Monday, February 8, 2021

Duke Divinity School has released a Racial Justice Action Plan Summary Report that identifies issues, challenges, and opportunities for the school as it continues racial justice efforts. The report is available on the Racial Justice and Cultural Competency page of the website.

Throughout 2020, Duke Divinity School sought to reckon in deeper and broader ways with systemic racism and injustice, particularly in light of the overlapping pandemics of COVID-19, economic crisis, and mental health challenges.

In August, Dean L. Gregory Jones tasked working groups comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and staff with preparing a series of reports and recommendations to guide the school’s ongoing efforts. The new report summarizes their work.

“This report provides a framework and blueprint for the next stage of what is a long-term and ongoing commitment by the school to be an anti-racist community seeking the well-being and thriving of all,” said Jones.

Edgardo Colón-Emeric, who will begin his term as dean of Duke Divinity School on July 1 after Jones leaves Duke to become president of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will lead the school’s racial justice work beginning this summer.

School leaders are developing and refining detailed action plans in individual areas mentioned in the summary report. In addition, a team comprised of David Emmanuel Goatley, associate dean for vocational formation and Christian witness; Amber Scott, Divinity Student Council president; Katherine Smith, associate dean for strategic initiatives; and A.J. Walton, senior director of cross-sector initiatives, will serve in an advisory capacity to monitor progress and support transparency and accountability across the school.