During the 2018-2019 Academic year, the Hart Leadership Program hosted a series of events within Connect2Politics that highlight Youth Leadership in tackling some of our most intractable problems. The convenings held up the theme of Youth Leadership, reflecting on what the “fierce urgency of now” looks like for an extraordinary group of young men and women in North America, and what it means for the larger political and cultural life of the United States.

SOL Alumna Making History:
Kathy Tran in the Virginia Statehouse

On September 21st, Kathy Tran (SOL 1998) visited the Sanford School of Public Policy.  Kathy joined the Virginia House of Delegates in January of 2018.

For most of her professional career Kathy worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, and most recently she worked for a nonprofit organization on immigration reform issues.  Before running for office, Kathy was the Policy and Advocacy Assistant Director for Skills and Workforce Development at the National Immigration Forum.

Kathy emphasized during her primary campaign for Virginia’s House of Delegates that helping others prosper in this country is an unwavering commitment for her.  She said that because she saw Donald Trump threatening the livelihoods of those she sought to help, she realized she had to do something about it. She made the decision to run for state government, and made history when she became one of Virginia’s first female Asian-American delegates.

Student Voting Rights: Why They Matter, How They are Lost

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student survivor and organizer will join a Duke Alumna and a civil rights leader in the fight against gerrymandering, to reflect on the current challenges to student voting rights during a free public talk on Thursday, Oct. 25, at Duke University.

Panelists include:

  • Anita Earls, founder of Southern Coalition for Social Justice and a civil rights attorney who has litigated gerrymandering and defended voting rights across the South
  • Sari Kaufman, survivor of the Parkland school shooting, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and voting activist
  • Symonne Singleton (T’17), disenfranchised in the 2014 mid-term election.

The event will focus on the recent history and importance of student voting and the deliberate ways students have been discouraged or outright disfranchised from voting since 2008, when North Carolina produced the biggest youth voting wave of any state in the nation.

This panel discussion, “Student Voting Rights: Why They Matter, How They Are Lost” will be moderated by public policy professor Gunther Peck and will include an audience Q&A. This Connect2Politics will take place in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Fleishman Commons, 5:30-7 p.m.

Dreamers and Deportations

The Hart Leadership Program will convene a public conversation about “Dreamers,” focusing on the experiences and leadership that young undocumented men and women have generated across political, generational, and cultural divides. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Fleishman Commons.

This Connect2Politics, hosted by HLP’s director Gunther Peck, will talk with Maggie Loredo, founder of Otros Dreams en Accion, an organization that helps those who have been deported to Mexico get familiarized with their new home.

Joining Maggie will be Adriana Figueroa. Adriana is a returnee born in Mexico City. She immigrated to the United States at age 5 and returned to Mexico when she was 18 years old. She was just recently granted her tourist visa this past December (after 12 years) and this is only her second time on US soil since she left.

Axel Herrera, Dreamer and founder of the Duke chapter of Define American, will also join the ODA spokespeople on the panel. Define American is a national organization that looks to humanize the conversation around immigrants, citizenship, and identity.

Spring 2019

Confederate Statues event

Organizing Beyond Elections


Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide