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Divinity School faces questions regarding its treatment of African-American, LGBTQ+ students
By Shannon Fang Staff Reporter
Bre Bradham | Associate Photography Editor In the wake a protest at a State of the School address in March, the Divinity School is facing complaints about its treatment of students from marginalized communities.
A long history of issues around Duke protest built up against the administration’s Divinity School’s treatment and relationship inaction to get it removed. Additionally, with LGBTQ+ and African American John Blevins, who was an openly gay students has left some students frustrated Baptist student, was told to drop out of about what the school is doing to address school by two professors because he was their concerns. gay and would never be ordained, WebbThe Divinity School has also faced Mitchell said. complaints about its treatment of students In 2000, President Nannerl Keohane with marginalized sexual orientations and made the decision to allow same-sex unions gender identities. to take place in the Those grievances came In the end of the day, we felt chapel. Although there to a head at a protest were many supporters, at a State of the School silenced. We felt like our the article stated that address in March. the Duke Conservative needs were not being met. The school says Union did not support jasolyn harris the decision because it that it is committed SECOND-YEAR MASTER’S STUDENT IN THE undermined the rights to the importance of DIVINITY SCHOOL diversity and “seek[s] of religious students. to build a diverse and Additionally, Bishop inclusive community,” according to its Marion Edwards of the North Carolina website. A statement on the importance of Conference of the United Methodist diversity from the Divinity School reads Church said in the article that the decision that a diverse faculty, staff and student conflicted with the church’s official stance body contributes to broader and deeper on homosexuality. understanding of theology. More recently in 2014, former Divinity The University also has a School Dean Richard Hays stated in a nondiscrimination statement that prohibits panel on diversity at the Divinity School discrimination based on race and sexual orientation that students must be aware of orientation, among other categories. the Church’s position on homosexuality. He However, the Divinity School is a United read from the Book of Discipline that “the Methodist Church-affiliated school, whose practice of homosexuality is incompatible official stance on homosexuality is that with Christian teaching.” LGBTQ+ individuals are allowed to attend In a lengthy letter to the Divinity School, worship services, but “self-avowed practicing Hays explained that his statement was homosexuals” cannot be ordained. misinterpreted. “We in the Divinity School are in the The Past business of actively seeking reconciliation Reverend Brett Webb-Mitchell, who with our communities…while at the same served as an assistant professor of Christian time respecting the complexity of our nurture in the Divinity School from 1993- traditions and their engagement with biblical 2003, recently wrote an opinion article in and theological resources,” he wrote. The Herald Sun that dates LGBTQ+ issues Hays stated that he read the concluding back to the late 1980s. words in the Discipline in full, which urges He claimed that there was a time when families and churches to not reject lesbian anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti in the bathrooms See DIVINITY on Page 2 lingered there for months until a small
Juniors Kushal Kadakia, Claire Wang named Truman Scholars By Shagun Vashisth Health and Science News Editor
Two Duke students were named 2018 Truman Scholars Thursday. Juniors Kushal Kadakia and Claire Wang were chosen to receive to be a part of the cohort of 59 students across the nation. Founded in memorial to President Harry Truman, the Truman Scholarship is a fellowship extended to individuals pursuing careers as public service leaders. Scholars receive $30,000 to fund their graduate studies. Kadakia and Wang are both part of the meritbased Angier B. Duke Memorial program. Kushal Kadakia Kadakia is studying biology and public health at Duke. He plans on pursuing an M.D and an MPP after graduating. Kadakia found out that he had received the scholarship when President Vincent Price told him in person. “I thought I was meeting with President Price for a DSG project, and he ended up surprising me about the Truman,” Kadakia said. “It was an incredibly special moment, and
I’m really honored and grateful for all of the support I’ve received from this university.” He noted his passion for healthcare policy and implementing change during his time at Duke. “I would think the unifying factor is my efforts in healthcare policy—the way that I’ve been able to tie in my research at the bench with my service at the bedside, through later doing advocacy in the boardroom,” he said. “I hope to continue my career at this intersection of science and policy through graduate school and beyond.” An example of his work has been his effort to make Duke a smoke-free campus. “Understanding the science and having the leadership to bring campus stakeholders together, and also knowing the policy to navigate different institutional administrators and leadership has been really valuable,” Kadakia mentioned. “It’s a project that I’m really proud of.” At Duke, Kadakia serves as executive vice president of the Duke Student Government, and is chairman of the Honor Council. He has served on the Board of Trustees for two years, focused on academic affairs during
his sophomore year and on institutional advancement this year. “Beyond university service, I’m really active on research on campus,” he said. “I work in
the department of radiation oncology in the Kirsch Lab in the School of Medicine. I’ve also See TRUMAN on Page 2
Special to the Chronicle Juniors Claire Wang and Kushal Kadakia, both Angier B. Duke Scholars, were two of 59 students awarded Truman Scholarships.
