(as of 12/31/19)
You Can Vote: At its final meeting of the year, the Fund approved $1,000.00 to support You Can Vote's statewide U Can Vote 2020 Campus Challenge, specifically at Durham Technical Community College and North Carolina Central University. The year-long effort will involve students, staff, and faculty in educating and registering all eligible members of the campus communities ahead of the 2020 spring primaries and the November general election.
The HUB Young Adult Resource Center: In late October, the Fund provided $500.00 for a December 11 event in Durham to assist young people transitioning to independent adulthood out of difficult circumstances, such as homelessness and aging out of foster care. Job application skills, information about public health providers, and other services, including voter registration, were provided. The grant was made through The HUB's parent nonprofit, the LIFE Skills Foundation.
Durham Living Wage Project: DLWP is a project directly sponsored by the Fund (https://www.durhamlivingwage.org/). Accordingly, the Fund has provided an infusion of $2,500.00 to the project to allow it to hire a parttime consultant to assist with finding foundations that might support its work and drafting proposals to submit to them.
LGBTQ Center of Durham: The Fund provided $500.00 for the "Affirming Interfaith Summit" organized by the Center's Pride: Durham, NC program and held at Duke United Methodist Church on September 20. Representatives from 34 churches and other organizations heard presentations and participated in discussions on affirming and serving Durham's LGBTQ+ community.
People's Alliance Housing Action Team: With a micro-grant of $500.00, the Fund covered most of the costs of PA's July 25th Progressive Issue Forum on the Affordable Housing Bond Issue to be decided as part of the 2019 municipal election. Over 100 Durham residents heard presentations by Durham Housing Authority Director Anthony Scott and Mayor Steve Schewel and had the opportunity to comment and ask questions about the projects to be funded by the proposed bond issue.
Durham Community Land Trustees: Also in July, the Fund contributed $500.00 to the Durham Community Land Trustee's PhotoVoice Project, a community engagement project in East Durham that uses photography to help longtime residents and new DCLT-assisted homeowners share their experiences and discuss solutions to community problems. The project culminated with a reception on November 4 in the lobby of City Hall and an exhibit of photos and stories that ran there through November 18.
StepUp Durham: The Fund awarded StepUp Durham a micro-grant of $500.00 to provide materials and instructional staff for an 8-week “Introduction to Green Jobs” course conducted during April and May at Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church. Ten individuals who are facing employment difficulties participated. The nationally recognized course connects participants with environmental businesses and nonprofits with the goal of helping them secure employment in the green economy.
El Centro Hispano: In February, the Fund contributed $500.00 to a fund established by El Centro Hispano of Durham and Hispanic Liaison of Siler City to assist immigrant families with legal expenses arising from arrests by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Providing effective legal representation to those arrested increases the likelihood of news coverage informing the public about the deportation of undocumented residents and its effect on the community.
You Can Vote: The Fund made two micro-grants in the fall of 2018 in its first direct financial support of You Can Vote in over two years. In September, it granted the project $550.00 for materials, equipment, and travel expenses to enable staff based in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte) to serve the unexpectedly strong volunteer interest that arose in neighboring Union County (Monroe). In October, the Fund granted You Can Vote $700.00 to pay for an emergency printing of the project's informational handout for the General Election. The handout explained the six proposed constitutional amendments that would appear on the ballot and also the duties of the legislative, judicial, and other offices that voters would be deciding.
People's Alliance: The Fund awarded a grant of $1,300.00 to the membership organization to cover educational activities during the year, principally two public Progressive Issue Forums conducted by PA's Racial Equity Action Team. The first forum, in February, detailed the existing money bail system and its often devastating effects on the lives of poor people. In October, a second forum provided a platform for the Durham County Sheriff-elect and District Atorney-elect to present the changes they planned to make in the administration of their offices. In addition, the grant paid the costs of "City Council 101," an October workshop on how to monitor the work of Durham's City Council and engage with city government, and covered some of the transportation costs of low-income residents attending a June Poor People's Campaign event in Washington, DC.
Hurricane Florence Relief: In mid-September, the Fund contributed $500.00 to Blueprint North Carolina for distribution to its Eastern North Carolina community-based partner organizations working to provide shelter, food, and other necessities to those affected by Hurricane Florence.
The Scrap Exchange: In early November, the Fund granted $500.00 to The Scrap Exchange to coordinate a volunteer effort to collect and re-purpose candidate campaign signs from the Durham municipal election for Mayor and City Council. Permission was secured from all candidates for anyone to pull their signs from public right-of-way and donate them to The Scrap Exchange.
Southerners on New Ground: The Fund granted $500.00 to Southerners on New Ground (SONG) to support its Mother's Day event celebrating the release on bail it arranged for 14 mothers and other caregivers from the Durham County Detention Facility. This public event and subsequent media coverage provided information on the operation of the bail system and its impact on low-income detainees and their families.
SpiritHouse Book Study: The Fund granted $500.00 to SpiritHouse to help cover the costs of a reception featuring author Baz Dreisinger and her book Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, the subject of SpiritHouse's fourth citywide book study.
