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Latinx exhibit set to open at Museum of Durham History in September

(04/24/19 5:32am)

Durham’s Latinx community will receive special recognition just after the city’s 150th anniversary—its first exhibit at the Museum of Durham History. The museum will collect oral histories from various Latinx people in Durham throughout the next few months to prepare for a September opening. “Our goal first and foremost is to tell the stories that aren't often the most prominent," said Patrick Mucklow, executive director of the Museum of Durham History. "We feel like the story of the Latino community is not well represented in Durham and we want to try and tell it." The exhibit comes after several years of planning by museum staff, who are turning to the community to gather their recollections of life in Durham. Because of the museum's limited size, exhibits will tend to focus more on stories than artifacts. “We can tell you what happened on this date in this place, but it will go in one ear and out the other. But if we tell you about a specific person and their experiences and their recollections, it makes the history more personal,” said Jeanette Shaffer, the museum's director of operations. However, not all of their stories will be celebratory. In February, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested roughly 200 people in raids across the state, some of whom were arrested in Durham. According to Durham police officer Karina Ramos, the raids have caused the Latinx community to distrust Durham police. In an attempt to forge relationships and trust, officers like Ramos are frequenting the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where hundreds of Latinx residents worship on Sundays.

'The religious heart of France': Duke professors react to Notre-Dame burning

(04/24/19 4:00am)

Built in a French Gothic style and consecrated to the Virgin Mary, the Notre-Dame Cathedral was completed in 1345. This cathedral has survived the scenes of battles like during the French Revolution, inspired novels like Victor Hugo’s "Hunchback of Notre-Dame" and galvanized religious individuals for centuries. It houses Christian relics, ranging from Jesus Christ’s crown of thorns to the Tunic of St. Louis, making it a pilgrimage site for devout believers and history scholars. From its innovative style to its religious iconography, people around the world have celebrated this building for its religious, cultural and artistic significance.

More money, more collective action

(04/23/19 4:00am)

Starting in 2022, Duke will guarantee every Ph.D. student in their five-year guaranteed funding period an annual stipend of $31,160 spread out over 12 months. Depending on each department, Duke’s current policy until 2022 is to award Ph.D. stipends on either a nine or 12-month schedule, with the nine-month stipend amounting to $23,370. This means that starting from 2022, a sizeable number of Ph.D. students will have their yearly income increased by $10,000. In an age of increasing precarity within the world of academia, Duke’s decision to institute a university-wide policy guaranteeing yearly $31,000 stipends to Ph.D. students should be applauded. Moreover, the stipend increase signifies an important victory for activism at the University, as graduate students continue to press the administration for better working and living conditions.

Empathy in the face of tragedy

(04/22/19 4:00am)

Last weekend, I volunteered at the Duke Coalition for Preserving Memory’s annual Name Reading ceremony to commemorate the victims of the seven United Nations recognized genocides. During this event, hundreds of students and community members recited the names of individuals who were killed in these crimes against humanity for 24 consecutive hours on Abele Quad. As I read aloud the names of people who lost their lives in the Armenian Genocide, many thoughts went through my head. Why hadn’t I ever been taught about this? How could I read posters describing genocides as “ongoing” and not be enraged? What does “Never Again” mean if horrendous acts of ethnic cleansing continue to take place?