On The Freedom Side: A Dialogue with Wesley Hogan and Duke Student Advocates

On August 13, 2020,  the Hart Leadership Program, in collaboration with POLIS and Center for Documentary Studies, hosted On The Freedom Side: The Promise of a New Democracy Led by Youth Advocacy. The featured speaker at this event was Professor Wesley Hogan, director of the Center for Documentary Studies and author of the recent book “On the Freedom Side: How Five Decades of Youth Activists Have Remixed American History.” The book powerfully documents the strong role played by youth in creating social change, tracing it back to the work of activists like Ella Baker during the Civil Rights era to amplifying the voices of youth in more contemporary social movements including Black Lives Matter advocates. people engaged in immigrants’ rights work, and environmental justice activists at Standing Rock. Through dialog and conversation, Professor Hogan connected the stories of the youth she documented in her book to the work being done by three Duke students who were the featured panelists. The event was moderated by Hart’s Associate in Research, Ana Ramirez.

The three featured student panelists included, Lauren Howell (T’21), who is majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Education and Visual Media Studies. She currently serves as RDU Chapter President of N.C. Building Our Revolution Now and has organized numerous Black Lives Matter protests in her hometown, Raleigh, NC, to demand justice for those murdered by Raleigh Police Department. Daisy Almonte (T’20) has earned degrees in Sociology and Public Policy. In high school, Daisy became involved with Students Action with Farm workers, an organization that works with young people to help improve the livelihoods of farm workers, and she continued her work with the organization throughout her time at Duke. After completing a successful internship with Farris & Thomas Law this summer, Daisy is headed to Cambridge, MA to pursue a JD at Harvard Law School. Quinn Smith (T’23) is studying public policy and documentary studies and is a 2020 Service Opportunities Leadership (SOL) Fellow. A member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, Quinn is heavily invested in issues concerning the Native American community and worked with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, a division of the Department of the Interior for his SOL Summer Project. He spent the summer conducting archival research and creating a photo-documentary of the Blackfoot People of Montana and their unique relationship with Glacier National Park from never-before-seen photo archives. You can view the full recording of the event down below. To read the transcription of the event, click here.