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A Brave and Startling Truth

Dr. Maya Angelou delivered the convocation address to incoming Duke students for the past 24 years. With her passing, we offer A Brave and Startling Truth, which she delivered to the Class of 2016. The poem was first delivered in June 1995, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

A Brave and Startling Truth
written by Maya Angelou
Dedicated to the hope for peace, which lies, sometimes hidden, in every heart.

We, the people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth.

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And face sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and
     daughters
Up with bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
 

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi
      who, without favor,
Nurtures all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the       
      dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people, on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That, in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing,
     irresistible tenderness,
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

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Collaboration & Change for a Common Good

 

Collaboration & Change for a Common Good
A Reflection on Collaboration in Campus Life
India Pierce and Sean Novak

 

One way that we can work effectively to create change for a common good is to work collaboratively across communities. With this in mind, India Pierce from the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (CSGD) came together with Sean Novak from the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) to create a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. As part of the CMA’s En/Countering Racism series (E/C), they created a program for students to gather and explore intersectionality. This was done in order to deepen participants’ understanding of themselves and others as a means to building stronger coalitions for social justice.

En/Countering Racism is one part of the CMA’s Race Speaks Initiative. The series aims to provide a safe space for people to share their experiences encountering racism and build participants’ capacity to effectively counter it. The more we explore intersectionality, the more we will see that life is much more complex than our politically polarized times might suggest.

In the beginning, the focus was on doing good works and providing students the opportunity to enrich their understanding of themselves and others. However, in the midst of the project the true essence of collaboration became apparent. As much as they wanted the students to leave anew, they walked away from the experience impacted themselves. The project became more than just another event to host or dialogue to facilitate. It was a lesson in how to successfully collaborate. On the heels of the recent rollout of the Student Affairs Leadership Development model, India and Sean thought to share some insight regarding their experience.

Sean’s thoughts…

I had the pleasure of collaborating with India this past semester for our En/Countering Racism Series. I approached her with a very broad idea. I felt there was a need to host a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. I came to India with that basic starting point and little expectations. I know that I desired for the program to primarily be geared toward stimulating ideas for how and why individuals and organizations should work across communities (Ex. Black community and Asian Community) and movements (LGBT justice and racial justice movements.)

After a few brainstorming sessions, we came up with a concept about “challenging the face of privilege.” As we talked, India and I found a common desire in challenging ourselves to think about our privilege. On the surface, you can assume that I am White and I am male. Additionally, you can assume that she is a woman and Black. I knew from conversation that we had a similar social economic background, coming from a poor and/or working class background. With our education and current profession, we are both experiencing relative mobility in that aspect of our life. However, both of us are more than just this. As we talked, it was clear that we both acknowledged that we have multiple and intersecting identities. We both acknowledged that we needed to consistently bring our whole selves to the table and not just our racial identity, or sexuality, or gender identity, or class background, etc. We both believe that no aspect of our experience pertaining to our identity operates in isolation of other identities. It all intersects. We thought it important that we all explore our privilege instead of just pointing fingers at those who we perceive as “the privileged.”

In my opinion, what worked so well with India and I was that we were both willing to be open, honest, and vulnerable. We threw ideas around. We had a level of trust built that allowed for us to brainstorm without worry of being ridiculed for our ideas. Neither one of us had ulterior motives. This wasn’t a case of either one of us putting together a collaborative program in order to build our professional portfolio. We did this for the love of the work. India appeared to have a common desire for creating and expanding community and empowering students to work for equity. We had a common goal of providing people a space to explore the complexities of their lived experience not only to see how unique and distinct those experiences are but also, how we might be able to find common interests.

Next, I feel that we had mutual respect for and were resourceful with one another’s strengths. Instead of positioning ourselves against one another, we just focused on the work. I love the work I do. That’s why I committed to it. That’s why I chose this as a profession because I had a deep desire to work particularly with racial reconciliation and justice. It was obvious to me that India had a similar passion and commitment. After observing her track record in the short time she has been here at Duke and the conversations that we’ve had, India had similar motivations as I to embark on this journey together.

Additionally, what worked so well with our collaboration was a mutual willingness to compromise. India may have had an idea and I may have not initially agreed or thought differently. Instead of resisting, I discerned her suggestions. Sometimes, I might come back and say, “I think we should do this instead.” She agreed at times and disagreed at other times. Nonetheless, it was never personal. We had built a strong foundation from the start so we had a common goal. There were no suggestions that intentionally led us off course from that goal. Compromise can be a long and tedious process when you’re trying to organize a collaborative effort. I could easily have taken this program on myself (as could she) and created all the content. It would have been quicker and easier in the short-term. However, I am a firm believer that when you build bridges with weak foundations they are bound to collapse. Compromise and equitable collaborations are absolutely necessary for a sustainable initiative or program. If I wanted something for my professional portfolio, I could have just thrown it together and advertised it. In my opinion, compromise in collaboration is the difference between (1) being seen as a leader and (2) being a leader.

The last item that I will touch on is that we both put in our work. There was a mutual effort. We delegated duties and when one of us thought the other was taking on more than they should, we expressed it. After all, how could we take an inequitable approach to developing a program partially geared toward empowering participants to be more equitable? That wouldn’t be establishing a solid foundation. Sometimes, I was caught up with other projects or was simply slacking. I was open and honest about it with India. She was honest with me when she was falling behind as well. We made adjustments and knew what we were working with most of the time.

It truly was a pleasure working with India and I am going to enjoy working with her to build a larger initiative off this collaboration.

 

Thoughts from India…

I have been at Duke for a little less than a year but it did not take me long to understand how much of a buzz word “collaboration” is for folks around here. Yet, it seems to be at times easier to talk about than it is to do. Call it newbie naivety, but I believe that if us Student Affairs folks could figure out how to succeed with our collaborating efforts we will all win. I remember sitting down with my supervisor early on during my time here, sharing with her all of my ideas for how we could work with other identity/cultural centers. Encouraging of my enthusiastic spirit she encouraged me to consider every opportunity that presents itself.

Unwavering in my opinion, that’s exactly what I did when I embarked upon a wonderful collaborative project with Sean. He approached me about creating an event that would work for the CMA’s En/countering Racism series and I don’t want to brag but the experience was the stuff dreams are made of. I say this because I have often been approached about collaborating on events where the real intention was simply to use our space or for us to provide financial support. I wasn’t being asked to be a partner in the creation of an event, most of the time the planning for the event was already completed. In those instances I can’t help but feel a little confused because that is not how I see collaboration working. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot and do not want to collaborate on everything. However, what I am normally asked for is to be a sponsor of an event not a collaborator on the creation of an event. It would have been easy for Sean to fall into the same pattern, as En/countering Racism is a series that he plans on his own. He could have come to me with a vision and plan for how we would work together and what the event would be, leaving very little room for me to interject; I appreciate that he did not do this.

Our first few meetings were us just talking about the issues that are important to the students we serve. We discussed the types of programs that were the most successful in each of our offices and sought to take some of those elements and include them into the work we would do together. I can’t remember how we came to the topic of privilege but when we got there everything seemed to fall in place.

Working on this project showed me that there is a clear difference between working with people and collaborating with people. In any working relationship there are some pretty basic expectations that one has for their teammate, like completing tasks and meeting deadlines. However, successful collaborations go beyond the logistics…beyond the things on paper. Successful collaborations push and cultivate the growth of us as individuals. Our project focused on challenging the traditional notions of privilege, a topic that could not be taught to others until we did a little of the work ourselves. We had numerous conversations about the spaces in which we felt we had privilege and those that we didn’t. For both of us, we discovered that it is important that we bring our whole selves into our work. In order to do that we must first see beyond the check boxes of identities and see ourselves as the complex individuals that we are. At first glance it doesn’t seem that Sean and I would have much in common, aside from the fact that our home sports teams were rivals, Michigan and Ohio State.  Despite Michigan’s inferiority to Ohio State, we found out we’ve had some similar experiences in certain aspects of our life and others that were completely different. It was on those things that we were able to build a strong foundation for our work. I didn’t feel the anxiety that I’ve felt when working with others where I had to do x, y, or z otherwise it wouldn’t get done. Most importantly I was able to be myself, I admitted when I didn’t know something or was swamped with other things. It was our flexibility and openness that helped Sean and I work well together. We discussed how we approach creating events and when we’re at our best so we could support one another where we were and not where we would prefer the other to be.

