Introducing Zenzele Barnes, ReCity's New Community Manager!

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Tell us a little bit about your background. 

I’m a Durham native and I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a degree in Communication and a New Media Design minor. Professionally, I have worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County and a City Year Member in Miami. I also served as an Arts Administration Apprentice at Liberty Arts Studio here in Durham. I have a strong interest in the arts and community-based work that uplifts marginalized voices. 

Why were you drawn to ReCity's mission? 

I was drawn to ReCity’s value of Achieving the Impossible. It can be so hard to dream big and stay optimistic in the world. For me, I go through life with the mindset of trying to leave things better than where I started them. There’s a whiteboard in the ReCity office where community partners can write out their accomplishments. I think it’s wonderful because it celebrates the small ways that our community moves forward toward achieving the impossible.

Who is one person that inspires you? 

I’m actually going to cheat and list two people who inspire me; my grandmothers! I am so thankful that both sides of my family have such strong matriarchs. They are the most generous and humble people I know. Their love and joy extend past my family and seeps into the community. I am truly a better person because of them.

What do you love most about Durham? 

I love that Durham is a city with a rich sense of history, a growing arts community, and down-to-earth people.

What's your favorite local restaurant? 

My favorite restaurant is Elmo’s, it’s tried and true. Plus, the pancakes are as big as your head!

What's one fun fact about yourself? 

I love to sew and make my own clothes.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

I enjoy reading, listening to music, crafting, and practicing the bass.

What song best describes your personality? 

Midnight by Lianne la Havas

What are you looking forward to most about joining the ReCity team? 

I am looking forward to working with like-minded community advocates and change-makers.

ReCity Launching "ReCity Connect"

Shared space and shared impact—that’s the power of ReCity Network.

To help us further that mission, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Protopia to develop ReCity Connect, an advisory network to provide ReCity’s members with access to local expertise to help them develop and grow their organizations. Protopia is a Raleigh-based startup that makes it easy for members to get help from their community.

We are looking for members of the Durham community to join ReCity Connect and volunteer their professional expertise and know-how to help our member organizations succeed.

Here’s how it will work:

As a member of the ReCity Connect you will receive relevant requests from ReCity’s organization based on your skills and expertise.  If you receive a request and it is a good time and you can help, you will reply with your answer. If you cannot help because you do not have time or it is not a good match, you just reply ‘no.’ You can also elect at any time to opt out of ReCity Connect.

The best part is there is no logins or downloading an app. Requests will come via email and be matched on the basis of your skills, expertise, and schedule preference. Thus, if you have expertise in finance, it could be a question on budget management. If you are marketing professional, it could be a request to review an organization’s marketing plan.  

We believe that your expertise would provide an invaluable service to our member organizations. If you’re interested in volunteering with ReCity Connect please visit our volunteer page (http://www.recitynetwork.org/connect) and fill out the registration form.

Over the next month, we will be working with Protopia to recruit volunteers and roll-out the network. Our goal is to launch ReCity Connect in early March.

Join us in rewriting the story of our city, together!

                 Rob Shields                          Executive Director

               Rob Shields                        Executive Director

NC Works NEXTGEN Joins ReCity, Makes Immediate Community Impact

A dynamic new partner has burst on the scene at ReCity Network, thanks to Eric Haddock and the team at NCWorks NEXTGEN.

A program of the Eckerd Connects, NCWorks NEXTGEN fulfills the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA). The legislation commits federal funding, to be disbursed and managed at state and local government level, for workforce development that creates employment opportunities for traditionally underserved communities.

The major focus of the program, according to its parent organization, is to connect in-school and out-of-school youth to career readiness, career guidance, remediation, community resources and employment and training opportunities. The NCWorks NEXTGEN Program provides skills necessary to gain and retain employment, directs individuals to careers that are in demand and promotes employment advancement to become self-sufficient.

The organization’s mission is to partner with businesses across Durham County to provide “work experiences” to area youth aged 17 to 24. According to Haddock, it’s the work experience concept that sets the organization apart. “The program provides funding for real jobs in industries our constituents may otherwise not gain access,” he said. “It provides funding for up to three-month experience, where we pay an amount equal to a typical starting salary in that industry. If, after three months, the youth participant and the corporate partner see a good fit, the company makes a permanent hire. Otherwise, it’s great experience and a quality reference for the participant’s resume moving forward.”

The organization also helps participants, based on needs, to obtain GEDs and/or job training.

Haddock sees benefits that go beyond the gaining of employment, to the empowerment of better lives for his participants. “We were privileged to place one of our participants at the emerging social media startup SpokeHub,” he explained. “She has done so well in the work experience that she is being considered for permanent employment and is in the process of leaving a shelter to live independently with her son. That’s a better career and a better life.”

Since joining ReCity in mid-November, Haddock has seen the power of collaboration at Durham’s hub for social impact. “Right away, we found synergy, not only in doing work together but in receiving guidance from some of the great leaders at ReCity,” said Haddock. “The H.E.A.R.T.S foundation, Housing for New Hope, and Step Up Durham have been especially good to us, helping us help our constituents. It helps to know when we’re working with the same kids as another ReCity organization, so that we know that the kids are finding stable support in all of their situations while we work on employment.”

NCWorks NEXTGEN has also worked with external agencies to take advantage of ReCity’s event space, already hosting a rap session with Durham Technical Community College to build awareness of Durham Tech’s free classes for job training.

The organization’s team is active, and their impact is clear. NCWorks has already developed
relationships with 28 area companies willing to participate in work experiences. 15 work experiences have taken place since the program’s launch last October, and Haddock says the group will serve 150 youth in 2018.

In addition to SpokeHub, the participating corporate partners come from a range of industries, some with national name recognition and others from every corner of the Durham business community. Partners include Meineke, H.E.A.R.T.S., KSE Scientific, Playground Studios, the Scrap Exchange, and ReCity partner Zweli’s Catering.

For more information on NCWorks NEXTGEN, powered by Eckerd Connects, visit
https://eckerd.org/nextgendurham.

Connell's Best

"ReCity is a place where I can come, no matter how I feel, no matter what I'm going through, I know I have somebody I can talk to and who can talk to me. ReCity is a clothesline. Helius Foundation and StepUp are the clothespins. You can't have one without the other." 
- Connell Green
 Connell Green and  Helius Foundation's  Geraud Staton discussing business dreams at ReCity Network. 

Connell Green and Helius Foundation's Geraud Staton discussing business dreams at ReCity Network. 

