Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

A Note from Leadership on Racial Injustice

Recent events have shown us again the dark forces of injustice, bias, and racism. We see it in the unconscionable and horrific deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Abery in Georgia. We see it in the continuing and growing list of brutal killings of black and brown Americans, many at the hands of law enforcement officers. And we also see it in the disproportional impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on communities of color due to systemic and structural inequalities.

None of us in leadership can pretend to understand the daily struggles of a black person living under oppression in this country. And we cannot understand what four hundred years of systemic dehumanization and subjugation does to a community. But we do know that as a department and as individuals, we can do more to fight racism and bias and to promote an environment that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion for our students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff, and the greater community of Durham and North Carolina. Our commitment is yet more necessary given the horrific and damaging rhetoric that emanates from the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, a Branch which has shown no interest in eradicating systemic racism in the United States nor any empathy towards the plight of people of color in this country. Further, we must fight its assault on immigrants and work hard to protect our international students and postdoctoral fellows from harmful and ill-conceived policies. We’re open to your suggestions but we’re not making this your problem to solve—we are actively moving on this ourselves already because we acknowledge there’s a problem and we need to work harder at solving it.

In the days ahead, Dick will preside over a forum that brings members of our department together to share feelings, thoughts, and emotions. We do not have a black or indigenous faculty member in our department and we recognize this to be a major challenge to attaining many of our goals. In the months ahead, we are going to redouble our efforts to recruit, retain, and support BIPOC at the student, post-doc, faculty, and staff administrator levels. At the same time, we will reaffirm our commitment to fight all forms of racism and bias. We will be deliberate in developing an environment that empowers victims of bias and racism to speak up and hold individuals who perpetrate such acts accountable.

Everyone deserves to be sitting at the same table. Everyone deserves to be safe. Everyone belongs here.

Yours sincerely,

Duke Biochemistry Leadership
Dick Brennan, Hashim Al-Hashimi, Meta Kuehn, Mike Boyce

Read a statement including resources from the Biochemistry Graduate Student Council and JEDI Committee.
Read notes from leadership on racial diversity


Celebrating our Differences

Duke is dedicated to maintaining a climate of inclusiveness and celebrating our rich and diverse scientific community. To accomplish this, we honor everyone’s background and experiences through events, programs, and initiatives that promote diversity in the classroom, workplace, and community.

Department Initiatives
Graduate & School of Medicine Initiatives
Undergraduate Initiatives
Postdoctoral and Faculty Initiatives


Equity at Duke

The Office for Institutional Equity upholds the university’s equal opportunity and affirmative action, provides diversity and inclusion services, and is where students can lodge complaints and concerns.

Duke Equal Opportunity Statement
Duke University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke is committed to recruiting, hiring, and promoting qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Duke prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs or activities.