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About Us


In January 1989, the Women’s Center began in a cubicle in the Bryan Center under the direction of Martha Simmons. In 1991, it moved to 107 Few Federation, and an office and staff dedicated to services for sexual assault survivors was added to the center. In 1993, Ellen Plummer assumed leadership of the center and the staff grew to include a program coordinator. The year 1999 marked the tenth anniversary of the center and a new direction with the leadership of Donna Lisker. Lisker was heavily involved with the Women's Initiative and introduced the Baldwin Scholars Program, a selective four-year leadership program exclusively for undergraduate women at Duke. As Donna Lisker transitioned to helm another area at Duke, Ada Gregory, a Duke employee in the Kenan Institute for Ethics assumed directorship of the Center. Amongst Gregory’s many accomplishments was the establishment of the Moxie Project, a summer social justice program held in New York. In December 2013, Ada Gregory transitioned to another area at Duke. In January 2014, Stephanie Helms Pickett who was serving as the Director of Assessment and Professional Development in the Division of Student Affairs assumed directorship of the Center. Under Helms Pickett’s leadership, the Center expanded its clinical and prevention staff, focused deeply upon the arts and STEM, created the initiatives such as SHEntrepreneur in Residence, assumed a Department of Justice grant, the first year female breakfast, the WomC Awards and Day Party, Summer Soiree and expanded the reach of Feminist/Womanist Month. In May 2016, the Center relocated to its new home on east campus in the Crowell Building. In 2018, Assistant Director for Educational Initiatives Krystal George took on directorship, guiding the Center through the Covid-19 pandemic. After many years of participating in both gender equity and gender violence prevention work, the violence prevention entity of the Women’s Center transitioned into the Center for  Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention (GVPI) in Fall 2022. The Women’s Center then moved into the Bryan Center on West Campus and reaffirmed its commitment to gender equity work on Duke’s campus. The Duke Women’s Center is working to promote a campus that supports, celebrates, engages, and collaborates with womxn, student groups, and stakeholders to build a Duke culture that centers gender equity, intersectionality, and social justice.  

The Duke University Women’s Center promotes a campus that supports, celebrates, engages, and collaborates with women and femmes, student groups, and stakeholders to build a Duke culture that centers gender equity, intersectionality, and social justice.

We work to build a better tomorrow for our students by developing authentic women leaders, creating space for activism, and encouraging transformative learning experiences around issues of gender equity on Duke’s campus and in their daily lives. 

We approach our work using these guiding values:

  • Social Justice: We build a community based on equality and solidarity that values human rights and the empowerment of individuals. In resistance to patriarchy and systemic oppression in our lives and the world, our praxis is inclusive of, but not limited to, womanist and feminist values to guide our actions.  We acknowledge and actively resist racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of oppression. Our work is made meaningful because of its role in a broader social movement that dismantles oppressive structures and unifies people.  
  • Community: We are responsible to and for one another, the Duke community, the Durham community and the global community in the decisions we make and the process we use to make them. Our decisions reflect our commitment to integrity, inclusivity, sustainability, intersectionality, accountability, evidence-based research and practice.  
  • Change: We believe individual and collective transformation is always possible. We embrace culture-shifting strategies and collective action to inspire such change. 
  • To provide a comfortable gathering place for womxn students and allies with diverse needs and interests at Duke. 
    • To assist students and student groups in developing and implementing programming that fosters a greater sense of understanding and responsiveness to womxn’s issues on campus. 
  • To educate the Duke community about gender equity and the ways in which gender intersects with other identities, interacts with systems, and influences our experiences. 
  • To develop women leaders by building skills that will prepare them for life and empowering them to thrive in their efforts toward personal, academic, and career success. 

The Duke University Women’s Center is dedicated to helping every woman at Duke become empower and self-assured, ready to actively engage with the world. We welcome men and women alike who are committed to gender equity and social change.

Stay in Touch!

Sign up for our Femilist listserv, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out about new opportunities, or email for more information.

We are located on the top floor of the Bryan Center in BC 101. 

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday:
9:00 am to 5:00 pm 

General Contact Information
Phone:  919-684-3897
Fax:  919-681-6885
Mail:  Box 90920, Durham, NC 27708
Delivery: 101 Bryan Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

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