Connell Green’s story is unique, and then again, it’s not. People travel many roads to difficult life circumstances. In Connell’s case, a workplace injury forced him to start all over, while for others, it’s catastrophic illness, justice involvement, or leaving the foster system without a safety net. No matter the reason for disconnection from opportunity and prosperity, all of Durham’s residents deserve another chance.

At ReCity Network, 60 community leaders from over 30 non-profits, churches, and mission-driven businesses have risen to the occasion, helping one Connell Green at a time. Hear more about Connell's story and hear more stories like his on ReCity's website

ReWriting the Story of Our City, Together

In discussions in ReCity’s infancy there were several values that we deemed  “non-negotiable”, being community focused and asset-based, committing to long-term, sustainable impact, and being holistic and highly relational.  These were values that we desired to see represented in the entire network because they are aspects of a philosophy of community transformation that focuses on development.  For ReCity, development means that we are focused on people and relationships. This includes holistic care and service that recognizes the complexity of people and systems and the need to be thoughtful about all of it.  Development also means that we are working toward self-sufficiency and sustainability over generations, and that we are committed to a process rather than a product or a quick fix.  Dr. John Perkins, one of the pioneers and leading experts of Community Development, helps us to see that this philosophy is also infused with the understanding that all people have value and dignity.  This means that every person has something to contribute.  

When you see the word development, I hope you will read it with all the depth and richness with which we mean it.  "ReWriting the story of our city, together" is about a commitment over time, to go side by side from where we are to somewhere better.  We are already seeing that happen.  Even though we believe that development is a long term process, we are encouraged by what we have already seen: relationships forged, collaborations created, and opportunities expanded; business owners sharing lessons learned with necessity driven entrepreneurs, and young people involved with the justice system finding new pathways toward careers. 

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If you are interested in seeing Durham and the Triangle transformed through healthy community development, then I encourage you to get to know ReCity and join our family as we continue to rewrite our story - together.  

-ReCity Board Chair, KJ Hill

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The Making of Unity Fellows

"In the beginning, the ReCity concept was presented as being more efficient, with greater impact at the program level, not at the organizational level. But as we’ve all collaborated, we’ve helped not just our constituents, but each other as leaders, grow in our capabilities."
-PYO Executive Director, Julie Wells
 
  Durham Nonprofit leaders graduate from Duke-sponsored leadership program.

 Durham Nonprofit leaders graduate from Duke-sponsored leadership program.

 

The Making of Unity Fellows

This past fall, a cohort of ReCity Network non-profit leaders began an altogether new journey of leadership development via the Unity Fellows program, the brainchild of Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO) Executive Director Julie Wells.

The first round of participants included Geraud Staton of Helius Foundation, Michelle Young of Project Build, Adam Bernard of PYO, Syretta Hill of StepUp Durham, Reynolds Chapman of Durham Cares, Olive Joyner of Housing for New Hope, and Rob Shields of ReCity Network.

We sat down with Julie recently to find out how this breakthrough program, which challenges non-profit leaders on multiple fronts with an impact-first mentality, can change the game for the underserved communities through creating more effective non-profit organizations.

ReCity Network:  “How did you come up with the idea for Unity Fellows?”

Julie Wells: “Unity Fellows as a concept was sparked by three different dynamics at play over the last couple of years. I had ongoing conversations with Dr. Phail Wynn, Duke’s Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs. He has a strong non-profit development initiative, the Duke/Durham Fellows Program, and I was in their second cohort, where they were bringing together chosen non-profit leaders to support with the intention of getting them to stay in Durham and do good, effective work. My idea for Unity Fellows came from Phail’s response to the non-profit world here being so saturated. We talked often about why great non-profits have achieved greatness, as well as how we keep them great. He also liked, and supported, the merger of a pair of organizations (Yo:Durham and Partners for Youth) to become even stronger, more impactful non-profit as PYO.

Second, the emergence of ReCity has had a profound impact on our thinking, because of the collective work done within the network to strengthen and support each other. In the beginning, the ReCity concept was presented as being more efficient, with greater impact at the program level, not at the organizational level. But as we’ve all collaborated, we’ve helped not just our constituents, but each other as leaders, grow in our capabilities.

Then in the fall of 2016, I went through another incredible program, Leadership Triangle’s Transforming Leaders program. While I felt transformed and reinforced by my time in Transforming Leaders with Jesica Averhart and the amazing team there, I was sad when I left the program, as I was the only grassroots non-profit leader in a room filled by corporate executives. It was impactful training, but lacked the non-profit perspective in a big way.”

ReCity Network: “So, with those three organizations and their approaches to leadership converging to influence your thinking, what did you do next?”

Julie Wells: “Being at ReCity for PYO’s operations, we talked a lot with Rob Shields and other leaders in the network about how leadership and organizational stability are the two key ingredients for non-profit success.  We continued to push ReCity’s thinking to have an impact at organizational level and not just programmatic in approach. We also looked at creating a leadership institute for non-profits—while Duke’s program was great, it had price considerations that would be prohibitive for many non-profits, and it only lasts a week. While Transforming Leaders offered a longer program, it needed to translate better to the larger, non-corporate non-profit community.

So, we decided to bring the three—Duke, ReCity, and Leadership Triangle—together to form something new, starting with a pilot cohort of ReCity Network partners. Dr. Wynn and Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs believed the services of this unified effort would be so impactful, they granted the funds to take care of two-thirds of the $2200 in expense for each leader, requiring only $500 and a signed letter from the respective board chairs for each executive to participate.”

          PYO Executive Director, Julie Wells

         PYO Executive Director, Julie Wells

ReCity Network: “Tell us about the program’s core principles.”

Julie Wells: “We operate from the seven sustainability goals established by the North Carolina Center for Non-Profits. Each leader would select areas where they have gaps or desires for improvement. For example, at PYO we are focusing on board management, development/fundraising issues, and re-articulating our vision and values for the future.

As the cohort is moving through the curriculum, we’re finding areas where each leader needs work, such as questions related to financial stewardship. Together, we find synergies among our group of partners and work on deficits together when we have them in common. For example, a pair of organizations needing marketing support might enter a joint agreement to be able to hire an outside agency when one alone can’t afford outside help.”

ReCity Network: “We all know that great leadership programs have an impact on executives both while they go through the curriculum and of course after they graduate. What’s been the early impact you’ve observed, as your cohort is just past the mid-point of its eight-month journey?”