People's Alliance: In January, 2017, the Fund approved a grant to the basic membership organization of $1,500.00 to cover costs for the year of Progressive Issue Forums, other public meetings, and training for new board members. Later in January, the People's Alliance (PA) Education Action Team and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People (DCABP) collaborated on a forum on "Discipline and Suspensions in Durham Public Schools: Past, Present, and Future." In February, PA and Action NC organized a Progressive Issue Forum panel on "Structural Racism and Women of Color." Both events were held at the Hayti Cultural Center in Durham. In September, the PA Education Action Team and the DCABP collaborated on a workshop held at DCABP headquarters for African-American parents and their allies of all races on "Black Parent Empowerment" in Durham Public Schools. In October, the PA Economic Inequality Action Team conducted a forum at the Hayti Cultural Center featuring Thomas M. Shapiro, author of Toxic Inequality: How America's Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future.
People's Alliance Economic Inequality Action Team: The action team received a grant of $325.00 to re-purpose yard signs from the successful campaign to gain recognition for a Duke faculty union. The grant covered the cost of printing stickers to change the sign's message from "Another Family Supporting a Duke Faculty Union" to "Another Family Supporting a Duke Graduate Student Union."
People's Alliance: The Fund made a grant of $2,000.00 to the basic membership organization, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, to cover the costs of three Progressive Issue Forums, three Education Action Team roundtables, and several staff and board training efforts. The Progressive Issue Forums featured North Carolina social justice organizer Manzoor Cheema in May on "Combating Racism and Islamophobia," a panel of local environmentalists on "Sustainable Schools" in March, and in December former SEIU president Andy Stern, author of Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream, on the subject of his book. Support for LGBTQ students and staff and issues in the General Assembly were among the topics discussed at the Education Roundtables.
Alerta Migratoria NC: The People's Alliance Fund made a grant of $500.00 to Durham-based Alerta Migratoria NC to support its research on detentions and deportations by the U.S. government of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum.
SpiritHouse Spring Book Study: The Fund granted $200.00 requested by SpiritHouse to cover the basic costs of a reception kicking off its third citywide book study. Jessica Gordon Nembhard's Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice was the focus of the study groups.
You Can Vote--Orange County: The Fund supported the You Can Vote project's effort in Orange County with a grant of $300.00 for materials for its 2016 kickoff training workshop. Over 40 volunteers were trained to conduct voter registration and education at the January 31 event in Chapel Hill.
You Can Vote: The Fund provided a grant of $580.00 to You Can Vote to print an initial run of voter education cards for the March, 2016 statewide primary to assist in registering voters and inform them about early voting dates and locations and other basic information.
SpiritHouse Fall Book Study: The Fund supported with a $300.00 grant the concluding event--a citywide convening in November of the groups formed during the summer to read and discuss Dr. Mindy Fullilove's Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-out Cities. The Fund had earlier granted $500.00 to SpiritHouse to support two initial activities--a workshop to train book study facilitators and a kickoff event featuring Dr. Fullilove, a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University.
People's Alliance Progressive Forums: Fund grants covered the basic expenses of the year's public forums organized by membership action teams: The May 19 forum on neighborhood change and gentrification in Durham (Affordable Housing Action Team, $115.00); the September 15 forum on public education in Durham and statewide (Education Action Team, $260.00); and the December 3 forum on contingent workers in North Carolina and the campaign to organize adjunct professors at Duke University (Economic Inequality Action Team, $575.00).
People's Alliance Economic Inequality Action Team: The action team received a grant of $500.00 for its project to print and distribute yard signs promoting community discussion and support of the Faculty Forward union organizing campaign of adjunct professors at Duke University.
People’s Alliance Affordable Housing Action Team: The Fund provided a grant of $250.00 for media displaying key findings of the research done by Mel Norton and presented by her at the May 19, 2015 People's Alliance forum on neighborhood change and gentrification and at subsequent meetings hosted by other organizations.
Durham Living Wage Project (2014-15): Initiated by the Durham People’s Alliance Economic Inequality Action Team, the Durham Living Wage Project is informing businesses and nonprofits in Durham of the benefits of paying their employees a living wage and then recognizing those that do. The Fund has provided grants to cover consultation with a pioneering living wage certification project based in Asheville and the making of a short video to explain the project. The grants were made September 7, 2014 ($550) and December 24, 2014 ($300). In February, 2015, the Fund adopted the Durham Living Wage Project as a special project, approved a grant of $200 for work on its website, and offered a loan of up to $1,500 to cover the costs of the project’s March 10 public launch. The crowdfunding campaign that was kicked off at that event allowed the project to recommend, and the Fund board to approve, the hiring of a part-time coordinator.
You Can Vote: Adopted by the Fund as a special project in early 2014, You Can Vote was formed by a coalition of state and local nonpartisan voter education groups to inform citizens about the new rules for voting in North Carolina as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013. The project helps citizens obtain or maintain proper voter registration and exercise their right to vote by training volunteers to conduct public registration and education events. In 2014, You Can Vote volunteers distributed over 40,000 cards informing North Carolinians about the state’s new voting law, registered more than 2,100 voters in Durham, Orange, and other counties and later individually reminded them to vote, and conducted door-to-door canvassing of voters who often skip non-presidential elections. Initial grant January 9, 2014 ($830), subsequent grants August 17, 2014 ($700) and October 1, 2014 ($880).
