EDI Spotlight: Annise Weaver, MSEd, CRC


The EDI’s Unit Leaders are a group of more than 50 leaders in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion from across the School of Medicine. For this month’s EDI Spotlight interview, we spoke with  Annise Weaver, MSEd, CRC, Manager of Education & Outreach of NC-PAL and Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the  Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Weaver talks to us about how last year’s COST letter from Black faculty inspired her to help her Black colleagues at Duke. She also shares how her role as Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion complements her other duties within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, as well as being an “avid bowler,” mother to a new puppy, and a new golfer when she’s not at Duke.

What is your current position within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences?
I am a Manager of Education & Outreach of NC-PAL and Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

What does a typical day for you look like?
The most interesting part of my job is that there is no ‘typical’ day. One day I am busy scheduling meetings, another day I might attend a series of meetings with a variety of teams, and maybe the next day I would be busy partnering with a colleague to prepare a presentation for a leadership team or community. I interact with members within my department, the School of Medicine and the larger Duke Community. In addition, I interact with external contacts across the state of North Carolina. Throughout the day, I touch EDI in one way or another.

"Throughout the day, I touch EDI in one way or another." - Annise Weaver, MSEd, CRC

What are your primary responsibilities as Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the Department? How do these roles and your other responsibilities within the Department complement each other?
I work in an environment with a team that welcomes the concept of centering our work on equity. The team welcomes opportunities to challenge existing structures. We are eager to do better and recognize this is a lifelong learning process. I offer recommendations and strategies for ways that teams can advance goals that improve the practices of equity in our everyday work. I co-lead a Support Group that is ranked among some of the most important offerings we have as a department. It’s an honor to offer a supportive dependable space for colleagues that are often isolated in their work settings. 

How long have you been an EDI Unit Leader?
I have been a proud delegate/unit leader for nearly two years.

How and when did you first become professionally involved in Duke’s EDI efforts?
The senior leadership within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science invited me to contribute to the department-wide Dismantling Racism Groups DEI and Culture plan. I also exercised some networking to meet other colleagues engaged in the work. That helped enhance my exposure and connections within the Duke community.

What do you see as the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ top opportunities and challenges for improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in the next year?
Increasing the diverse voices within the Department in an intentional way is among the top goals. We have goals that center on education, training, recruitment, and retention that are tied to professional development and support. 

"It became clear to me that if the Black experience is improved, then so many others will win."  - Annise Weaver, MSEd, CRC

Do you have a moment or experience when the need for improving equity, inclusion, and diversity in academic medicine (or the country as a whole) felt especially urgent to you that you could share?
Reading the COST letter from our Black faculty
was a moment for me. It was Martin Luther King’s Day- January 18, 2021. I was home while I read the letter and was struck by the examples of overt injustice shared. The examples were so poignant, they could not be overlooked. I was moved by the courage of the many voices that made the letter become alive. I naturally thought of ways where me and my colleagues can offer support for Black faculty and wondered where the voice of Black staff experiences live. It became clear to me that if the Black experience at Duke is improved, then so many others will win.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work?
I enjoy spending quality time with family, dear friends, including my energetic puppy. I am learning how to play golf and looking forward to embracing this sport. I am an avid bowler. To no one's surprise, I especially enjoy learning new practices and strategies for advancing equity in creative ways.