Julie Wells:  “in our very first session, leaders spoke about personal work journeys and the paths they took, from watching their parents' relationships to their jobs, to travel, education, and other influences. They found lots of commonalities. Especially compelling was the fact that several leaders had lived lives similar to the clients they serve, and that everyone was concerned with equity.

Also, we come together in agreement that impact for those we serve comes first, above all else, including ourselves. We are very intentional about saying, ‘It’s no longer about you, and you may learn that you’re not the right leader for your organizations.’ As we take that approach, we go through the history of each organization, how it’s evolved, and where it’s going, along with identifying the gaps in skills and leadership the organization needs to meet its goals for the greatest impact. We emphasize that this program’s biggest differentiator is that it’s not about strengthening individuals, but strengthening organizations.

As a result, I saw a majority of our participants feel really grateful to be able to tell their stories in a safe place, as some realized that they might be a great leader for the present, but not for the future. But that’s healthy, as long as they have strong transition and sustainability plans. So, they are making long-range vision plans for their own exit or to transition to roles that will better suit how they can maximize impact, such as heading up programming.”

ReCity Network:  “What’s next for the Unity Fellows program?”

Julie Wells: “Any time you do something for the first time, you see ways you want to improve, things you missed, and notice what work really to amplify on the next go-around.

We have some ideas already—there’s a great creative tension among the three partners: Duke, ReCity, and Leadership Triangle. One example is to center each Unity Fellows cohort around certain issues challenging the community. These could be environmental, or how to serve our elderly, or even an academic approach to ending poverty.

Also, we’ve noticed that this group is so effective because as ReCity partners and through our interactions prior to joining the network, there are pre-existing relationships with baked-in dynamics and synergies, which allow the group to progress in its understanding of each other and the issues the community faces at a much faster pace.

ReCity Network: “Ultimately, what do you see as the endgame for these groups as they graduate?”

Julie Wells:  “Actually, it’s a process of equipping these leaders, by stripping back the self and amplifying the organizational approach, to realize that the way forward is not through 4,000-plus non-profits operating in Durham, but a much smaller number of consolidated, efficient, focused organizations fighting the good fight, and doing it together even when they’re not formally merged, through strategic partnerships that benefit the organizations at leadership level and their respective constituents through better, more impactful programming that eliminates drivers of poverty and promotes drivers of success, all in an equitable fashion.”

Stay tuned for more information on Unity Fellows, a joint project of Duke University, ReCity Network, and Leadership Triangle.

 

 

Why I Support ReCity

the notion that we could bring together the work of lots of different non-profits and faith-based organizations, along with support from the mission-driven business community—and do it for greater impact on pervasive poverty and multi-generational social injustice—was too good for me to pass up.
 James Forrest is a business attorney, entrepreneur, angel investor, and charter member of the ReCity 100.

James Forrest is a business attorney, entrepreneur, angel investor, and charter member of the ReCity 100.

I first heard about ReCity Network a few years ago, prior to its launch, because some good friends were involved in the vision-casting for the organization. When I heard who was behind this big, bold idea, their credibility convinced me that I needed to give supporting ReCity some serious consideration.

Then, after my first exposure to the idea, I began exploring ReCity’s mission and intentions for fulfilling that mission, and the notion that we could bring together the work of lots of different non-profits and faith-based organizations, along with support from the mission-driven business community—and do it for greater impact on pervasive poverty and multi-generational social injustice—was too good for me to pass up.

We live in strange times. All too often, people look for ways to label each other instead of identifying and connecting with each other. That disappoints me on many levels, as a citizen, a person of faith, and just as a human being. I don’t want to fall into that trap, and I certainly want to support organizations that cut through the clutter of differences and find the commonalities that really matter in solving the problems that our neighbors face. I also want to be an example to my children and leave a lasting legacy for them. I believe that ReCity’s work right now will have a positive impact for generations to come.

To my fellow business leaders, I’ll offer you this challenge. If you want to connect with an organization that’s bringing lots of different folks together—from different faiths and denominations, political affiliations, etc.—and uniting them in a single purpose to drive greater equity for all, you can’t do better than ReCity Network.

This group will give you the perfect opportunity to get off the sidelines and do things that really impact people’s lives for the better. ReCity’s partner organizations are serving everything from basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter to more advanced services aimed at employment opportunities, health and financial wellness, entrepreneurship, social skills, and so much more. Better still, it’s my opinion that with every dollar I spend at ReCity, I can see the social impact return on my investment multi-fold.

Join me in supporting ReCity Network. In a short time, this organization has done so much, yet there’s much more to do. Please think about a weekly donation of $1, $10, or more. We’re looking for 30 sustaining members of the ReCity 100 by year-end, and we want more to join the cause in 2018. Thank you for your consideration.

James Forrest is a business attorney, entrepreneur, angel investor, and charter member of the ReCity 100

About ReCity Network

Founded in 2016, Durham’s ReCity Network serves a fast-growing group of non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven businesses serving the Bull City. The area’s first hub for nonprofit innovation and leadership, ReCity is home to a network of 60 community leaders driving a more equitable future for all.

Announcing the ReCity #First100 Campaign

 Help us reach our goal of 30 sustainers and $30,000 by December 31st!

Help us reach our goal of 30 sustainers and $30,000 by December 31st!

100 Leaders, 100 Sustainers, 1 Network.

2017 has been a tumultuous year in our nation. Every time we turn on the TV, it seems we’re faced with brokenness of all kinds: natural disasters, mass shootings, poverty and injustice. Sometimes, the tragedy is unavoidable; other times, it reveals the deep divisions that persist in our communities, and how far we still have to go to bridge those divides. And yet as we turn the page on a new year, there is reason for hope. 

Durham is one of those communities whose history is filled with both pain and hope. Recently Durham has been “on the rise” with a booming start-up culture and restaurant renaissance. But like many gentrifying urban cities, Durham also suffers from pervasive systemic poverty, rampant social injustice, and a great imbalance of opportunity. In a word, this incredible place we call home is also a case study in inequity. The rising tide simply isn’t lifting all boats.

And while there is much to lament both nationally and locally, there is also much to celebrate. Recent tragedies have revealed brokenness in us as individuals, communities and systems, but that revelation provides an opportunity for transformation. Here at ReCity, we’ve had a front row seat to watching the type of transformation that is possible when a community comes together and unites around a shared sense of purpose. 

In just over 12 months, our Network has grown to include 50 community leaders from over 30 nonprofits, churches and mission-driven businesses. We’ve hosted 180 community events, created 400 connections between our partners, and seen 8 sustained collaborations form to serve over 1,000 of our under-served neighbors. 

