Engaging in a Diverse World

Our Values & Goals

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

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“College both attracts diversity and breeds change…At college, you are exposed to so many different people, ideas, and interests that your worldview will assuredly change.” Milton Padillo, ’17

Duke University’s student body mirrors the ever-changing composition of the United States. Fifty percent of our undergraduate student body reflects a dramatic increase in racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in the last several years. As with any confluence of cultures, identities and ideas, there is turbulence, complexity, challenge, excitement and joy, and everyone is better for the experience.

We in Student Affairs believe that to succeed in a diverse environment, Duke students must be comfortable and competent engaging people of different backgrounds, beliefs and perspectives. Diversity is a core value of our organization. Student Affairs provides programs, services and resources within a context that values the uniqueness of each human being and remains sensitive to cultural and individual diversity in the immediate and extended community. This includes our respect for how race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disability, and veteran status might impact a person’s experience in the Duke community and the larger societies and world in which we live.

We are also committed to maintaining awareness that our various cultural lenses have an impact on how we view Duke students and colleagues, and we remain committed to dismantling our biases. This commitment is guided by our profound respect for each student, staff, faculty, parent and family member within our shared community.

To support the Division’s Strategic Plan--to promote student growth and development through exposure to and promotion of skills and experiences in Cultural Competency--the Cultural Centers are employing the following cultural competency framework and define Cultural Competence as:

  • SELF-AWARENESS: Having the consciousness of one’s social identities*, cultures, biases, and perspectives, and the ability to understand what we bring to the relationships and situations.
  • UNDERSTANDING AND VALUING OTHERS: Knowledge and appreciation of the social identities, cultures, and worldviews of other people
  • KNOWLEDGE OF SOCIETAL INEQUALITIES: Understanding of the different forms of privilege and oppression that one is part of and how these affect others’ experiences, opportunities, and access to social power, and how different forms of inequality interlock and intersect in our lives
  • SKILLS TO INTERACT EFFECTIVELY WITH DIVERSE PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS: Ability to adapt to and work collaboratively with diverse people in a range of situations
  • SKILLS TO FOSTER EQUITY AND JUSTICE: Ability to identify and address inequities and choose appropriate interventions to create environments, policies, and practices to ensure diversity and fairness

(* social identities include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, ability, nationality, etc.)

Within our strategic goals and objectives, and in our learning outcomes, we raise diversity and cultural competency to the highest levels in our work:

  • It is our goal that we help students demonstrate personal and social responsibility and acquire the skills and experiences needed to succeed at Duke and in life, including valuing the perspectives of others as demonstrated by engaging diverse and competing perspectives in learning, citizenship, and work.
  • It is our objective to promote student growth and development through exposure to and promotion of skills and experiences in cultural competency.
  • It is our learning outcome that students shall learn and practice knowledge, attitudes, and skills that reflect an expanded understanding of culture and its influences.

It is important that all members of our university community develop and practice effective cultural competency skills. We are committed to demonstrating culturally competent behaviors and attitudes by working respectfully and effectively across diverse cultures, languages, socioeconomic status, race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation and abilities.

Duke's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Duke Divinity School
Statement of Diversity

Duke Graduate School
Commitment to Diversity

Duke Human Resources
Diversity & Institutional Equity

Duke Law
Statement of Diversity

Duke Office of Institutional Equity
Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Duke Office of Undergraduate Education
Diversity Mission Statement

Duke School of Nursing
Statement of Diversity

Duke School of Medicine
Statement of Diversity & Inclusion

Fuqua School of Business
Statement of Diversity & Inclusion

Nicholas School of the Environment
Statement of Diversity & Inclusion

Pratt School of Engineering
Statement of Diversity

Sanford School of Public Policy
Values & Principles