Opinion

Dear Durham: An open letter to our readers

By Katie Rice

April 11, 2018

As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill, I often find myself stuck in the “Chapel Hill bubble,” the detached environment of privilege and academia surrounding my campus. I go to class with people who, for the most part, look like me and have had a lot of the same experiences as me. It is easy for […]

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¿Por qué queremos escuchar tu VOZ? (Why do we want to hear your VOICE?)

By Maria Elena Vizcaino

My dad has lived in the United States for the past 10 years. He doesn’t speak a word of English. That’s why back in January, when my professor suggested The VOICE publish articles in Spanish, I didn’t hesitate before committing to translate our content. Like my dad, thousands of immigrants in this country decide to […]

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Commentary: an immigrant’s dilemma, and dream come true

By Zayrha Rodriguez

February 28, 2018

As a woman, an immigrant from Colombia and a college student pursuing a career in journalism, I feel that I am under constant attack by the current U.S. administration. Often recently, I have felt the need to call out our administration and elected officials. But I keep myself from doing it. I wonder how much […]

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Not a newspaper…It’s a news outlet

By Nafisa Shah and Tyee Meek

  The VOICE recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with Bob Ashley, the former editor of Durham’s The Herald-Sun and recently retired a little over six months ago. Ashley worked for newspapers for over 50 years and gave us an insider’s view of the journalism industry. He started working with the newspaper in […]

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Seeing race in a new light

By LaMon Jones

February 6, 2018

  Let’s talk about race. Race, in its basic definition, is “a social construct” created to separate people by the way they look. Racism has not always existed simply because race itself hasn’t always been a part of society. These two things and many more are facts I learned at an REI (Racial Equity Institute) […]

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Learning life lessons through volunteering and basketball

By Qaadir McFadden

January 31, 2018

  Imagine this: The game is tied with two seconds on the clock, and coach calls his last full timeout. He draws up a play to kick the basketball out to one of the two shooters on the court. When the timeout is up, the girls come onto the floor to run the play that […]

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Take your community heart wherever you go

By Jock Lauterer

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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Chuck Stone Diversity Program impactful for teen journalists

By Nafisa Shah

October 3, 2017

  This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Chuck Stone Program at School of Media and Journalism 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 […]

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Celebrating high school journalism at Hillside

By Jock Lauterer

September 23, 2017

As the Durham VOICE enters its ninth year, when I look back in mind’s eye rear-view-mirror, the thing I see is not the 42 print editions or the hundreds of online versions of our paper. I see faces. For if there’s anything we’ve learned over the years, it’s that community journalism – that all-in, relentlessly […]

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Durham protests: Who is really guilty?

By Nafisa Shah

August 27, 2017

    You may have already heard, but on a Monday in early August a group of protesters pulled down the statue of a Confederate soldier that stood outside the old Durham County courthouse. The statue, the Confederate Soldiers Monument, was dedicated to the county of Durham in May, 1924. Engraved in the statute are […]

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Commentary: This Land is Our Land

By Linda Chen

April 20, 2017

  Think about a landfill. Can you imagine living within five miles of one? Imagine the smells during the summer and the big trucks filled with trash barreling down the streets. Think about the sour-smelling brown water coming from water sources like sinks and bathtubs. Environmental injustice or even environmental racism includes the placement of […]

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Commentary: A world I never knew

By LaMon Jones

April 16, 2017

  Before I entered PYO two years ago, I had the reputation at school of being unmotivated and lazy. One day I got suspended from school for a week — and luckily got sent to a great program called “Rebound,” which helped me keep up with my schoolwork while out of classes. Once I finished […]

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Commentary: My Ride with Meals on Wheels

By Molly Smith

April 5, 2017

The second I set foot inside Meals on Wheels of Durham, I was immediately greeted with an air filled by the smell of sizzling hamburgers, the sound of animated chit-chat and the sight of dozens of smiling faces. After hearing about President Trump’s proposed budget cuts that endanger thousands of local Meals on Wheels agencies […]