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done significant amounts of healthcare policy research working at the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, as well as through Bass Connections. I’ve done two separate Bass Connections, first on access to medicine and the second on North Carolina Medicaid.” He has also interned in the governor’s office at North Carolina working on Medicaid policy.
and gay members. He acknowledged that the Church’s position on these issues is under debate. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, M. Div. ‘74 and Ph.D. ‘80, wrote a letter condemning Hays. She stated that it is morally wrong for him to create a hostile environment, and that he is obligated to create a supportive climate. Thistlethwaite wrote that his statement harmed the theological education of all students and was in violation of Duke University policy. “Today, I regret to say I am not proud of being a graduate of Duke Divinity School,” the letter ended. Hays stirred more controversy in 2015 when he published a letter that defended the school’s decision to not allow Muslims to sponsor a call to prayer from the Duke Chapel. He acknowledged that the Divinity School supports the public practice of many different religions on campus, but the Chapel is unmistakably a Christian place of worship and should not be identified with another faith. Hays stepped down as dean of the Divinity Aug. 2015 to begin treatment for pancreatic cancer. An interim chair served for one year until Elaine Heath was announced as his replacement in March 2016. In February 2017, Anathea Portier-Young, associate professor of Old Testament, sent an email to the department inviting everyone to attend a diversity training. According to the original email exchanges, Paul Griffiths, the Warren professor of Catholic theology who has since resigned, replied to everyone encouraging them not to attend. “Don’t lay waste your time by doing so. It’ll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there’ll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty,” the email wrote. “When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual.” Heath then replied that she was looking forward to the diversity training and that it was inappropriate to use mass emails to make disparaging statements. In response, Thomas Pfau, Alice Mary Baldwin professor of English, wrote that his experience of trainings like the one
Claire Wang Wang is a junior at Duke pursuing the A.B. track in environmental science and policy with minors in economics and asian and middle eastern studies. “Climate change and clean energy are my biggest passions,” she said. “Advocacy on any issue is important to me as a principle—each of us has the potential and, I would argue, the responsibility to create positive change. I’ve been lucky to work with so many students at Duke dedicated to making progress, and I’m excited to see how students continue to push for a better future both on campus and beyond.” Wang serves as the president of the Duke Climate Coalition. “I have led several student campaigns at Duke—including Duke Seize the Grid, which targets the goal of 100% renewable energy at Duke by 2030, Duke Renewable Energy Action for Duke to support renewable energy policy reform in North Carolina and No New Gas to stop a natural gas plant proposed to be built on campus,” Wang wrote. She has also served on the Campus Sustainability Committee for two years, and worked for Greenpeace, Sierra Club and Earthjustice. Wang noted that the depth of this experience organizing climate issues has been monumental to her time at Duke. “It’s important that Duke stays true to its sustainability promises and ensures transparency and equity in all facets of its operation,” she said. “Students can and should take the lead in these conversations about climate action, since we are the generation that will be most affected by climate change.” Her graduate plans include pursuing a joint JD and Master of Environmental Management. She hopes to practice environmental law. She is currently studying abroad through the School for International Training’s IHP program focused on climate change and the politics of food, water and energy. Wang was also awarded the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship earlier this week.
presented makes him agree with Griffiths. He explained that Griffiths does not oppose the goal of the training but the idea that faculty should give up so much of their time to the trainings. Griffiths responded with a final email that detailed the disciplinary actions initiated by Heath and Portier-Young. He explained that the disciplinary proceedings were not about his views, but his expression of them. “Intellectual freedom—freedom to speak and write without fear of discipline and punishment—is under pressure at Duke Divinity these days… Elaine Heath and Thea Portier-Young, when faced with disagreement, prefer discipline to argument,” the email wrote. “In doing so they act illiberally and anti-intellectually; their action shows totalitarian affinities in its preferred method, which is the veiled use of institutional power.” Heath prohibited Griffiths from attending faculty meetings and possibly limited his funding due to inappropriate behavior. Griffiths resigned from Duke in June 2017. These events led up to the student protest for better LGBTQ+ student treatment that occurred in March at the dean’s state-of-the-school address. Student perspective Jasolyn Harris, a second-year master’s student in the Divinity School, identifies as a queer, black student. She explained that many of the current diversity issues in the Divinity School stem from four important black faculty leaving the school. The summer before she joined the Divinity School, two black faculty—William Jennings and Eboni MarshallTurman—left Duke Divinity to work at Yale University. Right after Harris arrived at Duke, Esther Acolatse also left the University and moved to work at Knox College. Lastly, William Turner Jr.—James T. and Alice Mead Cleland professor of the practice of preaching—will retire this year. Madeline Reyes, a first-year master’s student in the Divinity School, participated in the student protest in March and was one of four queer women of color who interrupted Heath’s speech. “Duke is a historically and presently very See DIVINITY on Page 3
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issues separately. She works at the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and claims that FROM PAGE 2 the Divinity School cancelled a diversity training because they needed to focus on Methodist and white school, so the culture the race issues at the moment, rather than of Duke is inherently white supremacist queer issues. and oppressive to LGBTQ people,” Reyes “For some of us living in black, queer wrote in an email. bodies of color, we don’t have that ability. It’s The Divinity School currently has five not distinct to us, we’re living in one body,” black faculty out of a total of 59 faculty. Duke Harris said. Divinity also does not have any faculty who She explained that the diversity issues have are openly out. made her experience harder than those who “We were feeling frustrated about black can choose to not deal with the problems. faculty leaving before we even got here, then There is not one day where she does not finding out that more black faculty would experience a microaggression, Harris said. be leaving,” Harris said. “We weren’t sure One particularly problematic class was her what the school’s first-year mandatory plan was to hire I am deeply sympathetic to the spiritual formation more people. class, where a small Now it’s spring concerns of these students. I do see group of students 2018, and at the their suffering and their hardship. shared their personal end of the day, no spiritual thoughts. black faculty have said she sujin pak She been hired.” ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY experienced a lot of He added that emotional trauma there are no queer from the class by theologians at Duke and no queer theology having to sit and listen to people say things courses. Peer institutions, such as Harvard that were harmful and hurtful to her. University, offer queer theology courses. “We deal with inappropriate comments Harris and other students previously from faculty, staff, peers,” Harris said. identified a Ph.D. student who would “There are people who are non-affirming, be able to teach a queer theology course. and there are people who are silent about it, They followed the formal process of setting which is just as harmful. Constantly feeling up the course and obtaining over 200 invalidated and constantly feeling silenced signatures for the course. But the course takes a toll on our wellness.” was denied last semester, Harris said this Harris said she is disappointed in the was because they started the setup process education she was hoping to receive at Duke. She too late. The Divinity School said they explained that she pays a lot of money to attend could take queer-focused classes in the this school, and it is not wrong to expect a topgender studies department. tier school to fit her academic needs. “In the end of the day, we felt silenced. We Her ultimate goal is that the Divinity School felt like our needs were not being met. We were hires a queer, trans, woman of color. If Duke not just going to sit back and let them wait us Divinity was able to create a climate where a out until we graduate,” Harris said. black, trans, femme person could thrive, then After the student protest in March, the all marginalized students would be liberated, protesters released a list of demands. Harris Harris explained. She also wants scholarships said that of the five immediate demands, the for queer people and people of color, and she first three have mostly been met, but demands hopes for more summer placements in black four and five have not. Of the five short-term and queer communities. demands to be met by Fall 2018, none of them Reyes said she hoped that queer and trans have been met, although there is some work students will be valued and affirmed and being done on the fifth demand. that they will not have to speak so loud to The diversity issues within the Divinity be heard. School have taken a toll on the mental health “We understand that there may not be and wellness of students, and some have changes that we see while we’re here, but been physically sick, Harris explained. She somebody has to start plowing the ground said that it has been “terrible” and “tragic” now so that in five to ten years, when other that they have spent so much of their time queer people are coming to the Divinity planning and organizing, which takes hours School—particularly queer people of color— away from their study time. that the climate will be better for them when Reyes said she is considering leaving they get here,” Harris said. “If no one starts Duke altogether. doing some of that work, we’re afraid for the “The climate, the backlash from the protest, future of queer students, particularly queer and the general act of being a queer person of students of color.” color in such an oppressive Christian space is having an impact on my health, my mind, and Faculty perspective my spirit,” she wrote. “We are working to increase diversity not Harris also noted that the Divinity simply for diversity’s sake, but because it will School often deals with race and queer contribute to intellectual rigor and will more
faithfully prepare our students for ministry in a diverse world,” Heath wrote in an article in the News and Observer. In 2016, she designated Sacred Worth, the LGBTQ+ Divinity student group, a work space and allowed them to present their experiences to the faculty. The Divinity School has also implemented mandatory implicit bias training, appointed a faculty diversity and inclusion committee and hosted a Racial Equity Institute training experience for faculty and staff. Sujin Pak, assistant professor of the history of Christianity, was appointed chair of a task force created in response to the student protests. The task force also includes Douglas Campbell, professor of New Testament, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, professor of theology and Christine Pesetski, senior director for academic programs and registrar. “The task force is charged to address issues pertaining to curriculum, field education, spiritual formation, staff training, admissions, signage, student conduct, divinity bulletin items—which would be inclusive language— and partnering across the University to find more resourcing,” Pak said. The task force cannot hire faculty but only recommend them to the committee on faculty, where the dean makes the final decision. Pak said the task force will instead focus on addressing the larger climate issues at the school. They will consider the student demands, as well as look at the overarching structure and practices that help make Duke inviting to all individuals. Pak also noted that despite student’s complaints, there are things the Divinity School is doing well that students may not know about. She said the Heath is committed to all-staff training this summer and that she hopes to add a gender and sexuality training, which would be offered at least every two years. Every floor in the Divinity School also has
FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018 | 3
a gender nonspecific bathroom. Pak hopes to create a gender and sexuality network/ resource center that would include affirming faculty and a list of classes relating to LGBTQ+ courses. “I take the students critique to heart, [they’re] really tired of debating the issue and having to defend [their] existence. But it’s certainly not true that none of our classes deal with sexuality or gender—a number of classes do,” Pak said. As academic dean next year, Pak is also looking at creating a theology class and said she hopes to have a course in place by Spring 2018. Still, she acknowledged that it was a crucial point in time when the Divinity School lost three prominent black faculty in two years. Their departure coincided with Hays stepping down as Dean. “Circumstances have made it difficult to fill these gaps quickly, due first to an interim dean for a year and then the need for a new dean to settle in and get to know her context and its needs,” Pak said. “Understandably, from the students’ perspective, hires have seemed slow, but the school is deeply committed to filling these needs, and we have started to do so with hires this year.” Both Heath and Pak noted that they are working on hiring black faculty, which has been intentional this whole year. Heath stated the school wants to prioritize hiring an African American woman. It is difficult to intentionally hire a faculty member that identifies as LGBTQ+, Pak said, because the school is not legally allowed to ask the hires their sexuality. “I am deeply sympathetic to the concerns of these students. I do see their suffering and their hardship,” Pak said. “I would also say, though, there are systems and institutional issues that students can’t see, and there is a deep commitment to the school to support LGBTQIA+ and African American students in particular.”
