Diversity, Equity and Inclusion In Focus
So much is happening on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion front at Sanford, and I am excited to share the updates with you.
This fall, we hired our new Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, J. Spenser Darden. Spenser is working with our entire school to advance Sanford’s goal to become a diverse community that embraces all its members and educates leaders prepared to engage policy problems with a keen understanding of systemic racism and structural inequality. In just one semester, Spenser has already made a difference at Sanford: working directly with graduate assistants to reach our students, implementing staff trainings, hosting inclusive professional development for faculty, recognizing diverse observances in our community and much more. Importantly, Spenser has initiated a new opportunity called Mental Health Monday in a Safe Space – truly needed now more than ever.
Next: Spenser is working with our community to update Sanford’s Collective Action Plan. This plan was developed last year schoolwide as the culmination of effort and intention of our entire community. These commitments demonstrate a desire to grow together on a journey to ensure Sanford is an inclusive place to work and learn. While the work is ongoing, there has been positive progress towards commitments in the plan. Soon, we will show indicators of change and success, to allow our community to both observe trends and be responsive to emerging needs. We look forward to reporting the progress with you soon.
In the meantime, every day we are celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion at Sanford, showcased through our Faces at 50 alumni profiles, our acclaimed podcast series “The ARC of Justice” (now available as its own podcast feed on NPR) and stories from Humans of Duke Sanford in honor of Black History Month.
Through our actions and analysis, we seek to make Sanford a community that embraces all its members and educates leaders prepared to engage policy problems with a keen understanding of systemic racism and structural inequality. Our work is important and continuing. Thank you for the support.
Dean Judith Kelley