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SOL is a nationally recognized, intensive 12-month leadership program for students who are interested in complex social and political issues and the art of implementing systemic political change. SOL’s three-stage structure includes a preparation (gateway) course in the spring, a collaboratively-designed community based research (CBR) project with an organization in the summer, and a follow-up (capstone) seminar in the fall. Throughout, students participate in a structured process of critical reflection on the ethical, intellectual and personal aspects of their community-based research project. This reflection helps them discern ethical issues and leadership dilemmas inherent in their work.

We believe that leadership in the public sector is honed through meaningful service and thoughtful engagement with communities. Students collaborate with community partners to design field-based service and research projects that are well-grounded in the context to address community needs. From experience, this model enables students to develop their own leadership skills and do so in a manner that is respectful of the communities.


Latest SOL Stories

2021 SOL Students Create Poetry in the Gardens

On a lovely spring day in April, Professor Kaligotla and her students met for class in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens with its verdant welcoming space open after a year-long closure due to COVID-19.  

Chapelboro Publishes Duke Senior Enrique Latoni's Op-Ed on Minimum Wage

On November 1st, Chapelboro – a local radio and news network – published Enrique Latoni’s (T’21) Op-Ed discussing the U.S.’s minimum wage debate and important issues to consider moving forward. Enrique is currently enrolled in PPS 270: Lead the Way Durham, taught by HLP Associate Director, Lalita Kaligotla. He wrote this op-Ed for a course […]

SOL students create infographics about coping with COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all areas of life, raising many pressing social issues to the fore. Students in one HLP course course have designed infographics tackling to engage the public about these concerns. The original goal of the assignment was for students to hone visual communication skills by creating a graphic that would persuade […]

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