At the center of every collaboration must be trust, and it is probably the hardest part of any true collaboration. We by nature are looking for ways to save our own butts. We expect the worst in others and over compensate for bad things that haven’t even happened yet. Those approaches are a disservice to those who we are committed to serve. I am of the belief that the best collaborative experiences often look like magic. Magic is something that can be taught, you teach it by encouraging people to think outside the box and embrace the process of stepping into the unknown. If we want our division to be one in which we are truly collaborating and creating meaningful programming for students we must first start by teaching the skills that people need to be successful at those things like emotional intelligence, communication skills, and effective management skills.  I believe that these skills helped cultivate a healthy working relationship between Sean and I. I look forward to what happens next as we build off this collaboration.

Sean and India closing…

We had a wonderful time working together. This started off as a one-time program to explore the intersections of race and sexual orientation and it is now developing into a half-day workshop. We plan to restructure and expand this program to provide an opportunity for students to engage even deeper into the complexities of intersectionality. One of the primary purposes will be to galvanize and equip students to work across identities and movements. Additionally, we will be altering this workshop to provide a professional development opportunity for colleagues to consider an intersectional approach to advising student organizations as well. As advisors, we think it is important for students to work collaboratively and not always in isolation from other organizations and communities.

In closing, we believe that collaboration is a vital component for us to provide the best service possible for our students. It is difficult to be influential in encouraging students to work together if we are not setting the tone for what it looks like. One of the most powerful things we can do to increase our ability in advising students is to first advise ourselves. Working collectively can be a daunting task with competing interests. However, we believe that enduring the struggle and fighting through the dissonance can produce sustained initiatives that will prove to serve students and ourselves well.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

India & Sean

 

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SA ITS How To: Add your office phone for Multi Factor Authentication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Click on "Multi-factor authentication" on the right panel

Select "Register here"

  • select "Use multi-factor authentication for all NetID-Protected websites"
  • click "Add a basic cell phone or home/office phone"

  • Select "Home/office phone" from the drop down menu of what type of device you would like to register

  • Fill out your DIRECT office phone line.
  • Nickname your device "Office Phone" for convience

  • Henceforth all sites that require a netID authentication will require you to choose click on the "choose one option" and you will need to select "Call my Office Phone".  A automated system will then call your office line and require you to press any number on your phone to authenticate.  The system will then hang up the call.  You can now select "Enter"
  • The process can be repeated if you would like to use your personal cell phone to authenticate in case you are away from the office and require access to a Duke website that requires your NetID.

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New Years Resolution: Be a Little Braver

I recently read the book by Daniel Bergner, “What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire.” After my initial eye rolling “who but a guy can talk about female sexuality?” thoughts, I opened my mind and read.  Then I heard him in an interview say the following beautiful words.  I was so moved that I pulled over to the side of the road in order to fully attend to what he was saying.

“I sometimes think we have to be a little braver about just caring more. Caring, and being open about caring about sex, with one’s partner sounds like it should be easy, but I think often it’s not because you can fail and you can feel hurt. And so I think that candor and caring are important and might well be the root to maintaining passion.”

Indeed.  How brave it is to just care more?  Care for self, for our bodies, for our sweethearts and our sexual partners, for the earth and for one another and dare I say it, for our own and the other person’s sexual fulfillment and needs getting met.  In the era of the college “hook up,” (whatever that means), how brave is this concept of caring.  And how connected to desire caring is for all of us, female, male and the rest of us in between.

