Welcome to Equity Matters, a monthly newsletter from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Equity Matters is distributed to faculty, staff, and students in the Duke University School of Medicine. In this issue, James Tcheng, MD, discusses how the school is incorporating EDI into the Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure (APT) process. We also share recent EDI-related news stories, resources, and coming events.

EDI Spotlight: James Tcheng, MD

Appointing and promoting faculty involves much more than simply reviewing CVs. Just ask James Tcheng, MD, associate dean for academic appointments. In this month’s EDI Spotlight, Tcheng gives a glimpse into the world of faculty appointments and promotions, offering insights into why it’s important to incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion into the appointments, promotion, and tenure (APT) process.

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He shares how his involvement with two committees led to a new framework that is changing how the school considers EDI work when promoting faculty. Tcheng also reveals his love for all things related to information technology.

News and Resources

Supporting Native and Indigenous Students on Their Medical Path

After discovering that no affinity group existed at Duke University School of Medicine for Native and Indigenous students, two medical students decided to change that. Created in fall 2022, the Native and Indigenous Medical Student Association offers students support, a sense of community, and much-needed mentors.

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The December Dilemma: Creating an Inclusive Workplace During the Holiday Season

Many holidays take place during the fall and winter months, December in particular. Check out this resource from Tanenbaum for tips and a checklist to help create an inclusive workplace this holiday season.

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Giselle Y. López, MD, PhD, Receives Award for EDI Advocacy and Leadership

Giselle Y. López, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and neurosurgery, received the Spark Award from the Association for Women in Science in recognition of her strong leadership skills and vocal advocacy for diversity and inclusive scientific practices.

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Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP, named President-elect of World Organization of Family Doctors

Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP, director of health equity and associate professor in the Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, has been selected as president-elect of the World Organization of Family Doctors.

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Watch the School of Medicine’s EDI Videos

The School of Medicine has published several videos highlighting individuals and groups committed to enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for our faculty, staff, trainees, and students. You can watch them here on our EDI playlist.

Research Identifies Cause for Metabolic Disease that Strikes Native Americans

Earlier this year Duke researchers identified the cause of an inherited metabolic disease common among people with Lumbee and other Native American heritage, overturning decades of settled science and pointing to new, more effective therapies.

Trans and GNC Closet Clothing Drive

Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) is gathering clothes to donate to the LGBTQ Center of Durham's Trans and GNC Closet, a resource available to trans and gender non-conforming people in the area where they can pick up gender-affirming clothing for free. Most-needed items include winter clothes, shaving supplies, soaps (both body and household), formal wear, and gender affirming wear (e.g., binders or breast forms), but all donations are welcome. Drop by the CSGD (100 Bryan Center) to donate by 6 p.m. on December 1.

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Pronoun Primer: A Pathway to Inclusion

December 5 • Noon-1 p.m.

Duke’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity will provide an overview of gender pronouns, discuss their importance in creating inclusive spaces for transgender and non-binary students, and provide an overview of trans-inclusive pedagogical practices for implementing pronouns in and out of the classroom.

National Chats for Change: Calling In vs. Calling Out

December 6 • Noon-1 p.m.

Join colleagues from Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine as we explore where to draw the line between “calling in” all potential allies and compromising our values and beliefs.

Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics: The Need for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

December 7 • Noon-1 p.m.

Goldie S. Byrd, PhD

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds will feature speaker Goldie S. Byrd, PhD, professor of social sciences and health policy and director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.

Division of Geriatrics Grand Rounds

December 11 • Noon-1 p.m.

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Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH

Join the Division of Geriatrics for Grand Rounds featuring Bonnielin Swenor, PhD, MPH, director of the Johns Hopkins University Disability Health Research Center. Swenor will discuss dismantling ableism and creating a culture of belonging at scientific meetings and conferences.


Health Disparities Research Works in Progress Seminar

December 14 • Noon-1 p.m.

Join REACH Equity for a virtual, interactive seminar featuring talks from junior and senior faculty investigators about current research and projects in development. All are welcome to attend.

Eighth Annual National Day of Racial Healing

January 16

Save the date for the National Day of Racial Healing, which is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial, Healing & Transformation efforts. Read more about racial healing and learn how you can celebrate the day by attending or hosting an event in your community. 

Leveraging Conflict for Constructive Change

February 26 • 4-5:30 p.m.

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Sonoo Thadaney Israni, MBA

This talk will weave together themes from restorative justice and design thinking; and how they can be applied to artificial intelligence and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion), offering a case for new ways of leveraging conflict to advance a culture of connectedness and belonging. Open to all.

Visit the Duke Events Calendar for a listing of EDI events across campus


For questions or story suggestions, email the EDI Team

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