When you bring together a growing collection of social impact organizations—non-profits, faith-based groups, and mission-driven businesses—you soon find that inefficiencies are unmasked, synergies are found, and the impact grows exponentially and in short order. In our first year since inception, ReCity Network has become vital to building a more united Durham that serves as an example to other cities of how to include everyone in the dream.

I’d like to invite you to consider joining us on this journey—still early in our history—to sustain the impact we’re having in our community. Every organization needs sustainers. Whether you’re a church, a non-profit, a small business or a large one, in order to really thrive, you’re going to need a group of committed people investing in your success. 

As the New Year approaches, I encourage you to reflect on what you have to offer your community. 

Our goal for 2018 is to expand our efforts to serve 100 community leaders. Motivated by this goal, we’re looking for the ReCity #First100—a hundred sustainers who will commit to invest any amount on a recurring basis. Whether its $1 per day or even $1 per week, we need your help to catalyze the unity we’re striving for in our communities. 

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by adding the first 30 sustainers by December 31st. I promise you’ll gain more than you give. The need is great, but our resolve is greater. And we are doing this the right way—together.

Will you join us?

Think ReCity Network for #GivingTuesday

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We exist to fight pervasive, systemic poverty and injustice, using our accelerator space to connect and equip non-profits, churches, and mission-driven businesses determined to build a more equitable Durham for all.

On November 28, millions of people will go online or pull out their checkbooks to support their favorite non-profits, churches, and community organizations for Giving Tuesday, a global giving movement that started just a few years ago. The timing for Giving Tuesday is great, as people are pausing to reflect and be grateful for the blessings in their lives,. 

For Giving Tuesday 2017, I’m asking you to support ReCity Network. We exist to fight pervasive, systemic poverty and injustice, using our accelerator space to connect and equip non-profits, churches, and mission-driven businesses determined to build a more equitable Durham for all.

Running ReCity, like any other business or non-profit, takes lots of resources and and lots of effort. When we started this organization, our board had big dreams for a better Durham. That belief has been unwavering, and we are dreaming bigger than ever for 2018, looking to add more community partners, sponsors, and capacity-building resources for the incredible roster of organizations that call ReCity home.

You can help ReCity in three different ways this holiday season—the first two involve time and talent, while the last one requires treasure.

First, you can sign up to be a social ambassador for ReCity Network. We have a great system we’ve built for helping our advocates conduct outreach via their social networks in places like Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is sign up—we can share the details, and while no actual work is required of you, with this program you’ll maintain complete control of your accounts and ReCity-themed content. Please contact our staff at staff@recitynetwork.org to learn more! People are already signing up for this great opportunity, and we are so grateful to our early adopters.

Second, you can sign up to offer your talent and expertise as a business and professional advisor to the nonprofits and mission-driven businesses that form ReCity Network. Through a unique partnership with local software startup Protopia, we'r launching " ReCity Connect" an innovative digital networking platform that enables us to easily match advisors willing to donate small chunks of time to community leaders who have questions in areas like business strategy, legal, accounting, marketing, and much more. In other words, you’ll spend a little time offering a lot of talent for community impact. The platform goes live in January, but you can go ahead and pre-register now

Last, but certainly not least, we’re asking for treasure. It takes money to provide the space and resources our partners need to accelerate collaboration and impact in our community. I invite you to join the ReCity First 100 by becoming a monthly sustainer of our mission. Whether you give a dollar a week, a dollar a day, or even more, visit our campaign page to be a part of rewriting the story of our city together.

Thank you for all of the ways you support ReCity Network. Our first full year of operation has yielded many success stories, but it’s only the beginning. We are looking forward to making an even bigger impact in 2018, together.

Your Community is Hungry

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It’s Thanksgiving week, and for many of us, that means spending time with family, watching football and eating way too much food. During this season of giving thanks for what you’ve been given, I’d like to challenge you to think about what you have to give to enrich the lives of others around you. 

Your community is hungry. For some, that’s literal, while for others, they’re hungry for change. They want change that breaks the cycle of pervasive poverty in their families and neighborhoods. They want change that ends injustice, acknowledges privilege, and provides access and opportunity to a better life for all of us.

We are working for all these types of change at ReCity. By we, I mean not only the ReCity staff but especially the leadership and staff of the 33 organizations that make up our Network. These are the people working to make a difference in Durham, building a Bull City that’s better for all. Durham is one of the hottest places to be, especially if you’re a young entrepreneur or professional with access to capital. But for many of our citizens—too many of them—opportunity gaps persist, so here at ReCity, we’re committed to closing those gaps by connecting and equipping community leaders to accomplish more together than any of us can do alone. 

This is hard work, but we don’t shrink from it. It takes time, talent, and treasure. We all have time—some of us more than others due to family and work constraints. We all have God-given talents: some of us are creative, others are analytical, and others are blessed with great hands for building and fixing. We all have hard-earned treasure, too, and we know that when we give back to community-based organizations, it’s returned to us in many ways.

As we head into 2018, the question I pose to you is this—are you thinking about how you can give more of your time, talent, and treasure to the Bull City’s betterment in 2018?

I think a helpful way to frame this consideration is to think of how great restaurants and chefs—and we have hundreds of them in Durham—are known for a signature dish. Whether It’s the outside brown at the Pit, the Buff Brahmas at Dame’s Almost Famous Chicken and Waffles, or the Drunken Horse at Pompieri Pizza, we have some seriously good signaturedishes in this town.

How does that translate to our community? I like to think of my own signature dish as connecting people–to resources and to each other, such as helping one non-profit with great program ideas work with a church that knows people who would benefit from it.

Some of our partners are perhaps even better examples of what happens when you bring your signature dish to the community table. The team at StepUp Durham brings a high level of passion for fighting unemployment through job skills training. Partners for Youth Opportunity is known for excellence in non-profit operations, which increases multi-fold its impact on youth empowerment. Housing for New Hope help the homeless find a place to call their own. The Helius Foundation is fighting to add equity to entrepreneurship. 

So, what’s your signature dish? Next week, as a part of #GivingTuesday, we’ll be sharing ways to serve with ReCity in 2018. While you’re eating that extra helping of turkey, dressing, and all the fixins this week, I’d encourage you to identify your signature dish and exploit it to the hilt for a better Durham next year.

About ReCity Network

Founded in 2016, Durham’s ReCity Network serves a fast-growing group of non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven businesses serving the Bull City. The area’s first hub for nonprofit innovation and leadership, ReCity is home to a network of 40 community partners driving a more equitable future for all.

