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Diversity & Inclusion Blog

My Blog

By Jennifer A. Goins
2016 Blue Ribbon Diversity Awardee


How can I engage my department in the race conversation?  This question birthed my blog project in the summer of 2015.  The Duke School of Medicine had held one Race Conversation event with impressive attendance, but the crowd was predominately people of color.   The question asked by many attendees was the same question posed by members serving on the School of Medicine’s Inclusion Council:  “How do we engage people who did not attend?” 

Tasked with the charge to foster a culture of inclusion where people experience a genuine sense of belonging, engagement and achievement, I decided to take my growing knowledge as a council member to my Duke community.   Thus, the blog project was born.

Archived Blogs

October 2017:  Systems
July 2017:  Crossroad
June 2017:  Reflecting on my "why"
May 2017: Remembering and telling our history
March 2017 "ghetto"
January 2017Seeing green and white
December 2016: Revelation from the most unexpected place
November 2016: Politics, religion and race.  Topics to avoid.
October 2016: Decision Time
September 2016: I Have A Dream
August 2016: One
July 2016:  How books can start a conversation
June 2016:  A black woman's response to my May 2016 post
May 2016:  SoM Race Conversation reflection:  My white privilege
April 2016:  An inclusion story success:  Families with special needs
March 2016:  How have the SoM Race Conversations changed me?
February 2016:  A conversation with police on race
January 2016:  A conversation with my black son
December 2015:  Compassionate listening with Thích Nhấ Hanh, a Buddhist monk
November 2015:  2nd SoM Race Conversation:  The 1st race talk with my children
October 2015:  White & other privileges:  What are yours?
September 2015:  One Man's Story
August 2015:  Difference in yard stick when judging progress
July 2015:  Developing Mindfulness
May 2015:  An invitation to be comfortable with the uncomfortable

My Duke community consists of approximately 118  staff, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty.  The faculty spans both the basic sciences and clinical departments within the School of Medicine and includes adjunct faculty working in industry, federal government and other academic institutions.  The blog community is expanding past the borders of Duke Immunology and we welcome everyone to join us. 

What will you read about in the blogs? 

The monthly posts portray an evolution over the last three years:  a change from informational to a personal journey about me finding my place in the race conversation.  Over the course of this project, I have been deeply impacted by the conflicts between law enforcement and the black community around our nation.  My engagement has absolutely been driven by the relationships I have developed through the council.  I have come to know personal stories and it has changed things for me. 

Here are some comments inspired by recent blogs:

  • Wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your most recent blog [June 2017] and can appreciate how difficult it was to share such personal revelations. (Staff, white woman)
  • I just read and am very impressed with your October [2016] blog.  It really puts into words a lot of what I also have been feeling regarding recent events and also the race conversation.  (Staff, white female)
  • Wow!  (Faculty, white male)
  • SO Powerful!  I say this through tears.  You are making a difference!  You are inspiring me!  (Faculty, white female)
  • Especially in view of recent events, it is important for each of us to do our part in improving race relations.  Thanks for sending this.  (Adjunct faculty, white male)
  • OMG, awesome, thanks so much for sharing that [July 2016 blog]!!  I'm just numb right now, so this was definitely a ray of sunshine in my cloudy space.  (Staff, black female)
  • After the week our nation has had [referencing the July 2016 blog], it is clear more dialog is needed.  I wish more of us said "why not me?" when it comes to these things.  Your daughters will pass their ability to talk about race on to their friends, neighbors and eventually their own families.  It will cease to be an awkward discussion, and start being a discussion....Things like your posts and your readings and your discussion with your kids will make a difference.  Racism unfortunately often starts at home.  Why not end it at home as well.  (Staff, white female)
  • Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...Given all of the senseless violence surrounding race that is taking place in our country, it is wonderfully refreshing to know that there is hope for the future.  You are literally raising 'change'.  (Staff, black female)

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