EDI Spotlight Interviews

Across the School of Medicine, faculty, staff, trainees, and students are working to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Our monthly EDI Spotlight series of interviews offers a chance to highlight some of these individuals as well as their work. Subjects of our Spotlight interviews include our EDI Unit Leaders, members of Moments to Movement committees, and other individuals working alone or with their departments, centers, or units to make a difference. 
In each interview, we ask subjects about their work to make the Duke University School of Medicine a more equitable, inclusive institution, how they got into the sphere, what they do when they're not at Duke and more. Read our existing Spotlight interviews via the links below, or read more about our monthly Equity Matters newsletter.

EDI Spotlight: Taylor Abele

Like many Americans, the murder of George Floyd in 2020 was a wake-up call for Taylor Abele, a PhD student in the Department of Immunology. Not only did the horrific event motivate her to get more involved in changing systems that lead to inequalities, but it also provided her with the courage to stand up for herself and other LGBTQ+ individuals.

EDI Spotlight: Johnna Frierson, PhD

Since 2015, Johnna Frierson has worked in various roles at Duke with one main goal in mind: creating a more diverse and equitable environment for students and trainees interested in careers in STEM and the basic sciences. She will now broaden that work, reaching more areas within the School of Medicine community, as the newly appointed associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the basic sciences.

EDI Spotlight: Coral May, MPA, SHRM-SCP

In the summer of 2020 Black faculty, staff, and students came together from across Duke to discuss the impact racism has had on our country, and to share their stories of dealing with racism in their own lives for the Living While Black symposium. Listening to those stories, Coral May, MPA, SHRM-SCP, knew she had to make a difference.

EDI Spotlight: Ed Miao, PhD

Ed Miao, PhD, sees his role as Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within the Department of Immunology as a natural extension of his other responsibilities. Teaching, mentoring, and maintaining a research lab allows him to see opportunities to improve equity across the Department; that same work to improve equity also makes him a better professor. For this month’s EDI Unit Leader Spotlight, Miao talks about working with members of his EDI committee to make lasting structural change within the Immunology Department.

EDI Spotlight: Kunoor Jain-Spangler, MD

Our EDI leaders are a group of more than 50 leaders in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion across the School of Medicine. For our first “Spotlight” interview with one of these leaders, we spoke with the Department of Surgery’s Kunoor Jain-Spangler MD, who helped launch the Sustaining Equity, Elevating Diversity in Surgery (SEEDS) initiative late last year. She shares challenges and opportunities she sees for SEEDS, how experience as a woman of color informs her work, and how she likes spending her time when she’s not at Duke.