Celebrating Partners' Collective Impact

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This article originally appeared in StepUp Durham's November newsletter. Their pilot Step2 program, a nine-month curriculum centered on personal development, financial education, and career pathways, has graduated its very first cohort! The graduation ceremony was covered by Mark Ehrhardt, a guest writer from the ReCity Network:

I work for ReCity, a network of mission-minded organizations brought together by the conviction that collaborative relationships lead to collective impact.  One of the highlights of my work with ReCity is connecting with what our partner organizations are doing in the community.  I have ongoing opportunities to meet and celebrate Durham residents through these partner organizations, to think about the ways that ReCity makes connections  to better serve the people of Durham, and to witness how people love one another into more stable lives.

Last week, I had the privilege of joining StepUp for their first Step2 graduation. I witnessed program participants, their family, co-partners, and StepUp staff gathered to celebrate one another and reflect on the community of support they built over the past several months. After a meal provided by Zweli’s Catering, a StepUp Employer, everyone gathered to share appreciation and encouragement—and cake!

Jackie, one of the Step2 participants, described her journey through the StepUp program: “Let me tell you, I’ve gone overboard… I’m in a place now where I’m saving my money. And it’s not just for me. I’m doing this for my family.” Jackie was one of two participants referred to the Step2 program by Partners for Youth Opportunity, a community partner at ReCity that aims to “address the growing ‘opportunity gap’ resulting from the chronic disconnection of Durham youth from economic and educational opportunities.” Jackie’s grandson is in the PYO program, and Jackie felt especially compelled to model consistent program participation through her Step2 process. Jackie went on to share: “One time, my co-partner called just to say ‘Sorry I haven’t called.’  That’s when you know you’ve found someone who cares about you and who’s in your corner. Because who does that? No one does that.” 

I saw community at its best that night—a community of support that lives StepUp’s mission to assist “people seeking to improve their lives and develop stable careers” and ReCity’s mission to collaboratively rewrite the story of our city.  Keep celebrating and loving the people of Durham, StepUp!

 

Written by Mark Ehrhardt
Duke Divinity Intern at ReCity Network

One Campaign Events Calendar

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Partnering with Mission-Minded For-Profits

In August, ReCity, which offers space for co-working, meetings, and events, will present an opportunity to have 40 Bull City companies hold free meetings in ReCity’s downtown hub. Dubbed the Race for Space Challenge, the organization is launching a campaign for 40 area companies looking to make a difference in Durham to hold meetings in ReCity’s two conference rooms and meeting spaces during the 40 days spanning August 21-October 13.  

“We’ve seen the power of this place and the way it affects people,” said Shields. “We know that if we expose ReCity to 40 new companies, whether it’s for a client meeting or bringing their whole team over, seeing area non-profits and churches working together to change lives will make many for-profits want to help, too.”

Celebrating a Year of Breakthrough Success, Positioning for the Future

Throughout September, ReCity will be celebrating its first birthday in several ways, with details on a special luncheon for the first-year partners and a concert.  “We are thrilled that our first year has been such a huge success,” said Tucker Stevens, head of operations at ReCity. “We owe that success to our visionary board of directors and the early-adopting organizations who have formed a tight-knit, fearless, and determined family of great organizations at ReCity.  In the near future, we’ll be sharing some information on how we intend to make our first anniversary month special.”

Non-Profit LaunchPad:  a Competition to Promote Social Entrepreneurship

Later in the campaign during the months of September and October, ReCity will host Non-Profit LaunchPad, a  virtual pitch competition for mission-driven entrepreneurs looking to form new non-profits or take going non-profit concerns to greater levels of impact through the help of the community.  As part of its mission to provide incubator space and resources to purposeful for-profits, ReCity will award competition winners access to multiple network resources, including co-working, meeting, and event space, as well as access to experts in legal, marketing, leadership, and business planning who will mentor the cohort of contest winners.

“With partners like the Forrest Firm, a certified B Corporation, and Helius Foundation, an incubator of necessity-driven entrepreneurs, ReCity is uniquely positioned in the Triangle market as a nurturing place for social entrepreneurs,” said Shields. “We have affordable, generous resources and a thriving community that will see to it that those with vision will succeed.”

Inaugural ReCity Banquet

At the conclusion of the campaign, ReCity’s leadership and partners will host the organization’s inaugural ReCity One Banquet, a fundraiser to catapult the organization to even bigger heights in 2018.  Look for announcements coming soon about this November event that will leave the Network even healthier and stronger in its missional impact for changing Durham to a place where all people have a stake in opportunity for success.

 

Watch this space in the weeks to come as we release more details on individual events and campaigns that make up ReCity Network’s ReCity One campaign!

Get Ready for ReCity Network’s Race for Space

 
 

People are talking about the seemingly overnight success of ReCity Network in attracting a thriving group of nearly four dozen non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven companies to coalesce for social impact across the Bull City.

Now, as ReCity approaches its first anniversary, we are collaborating to build out a much bigger base of corporate partners. Some, like Agape Lawn Care, Forrest Firm, and the Durham Chamber, already see the power of purpose and how exposing their companies to the work of ReCity and its network members benefits all.

In exchange for free use of our space for corporate meetings, we’d like to explore with more business leaders how they might contribute to the rising tide of opportunity in the lives of people touched by our Network.  

The premise of our Race for Space Challenge is simple: we believe that when for-profit leaders and professionals experience this special place first-hand, they want to be a part of it in ways that fit for them.  To that end, we are looking for 40 companies to simply host a meeting on-site at ReCity over the course of 40 days, using one of our conference/meeting rooms at Durham’s home for social impact.

What’s the potential impact of 40 companies on-site at ReCity in 40 days? We believe that the sustaining power of commitments from these organizations could bring new mission-driven for-profits as tenants at ReCity, partners to share business expertise as benefits to our non-profits and faith-based groups, and a resource base to fuel as-yet-conceived new ventures to provide opportunity for all of Durham.

Just as we’ve seen the early adoption from our non-profit and faith-based communities save tens of thousands of dollars in impact revenue for the underserved, we’d like to see our entrepreneurs and corporate executives stand up and be counted for a Durham that’s more equitable for all.

How can you help? Look at your business or the company you work for, and ask yourself, “What kind of meeting or event could we have at ReCity between August 21 and October 13.” Or, refer a friend or colleague to do the same. We are convenient to almost any Triangle business that wants a meeting with purpose, one where you can accomplish the business at-hand, as well as expose your team to the great work happening here to equip and empower underserved neighbors in the Bull City.  
Act now to take advantage of this great opportunity by visiting ReCity Network’s Race for Space page to select your meeting time. Don’t forget to forward to a friend!

The Power of Partnership: The Helius Foundation

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At ReCity Network, we’re all about collaboration. We’re not just a coworking facility or event space, and we’re not just rewriting the story of our city—we’re doing all of this together. Continuing our series on the power of partnership, we turn our attention to The Helius Foundation and the many partnerships Executive Director Geraud Staton has formed within the ReCity Network.

The story of Helius and its partnerships illustrates how building a network within a network can power social entrepreneurship and community development. Helius provides free training, mentoring, and coaching for necessity-driven entrepreneurs (NDEs).

Officially, about 14 percent of entrepreneurs are NDEs, but this statistic only includes registered businesses. “Probably 90% of the people I’ve worked with don’t have registered businesses, so I suspect the numbers are much higher,” said Staton. “There are a surprising number of entrepreneurs in communities like Northeast Central Durham doing their ‘side hustle’ to supplement their income,” he said. Helius’ goal is to take what often starts as a side business and turn it into a fair living wage—or even more.

When people in underserved communities are asked what their community needs to thrive, the overwhelming answer is “jobs.” Most people are thinking in terms of a huge company moving into the community and bringing thousands of jobs, but Staton has a better solution. “People have ideas,” he said. “But they don’t even know that they can achieve their dreams, much less have the tools to know how. If we can help entrepreneurs dream big and achieve those dreams, they can also offer employment to the community and allow people to do something they love, something they believe in—more than just a job.”

Helius is just 18 months old and already working with 28 NDEs, but they’re not doing it alone. They’re currently partnering with three ReCity members: REAL Durham, StepUp Durham, and Partners for Youth Opportunity. Armed with the belief that non-profits are stronger together, Staton pointed out that trust is not always easy to come by with the communities that they serve. “People are naturally skeptical,” he said. “So, if I can partner with an organization that’s already built that trust, they’re able to transfer that trust to my organization, and vice versa.”

Helius serves as an ally to REAL Durham clients looking to become financially stable through entrepreneurship. Camryn Smith, program coordinator for Real Durham, sees Helius as a resource to help her clients get out of poverty through entrepreneurship, and Helius sees her as a source of credibility for its organization in the communities where Helius serves.

With StepUp Durham, Executive Director Syretta Hill and her team identify clients in their program who are better suited to becoming entrepreneurs than pursuing traditional employment—StepUp’s core mission—and refer them to Helius for a matching solution set.

With Partnership for Youth Opportunity, Staton has seen the benefits of working with other non-profit leaders to strengthen and stabilize Helius Foundation for a sustainable future in Durham. PYO Executive Director Julie Wells has served as a coach to Staton on operation issues for non-profits and has referred Helius a paid intern for this summer.

“All three of our ReCity partners—REAL Durham, StepUp Durham, and Partners for Youth Opportunity—have been crucial to our development at Helius, both with the clients we serve and internally with developing our operational integrity and long-term focus,” added Staton.

Building on this shared trust has allowed Helius to shore up and expand its programs. In addition to mentoring NDEs, they’re also offering micro loans to their clients, hosting business networking events, and working with children to instill the entrepreneurial spirit at an early age.

Staton’s advice to ReCity members is to fully take advantage of everything ReCity has to offer. With ReCity being at 100 percent capacity and soon to add more, there are a lot of resources available. “There are people to ask about practically everything. Just do it,” Staton said. “To fully take advantage of your ReCity membership, you have to fully take advantage of all the resources here, including the leaders of ReCity itself, Rob Shields and Tucker Stevens. Everyone here is great to work with as we build for a better future.”

For more information on Helius Foundation and its growing impact on necessity-driven entrepreneurs in Durham, visit their website at www.heliusnc.com.

ReCity Network Holds Summer Open House on June 27

We hear it often, when people join churches, volunteer or raise money for their favorite charities, or join a movement. “I wanted to be part of something bigger.”

The staff, sponsors, and nearly four dozen partner organizations of the ReCity Network invite you to become a part of something bigger. A story writ large across the pages of an entire city, Durham, North Carolina. At ReCity Network, we’re tackling long-standing and systemic problems that cities face: pervasive unemployment, multi-generational poverty, opportunity ceilings of racism, sexism, and more—all factors that place prosperity in the hands of a few and leave many behind.

We’re turning the tide, and we’re doing it together, as we re-write the story of our city. Since our launch last September, more than 45 faith-based organizations, non-profits, and mission-driven companies have convened to work more efficiently in collaboration. The results: shared impact, shared success for all who are touched by the network. Already, we are breaking down barriers and shattering ceilings, and the evidence is clear: more than 60 percent of our membership organizations—all achieving greater success together—are led by women and people of color.

We call ourselves a social impact hub. What does that mean? It means that we’re a connection point for those who want to promote the social good of Durham, whether that means officing together, programming together, donating time, talent, and financial resources together, or incubating new, impact-minded entrepreneurs together.

Join us for ReCity Network’s Summer Open House on June 27, from 5:30-7:30. When you visit, you’ll realize that we are so much more than the 12,000 feet of co-working, meeting, and event spaces that so many people call home for their city-wide impact efforts. You’ll see that the network is fueled by the backgrounds, personalities, and visions for the city—both diverse and shared—of the church and non-profit leaders, as well as the social entrepreneurs engaging in profit for purpose.

Please register on Eventbrite and share our Open House with your networks. See the space. Meet the members. Be a part of something special, something bigger than yourself. Be a part of rewriting the story of our city, together at ReCity Network.

The Power of Partnership: Partners for Youth Opportunity and StepUp Durham

At ReCity Network, we’re all about collaboration. We’re not just a coworking facility or event space, and we’re not just rewriting the story of our city—we’re doing all of this together. This is the first of many stories we’re telling on our blog about ReCity members coming together to face challenges in our community. These stories demonstrate the power of partnering with other ReCity members to provide layered services and have a deeper impact on the people of Durham.

Partners for Youth Opportunity (PYO) and StepUp Durham are two ReCity partner organizations that came here with the right mindset of being collaborative and seeing how they could make a bigger impact on their clients through working together. They’ve also found that, by partnering together, they can help their donors make a bigger impact with their money. Every dollar that a donor gives goes further, impacting the missions of multiple organizations. Working as partners doesn’t dilute the impact of donor dollars, it actually makes that impact grow. “StepUp Durham has only been around for 18 months, but we wanted to have a collective impact quickly,” said Syretta Hill, executive director of StepUp Durham. “ReCity helps us do that. We’re able to build relationships and deepen partnerships organically and in an authentic way.”