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Hillside Chronicle staff writers pen “Letters to Durham”

By Jock Lauterer

April 3, 2017

Editor’s Note:  Following a recent incident near their high school, the Hillside Chronicle staffers of Hillside High School received some negative comments via social media about their school. Anonymous, of course. In response, the staff elected to write “Dear Durham” letters, aided by UNC-CH students from the Durham VOICE mentoring team which has worked with […]

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Looking for opportunity, not a handout

By Carlton Koonce

March 20, 2017

  Opportunities. Not handouts. When you think about it, it’s really not too much to ask. A chance to work and to prove one’s self worth. A chance to get into a good college.  A chance to land a job or start a business that provides for a family. A chance to live a safe, […]

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Teens talk social media

By Veronika Payne

March 9, 2017

  Social media has a profound effect on society. From the way we dress to the way we speak social media takes its toll. Stalking, pornography, and school yard fights all dangers you run across while on social media. There has even been an increase in live streaming suicides among teen social media users. The […]

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Knee-deep in snow, Natasha finds a new home

By LaMon Jones

February 7, 2017

  Being the editor of the Durham Voice is not a role you can just joke around with. You’re in charge of a monthly column, and although that may not seem like much, it’s more than most think. Depending on what you have going on in life, some months may be easy and others not […]

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College doesn’t define me

By Linda Chen

February 6, 2017

  It’s Friday morning at 9:57 a.m. and the stress is real. Friends are discussing colleges, while I sit believing I’ve got the college stress under control. Still, that does not mean there is no stress for me. After overhearing the talk and stress concerning colleges among classmates, I feel it is time to share […]

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Growing up an ‘Other’ in America

By Linda Chen

December 4, 2016

  Growing up, I always felt different. I always entertained myself alone. Played alone and read alone. I was a huge daydreamer and a helpless romantic. I loved to play doctor, school teacher or the mom going into the hospital because she’s having a child. It was just something I always effortlessly did. My story […]

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Evaluating The Trump Card

By LaMon Jones

November 11, 2016

  The 2016 election has been a rollercoaster ride of insults, hate speech, sexism and racism. The Clinton campaign versus the Trump campaign will go down in history as one of the nastiest battles in politics. The career politician Hillary Clinton battled it out with one of the most iconic businessmen of the modern era, […]

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Obama comes to Chapel Hill one last time

By Nafisa Shah

November 10, 2016

  On Wednesday, Nov. 2,  I had the opportunity to see President Obama give one of his last speeches as sitting President at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.     Throughout the day there were several speakers such as Deborah Ross, Roy Cooper, James Taylor and an UNC advocate for the Clinton campaign. […]

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HHS Tennis teaches overcoming adversity

By Nafisa Shah

October 23, 2016

    Playing tennis for Hillside High School since my freshman year has taught me much. Now a senior, I can see how the sport has developed me as a person. Tennis this year started off with only a few returning players from last year’s team. I got involved my 9th grade year because my parents […]

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Commentary: America needs no walls

By Heng Su

October 5, 2016

Editor’s Note: The writer is an international exchange student from the University of Hong Kong.   The United States was born as an open country. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, and from Chapel Hill to Durham, up until recently walls between communities have been a rarity. Take a drive into Northeast Central Durham on […]

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Sharing real thoughts about community college

By LaMon Jones

September 22, 2016

  There is a level of perception when it comes to community colleges that they are not as good as four-year schools. I decided to question one of my long-time friends who just started a semester at Durham Tech about the school in general and its level of education. My first impression about places on […]

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Writing my own happy ending

By Natasha Graham

May 20, 2016

  I have experienced a lot of disappointment in my 18 years on this earth.  These disappointments have been brought on by a number of factors: difficult situations, other people and myself.   I was very isolated as a child, and I didn’t have many friends because of my lack of human interaction.  But I’m not […]

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Our fallen Knight: A tribute to David Pounds

By Natasha Graham

April 3, 2016

  On March 8, 2016, at about 10:30 p.m., young Northern Knight, David Pounds, was shot by someone from a passing vehicle on the 1400 block of Maplewood Drive and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  He was 15 years old. Now, I didn’t know David personally, but we did attend the same school. […]

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To judge or to edit — with "tough love"

By Natasha Graham

February 11, 2016

  I personally try not to judge people as much as I can, because honestly, I don’t think it’s my place to do so.  I figure, who am I to say whether or not something is “right” or “good enough” when everyone has a different definition of that? So, on the few occasions when I […]

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DPS finalizes time changes

By Christian Lawrence

October 20, 2015

During the 2014-2015 school year, I have heard students talked about how early they had to get up, saying that most mornings they’re too tired to do school work.

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Youth Commission advocates for Durham teens

By Kristine Royster

September 30, 2015

Most teenagers don’t care about what members of the city council do or say, however there are 32 youth that do care. The Durham Youth Commission (DYC) is a city-funded council composed of 30 high school aged teens. This commission gives teens the opportunity to have a formal role in the city’s planning. The Durham […]

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Dancing is life

By Bruce Wilkerson

September 29, 2015

  Pretty much everybody has heard of Beyonce, but do you know about the only male dancers that are associated with her, Les Twins? As a young African-American dancer. I look up to these two people for many reasons, but primarily because of how they grew up dancing. Their family is a dancing musical family […]

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The metamorphosis of the N­-Word

By Natasha Graham

September 22, 2015

When did it become OK to say the “N-­Word”? Recently, I’ve asked myself this question a lot, and started wondering about the origin of the word, the meaning of it and just how much it has changed in popular culture lately. Personally, as a young African­-American woman, I try never to use the word. Yet, […]

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Be you!

By Brooklynn Cooper

April 22, 2015

Editor’s Note: Graduating Northern High School senior Brooklynn Cooper has been serving with distinction as this year’s Teen Editor-in-Chief of the Durham VOICE. For her final column of her high school career, she leaves us all with a lesson in authenticity)   Limits are disliked by the majority of the human race. We are constantly […]

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Is there a divide in college readiness?

By Jennifer Tietnguyen

March 4, 2015

It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I realized college was a thing. As a first-generation Vietnamese-American student, I did not grow up with a family instilling in me the hopes to be a Tar Heel born, bred and dead. I didn’t think about post-high school plans, didn’t watch Gilmore Girls and […]

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Plenty of room to grow

By Brooklynn Cooper

February 23, 2015

People always say “laughter is the best medicine,” which is true, unless people are laughing at the expense of someone’s feelings. In today’s society, it is common to try to ease pain and discomfort by cracking a joke, but laughter should not have to be a defense mechanism. Last month, the hashtag “#BrownParts” blew up […]

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For the sake of education

By Christian Frazier

February 19, 2015

In the course of attending schools in Durham, I’ve become accustomed to African-Americans making up a majority of students in my classes. According to the latest census information, Durham County has a population that is 38.7 percent African-American, 13.5 percent Hispanic/Latino, 4.8 percent Asian and 1 percent Native American. Honestly, growing up I was never […]

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Commentary: Durham and Carrboro: Two hearts, two towns, are better than one

By Dylan Howlett

December 3, 2014

A story of greater consciousness, of a longer social antenna, begins, rather morbidly, with an entombed pharaoh. The credit for this haphazard beginning lies with Gwendolyn Payne, a 16-year-old junior at Durham’s Hillside High School. She interns at The Durham VOICE on behalf of Partners for Youth Opportunity, a nonprofit mentorship program that extends academic […]

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Commentary: Homelessness in Durham: Why it persists and how the city is fighting it

By Caitlin Ball

November 12, 2014

Editor’s Note: Staff writer Caitlin Ball was one of the photographers participating in the Oct. 10 Project Homeless Connect Durham event in which VOICE photographers made portraits for 55 people attending the support event at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. After spending the better part of the day meeting, talking to and photographing many Durham residents […]