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Duke set for top-10 series vs. Florida State looking to cement position atop ACC Coastal Division By Mitchell Gladstone Sports Managing Editor
The last time Duke played a game in Tallahassee, Fla., it emerged victorious. But against one of the ACC’s powerhouse programs, road wins like the one in the 2014 series finale have been few and far between. With hopes of staying atop the conference’s Coastal Division, the Blue Devils will need to continue their recent run of success against the Seminoles as they hit the road for the third time in their last four series. Despite dropping two of three to Wake Forest last weekend, Duke remains ranked 10th, setting up a top-10 clash with No. 9 Florida State at No. 10 Dick Howser Stadium. Duke Adam Laskey and Mitch vs. Stallings will make their No. 9 usual appearances as FSU the Blue Devils’ Nos. FRIDAY, 6 p.m. 1 and 2 starters for the Dick Howser Stadium Friday opener at 6 p.m. and Saturday afternoon’s contest at 2, but it remains up in the air as to whether Ryan Day— who missed his start last series with an injury— will return to the hill Sunday at 1 p.m. Regardless, Duke will have its hands full with the reigning ACC tournament champion Seminoles—a veteran group that advanced to the College World Series last June—and a soldout crowd that is expected to pack the stands Saturday after Florida State’s spring football game concludes across the street. “They’re good at home, they’re good anywhere—they’re a talented club,” Blue Devil head coach Chris Pollard said. “That’s
Jonah Sinclair | Associate Photography Editor
Despite a low batting average, junior Griffin Conine has still been producing power with a team-high seven home runs. a common theme throughout our league this year, though, that teams are really good at home and don’t play as well on the road.... We don’t have anybody that’s been down there yet, so it’s new for coaches, for all of our players. Crowds like we’re going to have there are what make college baseball fun.” Offensively, the Seminoles (24-10, 8-7 in the ACC) are buoyed by their power-hitting tandem of catcher Cal Raleigh and third baseman Drew Mendoza. Raleigh, a 6-foot-3 junior, leads Florida State’s regulars with a .924 OPS, and Mendoza isn’t far behind at just less than .900. Yet, the Seminoles have struggled in the pitching department—they are in the bottom
half of the conference in both ERA and opposing batting average, and Florida State pitchers have surrendered more homers than every other team except Virginia Tech. So what does that mean for Duke (28-7, 105) and its star slugger Griffin Conine? A chance to get back on track, though Pollard might feel otherwise about the junior’s recent woes. “I try to really deemphasize batting average because it’s a stat that I wish would go away in baseball,” Pollard said. “It’s not used a whole lot at the major-league level anymore, and too often at levels below the majors, teams key on that to try and determine whether a guy is dong well or not. If you look at [Conine’s] OPS numbers, and
specifically his OPS numbers in the league, he’s played really well.” Against the Demon Deacons, the Blue Devil outfielder hit just 2-of-11 with a lone run and a pair of RBIs, but on the season, Conine’s .228 batting average tops only that of cleanup hitter Jack Labosky, who sits at .214. For a player who entered the year as a projected first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, struggles like Conine’s could derail most teams without another true star. Duke, however, has gotten consistent production throughout its lineup with five starters batting better than .290, led by freshman infielder Joey Loperfido’s .342 mark. Still, with Wake Forest’s pitching on its A-game, the Blue Devils couldn’t muster enough offense against the Demon Deacons— something Duke will have to do against a Seminole team that has no choice but to score given its inconsistency on the mound. “I don’t think we played all that poorly,” Pollard said. “Wake Forest has been really good at home. They haven’t lost a conference series at home all year, they’ve got three conference series wins against top-10 teams.... They’ve got three really good pitchers and a strong back-of-thebullpen guy, so if their starters are throwing well, they can make it a short ballgame.” The last time the Blue Devils played Florida State in an ACC series, Duke took two of three at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in a midMay set in 2016, ultimately cementing the Blue Devils’ place in the NCAA tournament. But a series win this weekend could mean a whole lot more and would certainly put Duke in a strong position for its first-ever Coastal Division crown with just more than a month to play.
Brown and Greenwell selected in WNBA Draft By Conner McLeod Staff Reporter
Following an outstanding senior year for graduate students Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell, both players will join the WNBA next season. Brown was taken by the Connecticut Sun in the first round with the ninth overall pick. Brown finished her career as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-ACC selection, averaging 18.8 PPG during her two-year tenure at Duke. The graduate student point guard will join a Sun squad that has already established itself as one of the premier teams in the WNBA, as it finished second in the Eastern Conference last season. “I know that they’re a team that’s on the rise,” Brown said to GoDuke.com. “A lot of young talent. Super excited, I loved watching them play. They like to play fast. They like to play defense. I’m just excited to be a part of the core they’re building.” Brown is the first daughter of a former WNBA head coach to be drafted in league history—her father Dee Brown coached the Orlando Miracle and the San Antonio Silver Stars in the 2000s. Greenwell’s draft stock took a hit due to back and knee injuries
toward the end of her career, and Draftsite’s most recent prediction even projected Greenwell to go undrafted. Luckily for Greenwell, this prognosis did not come to fruition, as the Washington Mystics selected her seventh in the third round and 31st overall. Despite Greenwell’s health concerns, she managed to perform well enough when she was healthy to earn a spot on the All-ACC second team. Greenwell’s future WNBA squad is another talented team, as it finished third in the eastern conference last season, right behind Brown’s Sun. “We are absolutely thrilled for Becca,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said to GoDuke.com. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she has the passion, the work ethic and the skillset to be exceptional, and we are very proud of her and excited for her that she was recognized in this way and has been given the opportunity to make her professional dreams come true.” Brown will join former Blue Devil point guard Jasmine Thomas in the Sun’s backcourt, and Greenwell will team up with former Duke stars Monique Currie and Krystal Thomas in Washington. Former Blue Devil forward Azurá Stevens was the sixth overall pick in Thursday draft to the Dallas Wings after transferring to Connecticut for her final year of college action.
