New Graduate Fellowship Program Focuses on Race and the Professions

Race and the Professions Fellowship.

Deadline: August 12, 2020

A Fellowship Made Possible by The Duke Endowment in Collaboration with the Kenan Center for Ethics

What Is the Race and the Professions Fellowship?

The Race and the Professions Fellowship is a year-long program made possible by The Duke Endowment inviting Duke graduate and professional students to explore challenges of racial inequities and the work of anti-racism in the professions.

In the last few months, everyday life in America has been both undone and unveiled. Basic rhythms have been upended even as centuries-old injustices have come center stage in a new way. In particular, COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd have laid bare longstanding racial disparities. While what comes next is hard to discern, we know that it is unacceptable to go back to the way things were.

What does this mean for the professions? More specifically, what does this mean for the profession you, as a Duke graduate or professional student, are pursuing in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the School of Medicine, the Duke-NUS Medical School, the School of Nursing, the Fuqua School of Business, the School of Law, the Divinity School, Pratt School of Engineering, or the Sanford School of Public Policy?

How have the events of the last six months exposed long-standing racial injustices in your profession of choice, and what does that mean for the future of the profession and for your aims of working within it? These questions sit at the heart of the Race and the Professions Fellows Program.

Who Should Apply?

What Race and the Professions Fellowswill have in common is a desire to explore the purpose of their profession and how to be a good person within it, in light of anti-racism and racial justice work. All graduate and professional school students at Duke may apply, and we anticipate a diverse cohort of Fellows.

Fellows will each receive a stipend of $3,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. Fellows will also be invited to apply for additional funding to support summer projects that give students a sense of the possibilities for purpose in their profession through ‘‘on-the-ground’ experience of antiracism and racial justice work.

How Often Will Race and the Professions Fellows Meet, and What Will It Entail?

Race and the Professions Fellows will meet about a dozen times across the Fall and Spring semesters. Sessions will feature visiting speakers and will not typically require preparation, although at times brief readings may be distributed in advance.

Conversations will move between analyzing the structures of racial injustice in a field and reflecting on how one might purposefully work within it. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between racial justice and the professions in Durham.

Fellows who pursue a summer project will be asked to showcase their work in Fall 2021. Sessions will occur online, with the possibility for in-person gatherings if a safe pathway becomes clear in the course of the year.

How Do I Apply?

To apply: e-mail the application to A.J. Walton at with the subject line “Race and the Professions Fellowship.” Deadline: 12 PM, Wednesday, August 12, 2020