This summer, five undergraduate and four graduate students will engage in human rights research with the financial support of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.  Their projects will investigate a variety of topics, including the role of women in the Israeli Palestinian peace-process as well as challenges in the fight for environmental justice in Lowndes County, Alabama.

Undergraduate Students

Elizabeth Barahona

Elizabeth Barahona (‘18) will study the 88 year-long history of Latinx students at Duke and incorporate her research into her senior thesis.  She hopes to empower all Duke students to pursue social justice and community through her work.

Anuhita Basavaraju (‘18) became interested in the effects of cognitive sciences on alleviating bias against refugees during her semester studying abroad in Copenhagen.  This summer she will continue to examine if sharing stories impacts biases against refugees and can facilitate integration.

Sydney McAuliffe (‘18) will conduct interviews with women involved in peace organizations in Washington DC, Israel, and Palestine to better understand women’s role in fighting for peace.  She hopes to also discover ways women can effectively engage in peacebuilding.

Elle Winfield (’19) will research the dynamic of state enforced terrorism, exploring the three continents of the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Her work will focus on over two hundred years of historical oppression and will form the beginning of her thesis project.

Savannah Wooten (’17) will conduct audio interviews and create a blog series on applied empathy – speaking with empathy researchers, victims of conflict and mass violence, NGO staffers in hate speech reduction, 2016 election organizers, and beyond.

Graduate Students

Robert Franco

Robert Franco will conduct research in Mexico City at the Centro de Documentación y Archivo Histórico Lésbico de México y America Latina “Nancy Cárdenas” and the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN).  His project will focus on the fight for equality, sexual rights, and human rights by activists from the 1970s and 1980s gay and lesbian movements in Mexico.

Farah Hegazi will study the challenges that governments in the Middle East and North Africa face in delivering water and sanitation services to un-served and under-served areas, and how to overcome those challenges. She will also conduct research on environmental security and environmental peace-building.

Emily Meza will research the challenges in improving wastewater treatment in rural Alabama as a part of the larger Lowndes County Sanitation Access Network (LC-SAN) project.  She hopes to provide real solutions to the Lowndes County community in collaboration with different schools and graduate students.

Hillary Smith will focus on the octopus fisheries of Zanzibar and explore the impact of changes in socio-political and ecological factors on women’s fisheries in Tanzania.  She will also study the fight for rights to protect fishing livelihoods for marginalized groups, especially women at the national level.

For more information and to follow their research, please visit the webpage.

By Kyra Josephson (’18)