Sister Cities of Durham, NC


Sister Cities of Durham
Statement about the events of Jan. 6, 2021 at the US Capitol Building .  

We invite you to join Sister Cities of Durham with your Membership Dues for the 2021 calendar year  Your dues help us carry out our mission of cooperation and mutual respect for all peoples and especially with Durham's 9 Sister Cities as we promote world peace.   We do this with a variety of exchange programs in the areas of education, the arts, business, local government, medicine and the environment.
                                                                Family = $35;   Individual = $20;    Student = $10.   
You can use the PayPal donate button below, or mail to Sister Cities of Durham;  PO Box 767;   Durham, NC 27702

Sister Cities of Durham, Inc.;    PO Box 767;   Durham, NC 27702

Statement about the events of Jan. 6, 2021 at the US Capitol building
Adopted by the Board of Directors on January 18, 2021

     Sister Cities of Durham, along with our Sister Cities colleagues across the nation and around the globe, strives to develop a peaceful world, with mutual understanding and collaboration.  We are committed to these values personally, locally, nationally and globally.

     Our individual, national, and global health is better served by respectful engagement with each other; we thrive through the connections that build trust and reliance in a complex social fabric.  

     Since Sister Cities’ creation in the 1950s, in the dark shadow of the Cold War, our values and our actions have been a bright beacon to many.

     The traumatic events in Washington on January 6th, as angry citizens essentially seized the Capitol, tragically dimmed that beacon. The chaotic scenes undermined our moral stature, both to those around the world who look to us as exemplars of the rule of law and to those in this country who sought refuge and the hope of peaceful, productive lives in a robust democracy.

     We believe the violence of that day is a wake-up call. This is not who we want to be as a country, even as it reminds us that since our founding, violence and intimidation have too often tarnished us. Time and again, when violence has occurred, we have overcome it and sought to contend with its aftermath. We have done that successfully (so far) in this instance, and democracy has prevailed.

But democracy works by people on all sides expressing their differing points of view peacefully.

     As we work to emerge from these deeply troubled times, in the midst of a deadly pandemic and with ragged rips in our social fabric, let us reemphasize our search for mutual understanding and collaboration in our quest for growth that benefits all.

You can use the PayPal "Donate" button here for Membership Dues, and for  Donations to Support Our International Awareness and Exchange Programs.  
To pay dues or donate by check, mail to:  Sister Cities of Durham;  PO Box 767;  Durham, NC 27702
                                            Thanks for your support of Sister Cities of Durham

Durham's Sister Cities:  Arusha in Tanzania; Celaya in Mexico; Durham in England; Kavala in Greece; Kostroma in Russia; Sibiu in Romania; Tilaran in Costa Rica; Toyama in Japan; Zhuzhou in China

Our 2020 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.
See the full list of recipients in the "Documents Tab".

    The Annual SCD/Mayor's Award is presented at the
Annual Meeting to individuals and organizations for
"Promoting International Understanding" in the Durham area.
   See the full list of recipients in the "Documents Tab".  

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 - Nov
Hosted by Sister Cities of Durham
 It has been viewed by over 2,500 people from around the world.
Over 125 videos were available for viewing to better understand Durham's connections with the world with our 9 Sister Cities and the 18 countries represented in Durham
Durham is truly an International Community   

The Festival included virtual presentations about the international groups in Durham 
and our links with Durham's 9 Sister Cities and 18 Countries around the world represented in Durham.

Viewers were able to explore culture of cities and countries, view performers, and learn about tourism opportunities, and find interesting items in the Marketplace.


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, Gwenn Bookman
Celaya:              Guillermo Solares, Elsa Jimenez
Durham, UK:     Nancy Proia
Kavala:              Betty Tilley Seddon, Randy Griffin
Kostroma:         Anne Berkley, Ann Evangelisto
Sibiu:                 Mitch Scurtu
Tilaran:              Melissa Perez
Toyama:            Chris Boyer, Yuki Temma

Zhuzhou:           Mark Goodwillie, 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 15, 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


                                    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 dedication ceremony in the spring.  

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 high school and college students and educational professionals.
-- Exchanges  with artists and musicians.
-- Exchanges with medical personnel.
-- Annual Festival of Nations.
-- Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park.
-- Quilts from our Sister Cities on display in City Hall.
--  Hosting virtual meetings with our Sister Cities to                develop friendships and better understanding.
-- Participating in Durham's Holiday Parade.
-- Presentations in the Library's Public Forums.

  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.

We appreciate the support of our partners:
City of Durham
Durham Public Schools
Center for the Global Learner at Durham Tech Community College
Durham County Public Library

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