Successful Rally & March for #BlackLivesMatter May Day!

On May 1st, 2015, over 400 people gathered in front of the Durham Police Department headquarters to protest police abuses, including racial profiling and violence against Black and Brown communities.  We heard from speakers calling for solidarity with the Baltimore protesters, who have taken to the streets in reaction to the police murder of Freddie Grey.  They also spoke of solidarity with workers, students, teachers, migrants, Muslims, and LGBTQ communities.  We marched through downtown Durham, taking the streets as we went, and gathered again in front of the Durham County jail.  There, we joined families and friends of prisoners who were protesting the 23-hour lock-back at the jail.  Prisoners are held in their cells 23 hours a day, and only let out for showers and phone calls in the middle of the night.  We finished by marching around the jail so that all prisoners could see our support for them through their tiny windows.May 1 -1 May 1 -2 May 1 - 3 May 1 -4 May 1 -5

#BLACKLIVESMATTER MAY DAY #Baltimore Solidarity March

Meet on Friday, May 1, 2015 at 5 pm at Durham Police Headquarters (505 W Main Street) for a short rally then march to the jail on S. Mangum in solidarity with the ongoing demonstrations to end the prisoner lock-back

Durham is answering the call from Baltimore!

“Greetings sisters and brothers from the streets of Baltimore. As we draft this appeal the city of Baltimore is being occupied by a regional mobilization of police, and the national guard. The mass outrage over the slaughter of Freddie Grey has grown from protest to resistance. Baltimore is the ‘new’ Ferguson, and we need the intervention of all who have participated in the Black Lives Movement on a national level, and we need it now.

We are calling on activists to turn next Friday, May 1st 2015, into BLACK LIVES MATTER MAY DAY.


Come out for HkonJ this Saturday!

Join us in downtown Raleigh for Historic Thousands on Jones Street


Come out for Justice on Valentine’s Day!

This Saturday, February 14, will mark a major day in the fightback for workers, students, and people of color across the South. Beginning at 9 AM Saturday morning in downtown Raleigh, the 9th annual Moral March on Raleigh and the Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly (HKonJ) will be held.

Organized by the NC NAACP, the Historic Thousands on Jones Street began in 2007 as an effort to organize people against extremist attacks on voting rights, workers’ rights, and social justice.  While the first march in 2007 drew 3,500 people, last year’s event saw over 30,000 in the streets of Raleigh.

Even with the great success of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, a great amount of work remains to be done.

In the spirit of building broad United Front to #endthewaronyouth, several young people have organized the first ever state-wide Black Lives Matter Youth Assembly to take place at historical Shaw University at 1pm after HKonJ.  This space is exclusively for folks under 35 to discuss, exchange, and take collective action for change.

Join the people of North Carolina as they stand against these attacks on our rights, and work to build a future based on equality, social and economic justice.  People Over Money!

DPS Workers Win Fight for Back Pay

Durham Public Schools custodial workers recently won their fight for 22 days worth of back pay. These workers, employed by the now-bankrupt Integrity Facilities Management who DPS contracted with, found themselves out nearly three weeks of pay just before the Thanksgiving holiday. After workers organized, rallied, and protested, the Durham School Board voted unanimously to pay 130 custodial workers nearly $200,000 in back wages.

However, while many of the 143 workers were given their wages, 40 former workers, who were undocumented, employees were not paid for their 3 weeks of hard work.  Following their bankruptcy filing, Integrity was sold to another contracting company, Premiere.  Premiere, agreed to pay the back wages but left behind the undocumented workers. In response, the former undocumented workers and their co-worker allies marched again on the DPS administrative office, even after threats.  Premiere announced that same morning that they would pay every worker what they were owed, regardless of status.

This is a huge victory for justice for the worker and immigrant community in Durham.  The Workers United Will Never Be Defeated.

Now onto April 15 to Raise Up for $15/hr and union for all low-wage workers, as well we also send solidarity out toward the Durham People’s Alliance Living Wage Campaign!

Upcoming Events:

February 13 at Pullen Memorial Church – Friday the 13th Spooky Sleepover: Come out for a pre-HKonJ youth and student convening at the Pullen Memorial Church in Raleigh!  Make some signs, eat some pizza, and meet some great organizers from across the state.  Click here to RSVP!

February 14 at Shaw University – #BlackLivesMatter Youth Assembly: After HKonJ, make your way to Shaw University at 1 PM to meet with activists from all over the state fighting racist police and privatized prisons.

February 21 at the Hayti Heritage Center – Workers World Party Durham Branch Community Forum: On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, come to the Hayti Community Center to discuss the legacy of Malcolm X and his continued importance in the struggle for equal rights worldwide.