Bre Bradham | Associate Photography Editor
Lexie Brown will join former Blue Devil point guard Jasmine Thomas in the Connecticut Sun’s backcourt.
FRIDAY, FRIDAY,APRIL APRIL 13, 2018 | 5
Hank Aaron visits Duke for naming of summer program By Hank Tucker Sports Editor
There is no shortage of big names who have left a mark on Duke, and Thursday night, one of baseball’s all-time greats added himself to the list. Hank Aaron and his wife Billye visited the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke for the official naming of the Hank and Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Program, sponsored by the University’s Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity. The program—which has existed for three summers—gives students in eighth through 11th grade in Durham Public Schools the chance to learn from highquality teachers and professors and do original research on social inequalities. “I think about all the good things that happened to me in the 23 years that I had the chance to play baseball and the people that stood behind me, and my mother always told me that you’ve gone no place until you help your fellow man,” Hank Aaron said. “I am so thrilled to have all these young people, not only standing behind me, but all over the world, that you can help direct them and have them going in the direction that you think is good for the country.” In a Hall of Fame career playing mostly for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves, Aaron hit 755 home runs, a career record that stood until Barry Bonds surpassed him in 2007. After his retirement, Aaron became the director of player development and vice president of the Braves, which first linked him to Durham. Before the Tampa Bay Rays joined the major leagues in 1998, the Durham Bulls were affiliated with the Braves, and Aaron often visited Durham to evaluate the young players in the organization for weeks at a time. During at least one of his visits, Mike Krzyzewski asked him to come to campus to talk to his men’s basketball team. “I used to come here and spend weeks and weeks here running through the school, trying to keep myself in halfway decent shape,” Aaron said. “I just remember when I came here two or three times to run through the school, I got a chance
to meet him, and he is quite a coach, not just because of the things they do on the basketball field but simply because of the way he carries himself.” Aaron was born and raised in Mobile, Ala., during the Jim Crow era in the Deep South, and his playing career in Atlanta coincided with the pivotal years of the Civil Rights Movement. Speaking next to Aaron at Thursday’s press conference in the Nasher, former U.S. Rep., Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young credited Aaron with much of the progress his community made during that period. “We have a lot of people who can blow off, and yet he did more for the South with his bat than he could have done with his mouth at that point, and it’s all on the positive side,” Young said. “You don’t realize how good things are now, but we also have no idea how bad they were. Hank tells the story of his mother calling him when he’s out in the field in field playing baseball, ‘Henry, come on in here, get under the bed.’ And they all got under the bed, and then the Klan rode by and she said, ‘Alright, go on back out, finish your game.’ That’s where all this started.” Hank Tucker | Contributing Photographer But Aaron, who remains a vice president of the Braves at age A Duke-sponsored summer research program for Durham 84, also took the opportunity to speak out about the relative lack public school students was named after Hank Aaron. of African-Americans in the major leagues today. “When I got to the big leagues, there were at least about The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the four black players on each team.... Nowadays, you’d be lucky if silent vigil at Duke following Martin Luther King Jr.’s you have one,” Aaron said. “I think that whenever we have an assassination and also honored Cook’s legacy with the economic problem in this country, usually black people are the launch of a book about him. Cook was the first Africanones that suffer the most. We don’t have a chance to come home, American tenured professor at a predominantly white take our kids to schools to a level ground to play baseball. We southern university when he accepted a job at Duke in come home, the wife either goes someplace to work or the father 1966, and he died last May. goes someplace to work, so we don’t have a chance to do some “We want badly to have our young people follow in the of the things that we used to be able to do.” footsteps of a gentleman and a scholar, and that’s what Sam Other speakers at Thursday’s two-hour program following the Cook was,” Billye Aaron said. “We’ve got to understand what press conference included Billye Aaron, Duke President Vincent we’re up against. These young people can do that. They York Times can Syndication Sales Corporation Price, Cook Center Director William DarityThe andNew Duke trustee do the research, they can write the papers and they can 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 Clarence Newsome, who was the first African-American to accept present the evidence. From that, hopefully, we can become a For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 a football scholarship at Duke when he arrived in 1968. better For April13, 12,2018 2018 ForRelease ReleaseThursday, Friday,place.” April
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T H E I N D E P E N D E N T D A I LY AT D U K E U N I V E R S I T Y
6 | FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018
On the Vigil: Fifty years of silence
his week marked fifty years since the greatest display of activism in Duke’s history: the Silent Vigil. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of students rallied to demand racial equality, and the event gripped our campus for days. It pushed President Knight to form a committee to address race-related issues on campus. It provoked the chair of the Board of Trustees to raise the on-campus minimum wage for non-academic workers by the following year. What began as a call-to-action to dozens, mobilized nearly two thousand students. They occupied Abele quad for days, marched with discipline and reflected in quietude. Their silence strengthened their solidarity. Ours guards our complacency. The Civil Rights Movement fundamentally transformed this nation. From prominent figures like Rosa Parks and Linda Brown protesting segregated institutions to everyday black Americans daring to envision an equal America during a time of Jim Crow, Americans were moved through the 1950s and 1960s by a passion for a better America. Our hindsight is clear. The United States was
