North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has partnered with the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Inc. (DCABPI) to promote social justice initiatives and community engagement in Durham.
Launched in January, the focus of the initiative is to enhance African-American communities in east Durham. “Unifying Community Voices,” as the community engagement project is known, was developed in conjunction with the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department and other municipal agencies.
“We are grateful to NCCU for collaborating with us in these monumental projects,” said DCABPI Chairman Frederick Ravin, who added that several other “amazing companies and organizational partners” are also on board. “And we hope to partner with many more along the way.”
Among those supporting the project are Duke Energy Foundation, Microsoft, the City of Durham and Courageous Conversations, a nonprofit consulting group that promotes conversations about race.
A number of organizations on NCCU’s campus are already actively engaged in the project, including the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Computer Information Science Program, Department of Mass Communication, James E. Shepard Memorial Library and the Civic Engagement Work Group.
Paid internships and community service opportunities for NCCU students are available through the program. To be considered for internships, students must submit résumés and letters of recommendation. A select number of students will have an opportunity for a paid fellowship with the Courageous Conversation Global Foundation.
Students also may earn course credit for their participation. In one example, development of a video highlighting the historical significance of DCABPI earned a video-production course credit for participating students.
As part of the Courageous Conversation Series, public conversations about race and subjects such as discorporate investment in Durham’s minority community are being addressed.
Overall, the effort strives to eradicate inequalities systemically instituted by race and support reinvestment in Durham’s underserved communities, enabling the reclamation of a proud heritage.
NCCU students identified as DCABPI Scholars assisted in coordinating a two-day multiracial dialogue about the roots of racial disparities. The group also coordinated a virtual solution-oriented forum series to provide high school and college students with valuable information to use in the future.
The group is engaging Durham's youth through a project known as Creative Art Expression About Race. Young people are asked to reflect and react through creative expression to intergenerational conversations and issues surrounding race and social justice. Their creations will be displayed via social media and at virtual exhibitions.
Throughout the year, DCABPI and NCCU student interns will deliver a communication engagement model for the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department to help strengthen the dialogue, address local citizen concerns, and discover additional ways to help improve conditions for Durham residents.
For more information about DCABI’s collaborative initiatives, visit www.dcabpinc.org.