Engaging in a Diverse World

Programs & Services

Student Affairs provides programs and services that support the optimal growth of Duke students, enhance their intellectual, social, cultural and physical development, and complement Duke’s academic excellence by providing opportunities for students to experience education and explore interests beyond the classroom. A few examples are listed below. Browse the department pages on the Student Affairs website for more opportunities.

Common Ground: Common Ground is a student-led diversity immersion retreat program dedicated to exploring human relations in personal and powerful ways. Common Ground explores personal identity and how it affects daily experiences. By recognizing, examining, reclaiming the differences that exist among participants, Common Ground challenges each individual to think about questions of personal identity, both individually and collectively, at Duke and beyond.

Me Too Monologues: Me Too Monologues is an annual show about identity entirely written, performed, and produced by members of the Duke community. Because of their anonymous nature, the show’s monologues are able to touch on intimate, personal experiences and explore narratives that would otherwise be silenced on campus. Combining aesthetic excellence with community storytelling, Me Too reaches audiences viscerally and raises consciousness about the structural and personal challenges facing individuals often marginalized in elite higher education.

Jazz @ the Mary Lou: One of the major tenets of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture annual calendar includes programming and events focused on jazz. Jazz @ the Mary Lou features live jazz and the exquisite company of jazz lovers from the campus and community in an energetic and engaging atmosphere. Every Wednesday, enjoy live performances by local musicians as well as Duke music students, with special guest artists all brought together by John Brown, Director of the Duke Jazz Studies Program.

Sports & Social Justice Leadership Initiative: The Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity and Athlete Ally created this initiative to foster well-rounded, socially conscious student-athletes equipped with the leadership skills and knowledge to influence and impact social change on topics related to LGBTQ+ inclusion, beyond the courts and in their communities.

Roots to Rights: Join Jewish Life at Duke and the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture to explore key historical sites of the southern Civil Rights Movement, examine the history of the Movement from various perspectives and disciplines, and discuss current issues surrounding the roots of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in relation to Black / Jewish identity development.

Intercultural Skills Development Program (ISDP): As our international borders become bridges of globalization, intercultural skills are paramount to enhanc communication and the ability to connect, support and engage those who are different from us. Through experientially engaging and exciting workshops, participants will set foot on the journey of intercultural inquisitiveness, awareness, and engagement.

Develle Dish: Develle Dish is a blog for women-identified Duke students that seeks to progress conversations on women's experiences at Duke and elevate the visibility of women's contributions to the University. This online community welcomes all voices, feminist or not, to contribute personal experiences and opinions related to gender, sexuality, equity, and social justice.

Penny Pilgram George Women's Leadership Initiative: The Penny Pilgram George Women’s Leadership Initiative seeks to deepen women’s understanding and practice of authentic leadership. Our Vision: Women will be empowered to lead in any context. Our Mission: To deepen women’s understanding and practice of authentic leadership.

Student Health: The Duke Student Health Center offers distinct Women’s Health Services and Men’s Health Services providing confidential, professional treatment for a wide range of issues specific to each group. Student Health has also incorporated services with a distinct commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.

Student Conduct: The Office of Student Conduct is committed to recruiting a selecting diverse representatives that reflect the campus population for the Undergraduate Conduct Board. Student Conduct officers also consider cultural competency critically important to understanding the students who come before them.

Residential Life: The community-building efforts led by RA teams regularly include diversity-related efforts. Initiatives such as house-based diversity programs offer communities the opportunity to explore issues related to race, learn more about their own perspectives, and seek common ground with others.

Welcome Week: Diversity receives strong focus within the Welcome Week program for all of our first-year students. For example, each student participates in a diversity discussion lead by his or her First-Year Advisory Counselor (FAC) and then develops an individual action plan. More opportunities to address diversity issues continue to be added to the Welcome Week programming.

Duke Student Wellness: In the Wellness arena, diversity is addressed through the Wellness model, particularly through the aspect of identity. Culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious background all have an impact on individual wellness, and this diversity fuels the way people see themselves and the role of wellness in their lives.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS is committed to diversity as a core value of the organization. This includes 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 students live. 

CAPS periodically offers programs such as "In the Company of My Sisters" for the support and shared growth of African and African-American women (keep an eye on Workshops and Discussions on the CAPS website for new offerings), as well as other programs at the request of student organizations.