Statement from the Office for Faculty Advancement

June 8, 2020

Abbas Benmamoun.The Office for Faculty Advancement stands with the members of our black community. We share its grief and outrage at the cruel killing of George Floyd and the acts of violence and dehumanization black people in America continue to be subjected to by a system that devalues and negates the humanity of many of its people based on the color of their skin and backgrounds.

The unequal treatment of black people in America is evident in all facets of American society – access to quality health care, housing, employment and career advancement, and education, to mention just a few. The black members of our country and populations of color suffer from high levels of incarceration and are more likely to feel the impact of environmental degradation and climate change. The outrage we are seeing is targeted at the systemic racism behind these inequities and injustices and the system continuing to support and reproduce them.

As educators and Duke community members, we all have an obligation to do our part to address these injustices and inequities at Duke and in the wider community. We need to recommit to the changes needed to ensure fair and equitable access to the education we offer; a diverse faculty and staff; and a climate that respects, values and affirms the humanity of everyone and strongly stands against acts and policies contradicting those goals and values.

Our office will work with our partners at Duke to do its modest part to advance the cause of anti-racism and justice at Duke. These efforts are small actions in relation to the larger, greater work needing to be done, but we believe if we, the members of the Duke community, each do what we can as scholars, educators and citizens, we will have a better chance to make progress and help sustain the larger efforts.

Abbas Benmamoun
Professor of Middle Eastern and Asian Studies and Linguistics
Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement