Erik Ludwig (1976-2015) graduated from Duke in 1998, and his legacy continues to live on at the university, through a new fund in his honor supporting the work of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD).
Diversity and Inclusion are values critical to Duke University. We are a community of students, faculty and staff of different demographic backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, income level, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. As educators we understand the importance of preparing our students to become members of a global citizenry whose workforce becomes more interconnected and interdependent with each new generation. In Student Affairs, one of our four strategic goals is to provide education in cultural competency so that students gain a consciousness, information and knowledge about world-views and perspectives different from their own. The opportunity to develop what many refer to as cultural fluency enables students to communicate, interact and engage effectively with people different from themselves.
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.
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.
Jack D explains what happened:
As many of you know, early in the morning yesterday someone entered my dorm and sprawled on the wall of the first floor, “Death to all fags @ Jack.” In just five words and an ‘at’ symbol, my sense of security and safety on this campus was shattered.
Efforts have been made to find the assailant but the likelihood of success seems minimal. However, the person who wrote on the wall is greatly unimportant.
I would like for people to understand who I am. I wish to be a peer and not a name. I grew up near Boston with a single mother and siblings. I played sports throughout school and spent summers volunteering. I am a freshman but have lived as a proudly out and visible gay man on Duke’s campus. I am Jack. I am the fag. I do not deserve this treatment. No one deserves this treatment.
Bernadette Brown has been named the new director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) at Duke.
Dear Duke parents and families,
Periodically, I like to acknowledge various parts of our diverse community. Today, in advance of some key upcoming commemorations, I want to share some thoughts about our LGBTQ community.
I’m proud to acknowledge an environment where all students, gay and straight, are equal members of our broader Duke family and where we celebrate differences and support persistent struggles which, unfortunately, yet exist. I invite you to check out the website for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for an array of current facts that showcase our achievements and pride.
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.