Keisha L Bentley-Edwards, Associate Director of Research, Director of Health Equity Working Group, and Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine
(919) 668-4580
Room A210, Erwin Mill

Dr. Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards is a developmental psychologist who uses a cultural lens to understand the human experience and health outcomes. Her research focuses on how race and racism stress influence social, physical and emotional health as well as academic outcomes throughout the lifespan, with an emphasis on adolescence. Dr. Bentley-Edwards’ work has particularly focused upon the development of culturally relevant measurement to address the constructs of racial/ethnic socialization, racial cohesion and dissonance and same- race violence. She is a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Connections Scholar that was based on the bullying experiences of African American children. Overall, she uses research to guide parents and practitioners to support the healthy functioning of Black children and families. 

Loneke T. Blackman Carr, Postdoctoral Associate
(919) 681-8732
Room A211b, Erwin Mill

Dr. Loneke T. Blackman Carr is an obesity and health behavior researcher and registered dietitian whose work aims to address health disparities in African American women. Her body of work mainly focuses on understanding and reducing the disparity in behavioral weight loss intervention outcomes where, on average, African American women experience subpar weight loss. In addition to her central focus on weight research, Dr. Blackman Carr also seeks to improve physical activity and sedentary behaviors among African American women, particularly by understanding the driving cultural mechanisms. Through intervention research, she ultimately aims to gain equity in public health solutions for all participants, and inform the policies that impact individuals’ lives.

Pablo Beramendi, Co-Director of Working Group on Social Mobility and Associate Professor of Political Science
(919) 660-4336

Pablo Beramendi's research interests include the political economy of redistribution and inequality, comparative federalism and decentralization and the determinants of political integration, with a special focus on advanced industrial societies and European politics.

Ronda Taylor Bullock, Faculty Affiliate and Co-Director of we are (working to extend anti-racist education); Third year doctoral student in the Policy, Leadership, and School Improvement Program at UNC Chapel Hill; University Supervisor for Duke University’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program

With a critical race theory lens, Ronda Taylor Bullock studies whiteness and white youth’s racial identity development. She uses education as a means to provide racial equity trainings and programs for youth, parents, and educators.

Kristalyn Cooksey


Kristalyn Cooksey serves as the undergraduate research assistant for the Cook Center. 

William "Sandy" Darity, Founding Director, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
(919) 452-3118
Room A216, Erwin Mill

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2011-2012) at Stanford, a fellow at the National Humanities Center (1989-90) and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors (1984). He received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award in 2012 from the National Economic Association, the organization's highest honor, and has published or edited 12 books and published more than 210 articles in professional journals. 

Malik S. Henfield, Faculty Affiliate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Associate Professor of School Counseling, School of Education, University of San Francisco
(415) 422-2140

Malik S. Henfield is an urban counselor educator, whose scholarship situates Black students' lived experiences in a broader ecological milieu to critically explore how their personal, social, academic and career success is impeded and enhanced by school, family and community contexts.

Sarah E. Gaither, Faculty Affiliate and Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
(919) 660-5721

Dr. Sarah Gaither is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. Prior to starting at Duke, she was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Psychology Department and Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago after earning her Ph.D. and M.S. in Social Psychology from Tufts University and her B.A. in Social Welfare from U.C Berkeley. Her research focuses broadly on how a person’s social identities and experiences across the lifespan motivate their social perceptions and behaviors in diverse settings. More specifically, she studies how contact with diverse others shapes social interactions, how having multiple racial or multiple social identities affects different types of social behavior and categorizations of others, and what contexts shape the development of racial perceptions and biases from childhood through adulthood. Growing up as a biracial Black/White woman is what has fueled her research path.

Darrick Hamilton, Faculty Affiliate, Associate Director of Cook Center; Co-Investigator of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) Project; Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy & Department of Economics, New School for Social Research
(212) 229-5400

Darrick Hamilton is a stratification economist, whose work fuses scientific methods to examine the causes, consequences and remedies of racial and ethnic inequality in economic and health outcomes, which includes an examination of the intersection of identity, racism, colorism, and socioeconomic outcomes.  


Robert Korstad, Associate Director of Cook Center; Director, Bull City 150 Project; Professor of Public Policy and History
(919) 613-7335

Room A209b, Erwin Mill

Robert Korstad's research interests include twentieth century U. S. history, labor history, African American history, and contemporary social policy, and he is the co-director of a major documentary research project at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, "Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South."

Anirudh Krishna, Co-Director of Working Group on Social Mobility and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
(919) 613-7337

Anirudh Krishna's research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. His most recent book, One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010), examines poverty dynamics at the household level, tracking movements into and out of poverty of over 35,000 households in 400 communities of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru and North Carolina, USA.

Addison Malone, Associate in Research
(919) 684-4807

Addison Malone is the associate in research for the Cook Center, working on projects related to the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute and the Global Inequality Research Initiative (GIRI).

David Malone, Co-Director of Working Group on Educational Policy and Associate Professor of the Practice in Education
(919) 660-3075

David Malone's work focuses on educational psychology, applications of cognitive science to teaching and learning, literacy, student-centered approaches to instruction, experiential and service learning, and learning disabilities.

JoAnn O'Neal, Financial Analyst
(919) 681-5074
Room A218, Erwin Mill

JoAnn O’Neal oversees pre and post award administration of grants and contracts and serves as the Center's business manager.


