Our Mission

The Duke Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity is a scholarly collaborative engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality and in the assessment and redesign of remedies for inequality and its adverse effects. Concerned with the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of uneven and inequitable access to resources, opportunity and capabilities, Cook Center researchers take a cross-national comparative approach to the study of human difference and disparity. Ranging from the global to the local, Cook Center scholars not only address the overarching social problem of general inequality, but they also explore social problems associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation.

Based on this research, the Cook Center seeks to offer policy solutions addressing inequality and its effects. Researchers critically examine measures to:

  •  Improve social mobility,
  •  Expand quality education,
  •  Guarantee well paid employment,
  •  Ensure wide access to public health and medical services,
  •  Enhance opportunities for wealth and asset building, and
  •  Assure safe and fair participation in the political process.

Cook Center researchers compare the human experience of disparity in the U.S. and beyond, with a focus on economic, political, health and cultural disparities. Their research provides an assessment of uneven and inequitable access to resources and opportunities around the world. Our scholars examine:

  • the mechanisms that establish and sustain patterns of dominance and subordination across peoples, countries, and regions;
  • the construction of identities and nationalisms;
  • patterns of inclusion in or exclusion from preferred positions and statuses;
  • the cultural products and vernacular expressions that derive from, depict or critique inequality. And,
  • Cook Center scholars evaluate narratives and outcomes that arise from existing public policies and assist in the development of new programs and policies designed that promote greater social equity.