Associate Director of Research, Director of Health Equity Working Group, and Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine
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.
Co-Director of Working Group on Social Mobility and Associate Professor of Political Science
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); University Supervisor for Duke University’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program
With a critical race theory lens, Dr. 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.
Dr. Eugenia Conde received her Ph.D. in sociology from Texas A & M University with specialties in demography and medical sociology, in addition to an MSPH in epidemiology. Furthermore, she holds an M.Ed in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her post-doctoral training at Rutgers University, sociology department. Her areas of interest are social inequalities, health disparities, teen pregnancy, and statistical methods with a focus on missing data and methodologies to study communities of color.
Founding Director, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
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.
Faculty Affiliate and Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
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.
Faculty Affiliate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Associate Dean and Professor of School Counseling, School of Education, University of San Francisco
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.
Senior Research Associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Faculty Director, Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Scholarship Program; Director of GIRI
Adam Hollowell serves as Senior Research Associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Faculty Director of the Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Scholarship Program. He completed his Ph.D. and M.Th. in theological ethics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and his A.B. at Duke University, where he was a B.N. Duke Scholar. His teaching and research focus broadly on ethics, religion, race, and public policy. He is the author of Power and Purpose: Paul Ramsey and Contemporary Christian Political Theology, which was recommended for Best First Book Award, Society of Christian Ethics.
Associate in Research
Lucas Hubbard writes stories, articles, and press releases to help illuminate and broadcast the Cook Center’s research, in addition to helping edit reports produced by the Center. He obtained a B.S. in economics from Duke University with a minor in creative writing. Prior to joining the Cook Center, Lucas was the Clay Felker Staff Writer at Duke Magazine.
Associate Director of Cook Center; Director, Bull City 150 Project; Professor of Public Policy and History
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."
Co-Director of Working Group on Social Mobility and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
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.
Co-Director of Working Group on Educational Policy and Associate Professor of the Practice in Education
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.
Project Director Bull City 150 Project, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Sanford School of Public Policy
Melissa Norton manages “Bull City 150: Reckoning with Durham’s Past to Build a More Equitable Future”- a public history and civic engagement initiative based out of the Cook Center. Bull City 150’s public history exhibition Uneven Ground: The Foundations of Housing Inequality in Durham, NC was completed in 2017. The project team's forthcoming initiative on the history of education inequality in Durham is scheduled to debut in the Spring of 2019.
JoAnn O’neal is the Financial Analyst II/Business Manager for the Cook Center. She also serves as the Grant Manager and is responsible for pre and post award administration of grants and contracts for the Center.
Artist in Residence at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Director of Telling Stories of Social Injustice Working Group
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.
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
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.
Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor, History and Public Policy Studies
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.
Erica Roberson Phillips
Educational Equity and Policy Specialist
Erica Roberson Phillips recently graduated from Duke with her Master’s Degree in Educational Equity, Public Policy, and Reform. Erica’s Master’s Project entitled “Yes, ‘All Students Can be Taught How to be Smart’: How Anti-Bias Teacher Preparation Paired with Scaffolding of Rigorous Curriculum Can Eradicate the Achievement Gap” earned the distinction of “exemplary,” with Dr. Darity serving as her advisor.
Erica comes to The Cook Center with previous experience as a public school teacher. Working in both Durham Public Schools and Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools, Erica believes in developing the whole child, balancing culturally-responsive teaching methods with maintaining high academic expectations. Her educational passions align with removing barriers for all people to reach their fullest potential, through community organizing and policy changes.
In her role of Educational Equity and Policy Specialist, Erica serves as the Program Coordinator for the Hank & Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Program, assists in teaching the Global Inequality Research Institute courses, works in the Education Policy Working Group, and assists the team in federal grant research involving the inequities of gifted programming.
Paul A. Robbins
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.
Recently awarded a Ph.D. in History from Duke University, David Tyroler Romine’s research interests include the history of modern African American social and political thought, Afro-Diasporic activism, and black art and culture. He is currently adapting his dissertation on the black writer and activist Julian Mayfield into a book manuscript.
Faculty Affiliate and Associate Professor of Management and Organizations and a Center of Leadership and Ethics Scholar at the Fuqua School of Business
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.
Faculty Affiliate; Assistant Professor of Social Foundations at the Donald R. Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington
Marta Sánchez is an educational anthropologist conducting research with students, families and teachers in the New Latino South and is a co-Investigator on two Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences grants, the Research Institute for Scholars of Equity (IES R305B160015) and Efficacy of the DCCS Program: ESL and Classroom Teachers Working Together with Students and Families (IES R305A180336). She is the author of the book Fathering within and beyond the Failures of the State with Imagination, Work and Love, and of articles and book chapters on issues of educational inequality in national, transnational and international contexts.
Associate in Research, Health Equity Working Group
A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health with a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior, Imari Smith currently works as an Associate in Research for the Cook Center’s Health Equity Working Group. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University in women’s studies with a minor in chemistry, and was the first in the history of the Women's Studies department (now Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies) to graduate with Highest Distinction for her honors thesis titled Black Femininity through the White Speculum. Through her work with the Cook Center, Imari continues her studies of the intersections of gender, race, class, and health inequities.
Martin P. Smith
Faculty Affiliate, Working Group on Educational Policy and Associate Professor of the Practice in Education
Dr. Martin P. Smith blazed his own path by first fusing his passion for education and sport at the University of California at Berkeley. He earned his bachelor’s (‘06) and master’s (‘07) degrees in education while playing basketball for the Golden Bears. At Berkeley, he won the 2006 Jake Gimbell Award which honors the student most committed to academic and athletic excellence. After matriculating at Berkeley, he worked in San Diego’s inner city, teaching geometry at Lincoln High School and adult education at San Diego Community College. He also established the Phil Smith Basketball Camp to honor his late father, NBA All-Star Phil Smith, using basketball as a means to promote academic achievement. In pursuit of his passions, Dr. Smith has traveled extensively, directing basketball clinics in China, the Philippines, and Panama. Furthermore, he was the Lead Teacher’s Assistant at the University of Cape Town, South Africa facilitating a course examining the effects of apartheid and American segregation on contemporary Black, urban economic development. He completed his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies in Education at The University of Texas at Austin. He then conducted post-doctoral research in Spanish at UT’s Mesoamerica Center in Antigua, Guatemala, studying the amalgamation of race, culture, education, and athletics. After leaving Guatemala, he joined the faculty at Duke University where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Education.
Co-Director of Working Group on Educational Policy and Associate Professor of the Practice in Education
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.
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
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.