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.
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