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.