As Duke Chapter of the NAACP prides itself on its purpose to advance and uplift Black and Brown people at Duke and in Durham, we have the responsibility to endorse the candidate who we believe best upholds this mission. After deliberation, we are happy to endorse Leah Abrams for Young Trustee.
Leah Abrams’ deep love for Duke and Durham is evident through her work with the Community Empowerment Fund, Duke Chronicle and People’s State of the University where she has actively engaged with communities of color and used her platforms to elevate the voices of those who often go unheard. We were impressed by her commitment to change for the most vulnerable people. In her time at Duke, she has supported crucial initiatives for the advancement of people of color in our community—including her promotion of the call for a standardized hate and bias policy and the “ban the box” initiative. She also shows heightened awareness of Duke’s responsibility to its surrounding community as a Durham native. She spoke at great lengths about the controversial decision that Duke made to defund the Bull City Connector and its disproportionate, adverse effects on Black and Brown people’s lived experiences in Durham.
We are grateful for all of the candidates’ leadership and work to ensure that Duke will be a better place for those who follow behind them. We do believe that all of the candidates share a level of care for the mission of the Duke Chapter of the NAACP. However, we believe that Leah shows an outstanding commitment to advocacy and community. Without question, we feel that Leah Abrams has the experience and qualities necessary to serve our community well as a member of the Board of Trustees.
De’Ja Wood, T’21, President of the Duke Chapter of the NAACP, on behalf of the 2019-2020 Duke Chapter of the NAACP Executive Board
Editor's note: Abrams is the opinion editor for The Chronicle. The Opinion section played no role in the Young Trustee endorsement process, as outlined in this year's endorsement policy. If your organization would like to submit an endorsement to The Chronicle, please read the policy.