I recently had a conversation with a friend when I expressed my confusion as to why he was not dating.  By conventional standards, he fit all the requirements: successful, good looking, educated.  He could, I told him, afford to be picky.  “Why am I not dating?”  He asked.  “Because I feel like the whole model is just not real.”  He went on to question if people are really honest with themselves and with the other person in those first several coffee/dinner get to know you conversations.  Not that people intend to be dishonest, perhaps, but it is our nature to put our best face forward.  “Shouldn’t we all,” he conjectured, “show up to that first date with the list of our failures and our fears and hopes and needs and see if my list meshes well with your baggage?”  Perhaps it’s no more complex than the Galway Kinnell poem, “Why Regret?”  Kinnell writes beautifully about monarch butterflies and the miracle of their migration back to the same place in Mexico, even the same tree where they hatched and their ancestors hatched for generations.  Yes, why regret indeed?  Kinnell says, in essence, afterall, “Doesn't it outdo the pleasure of the brilliant concert to wake in the night and find ourselves holding hands in our sleep?”

Imagine, the simple act of waking up holding hands with your beloved is as miraculous as the monarch migration.  For this new year, I wonder, what would it take for all of us to be brave and just care more and be more open about our needs and our desires? Mr. Bergner, what do women want?  Perhaps for an end to the need for hand wringing books being written about the mysteries of female sexuality because we are caring more and we are being more open.  And then we watch the desire come naturally from that place, beautiful, colorful, multi faceted, like the wings of the Monarch butterfly.

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The Great Calzone Cookoff

Congratulations to the Queen and Princess of Calzones-Connie & Jean! In the great Calzone Cookoff @ Penn Pavilion Connie was voted by YOU as your Queen w/ Jean coming in a close second as Princess! As Connie was crowned with her tiara, held her bouquet of roses and wore her bejeweled sash she thanked Duke Dining and all of the students for "making this moment possible!" THANKS FOR VOTING!

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BigFix and You

With the continued and exciting growth of our division, Student Affairs Information Technology Services (SA-ITS) has introduced BigFix, just one of our new enterprise tools that will be assisting on our mission to provide individual level attention and support even on a large scale.  SA-ITS is confident that this tool will reduce the need for service requests that involve minor plug in updates and allow for less downtime sifting through the dozens of updates that come out on a weekly basis from software vendors.  BigFix will also allow for increased transparency to Student Employees that may use multiple workstations in multiple division departments being that all updates on all workstations will be standardized.

The BigFix platform allows SA-ITS to take a unified approach to managing hot fixes and updates to all of our Student Affairs workstations.  In addition,these updates will run silently as a background process without prompting that anything is being installed.  This avoids workflow interruption versus having to contact the helpdesk to remote in to install the update for you for.  Users will only be aware of the BigFix application when  prompted to save their work and restart the computer (more on that later).  
 
Workstations with our BigFix agent will constantly be checking-in to the campus shared masthead server regardless of your location in the world.  The agent queries relevant updates based for your individual computer and ignoring non-relevant updates that you already have or do not need.  These updates can range from common plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player and Java Runtime Environment that we have all seen before; to more custom SA-ITS packages for example: a blocker that prevents the new version Internet Explorer from updating to Version 10 which is not yet compatible with many Duke University/Duke Medicine online resources.  We can later apply a reverse action script once the platform is more stable.

If new updates have been applied to your workstation, you will notice the following prompt:



At this time you have the option to take the action (in this case the action is to restart your workstation) or you can delay the action for a specific amount of time of your choosing.



In the scenario that 24 hours past after the initial prompt without a action taken on your part, the request will lock to the top layer of your desktop until you take the action to ensure that workstations are receiving their updates in a timely manner.

SA-ITS is still adjusting the frequency of required restarts after updates have been installed (currently once per week).  If you have any suggestions feel free to leave us a comment below!

