Hank & Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Institute

Apply Here:

  • 3rd year cohort application (Only accepting applications from invited, returning students)
    • Application Due: September 20, 2019
    • Application Decisions: October 11, 2019
  • 2nd year cohort application- apply here: English; Spanish (Accepting returners and new applicants)
    • Application Due: January 15, 2020
    • Application Decisions: March 1, 2020
  • 1st year cohort application- apply here: English; Spanish (Accepting applications from rising 9th-11th grade DPS students)
    • Application Due: January 15, 2020
    • Application Decisions: March 1, 2020

 

Duke University’s Cook Center Holds 2019 Young Scholars Capstone Conference

On July 29, 2019, the Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity hosted its Capstone Conference for the fifth annual Hank and Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Research Institute. Nearly 50 middle and high school students from Durham Public Schools—participants in the program for one, two, or three summers—convened to present the research they conducted over the prior three weeks.

First-year students were responsible for producing digital media content; second-year students crafted research posters; and third-year students had the charge of creating rigorous research papers, coupled with a TED-style talk. This year’s student projects ranged from studies on the gentrification of Durham's historic land and the state of Black America after the Great Recession to explorations of how “green beauty” exploits minority culture and the way that media stereotypes of Black men affect their mental health.

Keynote speaker Dr. Sally Nuamah, a Northwestern University professor, encouraged the students to continue to pursue research, asserting it is an effective way to make an impact and change lives.  

Honored guests were community activist and educator Mrs. Billye Suber Aaron, for whom the program is named, along with the family of Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, for whom the Cook Center is named. Also in attendance, in addition to many community supporters, were Durham County Commissioners and affiliates of Durham Public Schools, including principals, teachers, and school board members.

To view the research papers, websitevideo and photographs and posters from this year’s capstone, please visit the Cook Center website.


 

Program Information 

Programming: July 7, 2020 — July 24, 2020, 8:30 am-4:00 pm, weekdays @ Nicholas School of The Environment, Duke University.

Capstone Conference: July 27, 2020, 5:00-8:00 pm, @ Penn Pavilion, Duke University.

Cost: Free.

Transportation: It is required to drop off and pick up your child from programming. We will provide transportation on a limited, approved, case by case basis.

Food: Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided while on site.

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 high school students enrolled in Durham Public Schools (DPS) with training to enhance their writing, research, and presentation skills. The program is sponsored by the Samuel DuBois 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, social, and political dimensions of inequality and their intersections. During the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute, students will receive instruction from distinguished 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 students’ individual or group 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

Program Administration and Faculty

Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
  • William A. Darity Jr., Program Founder
  • Gwendolyn Wright, Program Administrator
  • Erica Phillips, Program Coordinator
Durham Public Schools
  • Daniel Kelvin Bullock, Executive Director for Equity Affairs with Durham Public Schools; program liaison

About Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools serves more than 32,000 students in 53 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 ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade.

 

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.

YSSRI

Sylvia F. Cook talks with Cook Center summer research students 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.