Strengthening Partnerships between Durham Public Schools and Local Universities (2020-2021)

The Bull City Community Schools Partnership is a grassroots effort to support Durham Public Schools in addressing the challenges surrounding equitable school experiences and outcomes. The group envisions community schools as bringing together academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement under one roof. Local universities are central to this endeavor as part of the University-assisted Community Schools model.

This project team studied the benefits and limitations of a University-assisted Community Schools model, focusing on ways that universities can mobilize their resources to support Durham Public Schools. Building off the work of the 2019-2020 team, which identified the most pressing needs of Durham Public Schools partner institutions, team members spent 2020-2021 considering ways to better prepare undergraduate students to enter public schools. Focusing on the role and impact of undergraduate service learning training and the need for enhanced training around cultural competency, context setting and content and teaching strategy, the team conducted focus groups with university representatives and examined how universities (including community colleges, small liberal arts colleges and research universities) developed and executed their undergraduate service learning curricula.

This research will be used by the 2021-2022 team to inform new service learning curriculum design with the goal of creating a data-informed, culturally responsive training approach for undergraduate service learning training in the future.


Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

Team Outputs

Amy Anderson, Jessica Benton, Yolanda Dunston, Jamie Eaton, Alec Greenwald, Lindsey Miller, Quynh-Chi Vo, Maranatha Wall, Allyson Ashekun, Drew Greene, Patience Jones, Rhea Tejwan. Visualizing Durham Public Schools (Website).

Jessica F. Benton, Yolanda L. Dunston, Amy L. Anderson and Alec D. Greenwald. 2020. "#InThisTogether: A Collective Approach to Student Engaged Research and How Two Durham Universities Joined Forces to Defend and Transform Durham Public Schools." Universities and Community Schools 10(1).


Songia Wynn

This Team in the News

Duke and NCCU: A Commitment to Collaboration

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2021

How Duke and NC Central University Are #InThisTogether to Support Durham Schools

Duke, NCCU Team Up to Study Engagement with Durham Schools

Three Undergraduates Named Faculty Scholars for Outstanding Records of Research

This project team was originally part of the Education & Human Development theme of Bass Connections, which ended in 2022. See related teams, Strengthening Partnerships between Durham Public Schools and Local Universities (2021-2022) and University-assisted Community Schools (2019-2020).


Image courtesy of 2019-2020 project team


Team Leaders

  • Amy Anderson, Arts & Sciences-Program in Education
  • Jessica Benton, UNC-Chapel Hill–Ph.D. Student
  • Yolanda Dunston, School of Education, North Carolina Central University
  • Jamie Eaton, North Carolina Central University
  • Alec Greenwald, Arts & Sciences
  • Lindsey Miller, Office of Civic Engagement
  • Quynh-Chi Vo, Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs
  • Maranatha Wall, Arts & Sciences-Program in Education

/graduate Team Members

  • Eryn Gorang, Masters of Public Policy
  • Bella Walker, Juris Doctor

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Jasmine Benner, NCCU Student
  • Nicole Bonna, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Alex Chao, Computer Science (AB)
  • Seth Duncan, NCCU Student
  • Ce'Ondra Ellison, Psychology (AB)
  • Bliss Gordon, Economics (BS)
  • Catherine McMillan, History (AB)
  • Madeleine Sparrow, English (AB)
  • Yu Sun, Political Science (AB)
  • Rezilience Williamson, Cultural Anthropology (AB)
  • Songia Wynn, African/African Am St (AB)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Debra Best, School of Medicine-Pediatrics
  • Kisha Daniels, Arts & Sciences-Program in Education
  • Adam Hollowell, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Eliza Mathew, Community Affairs
  • Erica Phillips, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
  • Erma Smith-King, North Carolina Central University

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Bull City Community Schools Partnership
  • Durham Public Schools
  • North Carolina Central University (NCCU)-School of Education
  • North Carolina Central University (NCCU) - Department of Nursing
  • North Carolina Central University (NCCU) - Department of Psychology
  • Jonathan Livingston, North Carolina Central University