The following message was sent on June 4 to the Sloan Scholars and to staff and faculty affiliated with the Duke UCEM:

Dear Sloan Scholars and Duke UCEM Colleagues,

Like you, we are pained and appalled by the string of recent tragedies that have once again illustrated the injustices that our communities of color face every day. As noted in President Price’s message to the Duke community on Saturday and reiterated in The Graduate School’s statement today, it is not enough to merely recognize and grieve these circumstances; we as a university must work together to change them and to continue addressing the effects of structural racism.

Our work with the Duke University Center of Exemplary Mentoring is one small part of living up to that responsibility. The Duke UCEM’s mission has always been not merely to recruit more Ph.D. students from underrepresented groups, but also to help make Duke an inclusive, supportive environment where they can thrive. Now, more than ever, the importance of that work is clear. We thank you for everything you have done to help further the Duke UCEM’s mission in our first three years, and we look forward to more fruitful collaborations going forward.

The Duke UCEM has reached out to our Sloan Scholars to offer support and opportunities for discussion amid these difficult times. We hosted a discussion for the Scholars with Dr. Marvice Marcus from CAPS this morning. The Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Student Affairs is also checking in with various graduate student groups to provide support as needed and helping various faculty who have reached out to us for guidance on initiating discussions within their own departments. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or suggestions on ways to support our students during this time, or on our mission of creating a more robust, inclusive environment of support at Duke.

Thank you, and take care!


Paula D. McClain, Co-Principal Investigator, Duke UCEM
Calvin Howell, Co-Principal Investigator, Duke UCEM
Jacqueline Looney, Director, Duke UCEM


Also: Statement from Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation