Year: 2017

Take your community heart wherever you go

By Carl Kenney

December 6, 2017

  Editor’s Note: Lu Xu is a 10-year veteran Chinese broadcast journalist who, for the last two years, has been studying communications at the UNC-CH School of Media and Journalism, where she is a visiting international scholar. In her final semester at Chapel Hill, she joined the MEJO 459 “Community Journalism” class and became a […]

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Durham’s Ronald McDonald House: A house of blessings

By Julian Keeler

  In 1973, when Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill learned about his daughter’s leukemia diagnosis, he and his wife noticed the inconveniences parents had to go through to support their sick child while in the hospital. They teamed up with a local McDonalds to purchase and restore a house near the hospital where these […]

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African heritage dance class uplifts and energizes

By Tiayana Ford

  Every Monday night, for just $5 a session, dance enthusiasts gather for the African heritage dance class at the Hayti Heritage Center. The class, with live drummers, starts off with stretching, and deep breathing. On a recent Monday the substitute instructor, McDaniel Roberts, explained the importance of breathing through the muscles and building up […]

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New Creation is making a difference in the Durham community

By Collin Ellis

  New Creation United Methodist Church has shone a positive light on its members and the entire Durham community ever since the church held its first meeting at the church’s Durham location on the corner of Angier Avenue more than five years ago. But today, Pastor Albert Shuler and Lay Leader Fran Lynch worship at […]

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Rod’s Redirection

By Daija Graves

  The principal of Pearsontown Elementary made a decision during his undergrad college studies that would change the course of his life and career forever. Rodriguez Teal, originally from Bennettsville, S.C., pursued his undergraduate education at N. C. Central University, graduating in 1986. At NCCU, he majored in public administration and studied vigorously for the […]

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Doug Speight carries on family legacy in Durham with new position

By Justin Laidlaw

  The Speight family has been a staple of Durham commerce for decades dating back as far as the 1930s with places like Speight’s Auto Service, a business that is still active today. Doug Speight, whose grandfather, Theodore, started Speight’s Auto Service, is attempting to carry on that family legacy for the next generation of […]

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Teacher by day, rapper by night

By Autavius Smith and Daija Graves

  Durham Public Schools kindergarten teacher Antonio Cowart sticks to his morals even when not around his students. After working for a moving company for a short time, the bubbly 27-year-old found his voice in rapping by using age-appropriate lyrics for children. Most people who hear his music consider him a “Christian rapper.” However, Cowart […]

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Durham’s Professor Toon brings together NC artists at “Release Party”

By David Fee

December 4, 2017

There is no denying that North Carolina is on the come-up in terms of hip-hop, and Durham is in the heart of it. Baltimore-born, Durham-bred rapper Toon Rice, better known as Professor Toon, had his EP Release Party for his new project “Release,” Dec. 2, at Motorco Music Hall in Durham. “He’s a lively person […]

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Few Gardens’ project child

By Autavius Smith

November 29, 2017

  Growing up as a teen in Few Gardens during the ’70s, you were not getting out of any organized street fights. If Louis, leader of the “Few Crew,” decided to test your loyalty, anything went. Aunts, mothers, cousins and brothers would take the weapons away and circle around the folks duking it out in […]

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Global Scholars preparing to step up

By Keynari Brown

  The transition from middle school to high school can be a heavy load for teenagers everywhere. A sudden thrust into a different environment with new surroundings, more freedom, and a faster-paced curriculum are just some of the few things that these adolescents have to deal with. Faculty and staff at Global Scholars Academy in […]

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Inspired Literature and Music Tour of the Carolinas Comes to Hayti

By Tiayana Ford

  Several well-known Hollywood personalities were welcomed by a full house at the Hayti Heritage Center this November to share their journeys and the role of faith in their lives. Minister Robert Black of Greensboro hosted the free event “Inspired Literature and Music Tour of the Carolinas 2017,” the Hayti Heritage Center on Nov. 4. […]

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Give it up for the poet, not the points: Jambalaya Soul’s Annual Women’s Slam

By Allen Longstreet

November 27, 2017

  Saturday nights typically warrant going out. Whether that be to dinner, a nightclub or a movie —  the city of Durham offers a wide variety of options. But this Saturday, on the quiet corner of Lakewood Avenue and Fayetteville Street, inside the Hayti Heritage Center was a collection of voices. Voices that were passionate […]

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Local nonprofits win IMPACT Awards from GSK

By Chrissy Murphy

November 26, 2017

This article has been updated to include the winner of the GSK Employee Choice Award. GSK, an international pharmaceuticals company with a headquarters in the RTP, honored 10 area nonprofits at its 9th annual IMPACT Awards ceremony in partnership with the Triangle Community Foundation. The award winners, including Northeast Central Durham based Partners for Youth […]

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No Limitz to what this dance company can do

By Elle Kehres

When Miss Mo founded No Limitz Dance Company in 2012, she only had four students—but those days are long gone. Stretching on the floor, just one of her dance groups, affectionately named the “Glamour Girls,” warms up to practice their routine for the Durham holiday parade on December 2. With Santa Clause is Coming to […]

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Rep. Black launches campaign for election

By Davis McKinney

With all the well-dressed attendees and live band, one could be forgiven for mistaking Rep. MaryAnn Black’s fundraising event at the Hayti Community Center for a jazz club last Thursday night. Black has represented District 29 in Durham County since February of this year, after Governor Roy Cooper appointed her to the seat. Despite her […]

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Dental Bus visits Riverside High

By Nile Foxx

The sound of dental drills rang through the hallways of Riverside High School on Nov. 15. A mobile dentist office visited the school to provide dental care to about 50 students in need. “I never knew how much need there was until I started this job,” said Melody Daniels, team leader and Registered Dental Hygienist. […]

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Iron Pour means art is hot in Durham

By David Fee

Half of Durham Central Park was roped off a week ago for Liberty Arts’ 2nd annual Iron Pour where 2,000 pounds of molten iron was cast into sculptures. “We’re getting ready for the first pour, the molds are lined up, the artists are suited up in leathers,” said Carol McLaurin, vice president of the board […]

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PAL is bridging Durham’s children to a brighter future

By Vanessa Luo

On a slightly chilly Saturday November morning, bearing the cold and restless with excitement, around 300 Durham elementary students gather at Holton Career and Resource Center Field. Upon their arrival, the students are handed uniforms and begin their warm-up for the long-awaited 2017 PAL (Police Athletic League)’s soccer league. PAL is a juvenile crime and […]

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Girls who code grows program to build success

By Beth Clifford

At 9 a.m. on every first and third Saturday of the month, a classroom opens at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park to the students of Girls Who Code. On Nov. 18, eight middle schoolers ages 11 to 14 marched in, and during the next three hours the girls generated their […]

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Hobbyists, full-time artists come together at Durham Art-a-Thon

By Alex Zietlow

When members of the Durham art community — creators and appreciators alike — stepped into the Durham Art Guild on Morris street on a recent weekend, their voices lowered to a whisper. A soft hum of chatter layered under the sound of acoustic ukulele strings. The artists stood at their respective tables and touched up […]

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Durham coming together to defeat inequality

By Taylor Mabrey

Durhamites came together last Wednesday at Calvary UMC for “Pushing Past Progressive: Ending Inequality in Durham” to discuss what is going on in the city. Representatives from five different organizations were there to speak on the issues at hand, and concerned community members were able to interact with them and hear about their projects. Matt […]

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Darius Quarles, dynamic artist and community member

By Gabby Bulgarelli

Darius Quarles is a storyteller. He is also one of the founding members of Durham’s Pleiades Gallery on East Chapel Hill Street, an artist-driven organization that was founded in 2013. Earlier this year Pleiades completed its transition into the nonprofit realm, with lofty goals for Durham’s artistic future. Pleiades Gallery is softly lit and unassuming, […]

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Durham Tech aims to ‘close the gap’ in community healthcare

By Allison Tate

How many of the students here are in this for the money, asks instructor Erica Hall. No hands rise. Hall looks out at the class, about a dozen faces, and tells them that what they’re learning to do won’t be about the fame either. Becoming a community health worker is all about helping your neighbors […]

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Durham nutrition programs stand to lose with proposed tax plan

By Sarah Cline

November 23, 2017

Durham food security may take a blow due to policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Community members, policymakers, and experts met last Thursday in Durham to discuss the federal policy changes and outcomes. The meeting, entitled, “Can SNAP End Hunger? A forum on food justice,” was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church […]

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Urban Ministries and PictureDURM team up for photo project

