Dear Students, Colleagues, & Friends of the Hart Leadership Program,

We are delighted to share with you exciting news about our program and our efforts to meet and act upon what Martin Luther King Jr. called us to do in addressing “the fierce urgency of now.” Even as we are grateful for the exciting return to in-person teaching and collaboration, we are reminded daily of the leadership challenges that this pandemic has exposed and continues to bring to our attention. At the HLP, we continue to be inspired and enriched by students whose capacity to learn by doing and to reflect on their own leadership challenges provide collective hope and inspiration. In the following newsletter and in the description of what we have planned for the coming year, you will encounter numerous stories of innovation and leadership that began with powerful and compelling questions, the kind that guide all of us to a richer and more connected public life together. As we continue to engage the challenges of this wily pandemic, we take heart from the new forms of engagement and leadership that our students, faculty, and community partners have been piloting since covid first emerged in 2020.

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Recent News

2020-2021 Annual Report

Our mission is to create inclusive and innovative co-curricular programs for students who seek to practice and embody leadership in their public lives. We encourage them to create leadership as a public good by exploring their own aspirations and ambitions while learning to collaborate with community partners and change makers who together make leadership inclusive, enduring, and democratic. When students engage in this practice of community-based engagement and public service, they ask questions that inform lifelong passions dedicated to making the world a better and more just place.

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We're HLP.

The Hart Leadership Program challenges students to practice the art of leadership in public life. What is the art?  Lao-Tzu said it with minimal words: “With the best of leaders, when the work is done, the project completed, the people all say, ‘Amazing. We did it ourselves.'”  It’s taking on challenging work in groups, organizations, institutions and social systems–the kind of work that usually takes people beyond their comfort zones.  It requires courage, but it also builds it.  It tests us and forms us.  It helps us discover who we really are, and what we are capable of doing together, when we locate common purpose.  It’s about learning to ask big questions, and then hard questions.  It’s an art where groups become the unit of transformation, and where the right questions have the power to generate far more engagement and endurance than easy answers ever would.

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“Tony Brown came from the corporate world to become a Professor of the Practice at Sanford School of Public Policy in 1993. Tony’s approach centers on action-oriented learning that produces real results and challenges students to define their own moral fiber and values.”


Tony Brown

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News & Events

HLP students receive Duke leadership awards

Several current and former Hart Leadership Program-affiliated students won awards recognizing their achievements in leadership and service. Duke's annual "In The Spotlight" ceremony showcases individuals and organizations, nominated by members of the Duke community, whose influence has made a significant impact on University life and beyond. The students were honored at a ceremony on April…