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Mapping Duke’s Racial Equity Resources

New database will connect community with educational opportunities across campus

Part of the Working Toward Racial Justice Series
Duke students take in an anti-racism art piece during a workshop activity in 2019. Photo by University Communications.
Duke students take in an anti-racism art piece during a workshop activity in 2019. Photo by University Communications.

The results of the 2021 Duke Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Climate Survey identified a critical need for Duke to explore.

In the survey, 54 percent of staff, 51 percent of students and 45 percent of faculty listed active learning opportunities as a preferred method for enhancing the campus climate. Hearing that feedback, the Education Subcommittee of the Racial Equity Advisory Council (REAC) began working on what will become the University’s first searchable dashboard of educational engagement opportunities.

“Across the enterprise, folks understand racial equity work and creating an anti-racist Duke as their responsibility,” said Leigh-Anne Royster, assistant vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE) and co-chair of the Education Subcommittee. “One of the challenges with the work happening everywhere is that people may be unaware of what’s available to, and expected, of them or they may have a difficulty getting plugged in.”Working Toward Racial Justice Series Graphic. Created by Zaire McPherson, an instructor in the Duke Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

In October, the Education Subcommittee began a pilot as part of an inventory of institution-wide education and training efforts around racial equity. Three units will submit their available educational resources through a Qualtrics questionnaire to help build a dashboard of topics.

“We’ve got to understand what’s out there before we decide we want to fix anything,” said Hailey Mason, senior program coordinator for OIE and the Racial Equity Advisory Council.

The pilot will help inform the creation in 2023 of the searchable dashboard of trainings and curriculum from across Duke. Once the dashboard is complete, schools, departments, and units will be able to add offerings, and community members can search for topics.

Elsewhere on campus, a complementary mapping effort has helped health system employees connect with diversity, equity, and inclusion educational offerings. Earlier this year, as part of the Duke Clinical Enterprise Strategic Plan, the Duke Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC), the physician practice of Duke Health, began working on a repository of 89 diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings available to health system employees.

Dr. Erica Taylor, an orthopaedic surgeon and PDC’s associate chief medical officer of diversity, equity, and inclusion, said the teams used Microsoft Power BI, a data visualization program, to identify courses within Duke’s Learning Management System that are relevant to areas of diversity, inclusion, culture, equity, and belonging.

The repository provides insights into how often courses are used, or not, so leaders can determine what topics need to be emphasized. It also connects staff with topics that help them in their roles. For example, a clinical staff member may want strategies to address implicit bias after an interaction with a patient. Team leaders will be able to turn to the repository to offer that staff member educational options.

“This is an example of something that is real, that you can touch, feel and use,” said Taylor, who also serves on the infrastructure and policy committee of the Racial Equity Advisory Council. “To be clear, it is a tool; it’s not a solution. It is an approach to evaluating our current offerings that will help us make informed decisions about what we do from a long-term and short-term strategy to instill equity across the spectrum at Duke Health.”

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