By Justin Laidlaw

November 13, 2017

  In a changing Durham, perspective is key. While recent development throughout the city has allowed many residents to prosper, there are those whose voices have been marginalized in this growing metropolis, fighting to stay on their feet as gentrification and other urban renewal projects take effect. Urban Ministries of Durham and PictureDURM have partnered […]

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How Scouting is changing in the Durham community

By Collin Ellis

  The Boy Scouts of America is known for being an organization founded on tradition and a strong sense of patriotism. But in the face of a changing cultural and political climate, the organization is doing its best to reach out to new members without changing its core values. They have had a strong presence […]

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DCRC teaches teens about dating violence

By Keynari Brown

  “Just because we don’t like it and don’t talk about it, doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.” These are the blunt yet all too truthful words of Auriela Sands Belle, the Executive Director for the Durham Crisis Response Center in Durham, North Carolina. This quote came during a domestic violence forum held at […]

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If you thought Joe Bushfan was done serving the community – think again

By Taylor Mabrey

November 9, 2017

“My dream was just to help folks less fortunate than myself,” Durham resident and catalyst Joe Bushfan said when talking about his efforts in his community. While Bushfan has been around Durham for a while now, he has no plan on stopping his efforts to help others. In 2020, he hopes to open a diner […]

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Chef Educator, cooking with nature

By Vanessa Luo

November 8, 2017

Raise your hand if you have eaten sweet potato leaves before. Sumi Dutta’s request was met with silent, but inquisitive stares. SEEDS, located at 706 Gilbert St., is a nonprofit garden that imparts the importance and knowledge of co-existing with nature through the growing, cooking and sharing of food. SEEDlings is SEEDS’ after-school enrichment program. […]

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Behind the music: the faces of Kidznotes

By Allison Tate

Over the years, the VOICE has told the stories of Kidznotes’ students and events. But, in looking back, there’s some stories that we haven’t shared yet. Since its start in 2010, Kidznotes has boasted influential and talented instructors and volunteers who have had a desire to make a difference through music. With that in mind, […]

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A sprinkle of Jazz, a dollop of community and a dash of Latin flare

By Elle Kehres

What started off as a simple idea for a coffee shop with soothing background music has morphed into a full-blown restaurant, café, cocktail bar and music venue. Nestled into his chair at Beyu Caffe, Dorian Bolden tried to figure out whether his cappuccino was, in fact, his second or third cup of the day. Bolden, […]

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Durham celebrates literacy at Reader’s Party

By Chrissy Murphy

  At the Hayti Heritage Center Sunday afternoon, Durham residents piled into the auditorium to enjoy selected readings from fellow community members. The Reader’s Party, a family-friendly event hosted by the Durham County Library and sponsored by the Durham Library Foundation, celebrates reading and performing in the community by inviting community members to the stage […]

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Pharoahe Monch reflects on PTSD, performs with PitchBlak Brass

By Gabby Bulgarelli

The day after his 45th birthday, Queens-based rapper Pharoahe Monch settled into his seat in the Duke University Forum for Scholars and Publics. Monch is no stranger to Durham, his most recent visit being last spring when he performed at Art of Cool Fest. This time, however, his purpose was greater: a week in residence […]

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5th Fare: More than a tattoo parlor

By Alex Zietlow

Just like the skin of the store’s customers, the walls inside 5th Fare — one of Durham’s newest urban galleries and tattoo parlors — are dressed up with artwork. There’s an outlined sketch of a bull with city landmarks filling the animal’s body. There are drawings of sheet music with abstract, unidentified monsters in the […]

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Children of Durham at high risk for lead poisoning

By David Fee

Lead poisoning in children poses a serious risk to children in Durham, and late last month, PEACH hosted a town hall-style meeting and dinner to talk with community members about their concerns with such hazards. “We wanted to give you some information about lead poisoning,” said La Verne Reid, the host of the event. “But […]

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A Celebration for the Future: El Centro Hispano turns 25

By Allen Longstreet

   It was a quiet and chilly Thursday morning, but the lobby of El Centro Hispano was filled with the sounds of a new workday – phones ringing and conversations taking place. A man and a woman waited to be assisted by the receptionist. The woman, Concepcion Morales, 55, presented the Case Manager, Macarena Sanchez, […]

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STEM Fall Festival brings experiments to students and families

By Nile Foxx

The gym at R N Harris Elementary was bustling with activity on a recent Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of families came to participate in the STEM + Families: Community Family Fall Festival. The event on Oct. 28 was a partnership of Durham Council of PTAs and Bayer Corporation, and was made possible through a National PTA […]