The problems that our partners are trying to solve are all intertwined—housing, food, employment, education. Any one of them alone is big. PYO and StepUp have made a conscious effort to keep their scope small and serve, say, 100 people well rather than 500 poorly. By keeping their scope small, they’re able to tackle solving several big problems. Providing people with multiple layers of support allows them to become more self-sufficient and grow into a positive contributor to the community. Every win that organizations create together turns into a give-back to the community.

Partnership also has a positive impact on the organizations themselves. By being as effective as possible, even with a limited number of clients, the executive directors are able to firm up their programming, stabilize their organizations, and focus on bringing in donations to sustain and hopefully grow their missions. “We can achieve better results and have a deeper impact if we’re hyper-focused,” said Julie Wells, executive director of PYO. “When we provide comprehensive services through our partnerships, we can solve several issues for our clients.”

PYO and StepUp now have multiple programs they’re working on together. One is the Career Academy, a two-week work training program. Previously, StepUp had targeted this program toward their adult population, but they’ve now translated the program and are delivering training to PYO’s youth population as well. Another partnership program they’re providing is called Step2—a longer, nine-month program focused on helping people develop stability in many areas of their lives. This program is similar to PYO’s comprehensive model, but is tailored for adults. The two organizations are also currently working on other joint initiatives, including a program to tackle the effects of incarceration on family members—a common problem in Durham and many other cities.

Both Julie and Syretta agreed that for ReCity partners to get the most out of their membership, they need to be partnering with other organizations. Their advice is to know yourself well enough to know your gaps and look for ways to collaborate authentically with others. Partnering with other organizations can make you look unique and different, and you should be leveraging that. If you’ve been here a number of months and haven’t formed any partnerships, it’s time to get started!

Durham Chamber, ReCity Network Join Forces for Economic, Social Impact

Emerging social impact hub forms strategic partnership with economic development leader

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(DURHAM, NC) The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, a bold, dynamic organization supporting the needs of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, and ReCity Network, an emerging hub for social impact with non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven businesses, announce a new strategic partnership to build on the Bull City’s record of economic success and drive next-generation leadership.

Under the terms of the agreement, ReCity Network joins dozens of leading organizations as a member of the Chamber 2.0 key investor group, part of a Durham Chamber strategic initiative to shape the city’s future for sustained economic development through shared vision, shared ideas, creation of business opportunities, and solving statewide problems.

In addition, ReCity Network will begin hosting multiple Durham Chamber meetings and events at its 12,000-square-foot co-working, meeting, and event space located near the intersection of Broadway and Mangum Streets in downtown Durham. Events will be selected by ReCity and Durham Chamber leadership in an effort to promote collaboration among the organizations and their respective members, as the two groups focus on social entrepreneurship, impact, and innovation.

ReCity Network and the Durham Chamber will also cross-promote events and initiatives to their respective member bases.

According to Rob Shields, founding Executive Director of ReCity Network, the Durham Chamber strategic partnership is not just a big win for the emerging social impact hub, but for the city itself. “The Durham Chamber has, over the last decade, set the gold standard for collaboration and innovation for local economic development associations,” said Shields. “The leadership team at the chamber is known for being flexible and attentive to the needs of all stakeholders, including our core constituents of non-profits, churches, and mission-driven organizations. We are very proud to join forces with the Durham Chamber and build a future of shared success for all who call Durham home.”

Geoff Durham, President and CEO of the Durham Chamber, believes that ReCity has a big role to play in defining Durham’s future in positive ways. “The ReCity Network represents the very best of what Durham has to offer,” said Sternberg. “Within a matter of months, dozens of mission-driven organizations have coalesced with this organization, the impact has been both immediate and widespread for community empowerment. We believe that the more citizens share in the success enjoyed by Durham’s entrepreneurial and corporate communities, the greater we all will benefit.”

About ReCity Network
Founded in 2016, ReCity Network is Durham’s hub for social impact. More than three dozen non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven businesses call the ReCity Network’s 12,000-square-foot home for co-working, meetings, and events aimed at fostering collaboration and sparking innovation that defines a new era of shared success among all residents of the Bull City.

About the Durham Chamber
The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven organization that serves members by helping to create and sustain a healthy economic climate. Established in 1906, the Chamber has been an integral part of the Durham community for more than 100 years. Businesses, organizations, and agencies who choose to be a part of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce do so because it is a thriving, pro-active business leadership organization.

Media Contacts:

ReCity Network: Rob Shields, Executive Director
Email: rob@recitynetwork.org
Phone: 919-368-2513
www.recitynetwork.org

Durham Chamber: Myra Wooten, Director of Public Relations and Communications
Email: mwooten@durhamchamber.com
Phone: 919-328-8722
www.durhamchamber.com

Meet the Partners: Chick-fil-A, Forrest Firm, and Parklife Communications

At ReCity Network, we strive to work in partnership with area businesses that believe in our mission to create social impact in the Bull City. Several companies have signed up to promote and benefit the network in different ways. Here’s a handy guide to some of the active partners currently involved with ReCity Network and how you can benefit from their services.

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Chick-fil-A
Have you noticed that we’ve been serving a Chick-fil-A lunch for ReCity members on the second Tuesday of the month? This partnership began in April, courtesy of Matt Rice, Director of Personnel at Chick-fil-A’s Roxboro Road location in North Durham. In his role at Chick-fil-A, Matt leads and develops the staff of team members and leaders within his store.

Matt believes in our mission at ReCity and had this to say about the organization’s contribution to network: “We are passionate about influencing the community through a variety of ways, with food being a major part of that. As we continue to impact our community with our food, our service, and our skills, I could not imagine ReCity not being a part of that larger picture as they impact so many lives and organizations.

Visit Matt and the team at Chick-fil-A on Roxboro Road in Durham. Watch your email for reminders for monthly Chick-fil-A luncheons at ReCity!

Forrest Firm
One of our first corporate partners, the Forrest Firm is involved in the network in several ways. You may have seen their sign, noting their sponsorship of our coffee bar. The Forrest Firm team has also held one of its monthly firm-wide meetings in our event space, and their attorneys meet clients and prospective clients in our conference rooms.