Bruce Orenstein, Artist in Residence at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Director of Telling Stories of Social Injustice Working Group
(919) 937-7879 (cell)
Room A206, Erwin Mill

Bruce Orenstein is currently producing the documentary series Shame of Chicago: The Segregation of an American City. He also runs the Telling Our Stories Student Working Group at the Cook Center and teaches documentary production at the Arts of the Moving Image Program. Orenstein founded and directed the Chicago Video Project, one of the nation’s first studios dedicated to producing organizing-driven videos for grassroots social change organizations. His television credits include the Emmy-award winning WTTW documentary No Place to Live, and the nationally broadcast PBS documentaries, The Democratic Promise: The Life and Legacy of Saul Alinsky and American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Orenstein led direct-action community organizations in low-income communities in Chicago and Seattle.

Mark Paul, Postdoctoral Associate
(919) 684-3790
Room A209a, Erwin Mill

Mark recently finished his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mark's research focuses on inequality by race, class and gender, and sustainable economics. 


Jay Pearson, Director of GIRI, Assistant Professor of Public Policy
(919) 613-7327

Jay A. Pearson's research examines how policy sponsored structural inequality influences social determination of health. He is particularly interested in the health effects of conventional and non-conventional resources associated with racial assignment, ethnic identity, national origin, immigration, and cultural orientations.



Gunter Peck, Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor, History and Public Policy Studies
(919) 668-5297

Gunther Peck is an associate professor of History at Duke University specializing in immigration and labor history, as well as environmental history. His first book, Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West (2000), won the Phillip Taft award in labor history and the Ray Allen Billington award in frontier history.

Peck is currently writing two books on the history of human trafficking and humanitarian intervention. The first, Race Traffic: Servants, Sailors, and Slaves in the Making of Whiteness, 1660-1860, examines the deep historical roots to contemporary white racial discourse, exploring the political, geographic, and cultural contexts from which white racial identity first crystalized during the late Seventeenth Century in the emerging British Empire. Whiteness became hegemonic, he argues,  imagined as a thing that all classes of light skinned people might possess, only when trafficked subjects – servants, sailors, and slaves – alike began to use racial grammar to emancipatory ends. The second book, The Shadow of White Slavery, historicizes the contemporary movement to abolish human trafficking, considering the peculiar moral and policy challenges generated by describing all trafficked subjects as slaves.  As a community activist in North Carolina, he has taken a keen interest in voting rights and understanding how and why citizens do and do not vote.


Dr. Paul Robbins

Paul A. Robbins, Postdoctoral Associate
(919) 681-8768
Room A211a, Erwin Mill

Dr. Paul A. Robbins is an interdisciplinary researcher who primarily conducts research on academic and mental health disparities. His research focuses on identifying ways in which to improve outcomes for underserved adolescents and young adults. He has aided in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of several psychoeducational interventions.

Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor of Management and Organizations and a Center of Leadership and Ethics Scholar at the Fuqua School of Business
(919) 660-8021

Dr. Ashleigh Shelby Rosette is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations and a Center of Leadership and Ethics scholar at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Professor Rosette studies diversity, leadership, and negotiations in organizational settings. Her research has been published in top academic journals and featured in prominent media outlets. She received her Bachelor in Business Administration degree and Master in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to academia, she worked for Arthur Andersen LLP as a Certified Public Accountant.

Marta Sánchez, Faculty Affiliate and Investigator of Mexican Education Reform project; Assistant Professor of Social Foundations at the Donald R. Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. 
(910) 962-7174

Marta Sánchez is an educational anthropologist conducting research with the students, families and teachers of the New Latino South and is a co-Investigator on the Research Institute for Scholars of Equity project (IES R305B160015). Both studies examine educational inequality in the United States.

Imari Smith, Graduate Research Assistant, Health Equity Working Group

A recent graduate from Duke University with a Bachelors of Arts in women’s studies and a minor in chemistry, Imari Smith serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Cook Center. She was the first in the history of the Women's Studies department to graduate with Highest Distinction for her honors thesis titled Black Femininity through the White Speculum.  Imari attends the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is pursuing a Master’s of Public Health in Health Behavior so that she may continue her studies of the intersections of gender, race, and health inequities.

Kristen Stephens, Co-Director of Working Group on Educational Policy and Associate Professor of the Practice in Education
(919) 660-3083

Kristen Stephens is interested in legal and policy issues with regard to gifted education at the federal, state, and local levels. Her research has also focused on how teachers assess creative student products to inform future instruction.

Salimah El-Amin Witherspoon, Senior Research Associate
(919) 681-6018
Room A219, Erwin Mill

Dr. Salimah El-Amin is a Senior Research Associate at the Cook Center.  In this role she serves as the Program Director for the Global Inequalities Research Initiative (GIRI) and the Diversity in Tenure and Economics (DITE) program.  Dr. El-Amin is a behavioral scientist, her research interests include sexual health, STD/HIV prevention, health disparities, Black infant mortality and health literacy.

Gwendolyn Wright, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
(919) 681-9269
Room A217, Erwin Mill

​Gwen Wright is the senior administrator and research scientist for the Cook Center. She oversees the development and implementation of programs and projects in support of the strategic vision and goals of the Center.

Khai Zaw, Statistical Research Associate
(919) 613-4342
Room A208, Erwin Mill

Khai Zaw, using national databases and rigorous statistical methods, investigates stratification effects between race, socioeconomics status, and social equity outcomes such as health, incarceration and standardized test scores.