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CSGD Helps to Build a More Inclusive Math Community

Home CSGD Helps to Build a More Inclusive Math Community

When it comes to fostering inclusivity and diversity, every department at Duke plays a crucial role. The Mathematics Department and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity recently took a significant step forward by hosting an LGBTQ+ Inclusion Workshop on January 26th. This workshop, comprising two sessions focused on language, terminology, allyship, and action, marked a pioneering approach towards creating a more inclusive environment within the department.

Break Barriers in Mathematics

The workshop kicked off with Pride Foundational 1, delving into the nuances of language and terminology surrounding LGBTQ+ identities. From there, participants shifted into Pride Foundational 3, which provided concrete actions one can take to provide tangible support, engage in advocacy, and move towards greater social equity for individuals with marginalized sexual orientations, romantic orientations, gender identity, and gender expressions.

What set this CSGD’s workshop apart was its innovative approach of integrating math-specific case studies. These case studies, meticulously developed in collaboration with the DEI committee, tackled pertinent issues such as gender stereotypes via math problems and reframing math theorems to be more inclusive.

Voices from the Community

The impact of the workshop reverberated across the department, resonating deeply with both students and faculty alike.

Kyrie Johnson (They/she), a queer and trans student in mathematics, expressed profound gratitude for the validation and sense of belonging the workshop provided. They remarked, “To have a training about SOGIE in my department, let alone a training with specific math case studies, meant a lot to me. I felt seen and validated in a Duke mathematics space for the very first time.”

Stanley Pritchard (he/him), another participant, highlighted the ripple effect generated by the workshop. “The training brought some great energy to our department…I’ve even heard from some folks in the neighboring physics department who want to emulate what we’ve started for our queer students. These conversations have made me feel so hopeful for the future.”Faculty and staff members also lauded the workshop for its collaborative nature and tangible outcomes. Haley Qualls(she/her), Assistant Director for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, expressed delight at the workshop’s impact, stating, “This training was very special for me because we worked in tandem with the DEI committee…It was very collaborative and honestly just so much fun as the participants themselves were so engaged.”

Building a Community, Inside & Out

Beyond its educational value, the workshop played a pivotal role in fostering a sense of belonging and well-being within the Mathematics department. By actively discussing solutions to real-world case studies, participants emerged equipped to navigate challenges and advocate for inclusivity. Through reframing math theorems and addressing gender stereotypes, the department took significant strides towards creating an environment where all students can see themselves.

The LGBTQ+ Inclusion Workshop not only enhanced cohesion within the Mathematics Department but also showcased Student Affairs’ unwavering dedication to belonging and inclusion. While the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) often supports various student groups and departments within Student Affairs, orchestrating training sessions for an entire academic department goes beyond mere collaboration—it creates a fresh connection and establishes a benchmark for innovative initiatives among diverse campus partners.

The success of the workshop underscores the transformative power of community and education. As Duke continues to champion our ideals, initiatives like these serve as points of progress, showing us the path towards a more equitable future. To stay updated on future initiatives and programs hosted by CSGD, keep an eye on their Instagram account, the website or Duke Groups.