February 27 at UNC Charlotte – UNC Board of Governor’s Meeting:  NC Student Power Union mobilizing students, faculty, staff and community members from throughout the state to the meeting.  The UNC Board of Governors will announce which centers & institutes will receive budget cuts. All of the centers & institutes up for review work with marginalized groups of people including the Poverty Center, Stone Center for Black Culture & History and Juvenile Justice Center to name a few.

April 15, 2015 –  Raise Up 4/15Fast food workers nationwide will be going on strike this day, marking a turning point in their heroic fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union.


Strike for $15 & Dance Parties Kick off Solidarity September

Welcome New DSC Board Members!
Sept 4: NC Stands with the Fight for $15, Fast Food Workers Go on Strike!
Sept 5: Ding Dong Art Pope is Gone! DANCE PARTY @ the Pinhook!
Sept 5-6: Durham Blues Festival @ the Hayti!

Welcome New Durham Solidarity Center Board Members

This summer has been a busy one. The Durham Solidarity Center co-working space been bustling with meetings: from the newly forming Triangle Anti-War Committee to hosting community-led responses to the killing of Michael Brown.  DSC has been providing space and support to organizing, because from Gaza to Durham to Ferguson, black and brown lives matter!

This month we also welcomed two new amazing board members!

Felicia Arriaga –  Hailing from Hendersonville, NC, Felicia is an organizer with the Adalante Coalition, working for tuition equity for undocumented students, and has experience working in solidarity with farm worker struggles.  She is a current PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Duke University.

D’atra (DeeDee) Jackson – DeeDee moved back to North Carolina in January from Florida where she graduated from Florida International University and where she was a key organizer with the Dream Defenders.  She is now the state-wide coordinator for the NC Student Power Union!

We are very excited to welcome these two new members to the board!

Upcoming Events

Sept 4: NC Stands with the Fight for $15, Fast Food Workers Go on Strike!

GATHER AT 11:30AM AT THE DURHAM FARMERS MARKET: Join fast food workers from across North Carolina for a rally on September 4th as we build our movement for a better future for our families and all workers across the South and the nation. We believe that we will win!


SEPT 5: Ding Dong Art Pope Is Gone – Dance Party
Where: The Pinhook (Downtown Durham) | Sliding scale $2-$20
When: Doors open at 7:00p; dance party til 2a
Why: For the past 2 years, we have exposed the Pope/Koch agenda.  We are clear that Art Pope is simply moving back into the shadows where he’s been puppet-mastering lobbyists and paid-off elected officials for decades. Our work is far from over. Party planners will donate all proceeds raised toward efforts to undo his dastardly deeds of the past two years. Donations will support members of the Southern Vision Alliance: NC Student Power Union, Ignite NC, Youth Organizing Institute.

SEPT 5-6:  27th Annual Bull Durham Blues Festival
Day 1: Friday, September 5th at St. Joseph’s Historic Theatre
Doors open at 5 PM & the show starts at 6 PM 
Advance Tickets: $35 | Same-Day Tickets: $40

A Spectacular Lineup:
-The Campbell Brothers
-Phil Cook
-John Dee Holeman
-The Rousters

Day 2: Saturday, September 6th at Historic Durham Athletic Park
Gates open at 5 PM & the show starts at 6 PM
Advance Tickets: $45 | Same-Day Tickets: $50

Another Spectacular Lineup:
-Kermit Ruffins
-Shemekia Copeland
-Grady Champion
-The Ori Naftaly Band
-The Calvin Edwards Trio
-The Red Dirt Revelators
-Rick Tobey

New board members: D’Atra (left) & Felicia (right)


JUST(ice) DANCE – Post HKonJ Fundraiser

dsc fundraiser 2-8

Join the Durham Solidarity Center and the Carolina Abortion Fund for our Moral March on Raleigh AFTER-PARTY!!

We will be celebrating our collective struggle for justice and equality. This has been a hard year for North Carolina with countless laws passed that have slashed voting rights, economic and educational equality, health and other social justice issues. Through it all, though, our voice has grown stronger: we have joined arms for Moral Mondays and marches, we have protested and have been arrested– it is a new year and we fight on. Come feel the pulse of justice and dance your ass off for the struggle!!

*Cost: $5-$20 Sliding scale, give what you can all proceeds go to local organizing

*Doors open at 9 Music starts at 10!

RSVP on Facebook today and invite your friends!

All Roads Lead to Raleigh for the Moral March on Raleigh HKonJ Peoples Assembly – February 8!