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Suspensions: lost in despair

By LaMon Jones

November 10, 2014

The purpose of suspensions is to take a student out of an environment where a problem was caused or a problem is brewing. The goal of a modern school is to keep a child in a structured learning environment at all cost. The idea of suspension is the exact opposite of what schools try to […]

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Making every day Thanksgiving Day

By Brooklynn Cooper

November 2, 2014

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Most people think of turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and other popular fixings. Food is one of the highlights of Thanksgiving, but some people have become so caught up in what is on their plates that they have forgotten […]

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Leaning into archeology

By Gwendolynn Payne

October 31, 2014

I am Gwendolynn Payne, and I am 16-years-old and a junior at Hillside High School. I enjoy history and science classes over any other classes I have. I gained an interest in archaeology during my freshman year while taking a World History class. We had to do an end of the year project on a […]

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The VOICE of the kitchen

By Christian Frazier

October 20, 2014

When I first moved to Durham I was young and lived on Liberty Street. It was interesting. Growing up I noticed drug dealers, streetwalkers and gang bangers and I realized that was not the life for me. As the years go by I began to notice how food brings people together and it changes lives. […]

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Troop 411 Speaks Out

By Zack Newbauer

October 1, 2014

Members of Boy Scout Troop 411 recounted their experiences being in the Scouts this week, sharing stories of triumph and personal development. Jami Parker, Eagle Scout advancement coordinator and former Troop 411 parent, recounted how the troop, as a member of the Mawat District of Scouts, is a very active one. She explained that in […]

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Touched by an art teacher

By Natasha Graham

When I had Mr. James Hensley for my 7th grade art teacher, I started to really think outside of the box. The assignments that he gave were so imaginative and expressive that I had no choice but to think of something different. From morphing into animals to hotels in space, Hensley’s assignments always got his […]

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New Durham VOICE staff is off and running

By Jock Lauterer

September 29, 2014

Our Community Our Times Our Voices That’s our motto, and we believe in it. As we begin our fifth year, the Durham VOICE re-affirms our vision statement: That great community media helps build, nurture and sustain great community. And so it follows that we think Northeast Central Durham has those qualities and that potential. We […]

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Kicking off a whole new season at the VOICE

By Carlton Koonce

Carlton Koonce is the communications and teen mentoring coordinator of Partners for Youth Opportunity, a Durham VOICE community partner.   Imagine the season opener for your favorite team. Remember the crowd noise and smells? Remember that excitement in the stadium or stands right before the game starts? It’s the thrill of a new season. The […]

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Recycling and pollution affects our range

By Harrison Florence and Namdi Nguyen

September 25, 2014

Durham saves taxpayers more than $600,000 in disposal costs a year by city recycling services. Robert Williams, the Durham Solid Waste Management assistant director, said the city relies on two recycling methods: one is a site on East Club Boulevard where people can recycle unwanted items for free. The other is a curbside cart collection […]

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Stand up for Durham: A city like no other

By Brooklynn Cooper

September 22, 2014

“A different city every night” is a common phrase used among music artists when describing touring the world. Most non-celebrities do not imagine themselves ever having such an opportunity, but it is possible. This summer I embarked on the journey of a lifetime through a program called Teens Westward Bound. Approximately 80 students from all […]

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Looking to protect and serve in a career

By Kieara Chambers

At age nine, I went with my mom to the local dollar store on Fayetteville Street, where we saw a homeless woman riding her bike. I can remember the woman was wearing a baseball cap, washed out Levi jeans and a black jacket. We were sitting in our 1996 Jeep Cherokee when she came to […]

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Time to worry about voter IDs? Opinions differ

By Jessica Coates

September 17, 2014

 While NC Board of Elections says “Nay,” NAACP says “Yay” You don’t need an ID to vote in the 2014 election, but the State Board of Elections has begun offering free voter IDs in preparation for laws taking effect in 2016. House Bill 589 will require all North Carolina voters to show picture identification to vote […]

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