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Duke Begins Taking Steps To Build a Renewed Community

We must take transformative action now toward eliminating the systems of racism and inequality that have shaped the lived experiences of too many members of the Duke community. That starts with a personal transformation, and I’m prepared to do that work. It must end in institutional transformation, and that is the hard work before all of us. And that is my responsibility: to put my full energy as president behind that effort.

"That work begins today. I commit the university to the following actions, which, in recognition of anti-racism’s vital importance to every level of institutional activity, are embedded within all five core aspects of Duke’s strategic framework, Toward our Second Century.

— President Vincent Price

Stemming from the June 16thLiving While Black online event, President Vincent Price charged the University community to take up the effort and begin transforming the systems of inequality at all levels during his Juneteenth address. The commitment begins with a plan to grow the diversity of Duke's faculty, staff, and students, with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

This effort will expand need-based financial aid, increase support for minority faculty members and develop pipeline programs for the campus’ diverse community of staff through the creation of more robust workforce development programs. Duke will also work to ensure salary equity and promote excellence by increasing diverse leadership opportunities.

Duke recognizes that transformation starts with the education we offer to our students. University leadership will work with programs across campus to incorporate anti-racism learning into undergraduate, graduate, and professional level curricula. Its goal will be to teach the nature of structural racism and inequity, with acute focus on Duke’s and North Carolina’s institutional and regional legacies.

To better bridge diversity education with the academic needs of all students, the University will assess and remediate systemic biases in the design of its existing curricula. With support from scholars who examine issues in policing, justice, health, housing, education, labor and other domains of life, the campus will mobilize to help overturn racism and reduce systemic racial disparities and inequities. This effort will help all students take full advantage of amplified resources designed for success and will establish Duke as a global educational research leader in anti-racism endeavors.

Student success hinges on a strong community of faculty and staff. Duke commits to renew the campus community by requiring anti-racism and anti-bias training for not only students, but also for every member of the faculty and staff in an effort to foster a more inclusive environment for everyone. Enhanced mental health resources will be made available for Duke community members who are experiencing pain or trauma related to racial injustice. Coordinated surveys will inform the University’s progress in addressing bias and promoting respect, meaningful inclusion, and true equity in our community. The annual review process will hold leadership accountable for promoting a more inclusive and equitable Duke.

More effort will be made to highlight Black excellence throughout the campus community and increase the visibility of Black scholars, students, staff, and alumni. Duke will forge purposeful partnerships with the City of Durham to support the empowerment of underrepresented communities through internships and workforce-development programs. The University will work to better support an expanded pipeline for transfer, graduate, and professional applications from students at community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, such as deepening engagement with North Carolina Central University and Durham Technical Community College, as well as Johnson C. Smith University.

Duke will work to activate and boost its global network by redoubling efforts to support alumni from the Black, Indigenous and communities of color by expanding opportunities for networking and professional mentorship. The University will also reach out to diverse alumni and provide opportunities for them to connect with students on campus. To enhance the power and influence of Duke alumni have globally, the campus will provide them with educational programs on racial inequities and injustice and will assist in their efforts to be agents of positive change in their communities.

Learn more about Duke’s Strategic Framework for the Future of Duke.

By Maria Moreno
© 2020 Duke Office for Institutional Equity

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