onlinecomment “In the linked April 12, 1968 edition of The Chronicle, there’s an article on page 4 about The Chicken Box restaurant supplying the vigil with plate dinners. Owner is quoted: “We’re with you every step of the way. We appreciate what you’re doing.” This is the same place now operating as The Chicken Hut on Fayetteville Street.” —Kodos Tarsus on “50 years later: Take a look back at The Chronicle’s coverage of the Silent Vigil”
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built on slavery, on the disenfranchisement of black men and women, on shallow justifications used to treat some humans as less than others. The assassination of Dr. King spoke to the population that sought more than to be trapped by the legacies it did not choose and could not erase. The American reality that ignited protests in the past, exists today. But we have become far too comfortable pretending racial inequality is a relic. Fifty years ago, students at this campus were invigorated by the death of Dr. King, but
Editorial Board today, we are not stirred when unarmed black men are shot by police officers. Fifty years ago, students chanted that “separate is not equal,” but today, we segregate covertly. Fifty years ago, we focused on our shortcomings and worked toward improvement, but today, we ignore our issues, afraid to admit that in all of these years, our country may not have changed. As students, we often feel powerless. However, in many ways, we are the campus’s greatest source of power. If we chose to act as we did fifty years ago,
someone would be forced to listen. A fundamental tenet of this university is “knowledge in the service of society,” but we have seemingly forgotten the most salient demonstration of our service to a society larger than our campus. The fifty year anniversary of the Silent Vigil is not simply a celebration. This week should serve as a reminder--a reminder that we have progressed on a journey that still mainly lies in front of us, that we have failed to fulfill many of the missions that drove our counterparts to act fifty years ago, that we have many more struggles to go before we shed the biases that plague our University and our country. As the Chronicle wrote half a century ago, “Sometimes people’s dreams compel them to act in ways they would usually call irrational, and they decide they must wrench themselves and others from complacency.” Students on campus fifty years ago dreamt of a world with racial equality, imbued with respect for all people. That dream is far from being realized. Yet we do not act. Fifty years ago, students set designated times to talk during the vigil, emphasizing the seriousness of their intent with their silence. Today, we are simply silent at all times. And the price of this silence is much too high.
Ashley: From Goldwater to McGovern, transformed by Vigil
he Silent Vigil of 1968 gave rise to an eloquent protest that cemented the evolution of my peers from the Silent Generation of the 1950s to the activist generation of the 1960s. That certainly was true for this son of a North Carolina textile company executive, born and bred in Mount Airy, N.C., the real-life Mayberry for the fictional town that native son Andy Griffith made famous. I arrived at Duke in 1966 as a Goldwater Republican and, transformed by the Vigil, many of my peers, and the protests
Bob Ashley TRINITY ‘70
of the times, left a McGovern Democrat—which, I might note, put me on the opposite, losing side of two of the more lopsided defeats in electoral history and on the same liberal political track as Margaret Small, one of the Vigil’s leaders, and Hillary Clinton. Unlike many of my classmates who seemed to have had superior educations in northeastern suburbs or at east coast prep schools, I arrived at allmale Trinity College from a quintessential southern town, small and more than a little provincial. Our worldview was largely untested. Mount Airy, a tobacco-and-textile town of 7,000 in northwestern North Carolina, was far too much like The Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry for comfort. A single black person attended my high school when I was a senior—one more than in any year before, in a town where about 10 percent of residents were black. You could count the Jewish families on both hands. But my parents were determined we would have a wider view of the world. Our family got one of about a half-dozen Sunday New York Times delivered to Lamm Drug on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on which day the bus with the papers arrived. Two or three of my friends listened to Joan Baez records. Like more than a few classmates, I was a Goldwater-backing, Vietnam War-supporting conservative when I graduated with 99 other seniors from Mount Airy High School. Duke changed me profoundly, and the Vigil was a galvanizing moment. Living through those days of nonviolent protest compelled me to see the world through the eyes of my peers and faculty, to consider a sense of equity that was far different than anything I’d known in high school. Even before
the Vigil, this evolution of my thinking—which didn’t take place overnight—began in the hothouse context of classroom challenges, dorm discussions, and late-night/early morning debates. Looking back, though, it was rapid. I showed up in The Chronicle offices a couple of weeks into my freshman year, offering my few years of experience working for our weekly newspaper in Mount Airy after school and during summers. Early on in 301 Flowers Building, someone—I think it was then-editor David Birkhead—tossed me a huge stack of clippings and asked me to summarize them for a special issue the paper was preparing about a protest against the Vietnam War. Over the next several months, the intellectual churn of my new environment began to reshape my thinking on the war, gender relations, civil rights, and workers’ rights—as the son of a textilemanufacturing executive, that last one was especially upending. Beyond our world on West Campus, universities across the country also were awash in unrest and protest, revulsion against the Vietnam War, and the ongoing struggle for civil rights. But we also had concerns closer to our new home. National dissent combined with and escalated our dissatisfaction with campus rules. As one broadside characterized it (naively, in retrospect), “Rule by fiat of the deans is illegitimate.” Many of us felt driven to challenge essentially the entire order of the university. For me, working with the newspaper staff to cover those transformative times, The Chronicle cemented what had been a tepid notion when I arrived on campus: that it was journalism, not law or academia, certainly not science or business, where my skills and passion belonged. Covering the Vigil was a catalytic moment. And, 50 years later, I still think Chroniclers should be unabashed about taking their passion for what journalism can do into the greater world after they leave Duke. The Vigil also cemented my belief that campus activism can, with sufficient zeal and, admittedly, the right moment, effect important change. I’d like to think that’s a belief that, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vigil, is as relevant today as it was a half-century ago.