From the NC NAACP and the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Coalition:

On February 8, 2014, we will gather on Wilmington St. between South St. and MLK Jr. Blvd at 9:30 AM in downtown Raleigh. We will march to Fayetteville Street at 10:30 AM after which we will begin the mass people’s assembly on the doorstep of the State Capitol.

For the past seven years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 150 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people’s assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People’s Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.

This year’s annual people’s assembly will be held in the wake of a powerful push back to the immoral and unconstitutional policies supported and passed by Governor Pat McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis, Senate Leader Phil Berger, Budget Director Art Pope and other extremists in the NC General Assembly during the 2013 Session. After 13 Moral Mondays in Raleigh leading to almost 1,000 arrests for civil disobedience and 23 local Moral Mondays spanning the entire state, the Forward Together Moral Movement and the HKonJ coalition will join together once again for the Moral March on Raleigh HKonJ People’s Assembly.

We are calling on all people of conscience and concern to join us as we stand against the extreme and regressive agenda being pushed in North Carolina. This agenda is a reflection of what is happening across the United States.

If you believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, if you understand that what happens in North Carolina has implications for the future of the nation, if you believe that we can build a moral movement together to save the soul of our state and country, then join us as we tell Governor McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly, “Forward Together, Not One Step Back!”

For more information, visit the official HKonJ website and RSVP on Facebook.

Students fight the school to prison pipeline

n-SCHOOL-LUNCH-large570A coalition of organizations, including two that are part of the Durham Solidarity Center – NC HEAT and the Youth Organizing Institute – held a press conference on January 23 to announce a Federal Complaint relating to policing of Black and Brown students and students with disabilities in the Wake County Public School system.   Led by Advocates for Children’s Services’ Push-Out Prevention Project, the complaint is similar to one that was filed against the Durham Schools last year.
In Wake County nearly 45% of juvenile criminal proceedings originate from out of the schools – for things like cutting in line or a water balloon fight.
For more information on the complaint and the work that these organizations have been doing to challenge the school to prison pipeline in Triangle schools, see these articles here, here, here, here, and here.

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

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!

NC HEAT Holds 2nd Annual March Against School to Prison Pipeline

nc heat march


NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens) held their 2nd annual Push Back Against Push Outs, a march against the school to prison pipeline and the prison industrial complex. The march was part of Dignity in Schools’ national week of action against school pushout.

The march began with a speak out at Washington Elementary in Raleigh and proceed to Central Prison for a demonstration with music, drums and raised voices! High school students from across the Triangle led the powerful march that raised opposition to school discipline policies that disproportionately impact students of color and LGBTQ students.

See below for more information on school pushout that NC HEAT is distributing.



“School pushout refers to the numerous and systemic factors that prevent or discourage young people from remaining on track to complete their education and has severe and lasting consequences for students, parents, schools, and communities. These factors include, among others, the failure to provide essential components of a high quality education, lack of stakeholder participation in decision-making, over-reliance on zero-tolerance practices and punitive measures such as suspensions and expulsions, over-reliance on law enforcement tactics and ceding of disciplinary authority to law enforcement personnel, and a history of systemic racism and inequality. These factors have an impact on all students, but have a disproportionate impact on historically disenfranchised youth.” (


• More U.S. students are being suspended and expelled than ever before. In 2006, 3.3 million students were suspended out-of-school at least once and 102,000 were expelled.
• North Carolina students received short term suspensions at the rate of 22 suspensions per 100 students.
• During the 2009-2010 school year, Black students in Wake County Public Schools were 6 times more likely than white students to receive a short term suspension and 7 times more likely to receive a long term suspension. Close to 1 out of every 5 Black students received at least one suspension or expulsion.
• Education Week estimates that 53,848 North Carolina students who started ninth grade in 2006 did not graduate four years later.
• Education Week also identifies the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district as one of 25 “drop out epicenters” in the U.S. and estimates that 6,386 of the district’s students who started ninth grade in 2006 did not graduate four years later.


“The School to Prison Pipeline is a nationwide system of local, state and federal education and public safety policies that pushes students out of school and into the criminal justice system. This system disproportionately targets youth of color and youth with disabilities. Inequities in areas such as school discipline, policing practices, high-stakes testing and the prison industry contribute to the pipeline.

The School to Prison Pipeline operates directly and indirectly. Schools directly send students into the pipeline through zero tolerance policies that involve the police in minor incidents and often lead to arrests, juvenile detention referrals, and even criminal charges and incarceration. Schools indirectly push students towards the criminal justice system by excluding them from school through suspension, expulsion, discouragement and high stakes testing requirements.”