Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Launches Committee on Anti-Racism

Friday, September 25, 2020
Collage of headshots

A new Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Committee on Anti-Racism has begun meeting regularly, following its formation in late August.

The committee is led by Patrick Bayer, Gilhuly Family Distinguished Professor in Economics, whose research focuses on the wide-ranging impacts of racial discrimination, inequality and segregation, including in schools, housing and labor markets, and the criminal justice system.

“We will take a comprehensive and unflinching look at the structures that perpetuate racism and drive racial disparities within the college,” Bayer said. “To do so, we plan to draw on the experiences and insights of students, staff, and faculty from across the college as well as data from a variety of sources.”

Joining him as committee members are:

  • Lamonte Aidoo, associate professor of Romance Studies and the Dean’s Leadership Fellow in Trinity College
  • Matthew Becker, professor of Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and Biomedical Engineering
  • Tyson Brown, associate professor of Sociology and director of the Center on Health & Society in the Social Science Research Institute
  • Felipe de Brigard, Fuchsberg-Levine Family Associate Professor of Philosophy and associate professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
  • David Dunson, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Statistical Science
  • Darren Gobert, William and Sue Gross Professor of Theater Studies
  • Tsitsi Jaji, associate professor of English
  • Laura Lieber, professor of Religious Studies
  • Beverly McIver, professor of the practice of Art, Art History & Visual Studies
  • Lillian Pierce, Nicholas J. and Theresa M. Leonardy Professor of Mathematics

“Each of these individuals are outstanding scholar-teachers who are respected by their colleagues and will be able to stand in this space when it gets hard,” said Dean Valerie Ashby.

“And although there is Black faculty representation on the committee, we selected an intentionally diverse group to avoid placing further burden on the people who have carried this mantle for decades at Duke.”

The committee’s work will support the anti-racist agenda President Vince Price outlined in a June 17 message to the Duke community, sharing his expectations for all colleges, schools, and support units. It will also complement the local efforts already initiated by several Trinity departments and programs.

“We are not going to fix 400 years in four weeks,” Ashby said. “We need to be thoughtful and take our time in order to ensure that this work is sustainable and high-impact.”