Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community

Statement of Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Duke—and the Duke Materials Initiative—aspire 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.


Our mission is to include and engage the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators and community partners in all facets of our work. To achieve this, we are committed to:

  1. Building an environment where all individuals are included, supported and feel valued
  2. Ensuring our community is composed of a broad spectrum of identities through recruitment, retention and ongoing professional development
  3. Designing curricula and pedagogies for various constituents that promote cultural awareness and intercultural competence
  4. Developing policies, resources and communication structures and processes that inform and enable a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization
  5. Understanding and tracking our performance through a rigorous assessment of our short- and long-term goals and our overall community climate

Valerie Ashby, Duke University Dean of Trinity Arts & Sciences"Culture change happens at the speed of trust."

Valerie Ashby | Dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Leaders, Resources & Activities

Subcommittee Co-Leaders

Nan Jokerst

Nan Jokerst (ECE)

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Community Engagement, Pratt School of Engineering
Liaison, Duke Office of Institutional Equity

Stefan Zauscher

Stefan Zauscher (MEMS)

Director, Duke Materials Initiative


Duke Speak-Up Line: 800-826-8109

A free, 24-hour service for asking questions or reporting concerns. Confidential and anonymous, if you choose.

More at values.duke.edu/speak-up-reporting

Duke University Diversity & Inclusion Contacts

DEIC Activities by DMI and its Members

K-12 Outreach: Let there Be Lite

students in auditorium taking turns looking through a thermal camera and holding up a Leslie cube (box) to view infrared lightThe Light, Infrared and Thermal Energy (LITE) workshop by Po-Chun Hsu's lab group (MEMS) engaged local students from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in optics, photonics and materials science. 

“Our goal was to educate and inspire higher educational career paths in the fields of optics and materials science for sustainable energy among ninth- and tenth-graders,” Hsu said.

Read the story »

Research Triangle Research Experience for Undergraduates (RT-REU)

Graphic containing images of Volker Blum, Adrienne Stiff-Roberts, Jie Liu, David Mitzi of Duke University

Four Duke Materials Initiative faculty have joined with faculty at NC State University and UNC-Chapel Hill in conjunction with the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN) on a National Science Foundation grant to provide summer research opportunities for undergraduates, especially those from underrepresented groups.

The program focuses on hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite materials for potential applications in energy applications. David Mitzi (MEMS), Jie Liu (Chemistry), Volker Blum (MEMS) and Adrienne Stiff-Roberts (ECE) will work with up to four students in their labs over the 10-week summer program. Participants will also gain experience using equipment in the Duke Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMiF).

Willie Padilla

University Course on Race

Faculty member Willie J. Padilla (ECE) serves on the cross-university committee that developed the new university course for undergraduates, UNIV101: The Invention and Consequences of Race.

The university course will provide foundational knowledge about and explore the origins and meanings of the concept of race. It will examine the evolution, pervasiveness, and consequences of racial classifications and racial hierarchies in the United States and around the world. The course will also introduce students to the concept that race is linked to all disciplines and will highlight scholarship and scholars from across Duke. Weekly opportunities for reflection and discussion will be woven into the course, with teaching students how to constructively engage in potentially difficult conversations as an express goal.

The course was created as part of a university-wide initiative to infuse curricula with additional coverage of issues related to race, racism, social injustice, and inequality.

Duke Engineering offers Lactation Rooms

  • lactation icon

    Wilkinson Building, Room 408
  • Fitzpatrick Center West, Room 3595
  • Hudson Hall Annex, Room 190

The newest lactation rooms, in the Wilkinson Building and Fitzpatrick Center, join the Hudson Hall Annex location and more than two dozen lactation rooms across the Duke campus.

To learn more and to request access, visit: hr.duke.edu/benefits/family/lactation

Making Bonds, Breaking Bonds: Chemical Industries, Environmental Justice and the Global History of Race in the American South

Evan Hepler-Smith, Heather Stapleton, Joel Meyer and Christine Hendren, Duke University

The Office of the Provost selected this as one of 17 projects for funding through The Duke Endowment to study “Reckoning with Race, Racism and the History of the American South.” The research project was led by faculty members Evan Hepler-Smith, Assistant Professor of History, with Heather Stapleton (DMI, Nicholas), Joel Meyer (DMI, Nicholas) and Christine Hendren

Browse a list of related projects »

Participant Discussions at the Duke Center for Synthesizing Quantum Coherence

The center's PI is faculty member David Beratan (Chemistry).

Confronting Injustice: A Discussion of Bryan Stevenson's SXSW Talk

Flyer for "Confronting Injustice: A Discussion of Bryan Stevenson's SXSW Talk"

Leading Science and Education During the Twin Crises of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Flyer for Leading Science and Education during the Twin Crises of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Creating and Sustaining an Anti-Racist Culture in the Duke Physics Department

Leads: Joshua Socolar (DMI, Physics) and Phil Barbeau (Physics)

Funded by a seed grant from the Duke Office for Faculty Advancement, this project seeks to improve the department’s collective ability to recognize racism within its walls and respond to it effectively through a series of events. The events will bring department members together for education and training in developing a climate promoting anti-racist principles and will train faculty to lead future sessions.

Teaching for Equity Fellowship Program


Leads: Stefan Zauscher (DMI Director; MEMS) and Joshua Socolar (Physics) 

Developed by the Duke Human Rights Center at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, the fellowship program was a year-long series of professional development and anti-racism workshops that gave faculty members tools to better engage students in the classrooms, clinic, and other learning spaces.

More about Teaching for Equity »