Dieynabou Barry and Erika Lovelace Receive Prestigious Abele Awards

April 26, 2019

Tim Lucas (919) 613-8084, tdlucas@duke.edu

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Dieynabou Barry MEM'19, shown left, and Erika Lovelace.

DURHAM, N.C. – Dieynabou Barry, a Master of Environmental Management student at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Erika Lovelace, registrar and associate director of student administration and advising at the Nicholas School, are among this year’s recipients of Duke University’s prestigious Julian Abele Awards.

First presented in 1989, the awards are given annually to honor the significant achievements of black community members and their allies at Duke. 

Barry was honored as outstanding graduate student at the Nicholas School.

Lovelace was honored as the university’s Graduate Mentor of the Year.

“I am humbled and grateful to accept this award from my students who not only work hard every day to improve the world in which we study, work and live, but also for opening up their hearts to me," Lovelace said. "I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to work with such extraordinarily talented and altruistic people – and lifelong difference makers. I love the work that I do, and it's been the thrill of a lifetime to be a part of this community. Sincere thanks to my Nic School family!”

Barry said, "I was so grateful to be awarded an Abele Award, especially as Duke commemorates the resistance of African American students to make space at the university. I have enjoyed every moment of my work with DICE [the student group Diverse & Inclusive Community for the Environment]. It is extremely satisfying to work with people who are passionate about social justice in the environmental space and who make it their mission to practice justice in their lives and endeavors."

The Abele Awards are named in honor of pioneering African-American architect Julian Abele, who designed Duke University’s West Campus, including iconic buildings such as the Duke Chapel and Cameron Indoor Stadium, over a two-decade period from the 1920s through the 1940s – years before he could have attended the university, which was whites-only until 1961. 

Barry, Lovelace and this year’s other recipients received their awards April 14 in a ceremony at the Hope Valley Country Club. 

The theme of this year’s ceremony, “Nurturing the Roots of Resistance,” referencing the 50th anniversary of the student-led Allen Building Takeover as well as the 52nd anniversary of the study-in at the then-segregated Hope Valley Country Club.