Community-building

Combating COVID through local investments

By Haley Allen

April 17, 2021

Duke Energy Foundation invests in the youth-serving nonprofits and educational organizations to help combat the effects of COVID-19 on students. While the wide-ranging effects of COVID-19 reverberate across all communities in our state, youth-serving nonprofits and educational organizations continue to orient their focus to countering these effects in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. This […]

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Spreading December cheer: Durham Children’s Initiative reimagines “Holiday Zone”

By Jock Lauterer

December 23, 2020

Story by Madison Reese DCI Intern  The Durham VOICE Photos by Khadijah McFadden Teen Editor-in-Chief Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) created “Holiday Zone” seven years ago to provide Christmas gifts for Durham families who need them. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, the traditional way Holiday Zone is executed had to change. The Holiday Zone […]

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Community rallies to staff voting sites in Durham

By Palace Jones

October 30, 2020

The dire prospect of a shortage among Durham’s election poll workers, for fears of contracting and spreading Covid-19, could have resulted in even longer lines than we’re seeing in early voting. Fortunately, more than enough residents of Durham rose to perform a treasured civic duty by signing up to help voters enjoy a smooth and […]

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LaMon Jones: carrying on the family stone masonry legacy

By A.J. O'Leary

April 2, 2020

He grew up around his family’s stone masonry business in Durham. Now, he wants to build on that foundation. LaMon Jones, 21, recently started a job with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, a nonprofit that works to protect water quality in Northeast Central Durham. Jones said he was able to get his job at ECWA […]

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Barbershop Zumba keeps community moving during gym closures

By Sasha Schroeder

Samuel and Sons Barbershop on Angier Avenue has been a pillar of community in Northeast Central Durham for years. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t changing that. Samuel Jenkins, owner of Samuel and Sons, decided to transform the barbershop into a Zumba studio in order to keep people moving while many of Durham’s recreational facilities and gyms […]

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Print VOICE in delivery

By Jock Lauterer

March 10, 2020

Celebrating 10 years of publishing a lab community newspaper for Northeast Central Durham, the Durham VOICE hit the streets Feb. 22 with the first print edition of the spring, affording student writer-photographers the legacy experience of personal, hands-on newspaper delivery. With over 40 drop spots and a circulation of 2,000, the Durham VOICE is printed […]

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Durham restaurant hosts Warren campaign event for locals

By A.J. O'Leary

Most people come to Zweli’s for the only Zimbabwean food in town, but some come to talk politics. On Friday, Feb. 21, Zweli’s, located in Durham, hosted an Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign event as part of its Dinner Table Talks speaker series. Leonardo Williams, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Zweli, said events like […]

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African dance class creates lively community at Hayti Heritage Center

By Anthony DeHart and Matthew Audilet

For more than 15 years, a group of dancers and drummers – some experienced, some not – have come together once a month at the Hayti Heritage Center on Old Fayetteville Street for its Hayti Rhythms dance class. The class offers community members the chance to practice movements from the African diaspora and listen to […]

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Durham officers trade badges for whistles to coach youth in Police Athletic League

By Molly Weisner and Sasha Schroeder

Northeast Central Durham is no stranger to interactions with law enforcement — but a program that connects youth with police through athletics is attempting to reduce juvenile crime and foster positive relationships between the community and officers. Sgt. Jessica Butler, unit supervisor, said the Durham Police Athletic League not only runs athletic camps, but also […]

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Durham community kitchen offers free meals and smiles

By Julia Masters

Beneath the faded New Visions of Africa sign, inside the unassuming barred building, Karen Santoro-Abdullah put a hand to her heart and choked back tears. “I love helping these people because it makes me feel good to give them respect,” Santoro-Abdullah said.  “Respect gives people hope; if people are treated with respect and a smile, it could encourage […]

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Preview of PYO’s largest fundraiser of the year: Rise and Shine Breakfast

By Celia Farmer

The local nonprofit, Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO), that serves Durham youth impacted by systemic injustice will hold its largest fundraiser of the year on March 5: the Rise and Shine Breakfast. PYO organizes the annual event to celebrate its accomplishments with attendees and to announce its plans to scale the nonprofit’s impact for the […]

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Coworking space creates a network of community groups in Durham

By Sophia Wilhelm and Gianna Tahan

ReCity unites various organizations to fight against social issues within the city ReCity Network, a coworking social impact space, unites 47 organizations and over 100 community leaders to serve Durham.  The Durham-based network, located at 112 Broadway St., began in 2016 after a group of faith leaders found research indicating that shared space can increase […]

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Sweets restore Durham business owner’s faith in humanity

By Khadijah McFadden

February 14, 2020

Coconut, mango-chile and lavender. You won’t typically find these cotton candy flavors anywhere but in Durham — and they are taking off because of Wonderpuff and its owner Jackie Morin. Wonderpuff is a black-owned eco-friendly business that is just one of the local dream businesses that the nonprofit Helius has helped make a reality through […]

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Daddy-Daughter Date Night builds relationships through family fun

By Brandon Callender

February 13, 2020

Therese Daye knew that she had to keep her dream alive. For nearly a year she’d been planning to host a Daddy-Daughter Date Night for the fathers of Durham, but the heavy rainfall wouldn’t let up. A day before the Feb. 8 event was scheduled to occur, she learned that she’d no longer be able […]

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Direct Affect Bully Kennel helps troubled youth and debunks myths

By Victoria Johnson

At first, Durham dog breeder Dwanson Clark just wanted his money back. Six years ago, his fiancee, Candace Taylor, asked him to buy a dog to keep her company while Clark was deployed with the U.S. Navy. In 2016, Clark decided to breed a litter of seven puppies, hoping to recoup the money he’d spent […]

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Duke’s film festival introduces attendees to aspects of African culture

By Victor Hensley

Mainland Africa is approximately 4,030 miles away from Durham, but Duke University is working to narrow the gap by bringing African stories to the campus community through film. This month Duke is hosting its fifth-annual African Film Festival, featuring stories from around the continent. The four-week festival, organized by the university’s Africa Initiative, will hold […]

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Immerse yourself in the fifth annual Black History: Artists’ Perspectives Exhibition

By Gianna Tahan

The Hayti Heritage Center presents its fifth annual Black History: Artists’ Perspectives Exhibition to bring African American artists together and honor the black experience. Five years ago, curator Willie Bigelow, who is a Durham resident and artist, came to Hayti Heritage Center Executive Director Angela Lee to design an exhibition that pays tribute to Black […]

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Durham dreamers and readers celebrate MLK Day with donated books

By Sasha Schroeder

January 30, 2020

With over 1.2 million books donated since its founding, Book Harvest continues its dream of promoting reading and learning Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream — and so does Book Harvest, a Durham nonprofit that hosted its ninth annual Dream Big Book Drive and Community Celebration last week. “The Book Harvest dream is a […]

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Hayti Heritage Center celebrates jazz drummer Max Roach

By Victoria Johnson

Jazz legend Max Roach’s drums beat again Saturday night when five local musicians interpreted his rhythms to about 50 listeners at the Hayti Heritage Center. The concert, called “Freedom Day: A Tribute to Max Roach,” celebrated one of the most important drummers in modern jazz history, the Hayti musicians said. A North Carolina native born […]

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Annual MLK Day Unity March and Rally sheds light and brings hope to Durham

By Anthony DeHart, Sophia Wilhelm, Landon Bost and Brandon Callender

Monday morning, Jan. 20, about 250 marchers gathered in front of the NC Mutual Life building for Durham’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March and Rally. The group gathered for a short opening, then marched to First Presbyterian Church on East Main Street where speakers addressed the crowd from the pulpit. Every year, […]

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Durham Kidznotes tunes up for benefit concert at DPAC

By Molly Weisner and Landon Bost

While most Durham public schools remained quiet last Saturday morning, Fayetteville Street Elementary School’s parking lot was full.   Out of cars ambled K-12 students from Durham and Raleigh, some shouldering black instrument cases nearly half their height.  As the sunlight warmed the January nip in the classrooms, young musicians in the Kidznotes program warmed up for a full afternoon of practice.   […]

