What a great semester it has been so far! The Polished Pebbles mentorship program at Duke University kicked off this year with a wonderful group of women of color spanning all four years at Duke and from a variety of backgrounds, all coming together with one purpose in mind—success at Duke and beyond. In collaboration with the Duke Women’s Center, we were welcomed to this year’s cohort with a networking event featuring food from all of our cultural backgrounds.
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Central Campusâs theme for this year; our one-word call to action is: SOLIDARITY. The concept of standing together in opposition to threats to the well-being and progress of our collective community. My hope, and this is where you come in, is that we as a campus can promote solidarity, in it's multidimensional nature, to the larger Duke and Durham community, and most importantly, to each other.
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.
The ever-changing population on Duke’s campus comes with both great benefits for a deeper understanding of an increasingly diverse community, and inevitable strains as these changes push at the boundaries of our existing spaces.
Today, we are happy to announce forward movement, with the designation of areas in the Bryan Center specifically for our Asian-American and Latinx student communities, to be ready for occupancy in the Fall. In addition, two new Program Coordinators and additional graduate student staff will be hired to work with these groups.
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.
Duke University's director of intercultural programs discusses how Duke students can be global without going abroad.
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.
Rabbi Elana Friedman began her work as Campus Rabbi for Jewish Life at Duke earlier this year. She can be reached at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, 919-684-3138, or email@example.com.
by: Imam Adeel Zeb, Muslim Life at Duke
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful
As we welcome the Blessed Month of Ramadan, we wanted to invite you to our “CML Ramadan Program”: