On Friday afternoon, nine Duke students initiated a sit-in at the Allen building in order to draw attention both to their continuing protests around the incident involving Executive Vice President Tallman Trask, his vehicle, and Shelvia Underwood. The sit-in also recognizes the dedication of the Duke Students and Workers in Solidarity Campaign in support of the Duke workers of color who have been struggling to draw attention to discrimination in the workplace at Duke, to retaliation against workers voicing their discontent and to the insufficiency of the Duke administration’s response to those workers and to their workplace hostile environments.

This letter is a statement of support for the right of students to make their demands visible and audible. Through our statement of support, we articulate our solidarity with the workers—those who have risked retaliation and those who are silently standing in support of the ones who have spoken—and the students who are working on their behalf as an extension of their own commitments to fairness and justice in this community.

We learned that after 10 p.m. Saturday night, no one is allowed to hand the occupiers food; they have been told that if one of them tries to open the door and interfere with or violate an officer, they are subject to arrest. If and when it becomes clear that more tangible means of support will be made possible, we are ready to help provide that support also.

Wahneema Lubiano, Associate Professor, African & African American Studies

Diane Nelson, Professor, Cultural Anthropology

Walter Mignolo, Professor, Romance Studies & Literature

Jessica Namakkal, Assistant Professor of the Practice, International Comparative Studies

Mark Anthony Neal, Professor, African & African American Studies

Eli Meyerhoff, Instructor, Program in Education

Rann Bar-On, Lecturer, Mathematics Department

Susan Thorne, Assoc. Professor, History

Jolie Olcott, Professor, History

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Sociology Professor

Pedro Lasch, Associate Research Professor, Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

Frances Hasso, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies

Monica Huerta, Provost’s Postdoctoral Associate, Women’s Studies

Anne-Maria Makhulu, Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology & African & African American Studies