2 Steps Forward: 2013 at the DSC

Greetings from the Durham Solidarity Center

2013 marked our fourth year as a hub and resource center for grassroots and community organizing in the Triangle – and without a doubt, it was our busiest year yet!
The number of groups and projects using the DSC expanded, and we grew out of our original office at the Snow Building downtown. This May, we moved into a larger, 4 room space at the historic Hayti Heritage Center on Fayetteville Street. It’s a much better fit for us — and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of the rich history of Hayti District to better serve and work with community members and projects in the area.
We also witnessed much sorrow this year.  December marks one year since Carlos Riley Jr. was wrongfully accused and imprisoned by the Durham PD, and our community has been shaken by far too many cases of police misconduct and brutality. From Stephanie Nickerson to Jose Ocampo to Derek Walker, and most recently the death of Jesus “Chuy” Huerta – a 17 year old high school student who died in police custody – we stand with the victims and their families.  We are inspired every day by these families’ courage and determination to seek justice. Police brutality against communities of color, and particularly young people, has become a national epidemic and Durham has not escaped its touch.
As members of the community were determined not to see these cases as isolated, but in fact connected and symptomatic of deeper issues, there was an emerging need to organize.  The Durham Solidarity Center has supported this work by providing weekly meeting space for the Riley family and the Durhams People’s Justice Coalition meetings. We’ve lent our bullhorns, signs, tents and other supplies for demonstrations and events held throughout the last year, and we will continue to support this important work until we find peace through justice.

Block Party for Justice hosted by “Liberty and Justice for Carlos Riley, Jr” on August 3

Spoken word artist and activist, Destiny, reads a poem at the Durham Solidarity Center open house, held in July to celebrate our new home at the Hayti Heritage Center.


Looking back at 2013
It’s been a busy year!  Here’s a look at some things we’ve helped to support and incubate this past year:
  • We provided bullhorns, meeting space, and other support to the OUR Walmart campaign actions on Black Friday and the NC Raise Up fast food worker walk-outs,
  • NC HEAT, youth-led organization, used sound equipment and other materials from the Solidarity Center for a march on Central Prison to end the School-to-Prison Pipeline
  • Welcomed Rafael Mendiola to our family! Rafael is currently serving as the Durham Solidarity Center intern.  He is a graduate of the Youth Organizing Institute, a former youth board member of iNSIDEoUT, and a student at Jordan High. Raffy keeps the office functioning by inventorying supplies and keeping the space organized and clean so that it can be used to it’s fullest potential by all the amazing groups!
  • People’s Durham moved into the Durham Solidarity Center!! People’s Durham opened office space with us in June!
  • Hollaback! 919, a chapter of a national organization fighting street harassment of women and LGBTQ people, has held several organizing meetings.
  • Youth-led Organizing: NC HEAT, the Youth Organizing Institute, and NC Student Power Union use the space regularly to mobilize young people to Moral Mondays and the fight back against the right wing legislature.
  • UE 150, the NC Public Service Workers Union, used the DSC as a staging ground for their November organizing blitz.
  • Hosted a 2-day training by the NC Vote Defenders, pulling together young people across NC to defend the right to vote after the devastating anti-voting rights legislation passed earlier this year.


Cameron Aviles
Ben Carroll
Alissa Ellis
Elena Everett
Jillian Johnson
Marc Lee
Connie Leeper


Peoples Durham, Vision 2.0 Tech, Workers World, Youth Organizing Institute

Zaina Alsous, Felicia Arriaga, Ben Carroll, Ben Crawford, Jason Cross, Alissa Ellis, Elena Everett, Peter Gilbert, Susie Goodman, Luke Hirst, Jillian Johnson, Andy Koch, Roxane Kolar, Jonathan Kotch, Jodi Lasseter, Connie Leeper, Fernando Martinez, Eva Panjwani, Josh Reynolds, Cathey Stanley, Dante Strobino, E. Swan, Tamara Tal, Rachel Valentine

Build Solidarity in 2014!

Four years ago, a group of young activists came together to create a community-supported space to nurture organizing in the Triangle; pooling resources, they started the Durham Solidarity Center.  Since then, the DSC has supported many endeavors and been home to many many meetings, forums, assemblies, classes, workshops, sign-making sessions, and housed many grassroots organizing projects, including Occupy Durham, the Youth Organizing Institute, and now People’s Durham, F.I.S.T., and the NC Vote Defenders.

