Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

MLW Staff

Chandra Guinn, Director
101 Flowers Building
Box 90880
Office Phone: 919-684-3814
Fax: 919-681-7472
cguinn@duke.edu

Chandra is a native Mississippian who lived in Iowa & Maryland before making her home in the Triangle. She came to Duke in October 2005. Chandra has completed degrees in Sociology at Bucknell University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her scholarly interests include Africana Studies historiography & pedagogy, Black women’s & men’s studies, intellectual entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and sociology of sport to name but a few. Chandra possesses a passion for her people and a desire to provide programs and services that propel us forward ever and backward never. In regards to her work at the Mary Lou Williams Center, Chandra has said "I feel privileged to serve as the Center director and will always strive to demonstrate excellence in action." When she is away from the MLWC, Chandra enjoys educational outings & travel, watching sports & design shows, and going to used bookstores among other things.

Alec Greenwald, Program Coordinator
101 Flowers Building
Box 90880
Office Phone: 919- 684-3814
Fax: 919-681-7472

Alec Greenwald is a Bay Area native who has had the privilege to work and travel through much of the Western Hemisphere. Alec has been involved with youth empowerment issues through non-profit organizations and school settings since, he too, was a youth. His career as a credentialed educator began in Philadelphia and has provided the opportunities to work with youth in diverse environments. Alec has taught in a remote setting in the rainforest of Belize, Central America, the borderlands of Southern New Mexico and most recently at the Historic Hillside High School here in beautiful Durham, North Carolina.  While living in New Mexico, he also served as Adjunct Faculty at New Mexico State University, where he mentored teachers-in-training, helping them incorporate multicultural issues into the curriculum.  Alec holds a BA in African-American Studies and Sociology from Northeastern University and a MS in Leadership and Organizational Management from Springfield College. We are excited by his programming ideas, appreciative of the work he has done especially as a high school teacher and look forward to deepening our audience engagement with his help. 

Roslyn Mickens, Staff Assistant
101 Flowers Building
Box 90880
Office Phone: 919-684-3814
Fax: 919-681-7472
roslyn.mickens@duke.edu

Roslyn Mickens, a lifelong resident of Durham, comes from a military background which traveled a lot.  Eventually her parents decided to settle down in North Carolina and make Durham their home.  Prior to this, she remembers visiting her grandparents who lived in the the Hayti district.  While growing up in Durham she also remembers being involved in the local civil rights movement and following black activist Howard Fuller. She graduated from the "old Hillside High School.  She continued her education at Virginia State University. Later she returned to North Carolina where she had an extensive work career at Nortel in various roles.  Before coming over to the student affairs division, Roslyn was a staff specialist in the Outcomes group at The Duke Clinical Research Institute.  In her community, she served 15 years as a Girl Scout troopleader.  She has volunteered her time to mentoring programs for at-risk adolescents and teenage girls to encourage and offer then guidance and support.  She and her husband Jose' have four daughters.  Roslyn is a huge Duke fan.  In her free time she loves watching sports, camping, and vintage shopping.

Sean Palmer, Assistant Director
101 Flowers Building
Box 90880
Office Phone: 919-684-3814
Fax: 919-681-7472
sean.palmer@duke.edu

The oldest of seven children and a native of Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina, Sean H. Palmer is a 2011 graduate of the Duke Divinity School.  He is the 2011 recipient of the Julian Abele Award for Graduate Student of The Year.  Before Duke Divinity, Sean was the Director of Student Activities and Residence Life at Paine College.  He is an alumnus of Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with double minors in African American Studies and Religious Studies.  He has further completed a Master of Arts in African and African-American Studies at Clark Atlanta University with a concentration in Political Science.  Thus, Sean seeks to cultivate a career that incorporates both Black Higher Education and the Black Church.  Sean follows the profound declaration of W. E. B. DuBois, “…the Negro race, like all other races, will be saved by its exceptional men.” To this end, Sean is the now the Assistant Director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University.