Bob Ashley (Trinity ’70), a former managing editor of The Chronicle, retired in 2017 as the editor of the Durham Herald-Sun, the last of three newsrooms he led during a 50-plus career in journalism.
FRIDAY, FRIDAY,APRIL APRIL 13, 2018 | 7
Evans: What I hope to learn from Vigil organizers
hen Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, I was in Chicago. My then-husband, Harry Boyte (’67), had hurried home from the west side of Chicago, where bricks had begun to fly and fires to burn. We watched the National Guard marching through the streets. And then my younger brother Bob called: “Guess where I am?” A sophomore at Duke, he’d joined the Vigil in support of Local 77, the union trying to organize the predominantly black, nonacademic workers at the university. Bob had managed to find his way to a pay phone near the quad to call and tell me. He knew that while I was an undergraduate and graduate student at Duke, I’d worked for several years with the union along with Harry and other student members of what we called the “liberal action committee.” We’d attended meetings, organized student support, and visited in homes until the summer of 1967, when Harry and I moved to Chicago. It just killed me not to be on the quad for that climactic event. Little did I know then, as the events of 1968 played out around the world, that the Vigil would prove to be unique in its combination of scale (perhaps 2,000 students at the peak), self-organization, and peacefulness. It was also more successful than many others. At the time, as immersed as we were in the causes of civil rights and stopping the Vietnam War, few of us fully understood the global scale of protests in 1968. I did return to Durham that year, in June, and for a time worked as an organizer for Local 77, greatly energized by the Vigil. Harry worked in Edgemont, then a poor white community in east Durham, as an organizer for the former Office of Economic Opportunity, a federal antipoverty program. But the reports of violence that began early that year kept coming as millions of young people marched and demonstrated in multifaceted protests against university hierarchies, the Vietnam War, and authoritarian social orders of race, class, and age. In February, in Orangeburg, S.C., only four hours from Durham, police had attacked 200 protesters at historically black South Carolina State College. Three students were killed and 27 injured—some shot in the back—in what became known as the
Orangeburg massacre. Students who took over buildings at other campuses such as Columbia for the most part were ejected by police, sometimes with violence. In cities across the country, youthful rioters exploded with grief and rage, looting and setting fires only to be forcefully and violently suppressed. By August, Chicago police openly brutalized young demonstrators at the Democratic national convention as people across the country watched on television. The turmoil and the violence that year weren’t confined to the United States. Uprisings occurred all over Europe, including Eastern Europe, and in Japan and many parts
community in Harlem’s resistance to university encroachment. It’s striking that while Duke students seemed to have little in common with black workers, many of whom had menial jobs, they still heard the calls of justice and equality and stepped up. If Duke were unique in its combination of nonviolence, sophisticated self-organization, and alliances that crossed race and class, what are some of the sources of this uniqueness? I really look forward to hearing the stories of participants at the reunion, and for those conversations I offer a few possibilities: 1. Years of student engagement with the civil rights movement, and then with
Little did I know then, as the events of 1968 played out around the world, that the Vigil would prove to be unique in its combination of scale (perhaps 2,000 students at the peak), self-organization, and peacefulness. Sara Evans B.A. ‘66, M.A.‘68
of South America. In Paris and in many Italian cities, students and their union allies waged pitched battles in the streets against police and army troops. In October, army sharpshooters mowed down students in Mexico who’d gathered peacefully in a plaza, killing hundreds. By the end of the year, the Vigil stood out as one of the few mass protests that ended peacefully. Duke students’ alliance with Local 77 across class and race was unusual. Linking student and union demands was common in Europe, where students who took over Paris in May were joined by millions of workers who eventually went out on strike in support of them. But that kind of unity across classes was rare in the U.S. The alliance between mostly white students and mostly black Local 77 also contrasted sharply with the racial polarization of other student struggles. At Columbia, for example, black and white students occupied different buildings and followed conflicting strategies, though both supported the Morningside
Local 77, had resulted in clarity about focus and goals in the aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination. The idea of a vigil probably had multiple roots. It certainly echoes the religious roots of many students’ activism. Also, starting in 1965, there had been a weekly vigil in front of the Durham post office against the war in Vietnam.¬¬ Years of activism made it possible to focus on a winnable battle, rather than solely on a cry from the heart. 2. The student leaders of the Vigil quickly developed an impressive level of selforganization, even as the Vigil grew beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. I’m eager to hear more about how they so effectively dispersed logistical tasks of organization and leadership to a very large number of students. To use religious language again, it was a kind of a loaves and fishes moment— without social media. 3. Finally, the Duke faculty and administration, unlike their counterparts at many other campuses, avoided a violent
response and took their conversations with students seriously. Many faculty members supported and even joined the Vigil. Members of the administration, whether motivated to protect the public image of Duke or by their own recognition of exploitative and immoral treatment of nonacademic employees, resisted pressure to expel students by force and continued to negotiate with them in good faith. Out of the sit-in at Duke and other demonstrations throughout 1968 came further waves of protest focused on women’s rights, gay rights, and the environment. For me, the Vigil was another step on a journey devoted to chronicling social and political movements, especially the women’s movement and women’s history. With this reunion, I look forward to learning more from the organizers and participants in the Vigil about its immediate and long-term impact on their lives. Current students also have much to teach us about the issues that move them. We are on a long road together. Sara Evans, Regents Professor Emerita, spent her career teaching women’s history at the University of Minnesota after completing her PhD at the University of North Carolina in 1976. Her research has focused on the history of feminism as a social movement, motivated by her own involvement in civil rights, antiwar, and women’s rights activism. Her first book, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left is still in print. Her most recent book, Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century’s End (2003), picks up that story to explore the history of American feminism from the late sixties to the turn of the century. Her overview of American women’s history, Born for Liberty (1989, 1997), has been translated into more than 10 languages. She is co-author of Wage Justice: Comparable Worth and the Paradox of Technocratic Reform (1989, with Barbara J. Nelson, winner of the Policy Studies Organization book award) and Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America (1986, 1992 with Harry C. Boyte), and editor of Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice: 1955-1975 (2003).
