Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

graphic with school logo and text "update for students"

The following message was sent to DUSON students, faculty, and staff via email on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Over the past few days, the country has celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The federal holiday honoring Dr. King was created as a day of service for all Americans to work toward making our country more equitable and to take action to create the community he envisioned. 

Throughout his short but full life, Dr. King fought for systemic change in our communities, education, and policy in order to realize a dream of equity and justice. While much progress has been made through the years, there is still much to be done. 

As a profession that is on the front lines — at the bedside and in the community, in positions of leadership, at the front of the classroom, and in the halls of our state capitals — we know that the last two years have shown us we are still marching for liberty and justice for all. 

I also want to take time to acknowledge and reflect on the tragic events that unfolded in the Duke University Hospital Emergency Department this past weekend. The loss of life is never easy. We mourn this terrible loss of life and the heartbreak felt by all involved. Our thoughts are with our colleagues who, in a time of crisis, took courageous actions to keep members of our community safe. While unfortunate and sad, this too is another example of the extraordinary circumstances the nursing profession faces, which nurses continue to meet with courage and compassion.  

Students who need support can find assistance through the DUSON Student Success Center, under the direction of Dr. Bernice Alston and with support from Dr. Sean Convoy, as well as through Duke University’s Student Wellness Resources. Duke also offers the Personal Assistance Services program for faculty and staff in need of support. A list of additional resources follows this message.  

As we shift from this holiday weekend and return to campus, it is easy for us to move on to the next task at hand in our daily work. However, I want to encourage all of us to carry the true meaning of MLK Day into our lives and work. As we continue to identify and face these circumstances, let us continue to move forward as agents of change. Let us be even more intentional in our efforts to improve health inequities and to create stronger and more just communities for all. 

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos 
Dean, Duke University School of Nursing 
Vice Chancellor, Nursing Affairs, Duke University 

Duke Support Resources  
  • The DUSON Student Success Center provides Duke School of Nursing students with support services. 
  • DukeReach (919-681-2455, dukereach@duke.edu) will help identify support services from among the variety of resources across campus or in your local community.  
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers support services to Duke students. Any student can call 919-660-1000 to speak with someone, or for assistance with referrals in your local community.  
  • Personal Assistance Services (PAS) is the faculty/employee assistance program of Duke University and Health System to help resolve a range of personal, work, and family problems. PAS services are available at no charge to benefit-eligible Duke faculty, staff, and their family members. 919-416-1727 
  • Blue Devils Care provides Duke students with 24/7, no-cost virtual support for mental health needs.  
  • Religious Life at Duke offers a wide range of student supports. Visit their website to connect with clergy from any of Duke's diverse faith groups. 
  • The Office of Graduate Student Affairs (grad-gsa@duke.edu) provides support to help graduate students and connects them with campus resources to provide the support they need. 
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