Psychology & Neuroscience Department Creates Anti-Racist Task Force


On June 15, 2020, the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience announced the official creation of a faculty-led task force for planning and actions around diversity, inclusion, and climate. In a message to the community, department Chair Scott Huettel stated, "We are calling this a task force rather than a committee for two reasons: (a) we want to emphasize the need for action, and (b) we want these topics to not just be the province of one committee, but embedded in all department activities."

The task force's initial faculty facilitators include:  Staci Bilbo, Greg Samanez-Larkin, and Makeba Wilbourn. There are no defined chairs or hierarchy on the task force, and community participation by faculty, staff, students, and postdocs is encouraged; membership of the task force is open to any who wish to participate. The first meeting of the task force was held on Juneteenth 2020.  More information about immediate and long-term anti-racist goals of the task force will be forthcoming, as will information on how community members can contribute to the collective charge.

On June 16, 2020, a university-wide online symposium titled Living While Black was held with distinguished speakers from Duke's Black community. Faculty scholars discussed the background, dimensions and impact of racism and racist policies and structures. Students and staff shared their perspectives and insights. Actionable steps to move forward were also discussed. This was a first step to fully engage all members of the Duke community to consider new ways to advance the goal of achieving racial justice and equity. 

Video content from the Duke-wide symposium Living While Back can be viewed here with a Duke NetID.