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, Raquel Ruiz, MBA, MAEd, tells us about her EDI work at the Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute. We also share recent EDI-related news stories, resources, and coming events.

EDI Spotlight: Raquel Ruiz, MBA, MAEd

Raquel Ruiz, MBA, MAEd, first discovered the importance of including diverse participants in research studies while working as a research assistant in college. Ever since, she has worked in some capacity to help advance health equity. Her passion for EDI most recently led her to the Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), where part of her team’s work includes building community trust in research.

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In this month’s EDI Spotlight, Ruiz talks to us about her work as a senior staff director for the Equity and Learning Health Communities Pillar at CTSI. She also gives a glimpse into what’s to come for a new employee resource group for Latino staff that she will lead. And she shares a little about the things that bring her joy outside of work.

News and Resources

Group Aims to Empower Black Staff

For the past two years, Duke University School of Medicine’s Black Employee Resource Group, ME², has fostered a sense of community for Black staff members. Watch this video to learn more about how the group works to empower staff and serve the local community.

Participation Survey: Get Involved in Pride

Interested in finding ways to get your department, center, or unit involved with Duke Health's efforts to support LGBTQ+ Pride events throughout the year? Fill out this survey to be contacted about participation and sponsorship opportunities.

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School of Medicine Hosts Its First Equity Advancement Symposium

In July, Duke University School of Medicine held its inaugural Equity Advancement Symposium, “Sustaining the Momentum: Leveraging Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Beyond the Pandemic.” The daylong event brought the Duke community together for conversations on the intersection of science and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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A Growing Promise: New Leadership Reinvigorates EDI Mission in Duke Surgery

Duke Surgery in recent years has experienced growth from – and established dedicated resources toward – enhanced diversity among faculty, trainees, staff, and partners. This continued growth and emphasis on fostering an inclusive culture most recently led the Duke Department of Surgery to establish a leadership team focused on EDI.

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Duke Summer Academy Helps Medical Students Explore Research Careers

The Duke Office of Physician Scientist Development (OPSD) PRIME Summer Academy provides medical students, who have limited research experience, hands-on laboratory training at the Duke University School of Medicine.

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Matter of Faith: Duke Health Partners with A.M.E. Zion Pastors to Rebuild Trust in Health Care

Duke Health is partnering with A.M.E. Zion churches to rebuild trust in health care and increase the number of Black patients who participate in clinical trials. But the Health Equity Advocates Liaisons (HEAL) program is not just about research. It also provides education and resources to the community.

Office for Institutional Equity Offers Fall Workshop Series

The Office for Institutional Equity is offering its Fall 2023 Workshops series beginning in September. The workshops will provide Duke community members with education and support on key issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as Duke regulations concerning discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and equal opportunity.

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National Chats for Change: Silence vs. Speech

September 6 • Noon

Join colleagues from Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine as we grapple the question: Does the popular saying “speech is silver but silence is golden” apply when dismantling racism and bias in medical education?

Duke P.R.I.D.E. Training

September 12 • Noon-1:30 p.m.

100 Bryan Center

The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s (CSGD) signature educational program aims to increase awareness of issues impacting those with marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Open to all members of the Duke community.

AAPI Affinity Group Mural Block

Painting: Duke Raleigh Hospital

September 14 • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Help Duke's Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group create a mural out of painted wooden blocks! All skill levels are welcome! (NetID login required)

Latinx Challenges Toward Racial Justice

September 14-15

Sponsored by Organizing Against Racism (OAR) Durham, this in-depth, two-day workshop is for people of all racial identities who are working in solidarity to end racial disparities in our institutions and end racism in our society.

5th Annual URiM Family Barbeque

September 16 • 2-5 p.m.

Forest Hills Park, Durham

Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) faculty, trainees, students, and their families are invited to join the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for this family friendly, fun-filled event. RSVP by September 11.

Duke Sexual and Gender Minority Wellness Symposium

September 18-19

Experts from around the country will discuss topics including global sexual and gender minority health and human rights and emerging intersectionality in SGM health research.

Duke Neurology D&I Grand Rounds: Durham School Desegregation

September 20 • 8-9 a.m.

Duke North 2003 or Zoom

LaHoma Romocki, PhD (UNC Chapel Hill), and Cindy Waszak Geary

Join the Department of Neurology by Zoom or in person for a discussion on the desegregation of Durham schools.

National Chats for Change Transformational Tools Workshops 8 & 9

September 20 • Noon-1:30 p.m.

Open to anyone invested in transformational, anti-racist, and systemic change at their institutions. As national tragedies and agendas continue to illuminate, our anti-racism work is far from done.

ME2 September Meeting: Networking & Beyond - The Power of Collaboration

September 21 • Noon-1 p.m.

Bryan Research Building, Room 103

The School of Medicine's ME² (Motivate, Mentor, Educate & Empower) Black Employee Resource Group meets on the third Thursday of the month.

AAPI Affinity Group Mural Block Painting: Duke Regional Hospital

September 22 • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Help Duke's Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group create a mural out of painted wooden blocks! All skill levels are welcome! (NetID login required)

Pride: Durham, NC

September 23

Pride: Durham, NC serves as the annual celebration of community, family, pride, and activism in Durham and across the state.

DCRI Research Forum

September 26 • Noon-1 p.m.

Join the Duke Clinical Research Institute Research Forum featuring a Fireside Chat with National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Director Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD.

Black Men in Medicine: Moving Forward Together

October 12 • 5-6 p.m. 

Dennis O. Frank-Ito, PhD

These Zoom-based sessions provide a space for Black men in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and their allies to come together. Open to any faculty member, trainee, or student in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, of any race or gender, who supports the objective of the Black Men in Medicine Group.

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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