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About Us

Sister Cities of Durham, Inc. links Durham with cities around the world.  We have Sister Cities in China, Costa Rica, England, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania.


All the partnerships are signed by the respective US and partnering Mayors.

A Board of Directors oversees all programs in the City Committees, providing support, and the Board plans activities that involve all the City Committees. 

  •  In 1989, we were incorporated and became part of Sister Cities International. We built on an earlier link with Durham, England in 1975, and in 1989 added Kostroma, Russia and Toyama, Japan as Sister Cities, joining with Durham, England.

  • In 1991, we added Arusha, Tanzania, and functioned with four Sister Cities until 2012.

  • In 2012, we added Zhuzhou, China.

  • In 2017 we added Kavala, Greece.

  • In 2013 and 2017 we also added two Friendship cities in China:  Kunshan and Xianning with more informal relationships.

  • In 2019, we added three new Sister Cities: Tilaran, Costa Rica; Celaya, Mexico; and Sibiu, Romania.

  We thank our supporters:

  • The Center for the Global Learner at Durham Tech Community College

  • The Carolina China Council

  • Triangle Community Foundation -- Sister Cities of Durham Endowment Fund for International Understanding

  • Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum Educational Foundation

  • Sister Communities of San Ramon, Nicaragua

  • Duke Garden - the Asiatic Arboretum

  • City of Durham

Social Justice Statement, June 9, 2020

    Sister Cities of Durham is deeply committed to a peaceful world developed through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.

As such, we join in support of the peaceful demonstrations, here and across the nation, that in recent days have sought to call attention to racial injustice and social inequality sadly deeply rooted in our society.

    As an organization devoted to promoting citizen-to-citizen diplomacy and international understanding, we profoundly regret the image of our country conveyed in the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. We share the abhorrence Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and more than 70 other North Carolina mayors expressed at that “act of unspeakable violence, cold inhumanity, and racism.” At the same time, we know that millions are likewise appalled, and that is a source of hope for the future.

   We acknowledge, also, that too many of our brothers and sisters are abused or discriminated against because of the color of their skin or place of origin. All minority groups have the rights as human beings to be free from violence against them. We are proud of our city’s largely peaceful but forceful response to Mr. Floyd’s death, a reflection of Durham’s open commitment to -- and acknowledged need of far more progress toward -- social equity. That, we hope, stands as a beacon to our nine Sister Cities and others around the nation and the world.

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Meet The Team

Our Clients

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