Perhaps of greatest value to our members has been the firm’s commitment to hold actual office hours, offering free consultations on-site at ReCity. These office hours represent a great opportunity to ask lawyers the questions that keep you awake at night, with regard to running a sound non-profit enterprise.

You’ll typically see a rotating cast of attorneys visiting with us on Tuesday afternoons, including David Morris, who has helped our members with issues like mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance through running effective boards of directors; Leslie Lasher, an employment attorney who helps non-profits with matters and policies regarding both volunteers and paid staff; and Ed Timberlake, a trademarks specialist who helps non-profits understand how to establish and protect their brands in the same way that for-profit address these needs.

Learn more about the Forrest Firm, a certified B corporation operating as a for-profit for the good of the community, at www.forrestfirm.com. Watch our communications channels for upcoming office hours and workshops from David, Leslie, and Ed!

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Parklife Communications
In addition to the Forrest Firm, we’ve had another professional services company partner with our network recently. Parklife Communications, led by Brian and Jeanette Castle, is helping ReCity with its own communications (blog, newsletter, social media, and more) and co-working here. Like the Forrest Firm, they are committed to serving the network—starting in June, they will be keeping office hours on Wednesday afternoons.

These office hours represent a great opportunity to talk through your organization’s messaging and communications strategies with people who represent a host of entrepreneurs and executives.

In business since 2009, Brian and Jeanette have focused on bringing content-driven marketing services to small and mid-sized businesses, including non-profits and mission-driven organizations. They joined ReCity, according to Brian, “because we love telling great stories. I’ve always said that what we do is less like painting from a blank canvas and more like sculpting in collaboration with our clients. The better the clay, the better the sculpture, and we couldn’t resist having a hand in literally rewriting the story of the city through the work of this incredible group of people.”

Learn more about Parklife, a content services firm for entrepreneurs, executives, and thought leaders, at www.parklifecomm.com. Watch our communications channels for more information on Brian and Jeanette’s office hours!

Take advantage of all the benefits of ReCity Network membership. We look forward to adding more valuable benefits along our journey together. Thanks to these companies for committing to our mission of promoting social impact and greater levels of shared success for all who call Durham home.

Race & the City: ReCity Network Hosts Forum with Sho Baraka, Durham Community Leaders

A packed house of nearly 150 attendees from many walks of life joined ReCity Network last Thursday for “Race & the City,” an intense, uplifting evening discussing race relations in Durham and the nation. The event featured a diverse panel of community leaders, including: Perry Tankard, associate pastor of Grace Park Church; Reynolds Chapman, executive director of DurhamCares; Camryn Smith, program coordinator for REAL Durham; and Miriam Valle, director of operations at Partners for Youth Opportunity. Maliek Blade, diversity coordinator for event sponsor Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, led the panel in discussion.

A visual presentation set the stage for the evening’s events, hitting attendees squarely with a variety of statistics illustrating disparate treatment and outcomes among racial communities in Durham and the United States:

  • In Durham, if you are black, you are 4.5x more likely to be searched after a traffic violation than if you are white.
  • White applicants with a felony conviction are more likely to be hired than a black applicant with no criminal history.
  • White families hold 90% of the national wealth. Latinos hold 2.3%. Black families hold 2.6%.

The evening kicked off with local minister and DJ Perry Tankard interviewing influential Christian hip-hop artist and panelist, Sho Baraka. During the interview, Baraka walked the crowd through his own spiritual journey and coming-of-age story as an activist for both the black community and the evangelical church in America. “I never wanted to be a Christian rapper,” said Baraka. “But the Lord gifted me in the area of communication, so I used it to reach people like me with an identity crisis.”

The panel engaged in a deep discussion of the issues of oppression and experiencing what Martin Luther King called the “beloved community.” From a white perspective, panelist Reynolds Chapman pointed out, “It’s easy for white people to not have to deal with issues like politics and race. But we’re the ones doing the oppressing. If we don’t have conversations, oppression will continue.” The sentiment was echoed by panelist Perry Tankard with, “A lot of oppression happens without people even realizing it. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, a lot of the problems can break down.”

Some of the more powerful testimony of the evening came from a pair of women on the panel, Miriam Valle and Camryn Smith. As a Mexican-American who came to the U.S. at age four, Valle remarked on how surprised she was to learn from Sho how similar they are. “I felt invisible so many times,” said Valle. “Sometimes people ask offensive questions due to lack of knowledge.” Fighting back tears, Valle eloquently described the social effort required by state of “otherness” felt by Hispanic-Americans in 2017 by saying, “I’ve learned to talk to people so they can learn who I am, what my culture represents.”

Smith issued an emphatic call, rousing the crowd to action, saying, “Relationships ain’t gonna cut it.” She eloquently summarized the emotion of the evening by reminding the crowd that “We are all created in the image of God. Until we can begin to have shared analysis and transfer of power, nothing will change.”

The ReCity Network thanks our panelists, community members, and our special guest, Sho Baraka, for contributing to a game-changing event in our city. The evening’s discussion served as a powerful reminder of ReCity’s mission to develop trust, learn each other’s stories, and collaborate to rewrite the story of our city.

Be sure to check out WRAL's coverage of our event as well.

Race & the City: An Interview with DurhamCares Reynolds Chapman

 
 
"Our vision is to see communities holistically restored, with churches fully engaged in that process of transformation."
-Reynolds Chapman, Durham Cares

 

Reynolds Chapman is Executive Director of DurhamCares, whose mission is to mobilize Durham residents to love their neighbors. He is a minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and actively involved in the Christian Community Development Association. He lives with his wife, Katelyn, in Durham. He is serving as a panelist during our Q&A discussion with local community leaders, directly after Race & The City: A Community Forum w/ Sho Baraka

        Why are conversations on Race so important for cities like Durham? 

Race is America's original sin and has impacted every corner of our society, from laws, to industry, to theology. If communities are to be restored, racism, and the entire construct of race, needs to be recognized, repented of, and dismantled."
What is DurhamCares' mission?
The mission of DurhamCares is to mobilize Durham residents to love their neighbors. We do this by providing resources and facilitating events that foster holistic, community-driven approaches to seeking the flourishing of all people in the city.
What makes your work unique?
Our work is unique because we help people reimagine how they engage with their community, and we mobilize them to put healthy postures of engagement into action. Our approach is based on the philosophy of Christian Community Development, which is essentially asset-based community development through a biblical lens.
What is your vision for Durham? 
Our vision is to see communities holistically restored, with churches fully engaged in that process of transformation. 
Learn more about DurhamCares and our mission here

                           -Reynolds Chapman, DurhamCares