The summer institute is designed to provide young scholars with the opportunity to investigate a wide range of issues involving inequality and social inequity with an eye towards trying to think about ways in which we can change those conditions,” Darity said.

A advocate of higher education, Billye S. Aaron of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation delivered the program’s keynote address.

“From the time we are born, to the time that we die, we are learning,” Aaron said. “We are learning lessons that will carry us throughout our lifetime. Learning is a constant… and that is why the Young Scholars are here today.”

Read the full article here.


Sylvia Cook talks with a Cook Center summer research student at the July 31 capstone event. Keynote speaker Billye S. Aaron is also pictured.

 
"Young Scholars Summer Research Institute Helps Durham Youth Develop Writing, Research Skills"
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Duke Today

Through the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute, Durham Public School students in grades eighth, ninth and 10th spent two weeks developing writing and research skills and learning about the intersection of wealth, racial, legal, housing, gender, and educational Inequalities as well as their impact locally and globally.  The institute is sponsored by the Duke University Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity and facilitated by DPS teachers, university professors and guest speakers from community organizations in Durham. 


Students involved with the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute participate in an exercise on perspective taking and observation at the Nasher Museum of Art, July 24, 2015.