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Exhibit, coalition highlight Durham housing inequality

By Matthew Audilet

An exhibit created through a joint effort by First Presbyterian Church and Duke University Chapel entitled “Uneven Ground” opened on Jan. 3 to highlight the history of housing inequality and racial segregation in downtown Durham. Originally commissioned in 2019 for the 150th anniversary of Durham’s founding, the exhibit now serves as a tool for reflection, […]

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The journey to beauty in Durham: how a beauty supply store builds community

By Brooklyn Brown and Celia Farmer

On paper, her name is Sade Jones, but the people of Durham know her simply as Ms. Beauty. Jones received this title when she started working at Beauty World in Durham, a beauty supply store on 1418 Avondale Dr #2, in 2014. Jones, 33, is a sales associate and hair specialist at Beauty World. Most […]

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MLK Play Days give displaced children a place to be kids again

By Julia Masters

MLK Play Days, hosted by The W.G. Pearson Center and The Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, gave the displaced children from the McDougald Terrace community a place to play last Monday through Wednesday. Beginning Jan. 3, over 300 families from the McDougald Terrace community were evacuated indefinitely due to dangerous carbon […]

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‘We want to be a resource’: SEEDS aims to serve Durham community

By Gianna Tahan

As South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) rings in the new year, Interim Executive Director Abby Goodman hopes to make their urban gardening programs more meaningful to all members of the Northeast Central Durham community. Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen space located at 706 Gilbert St. The organization […]

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Black Girl Ventures supports black business women in Durham

By Jazmine Bunch

Black Girl Ventures (BGV) has found a new home in North Carolina. Five local business women are coming together to establish a chapter of the Forbes-featured foundation in Durham. BGV provides a unique experience to combat the particular challenges that black and brown women face in starting and growing a business. The initiative was founded […]

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Sofia’s offers neighbors a new slice of Angier Avenue

By James Jeffries

October 8, 2019

Angier Avenue in historic East Durham has seen its fair share of added concrete, construction, and changes to the neighborhood within recent years. This ever-changing landscape we call Durham is becoming a host to new faces, housing spaces, and local businesses at a dizzying pace. One of those newcomers, Sofia’s Pizza, opened its doors to […]

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Don’t Waste Durham engages the community to seek sustainable alternatives to plastic and Styrofoam

By Celia McRae and Natasha Townsend

Between 2010-2011, Crystal Dreisbach wrote 200 letters to businesses throughout the Triangle. Her mission toward a more sustainable Durham was just beginning. The restaurants Dreisbach wrote to used Styrofoam, and she wanted to talk to distributors about sustainable alternatives, she said. She was working in public health research at the time, and Styrofoam takeout containers […]

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Foster dogs find forever homes with Durham nonprofit

By Johnny Sobczak

The sun shines down on the picturesque spring afternoon of April 6 at Durham’s Bull City Ciderworks, and Independent Animal Rescue (IAR) is gathering nine of its foster dogs for its latest adoption event. The outdoor space includes a deck and large grassy area. Dozens of Durham residents are spread out across picnic tables, donning […]

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Black Issues Forum revives discussion on Durham’s black-owned businesses

By Samantha Perry and Sabrina Berndt

Although the 22nd annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has come to an end, UNC-TV will continue highlighting the work of award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson throughout the month. On Tuesday, April 23, UNC-TV will premiere Nelson’s most recent documentary, “Boss: The Black Experience in Business.” The film touches on rarely discussed stories of black entrepreneurship […]

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ECWA aims to conserve Durham’s creeks, reverse century of water mismanagement

By Diane Adame

March 27, 2019

As a 9-year-old, Kriddie Whitmore took a field trip to Ellerbe Creek that sparked her interest in preserving and removing invasive plants. She often relives this fond memory by preserving areas near her childhood home as a nature preserve steward with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA). “It’s a very volunteer-centered organization, and they always […]

