The Samuel DuBois Cook Society was founded in 1997 to honor the first African American faculty member hired and tenured at Duke University, and to recognize his contributions as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees. The late Dr. Cook dedicated his professional life to social justice. While at Duke, he championed the rights of non-academic employees, promoted Black student access, mentored junior faculty, and enhanced the University’s relationship with the Black community. He also sought to strengthen relations between Black and Jewish people—work that he carried out on the national level as well. A close personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Cook always shared Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community.
At its inception, the mission of the Samuel DuBois Cook Society was to provide a forum for analysis of issues with particular impact on African Americans; address the organizational issues that impede the creation of a sense of community; examine the historical experiences of the diversity represented at Duke in order to develop an enlightened appreciation of each group; and enhance the University’s capacity for becoming a truly inclusive community. The Society is open to any and all who are interested in these objectives and are committed to working toward the progress of African Americans who are part of the Duke University community.
Members of the society commit themselves to the objectives to which Dr. Cook dedicated his professional life:
- Nurture a sense of community and belonging for African Americans
- Translate the promise and potential of African Americans at Duke into fulfillment and actuality
- Foster positive and constructive interpersonal and intergroup relations within both Duke University's and Durham's Black communities
- Cultivate positive relations between African Americans and other ethnic, racial, and national groups on the basis of an enlightened appreciation and knowledge of our historic interdependence
The Society will:
- provide a thoughtful, stimulating, and knowledgeable forum for the analysis and discussion of issues with particular impact on the lives of African Americans at Duke University;
- address the organizational and structural issues that impede the trust, candor and broad participation necessary for the development of a sense of community at Duke;
- examine the historical experiences of various cultures and nationalities in order to develop an enlightened appreciation of the struggles and values of each;
- work to enhance Duke University's capacities for becoming a truly inclusive community;
- assess the University's progress toward the achievement of these objectives.
The Cook Society is open to all who are interested in our objectives and are committed to working toward the progress of African Americans who are part of the Duke University community. If you would like to stay informed of Cook Society activities, please email your contact information to the Office for Institutional Equity at email@example.com