The seven 2014 Cook award winners represent a broad selection from the Duke and Durham communities.

Named for the first black faculty member at Duke, Samuel DuBois Cook, the Cook Society award honors those who bring positive advancement for the black community. The winners will be recognized at the 17th annual celebratory dinner Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club. Professors, students and faculty members were all represented in the pool of winners.

Cook became part of the Duke staff in 1966 as a political scientist, educator and human rights activist. According to a press release by Duke news, this made him the first black professor to hold a regular rank faculty appointment at a predominately white college or university in the South. The Cook Society was founded in his honor in 1997 to recognize and celebrate the black faculty and student presence at the University.

Among this years recipients is Rev. William Barber, Divinity ‘89 and president of N.C. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Barber was selected as the Cook Society’s distinguished service award.

Barber has been a steady fixture in the recent Moral Monday protests, calling for secure pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability. He also has worked towards an improved system of public education and health rights, reforms to the criminal justice system, fair voting regulations and the rights for immigrants and members of the LGBT community.

Kerry Haynie, associate professor of political science and African and African American Studies, is the director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender. Before winning the Cook award, Haynie was the co-winner of the University’s 2012 Diversity Award.

The only undergraduate student chosen, Naureen Huda, a senior, has volunteered for the Girls Club, a mentoring program administered through the Emily K Center, since she was a freshman.

Camille Jackson, a writer and communications specialist in Duke’s Office of News and Communications, led communication efforts for the 50th anniversary of the University’s first black undergraduate students in 2013.

Patricia James, a staff specialist in the Duke Community Service Center managing finances and payroll, founded the Durham Triple Play-Long Ball Baseball Program for local teenagers. The group aims to keep boys from dropping out of school by engaging them in athletic activity.

A fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in genetics and genomics, Roketa Sloan has coordinated outreach programs to encourage underrepresented minorities to pursue graduate work in the sciences at local colleges and universities.

David Stein, senior education partnership coordinator for the Duke Durham Neighborhood Partnership, has worked to develop and run programs to help local underrepresented minority students to set future goals—including ones that demonstrate options in the medical careers and take students on college visits.