Reflecting on my time reporting for the Durham community has been the hardest task assigned to me yet. Not because I don’t know what to say, but because I feel unqualified to in so few words.
I believe the most significant takeaway I can provide is the least obvious: while media outlets often portray Durham as a city in desperate need of revitalization, it is glaringly apparent they haven’t experienced its heart- the people.
Durham isn’t strictly crime-riddled or run-down, terms that could be used to describe nearly any town in America: it’s vibrant, alive and full of life, unlike so many cities. Take a few seconds to speak with anyone who lives in the city, and this observation becomes more apparent.
Having interviewed both an electoral candidate and Durham locals, the passion with which they described the city displayed a love that extends beyond what a place alone can offer.
Carl Rist’s dedication and desire to work directly with the people of Durham, and the members of the Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium‘s desire to interact with and positively influence Durham youth, displayed a side of the city most media outlets neglect.
Continually, during each visit to Durham, I have felt the warmth and energy of the community despite not even being a part of it. The strength of community and power of the stories it has to tell, and the importance of cherishing connections and relationships has become abundantly clear. there is anything that I have learned most in my short time reporting for Durham, it is that, as corny as it may sound, people truly do make a place.
Edited by Emmy and Siya