Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Collecting the Stories of Black Alumni at Duke and Other Universities

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Note: The Counting It All Joy research team is interested in speaking with Black alumni with generational familial connections to Duke, Davidson, Furman, and Johnson C. Smith universities. People interested in being interviewed, or with recommendations for interview subjects, are invited to contact the Rev. Dr. Keith Daniel at or (919) 475-8342.

Duke Chapel will collect and publish stories of Black alumni at four universities in North and South Carolina.

The “Counting It All Joy!” initiative aims to better understand and to make more visible the narratives of Black people who have attended one of these schools—Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University and Johnson C. Smith University—between 1990 and 2020.

“As we approach Duke’s centennial, we have an opportunity to learn from people who have shaped this university and others in North and South Carolina,” said the Rev. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel. “By lifting up Black alumni voices from the past three decades, we want to learn through first person narratives, stories of resilience, pride, pain, faith, hope, and love for themselves, their families and communities.”  

“In the spirit of our university motto, Eruditio et Religio, and the Chapel’s commitment to bridging faith and learning through community engagement, we desire to inspire universities to continue in the pursuit of truth, justice, compassion and excellence,” Powery said.

The Rev. Dr. Keith Daniel, a special programs instructor at Duke and an alumnus of Trinity College and Duke Divinity School, is leading the team of researchers who will conduct the interviews and compile edited narratives for publication in advance of Duke’s centennial commemorations in 2024. Daniel has held a number of positions at Duke, including program manager for the 50th anniversary commemoration of the first five Black undergraduates to enroll at Duke and director of community and campus engagement at Duke Chapel.

Read the full announcement on Duke Today.