Gutman: Inspiration for Vigil from Frederick Douglass
or years and years I think back to, and recite to myself (and sometimes to others) the wonderful words of Frederick Douglass at Canandaigua in 1857—I associate them with the time of the Vigil because Durham civil rights leader Howard Fuller would always quote them. So here, from the banks of my memory and into the present (with a little help from Google), are those stirring words. I have no doubt that others of you will remember them, too. They are still true. “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, allabsorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a
struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will
they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by
What the Vigil is for me [is] a place where I could for a brief moment feel “coherence, transport, meaning.” The search for that, and to make it ongoing in life, is a residue, for me, of that time in our lives. Huck Gutman A.M. ‘68, PhD ‘71
continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all
our lives and the lives of others.” Oh, as long as I am citing something, there is a “story” and a particular line that I associate with the Vigil. It occurs in a novella by Tillie Olsen, in a book that takes its title from the novella: Tell Me A Riddle. The protagonist is an old woman, come from the East Coast to California to die. She recalls her youth (of ultimately
unsuccessful protest) in Tsarist Russia. The struggle she engaged in half a century before remains before her as a great example of what she has lived by, and for. What she remembered from the collective struggle, what she longed for in the future, is for me summed up in her line: “Somewhere an older power that beat for life. Somewhere coherence, transport, meaning.” I think that is what the Vigil is for me, a place where I could for a brief moment feel “coherence, transport, meaning.” The search for that, and to make it ongoing in life, is a residue, for me, of that time in our lives. Huck Gutman is a professor of English at the University of Vermont and former chief of staff to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). He received an M.A. and a Ph,D. in English from Duke. He’s published four books, three academic titles (on Norman Mailer, Michel Foucault, and American literature overseas) and co-authored Outsider in the [White] House with Sanders. He teaches 19th and 20th century poetry at the University of Vermont. His work on bringing poetry to a larger world than academia has been featured in a number of newspapers, among them the Washington Post and the Boston Globe.
8 | FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018
hris Caffrey started his time at Duke focused on exploration, but he has found that sometimes one must revisit the same ground to discover the path to what’s next. Over the course of his ﬁrst year, little seemed to align for him. He explored academically, taking introductory classes in economics as well as history and environmental science. While he learned he didn’t like math and conﬁrmed he did like history, no obvious pathway emerged. Likewise, a summer internship at a technology consulting ﬁrm in Washington, D.C. also failed to provide the spark he hoped to ﬁnd. Upon returning to campus, he decided to focus on what he actually loved as opposed to what he thought he was supposed to love. Chris has long been drawn to history, and particularly to histories of vulnerable populations. During the school year, he threw himself into his history major, noting the ways seemingly small actions can reverberate over t i m e . Hoping to do something useful in his sophomore summer, Chris reached out to the Guilford County Public Defender’s Ofﬁce in his home city of Greensboro. It turned out to be a key decision. That summer, Chris had plenty of meaningful work to do. In the constantly busy Public Defender’s Ofﬁce, clients frequently needed additional support. While Chris couldn’t represent them, he could make sure vital procedural elements for their cases were completed. For a population that by deﬁnition has limited means, he reckons he made a real difference. Nevertheless, once back at Duke, he still felt torn. His summer work had been exciting and challenging; it had also been
Don’t know where to go next. Know why.
unpaid. Daunting questions about what he wanted out of his life began to nag at him. So, he applied for the Kenan Purpose Program. After a semester of coursework focused on articulating and contextualizing his sense of purpose, he applied for a Kenan Purpose Program Summer Fellowship to return to his prior work in Guilford County. Back for a second stint at the Public Defender’s Ofﬁce, Chris quickly regained his footing. Since he already knew many of the systems, he was allowed to tailor his work to better align his interests with the Ofﬁce’s needs. In the process, he gained experience he would put into practice sooner than he anticipated. One day near the end of his internship, Chris found an indigent man delirious outside the Guilford County Courthouse. He helped get the man medical assistance immediately. In the ensuing weeks, Chris followed up on this man’s case as it intersected with hospitals, the criminal justice system, government social programs, and homeless shelters. He discovered the limits of each system to help meet the needs of difﬁcult-to-serve clients like the indigent man. Chris also discovered that he was well poised to navigate this maze of red tape. “I was talking with all these providers who were often really upset, because they said there was nothing that they could do to help. I found that there was, in fact, plenty that I could do—but I needed my insider’s perspective.”
I was talking with all these providers who were often really upset, because they said there was nothing that they could do to help. I found that there was, in fact, plenty that I could do—but I needed my insider’s perspective.” CHRIS CAFFREY
Now a senior, Chris spent the fall semester creating an independent study on the history of public care for vulnerable populations. He plans to go to law school—but not yet. One thing his fellowship summer taught him was the importance of knowing people who are different from oneself well. Chris plans to travel extensively before focusing on a career in law.
Courses, mentored internships, and symposia to help students forge their own paths. Find what’s good for you and good for the world.