This year, with the unabated police brutality in Durham, and the growing fightback among young people and workers to demand better schools, good wages, and a better future, the need for the Durham Solidarity Center is even greater.  

The Durham Solidarity Center is completely funded by grassroots support.
Your donations are entirely tax-deductible — and, if you contribute before January 1, every donation – up to $5,000 – will be matched dollar for dollar!

This spring the Durham Solidarity Center will also house a new youth organizing fellowship program called Ignite NC.  This program will equip fellows with organizing skills, analysis and tools needed to harness the power of community organizing to become effective catalysts for change.  Deadline for fellowship applications is Dec 31.  If there’s a young person in your life (age 18-30) who might be interested in this (paid) fellowship, please share the info, located at the websitewww.ncignite.org.

More than ever, we need YOU to become a part of this vision and support this shared resource.  Take 2 minutes to make a donation to support what the Solidarity Center has to offer.

The Durham Solidarity Center is co-working space & resource center that supports social justice efforts in the Triangle. It is entirely supported by grassroots organizations and individual monthly contributions.  It is run and supported by volunteers.  

We offer:

  • space for meetings, events, trainings, & gatherings,
  • co-working areas, & computer work stations with Adobe design software,
  • access to folding chairs, tables, bull-horns, PAs, button-makers, and other shared supplies.

By donating to the Durham Solidarity Center, you are helping to nourish and sustain grassroots community efforts, particularly small and independent efforts that don’t get funded by corporate giving or large foundations.

If you’ve ever attended a meeting or a workshop, heard a speaker, or come to an event at the Durham Solidarity Center – consider making a donation.  

The Durham Solidarity Center is a project of ACRe – a 501c3 non-profit organization.  Contributions are tax-deductible.

Together Let’s Build a Better World

Get Involved Durham! A Calendar of Events Not to Be Missed!

Wed, January 8, 11am – Caravan to Winston Salem for Carlos Riley Jr. sentencing hearing. Meet at Hayti Center at 11am.  Call 919-322-9970 if you are interested or want to ride with us.

Tues, Jan. 14, 6pm – City of Durham, Human Relations Commission public hearings on police brutality and racial profiling.   6pm at Stanford Warren Library, 1201 Fayetteville St, 27707. Rally outside

Sun, Jan 19, 7pm – Justice for Jesus Huerta vigil and demonstration, People’s Plaza (CCB Plaza) in Durham

Wed., Jan. 22, 6pm – City of Durham, Human Relations Commission public hearings on police brutality and racial profiling.   City Hall committee chambers. Rally outside before hand

Tues., Jan. 28, 6pm – City of Durham, Human Relations Commission public hearings on police brutality and racial profiling.   City Hall committee chambers. Rally outside before hand.

Tues., Feb. 4, 7pm – City of Durham, Human Relations Commission public hearings on police brutality and racial profiling.   City Hall committee chambers. PUBLIC IS INVITED TO SPEAK. Let’s pack the house!  If you know someone that has survived police brutality or racial profiling, please consider testifying. To learn more, contact 919-322-9970

Saturday, Feb 8, 9am – Moral March on Raleigh HKonJ People’s Assembly; Gather at Shaw University, more info on Facebook here

Low Wage Workers on the Rise!

The Durham Solidarity Center stands with low wage workers across NC and the U.S. are organizing for higher wages, better working conditions, and the right to form a union!

On August 29, fast food workers in 60 U.S. cities – including 4 cities in NC – went on a one day strike calling for $15/hour and a union from fast food companies. Most of these workers make just $7.25/hour and struggle to make ends meet and support their families – despite the fact that the companies they work for are part of a $200 billion industry.

On November 29 – Black Friday – Walmart workers and their supporters held actions at more than 1500 Walmarts across the U.S. calling for respect, better wages, and better treatment of workers. In Raleigh, more than 50 people came out to support the workers, and the DSC was proud to support by providing bull horns and other materials, and turning folks out to the demonstration.

And on December 5, fast food workers in more than 100 U.S. cities walked off the job again to continue the fight for higher pay.

As we move into 2014, we’re excited to see where the movement continues to go and to find ways to support this important movement growing across NC and the country! $15 and a union now!