 

 

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Feminism: Our Past, Present and Future

For this blog post, some of the interns at the Women’s Center decided to share our personal history with feminism. We have all had different experiences and there isn’t a singular theme among our stories, but we hope that our experiences encourage others in the Duke community to explore what feminism means to them.

 

From Colleen O’Connor (Community Building and Organizing Intern): `

 

From a very young age, I was aware of gender dynamics.  My first ‘feminist puzzle piece,’ so to speak, came when I was in preschool and I approached my friend Pablo playing blocks alone.  As I went over to join him, Pablo pushed me away and told me that I was not allowed to play with the blocks because I was a girl and blocks were for boys.  At the time, I recognized how unfair it was that I was excluded from doing something because I was a girl.  I received a similar reaction, although without physical pushing, when I told my peers and adults that I wanted to be the first woman president.  Oftentimes, the reaction was one of “Hmm. Girls can’t be presidents though” or “I don’t think you want to get involved in politics, honey.” I realized that my friends and family were making judgment calls about what I could and could not do and it just felt wrong.  

Fast-forward a few years to when I arrived at Duke. My first year seminar was Gender and Sports with Professor Donna Lisker, and she challenged me to think about my gender and how I live it out in my everyday life. During this semester, I collected many puzzle pieces, questioning why there are only male priests in Church and why in my social life I felt as though I was in a bind where neither sexual activity nor sexual inactivity was right.

It was not until the fall of my sophomore year, though, that I began to think about power and privilege dynamics beyond my gender. That semester, I took Feminist Art in the 1970s, a course on the exhibit The Deconstructive Impulse, and I participated on Common Ground. I began to realize that feminism is much bigger than gender issues, but really focuses on systemic oppression.  I became conscious of the privilege I have in being white and suddenly noticed the extreme heteronormativity in my daily life. It was like wearing glasses for the first time. For me, feminist activism became a strong desire to create change in something bigger than myself, focusing on the intersectionalities of oppression.

I declared a Women’s Studies major, participated in The Moxie Project, and began to engage in activism on campus. I became more confident in myself and felt comfortable opening up a dialogue when I heard sexist, homophobic, or racist language. I have come to realize that I have been a girl activist all along, and I can effectively make change in our community.  Like a puzzle, there are still many pieces that are yet to be found. Yet piece-by-piece, the whole picture is coming into view.

 

From McCall Hollie (Gender Equity and Leadership Intern):

 

I used to shy away from the term "feminist" as one with which to describe myself. I saw it as the inaccurate stigma I fear many misinterpret it to be: man-hating, bra-burning (did you know that never actually happened? Bras are too expensive to burn, anyway), preachy, angry, and unreceptive to modern culture. Where these confusing stereotypes came from I don't think I could tell you, but I can say with confidence I no longer associate feminism with aforementioned negatively-connoted ideas. Being a Duke student, and one affiliated with the Women's Center, has enabled me to develop a far more accurate and positive image of feminism that I now strongly identify with. Being a feminist means believing in equality--for everyone. Feminists fight not only for the rights of women but also for marginalized populations such as racial minorities or LGBTQIA community, among many others. As a feminist, I actively make an effort in my daily life to make the world around me a welcoming and accepting place for all. I don't hate men, I don't burn my bras, I do not preach my ideas, nor am I unreceptive to those of others. I'm also not angry, but instead I am empowered and motivated to make positive change.

 

 

 

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Friendly Food

“There are three activities that are absolutely vital in the creation of community. The first is eating together. The second is praying together. And the third is celebrating together.”  Duke Professor of Theological Ethics Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, wrote this in their book “Living Gently in a Violent World.  These simple practices are alive in Duke’s Divinity Refectory and its vendor, CORE Catering.

CORE Catering’s owner Pat Eder began what she calls a “ministry of hospitality to people and planet”.  Eder had relationships with Duke Dining Services, local growers and community members dating back to the early 80’s. As an employee of former Divinity school eatery vendor Bon Vivant she supported them with her knowledge and values of sustainable, nutritious meals “that celebrate the restoration of community, earth, and spirit.”  

