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Kerry L. Haynie, Co-Director
Director, Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences
Associate Professor, Political Science and African & African American Studies
(919) 684-2944

Professor Haynie’s research and teaching interests are in race and ethnic politics, intersections of race and gender, legislative processes, state-level politics, southern politics, and comparative urban politics. He is one of the editors of the journal, Politics, Groups, and Identities. He has been published in The Journal of Politics; Legislative Studies Quarterly; Politics, Groups, and Identities; International Journal of Africana Studies; Social Science and Medicine; and the Journal of Women Politics and Policy, his publications include New Race Politics in America: Understanding Minority and Immigrant Voting (co-edited with Jane Junn), African American Legislators in the American States, The Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics, Volume I: African Americans and Asian Americans; and The Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics, Volume II: Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.

Professor Haynie has traveled widely speaking on race and politics, including invited talks in France, Germany, and South Africa. He is the co-winner (w/Beth Reingold) of the American Political Science Association’s Women and Politics Research Section’s Best Paper Award for 2012. He is the director of the Duke University Trinity Scholarship program and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program.

A native of Kannapolis, NC, he received his B.A. (1985) and Ph.D. (1994) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has a Masters of Public and International Affairs degree from the University of Pittsburgh (1988).


Mark Anthony Neal, Co-Director
James B. Duke Professor of African & African American Studies, Professor of English
Director, Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship
Host, Left of Black
(919) 684-3987

Professor Neal offers courses on black masculinity, popular culture, and digital humanities, including signature courses, “Michael Jackson & the Black Performance Tradition,” and “The History of Hip-Hop,” which he co-teaches with Grammy Award-Winning producer 9th Wonder (Patrick Douthit).

He is the author of several books including What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture(1999), Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic (2002) and Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities (2013).  The 10th Anniversary edition of Neal’s New Black Man was published in February of 2015 by Routledge. Neal is co-editor of That’s the Joint: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (Routledge), now in its second edition.

In addition, Professor Neal hosts the video webcast Left of Black, which is produced in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke and entering its 10th season.


Guy Charles
Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
Co-Director, Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics
(919) 613-7191

Professor Charles is an expert in and frequent public commentator on constitutional law, election law, campaign finance, redistricting, politics, and race. He joined Duke Law’s faculty in 2009; he previously was the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Professor Charles is the founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics and co-founder of the Colored Demos blog, coloreddemos.blogspot.com. He has served as a reviewer for Stanford University Press, University of Chicago Press, and NYU Press. He has published articles in Constitutional Commentary, The Michigan Law Review, The Michigan Journal of Race and Law, The Georgetown Law Journal, The Journal of Politics, The California Law Review, The North Carolina Law Review, and others.

Professor Charles received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School and clerked for The Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. While at the University of Michigan, he was the founder and first editor-in-chief of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law. He has been a visiting professor at Georgetown, Virginia, and Columbia law schools. A past member of the National Research Commission on Elections and Voting and the Century Foundation Working Group on Election Reform, Professor Charles has served as the director of the Institute for Law & Politics, a Senior Fellow in Law and Politics at the Institute on Race and Poverty, and a Law School Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Political Psychology, University of Minnesota.



Betsi Dessauer
Project Coordinator

Betsi Dessauer has worked for CARE, as a fellow for the Millennium Project at the United Nations University, and at the Benton Foundation doing research, writing, communications, and development. At Duke she previously worked as the Assistant Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Pratt School of Engineering. Dessauer holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed a United Nations Association Graduate Fellowship at George Washington University.  In addition to Betsi’s work in research, writing, and the arts, she is a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor that deeply enjoys teaching and bringing these wellness skills to others.


StacyNicole Robinson
Staff Assistant
(919) 681-2702

StacyNicole earned a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Touro University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She previously served as the Department Administrator for the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke.