The Lived Experience of Race and Racism

Spring 2024
T/TH 5:15-6:30PM

Tuesday Lecture in White Lecture Hall 107
Thursday Discussions in Classroom Building 

Catered Dinner provided at 5:00pm-5:30pm during Thursday Discussions


UNIV 101 Logo


Recent events have led to increased attention and reckoning with race and racism in the United States as well as globally. Such attention establishes that biologically determined “race” among human populations does not exist. There is virtually no genetic rationale for categorizing humans into fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.  This attention also confirms that race is one among many socially constructed categories of human hierarchy and differential valuation with long standing, well-established and reliably patterned legislative, political, legal, economic, and material implications.  Interactions with these multi-dimensional processes translate into markedly different life chances and lived experiences that, in turn, manifest as variable biological consequences for diverse racialized population groups. There exist multiple and diverse racial experiences and perspectives as well as equally diverse ways of knowing how to make sense of them. Interpretation of these processes varies tremendously across diverse population groups and what constitutes expertise granting insight into them is similarly variable. This course exploits this range of perspectives by employing educational engagement at the intersection of lived experience, expert instruction and scholarly research. Consequently, we will utilizes many learning modalities and multiple types of expertise to provide learners with accurate knowledge, effective communication strategies, authentic relationship building and collaborative racial equity planning all towards the ends of gaining profound insight into the lived experience of race as well as the most culturally appropriate and ethically justifiable equity strategies designed to dismantle racism.


In the News


In 2020, as the Black Lives Matter protests gathered strength in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, Duke President Vince Price released a statement committing the university to “take transformative action now toward eliminating … systems of racism and inequality.” He listed expected steps: diversity in hiring and admissions, additional aid, salary equity, Juneteenth as a Duke paid holiday. More, he pledged to “incorporate anti-racism into our curricula … across the university.”

One of the first places that led was to UNIV 101: The Invention and Consequences of Race, a new universitywide [sic] course addressing the very concept of race, and how it was created and what it has wrought. That 14-week course was the first time Duke had addressed a topic like this in a universitywide [sic] course.

“series four: the race course” of the devil’s share, a podcast of duke magazine


…all the stars have aligned: A series of global, national, and local crises have aligned administration, faculty, staff and students to come together to make this happen with the resources and the support needed to bump us over a collective inertia. This course has the potential of putting this central issue [of race] on the Duke intellectual map front and center.

University Course Raises Race as a Central Element of Undergraduate Education,” Duke Today