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Voter Guide for Durham Mayoral Election

By Beth Clifford and Sarah Cline

November 6, 2017

Durham’s election for its new mayor is happening on Nov. 7. This is your final chance to get out and vote, and here is The VOICE’s guide for when you head to the polls. No endorsement is made on this guide.   Farad Ali Overview Farad Ali is a leader in community business and the […]

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Days before election, Ali and Schewel meet in one final forum

By Davis McKinney

Maybe game seven of the World Series drew the crowd away, or maybe Durham residents are just simply experiencing election fatigue. Either way, attendance was lower than expected last Wednesday for the final forum discussion of the mayoral race. With less than a week to Election Day, candidates Farad Ali and Steve Schewel participated in […]

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Steve Schewel’s road to success in Durham

By Julian Keeler

November 5, 2017

Durham resident Steve Schewel is a popular figure in the Triangle area. You may see his face on signs posted all over the city saying, “Vote for Steve Schewel.” He is a candidate in the 2017 Durham Mayoral Election. Schewel has always been keen on helping people and a big advocate for equality and justice. […]

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Who is Farad Ali?

By Julian Keeler

Farad Ali has become a well-known figure in the Durham community because of his professional work, service, and commitment. Now, after nearly 30 years of involvement in the city, Ali has his sights on being the city’s next mayor. Ali, along with his supporters, believe with his leadership and experience, Durham could shift in a […]

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Black Men Run meets new faces weekly

By Autavius Smith and Carl Smith

October 26, 2017

Casual joggers and athletes may get up in the morning to run for all intended obvious health benefits; lose weight, improve self-esteem, and prevent disease. But for North Carolina State University Economics professor Jason Coupet and a few of Durham’s running clubs, exercise is just part of the health equation for an advantageous lifestyle. A […]

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Hayti offers classes and rental opportunities

By Daija Graves

The Hayti Heritage Center is a Durham landmark – one of few remaining buildings from Durham’s Hayti District. As a cultural arts education center, it has been offering events and activities since 1975. What many people may not know is that they also rent their facilities to host community initiated classes, weddings, dances, and anything […]

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Aspiring young entrepreneur talks scholarship searches

By Qaadir McFadden

October 24, 2017

Nandi Reed-Bandele is a Durham native currently studying business at Bennett College in Greensboro. Partly because of her business-sense, Reed-Bandele recently received the 2017 UNCF/Koch Scholarship from the Koch Foundation. Beginning in 2014, through a $25 million grant, Koch Industries, Inc. started granting the scholarships to scholar entrepreneurs who have a love of innovation, challenging […]

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Lyon Parks Facility manager hangs it up

By Tyee Meek and Qaadir McFadden

Victoria Phillips, 72, the facility manager at The Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park, also known as Lyon Park, for about eight years retired in early October. She is moving to Atlanta to be closer to her family. Phillips is also a former student at the center that was once the old […]

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Chuck Stone diversity program impactful

By Nafisa Shah

This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Chuck Stone program at UNC-Chapel Hill. The program was started in 2007 for seniors in high school and honors the legacy of Professor Emeritus Charles “Chuck” Stone. Stone was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II and a prominent journalist. The experience taught me more about […]

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Inside Outside Alliance demands change at Durham County Correctional Facility

By Sarah Cline

October 18, 2017

The conditions at the Durham County Correctional Facility need to change, according to the Inside Outside Alliance. And they’re doing everything in their power to make it happen. As part of ongoing protests for prison reforms at the correctional facility, protesters gathered outside of the jail last Friday to voice their grievances with the treatment […]

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The new face of Durham schools: Dr. Pascal Mubenga

By Nile Foxx

The Durham board of education named Dr. Pascal Mubenga as the new superintendent in a brief meeting on Monday night. Mubenga was signed to a four-year contract with an annual salary of $222,500. He is expected to start around Thanksgiving. Mubenga will take the place of Dr. Bert L’Homme, who surprised the board by announcing […]

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Liberty Arts hosts open studio and sale

By David Fee

The furnaces were fired up, and beer flowed steadily Saturday for the Liberty Arts open studio tour and sale. Liberty Arts has over a dozen artists working in its studio space on Pearl Street in Northeast Central Durham, working in a variety of mediums such as wood, metal, glass, printing, and textile media. The studio […]

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