EDI Spotlight: Jeanine C. Holland, MBTA


Over the 26 years she has been at Duke, Jeanine Holland has been driven by a desire to serve others and make a lasting difference on local communities. In this month’s Spotlight, Holland discusses her passion for service, which was instilled in her as a child and remains part of who she is. She continues to serve even today in her role as administrative coordinator in the School of Medicine’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. We also get a look at how she and other leaders of the school’s Black Employee Resource Group, ME2, are helping the greater Durham community. And she shares her passions outside of Duke, which includes riding motorcycles.

What is your current title within the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion? What does a typical day for you look like? 

I’m the administrative coordinator. Much of my time is spent working on special projects and communicating with our various stakeholders and partners.

When did you first join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (now the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)? What attracted you to EDI work?

I first joined in 2014. I was drawn to EDI work because of the broader impact I could be a part of. I loved working in Admissions and building relationships with our students, many of whom I’m still in contact with today. EDI work provides opportunities to expand our reach and impact beyond just our students alone. That really appealed to me and still does.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most is actually the people I have the privilege of working with. Our School of Medicine OEDI team are an amazing group of people. They are compassionate leaders who are skilled in their specific areas of expertise and who are passionate about this work and the Duke communities we serve. They are some of the hardest working, most dedicated people I know.

You oversee the volunteer pillar of ME2, the School of Medicine’s Black Employee Resource Group (ERG). Why is service important to the group? 

The R in ERG is Resource. It’s important to us that we are indeed a resource for our communities and that includes the greater Durham community within which our campus is located. Duke is a fine institution, no doubt, but we don’t live and thrive here in a vacuum. We also have a responsibly to our neighbors outside of our gothic walls and ME2 understands and honors that. 

What are some of the volunteer projects that ME2 has been involved with?  

We have volunteered with Families Moving Forward (formerly Genesis Home), Habitat for Humanity, and most recently the MLK Meal Packaging Event held at the Duke School on Monday, the MLK, Jr. holiday. 

What inspired you to get involved with ME2?  

Again, I wanted to be a part of something greater than what was right in front of me.  When I was approached by [ME2 co-founder] Coral May about joining the leadership team of what was then unchartered waters for us, I was so grateful to have been included and jumped at the opportunity to work more closely with an amazing group of leaders trying to make a difference for staff in the School of Medicine.

How long have you been at Duke? 

26 years.

How would you say Duke has progressed in becoming more equitable and inclusive in the time that you’ve been here? 

Progress has definitely been made, for which I am thankful! You can’t fix a problem until you are willing/able to acknowledge the problem exists. Duke has come a long way in that regard, and so there is hope that real change can actually be made and there is actual evidence of some of that effort.  

Where do you think there there’s still more work to be done?  

Even with the progress that’s already been made, we have to acknowledge that real culture change can be a challenge and takes time. There are many more people here now than there was in 1997 [when I started] who understand that creating and maintaining an equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture only makes us stronger and will help to sustain us for the next 100 years and beyond. 

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work? 

Motorcycles and spending time with my family and my sistah circle.

Group of six volunteers at the 2024 MLK Day of Service
Jeanine Holland (second from right) volunteers with other members of the School of Medicine's employee resource groups during the 2024 MLK Day of Service.