CDS Undergraduate Tabria Williford Presents Research to Duke President’s Council on Black Affairs

From left: Altelisha Taylor, Brandon Putnam, Ash-girl Chapfuwa, President Richard Brodhead, Mariah Hukins, Tabria Williford. Photograph by Chandra Guinn.

From left: Altelisha Taylor, Brandon Putnam, Ash-girl Chapfuwa, President Richard Brodhead, Mariah Hukins, Tabria Williford. Photograph by Chandra Guinn.

Center for Documentary Studies student Tabria Williford was one of five Duke undergraduates recently selected to present her research work to Duke President’s Council on Black Affairs during their spring 2013 semester meeting. Williford’s documentary project, “Durham Food Bank and Urban Ministries: Documentary Photographs, 2011–2012” was drawn from fieldwork she completed during her first two years of study at Duke.

Williford, who plans to pursue a Certificate in Documentary Studies, shared with the Council photographs and writing from her first-year seminar, Multimedia Documentary, taught during fall 2011 by Christopher Sims, and American Dreams/Visual Research, taught during fall 2012 by Katherine Hyde. Speaking of her coursework at CDS, Williford remarked in her presentation, “In each class at CDS, I have been able to engage with a variety of academic approaches, meet with with individuals throughout Durham, and make my own photographs while also understanding their broader cultural and social meanings. Interacting during my fieldwork with those who faces adversity has been a lot more powerful than sitting in a classroom day in and day out talking about abstract social issues.”

Charlie Thompson, director of undergraduate education at CDS, praised Williford’s engagement with the local community around CDS: “Tabria’s sustained commitment with the documentary arts and important social issues is just the type of work we hope to foster in our classes and certificate program here at CDS. Members of the Council were deeply impressed by her presentation, which reflected both the academic rigor of her classes as well as the creative choices she made in shaping her fieldwork.”

The President’s Council on Black Affairs, which consists of both faculty and administrators, help insures that the University pursues its goals of increasing the diversity of the faculty and student body and guaranteeing an excellent experience to students. The Council focuses on student issues for both graduate and undergraduate students, and shares information about events and activities that are relevant to African-American members of the community.

Also presenting to the President’s Council on Black Affairs were Ash-girl Chapfuwa, Mariah Hukins, Brandon Putnam, and Altelisha Taylor.

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