Who we are:

Scientists Promoting Equity and Knowledge (SPEAK) is a group of early-career researchers at Duke University who are committed to grappling with issues of equity and power in academia and promoting a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment. We are supported by the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology & Neuroscience, and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Our group was founded in 2016 by Shabnam Hakimi and Kathryn Dickerson as a Women in Science book club aimed at tacking issues of equity in academia through the lens of gender. As our group has evolved to focus more broadly on equity and intersectionality, our leadership has expanded to include Brenda Yang and Matthew Bachman.

What we do:

We meet every 4-6 weeks to discuss books and articles that provoke and offer structure to a dialogue about difficult, yet crucial topics, including gender- and race-based inequities in academic mentorship, hiring practices, research activities, teaching, and service. Through books like Bad FeministBiased, and Ask For It, we engage with issues of inequity in our community and discuss ways to take action both individually and collectively. Our group also promotes equity in the local Durham community through service activities.

We aim to provide a safe space for early career researchers to discuss the intersection between power dynamics and many identities, including race, gender, and sexual identity. To ensure this safety, we

  1. limit our membership to early-career researchers in the brain and psychological sciences (i.e., post-baccalaureate researchers, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, junior faculty)
  2. limit meeting attendance to individuals who have committed to upholding the safety and integrity of our group
  3. maintain a closed mailing list as a space for safe discussions
  4. maintain password-protected pages on this website for SPEAK members to continue discussions and share relevant resources
We are always open to hearing new voices and welcome all early-career members of the Duke brain and psychological sciences community to join us.

Request to join our mailing list by visiting the Duke Mailing List Manager or by contacting SPEAK leadership directly by email.