Diversity, Inclusion & Power Dynamics

Diversity, Inclusion & Power Dynamics

faculty talkingDIBS serves a large and diverse group of Duke faculty and students. Since the 2017-2018 academic year, we have supported seminars and symposia on timely topics related specifically to increasing diversity and translating that diversity into authentic inclusion in neuroscience, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Our first programs grew out of a grassroots effort led by junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows to discuss gender-equity issues in the Duke neuroscience community. DIBS subsequently received a Faculty Advancement Seed Grant from the Duke Office for Faculty Advancement to pursue equity issues more formally. The award letter noted the proposed programming, “exemplifies the innovative and promising faculty development activity that the seed grant program is meant to support.”

Since then, more than 300 individuals have participated in one or more programs. Pre- and post-session surveys indicate that most attendees felt they gained knowledge about the subject matter covered. We are pleased Faculty Advancement continues to support the now-annual series.

Spring 2020 Workshop

Picture of Inclusion and Power Dynamics promotion postcardThe final workshop for the Spring 2020 Inclusion & Power Dynamics Series was canceled, due to COVID-19 restrictions on campus.  

  • Jan. 31, 3-4 p.m., Soc/Psych 130 (Zener) "Bullying in Academic Science," Sherry Moss, PhD, Organizational Studies, Wake Forest University (pre-lecture reception at 2:30 p.m., 236 Soc/Psych)
  • Feb. 24, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., DIBS Multipurpose Room, B035, Levine Science Research Center. "Enhancing Leadership Behaviors for Efficiency & Effectiveness in the Lab," Sim Sitkin, PhD, Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics, Duke's Fuqua School of Business; lunch provided.  Please note: This workshop is full and there is a wait list. We will try to accommodate as many people as we can. 
  • March 3, 8:30-10 a.m., DIBS Multipurpose Room, B035, Levine Science Research Center. "Promoting Equity through Allyship: Exploring Bias Literacy, Power Mapping," Lamercie Saint-Hilaire, MD, Family Medicine & Community Health, Duke School of Medicine; breakfast provided
  • POSTPONED--May 19, 8:30-11:30 a.m.  "Training Bystanders to Respond Effectively to Harassment Incidents," Ada Gregory, MA, Duke Student Ombudsperson and Associate Director, Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics. Please note: This event has been POSTPONED.   


Stephen Lisberger, PhD, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology in the School of Medicine, participates in a Theater Delta workshop.

Fall 2019 Workshop Series
  • Navigating Difficult Conversations from a Low-Power Position--Speaking persuasively and effectively, and approaching disagreements with positive expectations. Gina Rogers & Don Shortslef, Duke Learning & Organization Development
  • Mentoring Diverse Groups: How to Bring Out the Best in All"--Skills for all mentors: active listening, providing constructive feedback, recognizing and mitigating bias, and maximizing equity and inclusion. Facilitator: Leonor Corsino, MD, MHS, Office for Faculty Mentoring, Duke School of Medicine. 
Spring 2019 Workshop Series
  • Interactive workshops on “How to Be an Effective Ally,” led by Theater Delta, a local acting troupe dedicated to social-equity programming. These were designed for faculty and students/trainees/staff, respectively.
  • March 1 seminar featuring Damian Stanley, PhD, Psychology, from Adelphi University: “20+ Years of  Implicit Bias Research—Behavior, the Brain, and Open Questions”
Fall 2018 Workshop Series
  • Duke Resources for Dealing with Unprofessional Behavior in All Its Forms
  • Interactive Session on Power Dynamics with Theater Delta
  • Having Those ‘Difficult’ Conversations, facilitated by Dr. Ann Brown, Vice Dean for Faculty, Duke School of Medicine, and Dr. Cathie Siders, a psychologist specializing in organizational consulting and executive coaching.

DIBS also supports other organizations by publicizing to the DIBS community research symposia focused on women and underrepresented minorities:

  • 2018 Annual Symposium hosted by Duke's Women in Science and Engineering, “STEM Equity and Access: Increasing Diversity in Senior Positions in Academia and Beyond,” April 29.
  • The inaugural “Women of Color Research Network Annual Symposium,” May 31, 2018, at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, in Research Triangle Park.

Grassroots Effort Leads Program

Rosa Li

Our first diversity programs grew out of a grassroots effort led by junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows to discuss gender-equity issues in the Duke neuroscience community. Early organizers were Professor Jennifer Groh, PhD, and Assistant Professor Greg Samanez-Larkin, PhD, Psychology & Neuroscience; Assistant Professor Kathryn Dickerson, PhD, and Postdoctoral Associate Shabnam Hakimi, PhD. DIBS Chief Operating Officer Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, PhD, helps lead the group.

Tweet from Rosa Li, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, (in photo at right) after initial session: "Great that @DukeBrain is sponsoring a discussion (feat. @JMGrohNeuro, @GregoryRSL, @kat_heller & others) on gender & power dynamics in #academia. Hope other institutions can take note and do the same!