Empowerment, Diversity, and Inclusion in Neurology: A Blog by Andrew Spector, MD

When he assumed the role of Vice Chair for Inclusion, Diversity, and Empowerment in the Duke Neurology Department, Andrew Spector, MD, began sharing regular notes to our Diversity and Inclusion Committee on the intersections of diversity, inclusion and neurology. These messages grew from brief updates to essays discussing dealing with microaggressions, the harm caused by myths about "model minorities," and other topics and have been collected here as an ongoing blog.

March 2024 D&I Update: Anti-DEI Legislation and the Scarf Model

Anti-DEI legislation has been introduced in 30 states and the US House of Representatives and enacted into law in 4 states. While I have numerous legal, moral, and practical concerns about these laws, I want to focus instead on why these bills have been popular. Much of the backlash against DEI work is classic White Supremacy, but that’s not the whole story. There are other objections to DEI efforts, and it is worthwhile to examine those and learn from them.

January 2024 D&I Update: Politics and DEI

With Iowa and New Hampshire in the books, the country is now fully engaged in the 2024 campaign season. One aspect of diversity that is frequently overlooked in diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions is diversity of political opinions. If we want everyone to feel included in our department (and we do!), this must include political diversity.

December 2023 D&I Update

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate. The 8-night, Jewish festival started Thursday. Hanukkah, often called the Festival of Lights, honors the Jewish revolt against religious oppression in the second century BCE. The holiday centers around the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the miraculous lasting of a small amount of oil for eight days. Hanukkah serves as a reminder of resilience and the enduring spirit of the Jewish people in the face of historical challenges.

D&I Grand Rounds, LMSA Gala, and More

Good morning, Folks.

Here is the D&I update for September.

From Sept 15 to Oct 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. In honor of this, Duke’s Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) is hosting a gala in the Trent Semans Center Great Hall, October 5 at 6:00 PM. The Neurology Department is helping to sponsor this event and if you are interested in attending, please see the attached invitation to register. 

Accountability, 2024 HBCU Neurosciences Career Day, PrIMES, BOOST

Good morning, Folks.

Here is the D&I update for July. Thankfully, there’s a bit less national news to cover this month, so we can focus more on the department.

Each year, we pick a theme and target our projects around an EDI goal. These have included the following: 

Pride Month, Affirmative Action, and the Supreme Court

This the June D&I update, and whoaaaa boy, is there a lot to cover! Traditionally, I like to do a year-in-review with the June email, and I will still do a brief version of that, but we really need to discuss Pride month, Affirmative Action, and the Supreme Court. I apologize if this is longer than you can read in one sitting, but I hope you’ll take the time to mentally engage with these topics. Although it might seem like these are political issues, these decisions have direct impacts on health and health care.