Blog

Blog Author:
Nick Antonicci, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

My name is Nicholas Antonicci, I use the pronouns he/him/his, and I'm the Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity here at Duke University.

Yesterday, I woke to the news of tragedy of 50 innocent people killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, a gay bar on a night celebrating Latinx people and communities.

I struggle to put feelings and emotions into words, to put pain into soundbites that appease and comfort those around me.

I struggle with balancing immense sadness for the lives lost, with anger at the forces which allowed this to happen and will continue to happen, namely homophobia and transphobia. I balance wanting to care for others, with frustration in the ways many of those who are responding are centering the feelings of heterosexual and cis peoples.

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
Sean Novak and India Pierce

 

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.

Blog Author:
Christy Lohr Sapp, Associate Dean for Religious Life, Duke Chapel

A friar, an imam and a rabbi walk into a lounge … This might sound like the start of a joke, but actually, it’s the start of an interfaith gathering on campus. The Duke Chapel Lounge is not a 70s-era bar with dim lighting, fruity drinks and mood music, but it is a place where connections are made and interfaith interaction happens on a regular basis.

Blog Author:
Li-Chen Chin, Director of Intercultural Programs

This July I took a six-day trip to China. When my flight from Shenzhen to Beijing finally landed after a 13-hour delay, everybody was relieved and eager to get off the plane. I noticed a young petite woman who had sat near me struggled to get her carry-on luggage from the overhead bin. I reached up and brought her luggage down while the people surrounding us watched. She thanked me and we went our separate ways.

During the long delay in Shenzhen, I struck up a casual conversation in Mandarin with a woman from Beijing who was about a decade older than me. Although we didn’t sit together on the flight, we re-connected on the tarmac as we waited for the shuttle bus to the terminal. I told her that I helped someone with her luggage on the plane, and she replied, “What you should have done,” she continued, “was to tell the men standing around to go assist her.”

by Zoila Airall

On Tuesday evening, Li-Chen Chin was one of eight recipients of the 2013 Samuel DuBois Cook Award.  Li-Chen, director of intercultural programs for Student Affairs, was acknowledged for the many ways in which her work as a cultural center director, supervisor and administrator exemplifies Dr. Cook's model of seeking to improve relations of people of all backgrounds. Many of you who have come to know Li-Chen will agree that she is the quintessential team player who is often the thoughtful voice of reason. If you have not had the opportunity to meet or work with Li-Chen, we encourage you to do so.

by Monika Jingchen Hu

2013 in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Year of the Snake, and it is my second Chinese New Year spent outside and far away from China. Though not being together with my family, I felt well received by some people (Chinese and non-Chinese) whom I just got to know, as part of my Chinese New Year celebrations – thanks to my house mate.

by Li-Chen Chin

To the CMA community,

As the Bryan Center transformation began, all of us in the Center for Multicultural Affairs were excited about our area getting a face-lift, which will include an expansion of meeting space for student organizations. We anticipated that we might have to vacate the premises at some point for a short period of time. However, we were very surprised when recently we were told that the CMA staff had to vacate from December 2012 to April 2013. There were and continued to be many questions.  What are we going to do during this extended period of time? How will our work be affected next semester? Will the students who hang out, study, or seek refuge in our Center find another place to go?