People’s Alliance Education Action Team Dinner Meetings (2014-16): A continuing series of public roundtable dinner meetings on education topics, including school start times, poverty and education, standardized testing, Latino perspectives, recycling/energy efficiency in schools, actions of the General Assembly, and other topics. Granted March 31, 2014 ($384).
People’s Alliance Education Action Team Forum on Standardized Testing: Durham People’s Alliance conducted a community meeting on standardized testing entitled “Pushing for Options with Standardized Testing.” Dr. Pamela Grundy and representatives of Durham Public Schools led a community dialogue on the state of public education testing in Durham and across North Carolina and ideas for a vision to move forward. Granted September 10, 2014 ($150).
People’s Alliance Forum on the State of Public Education: In collaboration with the Durham Association of Educators, the Durham NAACP, and People’s Durham, Durham People’s Alliance conducted a community meeting on the state of public education and gathered ideas on how to move forward in view of recent actions by the North Carolina General Assembly. Granted July 20, 2013 ($321).
NC WARN: NC WARN uses its signature “Our Energy Future” workshop to educate the public about how electricity rates are structured against individuals, families, and small businesses. A micro-grant from the Fund paid for supplies, staff time and meeting expenses to help it engage people around North Carolina in clean energy education. Granted May 5, 2013 ($500).
Democracy North Carolina: The Fund partially funded the stipend for Democracy North Carolina’s 2013 Democracy Summer Communications intern. The intern’s responsibilities included the creation and distribution of online and offline resources to educate the public about voter protection/suppression in North Carolina, collaboration with staff to update education and training materials, and use of social media to inform the public about research exposing the negative influence of money in politics. Granted May 6, 2013 ($500).
People’s Alliance Forum on Economic Inequality and the Economy: Distinguished local academics and activists Gene Nichol of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch, and Sandy Darity and Jeff Ward of the Duke University Law School discussed the crisis of income inequality in North Carolina and issues related to poverty and jobs on February 28, 2013 ($194).
People’s Alliance History Project: A comprehensive history of The People’s Alliance Fund, Durham People’s Alliance, and the People’s Alliance Political Action Committee carried out by a work-study student from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012-13.
2012 and Earlier
People’s Alliance Forum on the State of the Durham Public Schools Budget: A community meeting to educate the public and members on the state of the Durham Public Schools budget, held September 28, 2012 ($383).
People’s Alliance Forum on the North Carolina Judiciary: A panel composed of a judicial expert from the Institute of Government, two Duke Law School professors, and the Mayor of Chapel Hill explained the importance of the judiciary, particularly the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and reviewed recent decisions and pending cases in the areas of education, the environment, LGBT rights, and redistricting. The forum took place in late August, 2012 and was open to the public ($270).
WNCU-FM “Keep It Kool” Project: An emergency project by the nonprofit radio station at North Carolina Central University in Durham to purchase and install new air conditioning for the station’s transmitter, allowing it to run at full capacity during the hot summer weather of 2012. The station was being forced to reduce transmitting power or shut down completely at times, depriving the community of non-commercial news and public affairs programming as well as jazz, soul and other music ($500).
People’s Alliance Legislative Forums: Public meetings held at least once annually to provide opportunities for citizens to ask questions and share concerns with the Durham delegation to the North Carolina General Assembly ($250-450 per forum).
Heirs Project: A multi-year oral history project also supported by the North Carolina Humanities Council and the InSight Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation to collect the experiences of veteran North Carolina organizers for social and economic change and share them with younger generations of activists. Organizers who recorded their stories included longtime Durhamites Mandy Carter, Tema Okun, and Cynthia Brown (two annual $500 grants).
Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) Ella Baker Tour: Another project to share organizer experiences with a larger audience, this tour by 1960s veterans of SNCC (the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the “young Turks” of the civil rights movement) included a stop in Durham for events at North Carolina Central University and Duke University ($250).
Traction 2008 Voter Mobilization: A non-partisan multi-event project by Durham-based Traction throughout October, 2008 to increase turnout among young voters in Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Greenville, including Halloween “Trick-or-Vote” costume parties and “How Low Can You Vote?” limbo parties (!) to encourage voting down the ballot for all state and local races ($500).
Bringing Books to Children: A project of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with major funding from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and Cisco Systems to provide three books to every Head Start child in Durham ($250).
People’s Alliance Issue Forums: Panel presentations to provide information and generate discussion of Durham issues. Presentations are open to the public. Topics have included the new rules governing the Jordan Lake Watershed, a controversial mayoral proposal to focus almost all future community development funds on the Rolling Hills/Southside project, an initiative to improve the city’s inspection of rental housing, and the proposed statewide expansion of charter schools ($360-630 per forum).
“One Nation Working Together March” on Washington: Five scholarships distributed through the Southern Anti-Racism Network for low-income Durham residents to participate in this October, 2010 march organized by a broad coalition of labor, civil rights, and other progressive organizations ($215).