Sister Cities of Durham, North Carolina


Updates about Sister Cities of Durham, Nov. 2020
Annual Meeting hosts representatives from 8 countries and presents Awards:
2,500 view our Festival of Nations;         "Annual Fund Drive" to support SCD projects.  

Annual Fund Drive:  November and December.
We ask you to consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our Sister Cities programs and activities
                                            Sister Cities of Durham, Inc is a 501c (3) non-profit

You can use PayPal here for Donations to Support Our International Awareness Programs and our Exchange Programs.   You can also Pay Membership Dues for the 2021 calendar year here.
If  you wish to donate by check, mail to:  Sister Cities of Durham;  PO Box 767;  Durham, NC 27702
                                            Thanks for your support of Sister Cities of Durham

Our Annual Meeting was on Nov. 6th, on Zoom

  International contacts joined our meeting from Tanzania, Mexico, England, Greece, Russia, Costa Rica, Japan, and China.
  Our own Mayor Steve Schewel welcomed these international guests.
The plans now are to use this technology to have more virtual contacts around the world.

 Awards Presented:  
-- The 7th Annual SCD/Mayor's Award for "Promoting International Understanding" was presented by Mayor Steve Schewel to Heidi White,  Director of International Student Services at DTCC. (See below.)

-- The 9th Annual Dorothy Borden Awards for long term service to Sister Cities were presented to
Nancy Proia and Linda Horstman.

Members of the Board of Directors were elected:    Connie Gomez-Joines,  Bob Ashley,  Sue Mathias

In spite COVID, we accomplished a lot this year.
-- Our biggest success this year was the 3rd Annual Festival of Nations as a virtual festival (see the report below), especially international youth groups singing "We Are the World" as their statement in support of World Peace.
-- The plans for the Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park will become a reality in January. 
-- Our City Committees reported a number of significant projects this year, including:
1) The Japan Bell Ringing on Zoom to commemorate the 75 years of peace between the US and Japan since the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945,
2) Durham delegation visited Tilaran,
3) T
he 7th annual visit of the Toyama College of Foreign Languages,
4) D
onation of COVID Masks from Zhuzhou to Durham's Fire Department. 
    Regretfully the COVID crisis caused the cancelation of several projects, including the Kavala Wine Tasting, the visit of Castle Theatre from Durham University, Library programs, and a visit to Sibiu.

    With the new year of 2021 and the hope for better circumstances, we are looking forward to resuming our many contacts with our international friends around the world.

The Annual Dorothy Borden Volunteer Award for service to Sister Cities was presented at the Annual Meeting:

Pictured left:  2020 recipients 
Nancy Proia and Linda Horstman.

     This award is named for Dorothy Borden, the Founding President of Sister Cities of Durham.  Recipients are selected based on long time service and commitment to SCD.

    The Annual SCD/Mayor's Award is presented at the
Annual Meeting to individuals and organizations for
"Promoting International Understanding" in the Durham area.   

At left is Heidi White of Durham Technical Community College, the 2020 recipient of the SCD/Mayor's Award.
She is the Director of International Student Services at DTCC.
3rd Annual "Festival of Nations" --  a Virtual Festival this year, Oct - Dec
 It has been viewed by over 2,500 people from around the world.
Over 125 videos are available for viewing to better understand our 
9 Sister Cities and the 18 countries represented in Durham
Tour Durham's Connections with the World: an International Community

Hosted by Sister Cities of Durham

We opened on Saturday, October 17, and the Festival is still available through Dec. 31   

You will find virtual presentations about the many international groups in Durham 
and our links with Durham's 9 Sister Cities and 18 Countries around the world represented in Durham.

Explore culture of cities and countries, view performers, and learn about tourism opportunities,

and find interesting items in the Marketplace.

For Information, Contact:  Brady Surles, Executive Director, Sister Cities of Durham
[email protected]         919-943-3705


Below is one of the videos of international youth singing "We Are the World" (Toyama, Japan)
Go to the Festival of Nations site to view all five youth singing groups from our Sister Cities in
Arusha, Tanzania; Kavala, Greece; Zhuzhou, China; Durham, NC; Toyama, Japan 

Our Board of Directors:
President:                 Sue Mathias
Vice President:         Guillermo Solares
Secretary:                 Chris Boyer
Treasurer:                 Mark Goodwillie

At Large:                   Bob Ashley
At Large:                   Connie Gomez-Joines
At Large:                   Tom Harris
At Large:                    Rich Jaworski
At Large:                    Vivian Wan
City Committee Representatives to the Board:
Arusha:                      Ronda Pierce
Celaya:                       Elsa Jimenez
Durham, UK:              Nancy Proia
Kavala:                       Betty Tilley Seddon
Kostroma:                  Anne Berkley
Sibiu:                          Mitch Scurtu
Tilaran:                       Melissa Perez
Toyama:                     TBA

Zhuzhou:                    Lusia Li

Non-Voting:  Executive Director, Brady Surles

Board of Directors Meetings, 2021, Locations TBA

10 am, Jan 30,  Planning Retreat, Zoom
7 pm, February 18,  Zoom

7pm, March 18,  Zoom

7pm, April 5, Zoom

7 pm, May 20

7 pm, June 17

7 pm, July 15

7 pm, August 19

7 pm, September 16

5:30 pm, October 22,  Annual Meeting

7 pm, November 18

7 pm, December 16 - tentative


We enjoyed being a part of Durham's

 Holiday Parade.   We had 9 nations with  flags, banners, and dancers.

                                    Coming Events:
Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park:
In partnership with Durham Central Park, we will plant nine trees in Jan/Feb to represent our nine Sister Cities.
We will have a ceremony with the tree planting, and also a ceremony when the sign is erected in March/April.

Note:     Some of our programs are postponed because of the Coronavirus.  Hopefully our in person programs will resume in the near future.  However,  we still maintain our conversations with our friends around the world  -- Come join us!  Zoom enables us to link globally in more meaningful ways than ever before.

What do we do ?
-- Educational Exchanges, especially with HS students      and educational professionals.
-- Exchanges  with artists and musicians.
-- Exchanges with medical personnel.
--  Hosting virtual meetings with our Sister Cities to           develop friendships and better understanding.
-- Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park

  Plans are developing for trips to:
 Greece, Japan, Romania, when COVID recedes.

  The trips will be open to the public.
  Check back later for updates as plans develop.

Our Vision:
We strive to develop a peaceful world, with mutual understanding and cooperation, one person and one community at a time.

Our Mission:  We partner with the City of Durham to organize and promote Sister Cities activities for Durham residents and to establish international Sister Cities relationships.  

Pictured is our sign at Durham Central Park.
The Peace Grove of Trees at the Park will represent our nine Sister Cities, with our partnership with Durham Central Park.

Durham students welcome visiting students from our Sister Cities at RDU airport.


We invite you to join us in Sister Cities of Durham to promote a greater understanding of Durham's international connections.

Annual Membership Dues per Calendar Year:

-- Family Membership          $35

-- Individual Membership     $20

-- Student Membership        $10

Also Life Time Membership    $300


Payment can be made:
-- on our PayPal button on this page; 

-- or Mail checks to:

  Sister Cities of Durham

  PO Box 767;  Durham, NC 27702

Thanks for supporting Sister Cities of Durham