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Filmmakers highlight emotional struggles faced by immigrants

By Samantha Perry

When Grace Beeler began teaching English as a second language, she was shocked by the stories refugees had to share. “If everyday Americans could hear the stories that I hear at work they would have a lot more compassion for refugees,” Beeler said. “They would understand why they need to come here, why we should […]

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24th annual Great Human Race raises funds and awareness for Triangle nonprofits

By Johnny Sobczak

It’s the crisp Saturday morning of March 23, and nonprofit groups are slowly setting up tables on the sidewalk outside of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for the 24th annual Great Human Race, hosted by the Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center (TNVLC). Many of the tables are covered in posters, pamphlets and brochures to […]

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Durham’s Communities in Schools helps students in class and at home

By Natasha Townsend

Carmen Settles remembers the first time she learned that going to college after high school wasn’t for everyone. She could venture out on her own path and be successful. Although she graduated from North Carolina Central University with a marketing degree, Settles owes her success to Communities in Schools (CIS), a nonprofit that focuses on […]

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Durham students, teachers focus on equity with help from DPS grants

By Celia McRae

    Erin Batten-Hicks finally found the community she had been missing when she transferred to Hillside High School and joined the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). “I never really had an opportunity to find more queer people and find that community while I was at my other school,” she said. “When I came […]

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Commentary: Reconsidering our place in extractive journalism

By Courtney Staton

  Earlier this month, as part of the NeXt Doc Fellows, a fellowship which promotes 20 to 24-year-olds identified as the next generation of documentary filmmakers, I attended the True/False Documentary Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. I watched “The Commons,” a film about the protests surrounding the Silent Sam statue and the Pit. I watched […]

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DIG program empowers youth through urban farming

By Hannah McClellan

February 28, 2019

On a cold and rainy February afternoon, 17-year-olds Samantha Vazquee and Demonte Bolden are not hiding inside – they’re hard at work repotting dozens of plants after a day at school. Vazquee and Bolden are two youth members of the DIG program, a youth-driven, urban farming and leadership development program started by South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable […]

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‘We’ve always been taking steps foward’: LCCU continues to grow

By Diane Adame and Veronica Correa

February 27, 2019

After nearly 20 years, the Latino Community Credit Union continues to do more than provide North Carolina’s Latino community with a safe place to store their earnings. A credit union founded in Durham in 2000, LCCU works to educate and empower all communities by offering a financial education program and savings, checking, loans and credit […]

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Hillside’s new English teacher helps keep school paper alive

By Johnny Sobczak

When Jenne Mondry was interviewed for a position teaching English at Hillside High School last summer, it was proposed to her that she teach journalism and take over the school’s newspaper. For Mondry, it was daunting. “I let them know that I had not done that before, but I had done the yearbook at a […]

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Range of DPS programs encourages families to ‘say yes’ to public schools

By Celia McRae

Informational booths from different Durham Public Schools departments lined the walls of the Hillside High School lobby last Saturday. Parents and students could ask questions about program offerings at these booths, as part of a fair called “Say Yes to DPS.” “We really wanted to be able to showcase them and to be able to put a […]

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‘As an Act of Protest’ battles racism on screen at Durham’s Shadowbox Studio

By Hannah Towey and John Bauman

Filmmaker Dennis Leroy Kangalee had set out to create a masterpiece. Less than one year after his debut film, “As an Act of Protest” was released, Kangalee sent that masterpiece flying off the balcony of a hotel in Germany. Kangalee’s independent film is a 144-minute-long drama whose unedited, anti-Hollywood aesthetic and emotionally raw acting seek […]

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John Gattis’ hit musical ‘Swing School’ returns to Hillside High

By Will Shropshire

After 47 years, “Swing School,” a community favorite production for many decades, returned to the stage at Hillside High School. The Hillside High School Drama Department – under the direction of Wendell Tabb –  put on four performances of its new adaptation, called “Hallelujah! Swing School,”  from Feb. 15-17. The production has long been a Hillside […]

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