« Older Entries Newer Entries » Subscribe to Latest Posts

30 Nov 2012

Stop the Violence, Swarm the Vote

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

Hillside Students Take a Stand

By Bryan Proffitt

Young people in African-American and Latino communities walk around with targets on their backs.  They are the most likely to draw the suspicion and harassment of the police.  They are the most likely to struggle with unemployment and poverty.  They are the most likely to drop out or be kicked out of schools.  And, most tragically, they are also the most likely to face violence, often at the hands of one another.

Luckily, however, they are the most likely to take a stand.

On Friday, October 26th, over 200 students, staff, and parents from Hillside High took that stand by participating in the “Stop the Violence, Swarm the Vote,” march to honor the victims of violence and take positive action to improve our communities.  Along the way to early voting, we held a vigil in remembrance of the victims of violence.  The energy was high.  The feet were lively.  And the faces of all told the story: we are tired of living in a world stacked against us and we’re anxious to change it.

A few weeks earlier, in response to an increase in fights at school, a new student activist club supported by People’s Durham staff (and since named Each One Teach One) organized a forum to discuss the role of violence in our communities and how young people could take the lead in ending it.  The timing of this event also coincided, unfortunately but aptly, with the murder of a Hillside senior.  The school community was devastated and looking for answers.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Nov 2012

Trick or Treating for Dignity and Respect

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Jade Brooks

     

Lincoln residents were supposed to be out of their apartments this Halloween (after being given only 30 days to move out). But there are over 150 people who haven’t found a place to stay and many who don’t want to leave. So the community gathered two nights ago for a Halloween block party. Elders in wigs danced to Marvin Gaye and hip hop, little kids in robot costumes scavenged for lollipops, and residents packed two tables with buns and soda while they waited for the grill to get hot. If anyone was driving by last night, they wouldn’t have realized that the people dancing were facing homelessness; that they’ve been treated like they don’t matter. People driving by would have seen the Lincoln that still exists: a community of mothers, grandmothers, kids, fathers, and workers who want safe and stable homes for themselves and their families.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Nov 2012

Lincoln Residents Have City Reps Running Scared, But Why?

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

Bernadette Currie asks to see Rick Hester at NIS Monday

Bernadette Currie asks to see Rick Hester at NIS Monday

By Aiden Graham

This Monday residents from Lincoln Apartments took a stand.  A delegation went down to the city’s  Neighborhood Improvement Services office in hopes of getting an inspection report listing the code violations that were reported to the owners of the apartment complex earlier this fall.  Despite conflicting claims about the reason for the Lincoln Foundation’s financial troubles, in many ways these code violations were the final straw.  Because the Foundation couldn’t afford to fix them they sent all the tenants in their 150-unit complex a 30-day eviction notice on September 28.

After one of the several meetings among the residents to organize resistance to the closure, NIS representative Rick Hester had promised Bernadette Currie a copy of the report.  Yet when residents showed up at NIS a week or so later with a handful of community supporters and a reporter and photographer from The Indy, that story changed, and not for the first time.  For more than three weeks Lincoln residents and members of the press have been trying to access these reports.  Three weeks may not seem like an unreasonable amount of time to navigate local government bureaucracy, but when you only have 30 days to find a new place to live, it’s more time than anyone should have to wait.

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Oct 2012

They Stole My Joy

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Jade Brooks

Durham, NC
October 29th, 2012

Sherri Mason looks on during Monday's press conference

Sherri Mason looks on during Monday’s press conference

“It feels like they stole my joy,” Sherri Mason, a resident of  Lincoln Apartments said about her eviction in front of Durham City Hall Monday evening, as ice-cold wind whipped through the alleyway. About twenty Lincoln residents and supporters from People’s Durham marched from the Department of Social Services to City Hall carrying signs that read “Save Lincoln Apartments,” “Don’t Be Unfair, Care,” and “Need Our Community Back” in the first of two actions Lincoln leaders have planned for this week.

Back at the end of September the company that owns Lincoln Apartments sent notices to everyone living in the 150-unit apartment complex and told them they had to move out by Halloween. Soon after, residents started to fight back. They began holding weekly meetings, inviting city officials, and demanding the city do something to be sure they have a place to live.
Read the rest of this entry »

31 Oct 2012

Waiting for the Levees to Break

Posted by dandydust. 1 Comment

Aerial view of Hurricane KatrinaThe Crisis of Affordable Housing in Durham

A Storm of Sorts

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hammered the Gulf Coast of the United States. Over 1800 people died. The overwhelming majority were poor, Black, and stuck in a system that had diregarded them for decades. Thousands were then scattered across the U.S., unable to return to the town that they loved and called home. Today, New Orleans is “rebuilding” a version of itself that has no place for the low-income residents that made it the vibrant center of Black culture known worldwide.

