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Our Team.

We are undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and faculty from Duke University Bass Connections. The Bass Connections program constructs interdisciplinary teams from across Duke’s schools to tackle complex societal and cultural challenges.

In August 2022, our team set out to study the impacts of swine concentrated agricultural feed operations (CAFOs) in Eastern North Carolina on neighboring communities. However, following guidance from our community advisory board composed of North Carolina environmental justice leaders, we pivoted our focus. Our research investigates the inequitable and disempowering stakeholder processes that defined the development of the 2022 North Carolina Carbon Plan. Our community advisory board expressed that the unjust and uncomprehensive stakeholder processes resulted in a similarly inequitable carbon plan that will exacerbate current conditions. Further, these stakeholder processes set an inadequate precedent for engaging with and implementing community feedback for the ensuing cycles of the Carbon Plan every two years. 


Our team’s study of the Carbon Plan stakeholder processes have yielded two sets of insights. First, we have produced a report documenting the fundamentally flawed stakeholder process associated with the Plan’s development and eventual approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission. We will post our report here once it is complete. 


Second, in order to empower community members participating in these processes in the future, and support facilitators in creating more empowering stakeholder processes, we have drafted a Stakeholder Participation Bill of Rights, built with the principles and ideals established by a wide range of sources from environmental justice leaders, organizers, and policymakers. This Bill of Rights guides the criteria of our Stakeholder Participation Scorecard, with which stakeholders and prospective facilitators can assess the degree to which a given process is truly inclusive, equitable, effective, and just.


Our 2022-23 team is composed of five undergraduates, three master’s students, a law student, and two PhD candidates serving as team mentors. Law school faculty Ryke Longest and Lee Miller created and led the team. We come from a wide range of backgrounds from all over the country, each bringing unique skills and perspectives to this work. Our team for the second half of the project largely split between those developing our in-depth critique of the Carbon Plan stakeholder process and those generating the Stakeholder Participation BIll of Rights and Scorecard to construct a better path forward. 


List of names and affiliation :

Maya Arora, Trinity ‘24, Sanford School of Public Policy

Chloe Brenner, Undergraduate ‘25, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy 

Jon Choi, JD ‘21, Ph.D. Candidate, Nicholas School of the Environment, Marine Science and Conservation

Isabella Delgado, Trinity ‘25, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy

Erin Fleck, Master of Environmental Management (DEL-MEM), Nicholas School of the Environment, '23

Zoe Gabrielson, JD ‘23

Ren Kamakura, Ph.D. Candidate, NSOE, Ecology

Lauren Kobayashi, Master of Public Policy ‘24, Sanford School of Public Policy, Master of Environmental Management ‘24. Nicholas School of the Environment

Coral Lin, Trinity ‘25, Sanford School of Public Policy

Ryke Longest, Clinical Professor, Duke Law School and NSOE

Grant Lyerly, Trinity ‘23, Public Policy and Computer Science

Lee Miller, Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law School

Robby Phillips, Trinity ‘23, Sanford School of Public Policy

Kendall Wimberley, Master of Environmental Management ‘23, NSOE

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