When Duke Dining Services selected CORE Catering as the new vendor for The Refectory at Duke Divinity School in 2012, Eder was committed to continuing that ministry as she provided a unique dining experience at the popular campus eatery. CORE Catering’s mission is not limited to feeding hungry students, faculty and staff from across campus at the long, narrow “refectory tables” in the Divinity School, but extends throughout the Durham community.   

Every Friday evening, volunteers from the Durham Friends Meeting pick up “Friendly Food” donated by Eder and her staff at the Divinity Refectory and deliver the meals to Durham families who are grieving the violent death of a loved one.  The meals are a vital means of connecting with these families, says Marcia Owen, executive director of the Religious Coalition for a Non-violent Durham (RCND). The meals become an extension of the bonds formed through Coalition-sponsored candlelight vigils as a community response to violence.

Glenda Fowler whose son Kareem was fatally shot in 2010 describes her experience of “Friendly Food” visits as “overwhelming compassion.“I am indescribably appreciative of Friendly Food folks taking the time to remember my family as we continue to cope with the grief and loss of Kareem. The food is very, very good!”

Duke History professor Simon Partner has volunteered since “Friendly Food” deliveries began in early 2013. “The deliveries allow me an opportunity to reach out and connect with families who have suffered the worst imaginable loss through the gift of one of the fundamental things that people share: food. Many of these families are in dire economic straits and the recipients are also often lonely and isolated. Delivering the food gives me a chance to talk and to listen, and I think the conversation and communication are as important as the food itself." Partner says the food is important, but may not be the most important part of Friendly Food. “The recipients always appreciate that this is gourmet food beautifully prepared and packaged. I can't overstate the generosity and caring of Pat and Blake Eder.   One of the nicest things about Friendly Food is meeting Pat and Blake on Friday afternoon and seeing their warm smiles as they donate meals lovingly prepared in their kitchen.”

Harold Wright, whose wife was fatally shot in 2012, says he values the visits as much as the meals. “Everyone is so caring and nice. They radiate with love.”

Volunteer David Bridge of Durham Friends Meeting believes that violence harms many more than the actual victim. “Healing becomes an eternal journey.  I deliver meals to the families of victims because it is a simple act of providing nourishment to folks who are on that journey and to let them know that the community cares.”

CORE Catering also prepares the communal meals for the Coalition’s “Circles of Hope and Healing.” These bi-weekly gatherings for individuals and families suffering the isolation of traumatic grief are supported by Duke University’s “Doing Good in the Neighborhood” fund.

In partnership with Reality Ministries, CORE Catering has created a "Dine Out" experience at the Divinity Refectory that creates space for friendship and mutual growth-in-Christ between folks with and without disabilities. “Friendships were nurtured and honored because of The Divinity Refectory's contribution to this dinner,” says Greg Little of Reality Ministries. “They hosted the event and provided food and staffing, as well as remained attentive to detailed concerns throughout the preparation and event. It was a gift to share food together and celebrate one another in this way, and we look forward to further fostering this partnership through individual relationships and larger gatherings.”

CORE Catering’s support to the Duke and Durham community also extends to Durham Congregations In Action’s “Year of Opportunity for Durham Youth – YO:Durham.” "Every summer the YO:Durham program hosts a mock networking event where our youth can meet with local professionals and volunteer,” says staff member Eric Olson-Getty. “We are grateful to CORE Catering for its partnership with our program and we hope to continue working with them for future events."

The Divinity Refectory recognizes that the creation of community is sustained by the bounty of our earth. Their reliance on local food and support of sustainable food production are central to the goodness of their meals.

In his sermon “Food is Politics”, former Dean of Duke Chapel Sam Wells asked "If worship is food, could it be that food is worship?  Could we imagine how good eating might become a sacrament of reconciliation between human beings and our planet?" CORE Catering’s answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

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