Just yesterday Hurricane Sandy unleashed similar devastation in New York City. We don’t yet have a sense of what the fallout from this storm will be, but we’ve already heard that public housing residents have been forcibly evacuated to emergency shelters, once again those hit first and hardest.

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Oct 2012

Get Out The Vote 2012

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

This election season People’s Durham has been out in full force doing “Get Out The Vote” work in Precinct 13, the neighborhood where the McDougald Terrace public housing community is located.  Below is information that we shared with residents about work we’re doing in the neighborhood and the importance of voting to advancing those struggles.

People's Durham's LogoTwo Durhams – Separate & Unequal

Our city’s neighborhoods are segregated. Poor people live in different neighborhoods than rich people. Black and Latino people live in different neighborhoods than white people.

These neighborhoods are also unequal. The schools, housing, and grocery stores in the poor, Black, and Latino neighborhoods are worse than the ones serving white or wealthy neighborhoods.

Read the rest of this entry »

29 Oct 2012

Why We Still Can’t Wait

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Bryan Proffitt

SNCC image“If there is no struggle, there is no progress”  Frederick Douglass

Violence
The Durham community, and the Hillside family specifically, recently lost a young person to a violent act.  We are saddened by this fact.  This was someone’s friend.  Someone’s son.  Someone’s brother.  Kaaylon had a beautiful smile and a caring heart.  We will miss him.

Unfortunately, we are not surprised.  For so many young African-Americans, a vicious cycle of school struggles, drugs, poverty, police, prisons, and violence seems unavoidable, no matter what choices one makes.  And while we encourage better decision making to reduce the likelihood that violence will occur, we know that the violence that took Kaaylon’s life is not just about bad choices.  If it were, it wouldn’t be so heartbreakingly common.
Read the rest of this entry »

29 Oct 2012

What I Learned Down South This Summer

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Kimberly Rodriguez

People's Durham members help canvass with Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

People’s Durham members help canvass with Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

This summer I took a trip to Mississippi and New Orleans. I went with an organization called People’s Durham. We took this trip to know more about other organizations like ours, how they do their work, and how they get things done.

Down in Mississippi we met with an organization that is helping a man named Chokwe Lumumba run for mayor of Jackson, Mississippi.  I was surprised by how positive the people were about this man, and how they put so much hard work and effort into getting things done. We also went canvassing with this organization. We walked through neighborhoods and just talked to some people. Just being fifteen years old, and having a chance to canvas was a good experience for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

19 Aug 2012

Our School, Our Voice, Our Vote

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Jasmine Grays

Students Leading the Forum

Students Leading the Forum

As we all know, the May and November elections are of critical importance to the state of our schools, our communities, and our state.  In keeping with the Committee for Democratic Education’s commitment to organizing students, teachers, school staff and parents to empower working-class communities and people of color, CDE spent the months of April and May adding more than 250 Durham Public Schools students to the state’s voter lists. CDE also surveyed more than 500 students about the state of their schools.

To help that mission, CDE planned three events relating to our “Our School, Our Voice, Our Vote” campaign. On April 19, CDE held a workshop at Hillside High School where our goal was for  participants to learn about and discuss the following topics: the structure of the school system, how to act together to change it, and what role the upcoming election will play in our schools and communities.
Read the rest of this entry »

19 Aug 2012

Lessons for Our Vote Campaign

Posted by dandydust. No Comments

By Dorothy Nam

Our Vote Campaign Shirt

Our Vote Campaign Shirt

Over the months of April and May, I played a leadership role in a Committee for Democratic Education (CDE) campaign to organize high school students.  If there was anything that I learned from organizing a project (and trust me, I learned a lot), I learned that it takes a great deal of time, effort and effective team work in order to get satisfactory results.

Before joining CDE, I had no idea how many puzzle pieces had to be utilized to form one giant puzzle. Although these puzzle pieces were “simple”- for example, sending emails and text messages and making phone calls to all of our previous contacts- the puzzle pieces seemed complex when each step had to be completed accordingly in order for the whole picture to jive. For this particular project, CDE decided that we should engage all the high schools in the Durham Public School system by registering new voters, distributing surveys to the high schoolers about how they felt towards their schools, and conduct several workshops and forums to spread awareness about the upcoming primary election.
Read the rest of this entry »

  • Subscribe

  • Donate Online

  • Events

    People's Durham Free Lunch Program
    • July 1st - July 31st
      Monday - Friday · 11:00am-1:30pm
      Location: McDougald Terrace Community Center
    PD Leadership Retreat
    • August 4-11, 2013
      Location: TBA
  • Post Categories