Students from NCCU Video Production Class conduct virtual interview with DCABP, Inc. Board Member Omar Beasley.
DCABP, Inc. Partners with NCCU for Social Justice and Community Engagement
Durham, NC - The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, Inc. (DCABPI), a community based organization established in 2014 that stands at the forefront of Social Justice and Racial Equity has partnered with North Carolina Central University in two important initiatives to help communities in Durham, NC. DCABPI launched the two projects in January 2021 that include a Social Justice & Racial Equity initiative, aka, Unifying Community Voices (UCV), and a Community Engagement project done in-conjunction with The City of Durham - Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, and other municipal departments.
NCCU, along with Duke Energy Foundation, Microsoft, and San Francisco, CA-based Courageous Conversation are supporting DCABPI’s Social Justice & Racial Equity (SJ/RE) project. NCCU is assisting DCABPI’s Community Engagement (CE) project, working in tandem with the City of Durham to focus on African American communities located along Holloway St. and Wellons Village in the East Durham area.
NCCU has four departments providing resources for both DCABPI projects with thirty NCCU college students (Graduate, Undergraduate & Early College) currently involved in every aspect of the interrelated projects (SJ/RE; CE). DCABPI is also receiving in-kind donation technology support via the Microsoft Nonprofit Tech Acceleration for Black and African American Communities program. NCCU students, faculty, staff, and alumni representing NCCU College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, NCCU CIS Department, NCCU Department of Mass Communication, NCCU James E. Shepard Library, and NCCU Civic Engagement Work Group are assisting in the groundbreaking projects.
DCABPI extended paid internships and Community Service opportunities for NCCU Students interested in being involved in either or both projects. DCABPI Student Interns (aka, Scholars) were recruited, interviewed and selected based upon recommendations made by NCCU faculty or staff, along with submittal of the student’s resume. Students selected have received Microsoft accounts (e.g., email, videoconference) along with an opportunity for a paid Fellowship with Courageous Conversation Global Foundation.
NCCU Students from the Political Science and Civic Engagement class are earning course credit for their participation in the projects based upon their respective interest area (SJ/RE, CE). In addition, students from the NCCU Video Production class are earning course credit for their role in the development of a video and vignettes highlighting the historical significance of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, the pioneering organization created in 1935 by founders Charles Clinton Spaulding, James E. Shepard (NCCU Founder), Rencher N. Harris, W.D. Hill, R.L. McDougald, J.T. Taylor and L.E. Austin referred to as “a committee of influential Negroes”. The name of the organization was later changed to the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, and has been around now for 85 years while continually making a positive impact on the lives of many residents in Durham.
NCCU Student Interns involvement includes serving in leadership and support roles as part of their hands-on implementation experience with DCABPI's initiatives. The students are integrally involved within each component of DCABPI’s impactful multidisciplinary projects forecasted as models for the nation and world.
As part of the UCV Initiative, DCABPI is currently hosting a Courageous Conversation series. The Unifying Community Voices series establishes conversation about race, and addresses the desperate outcomes affected by disinvestment in Durham’s minority community. The overall goal for the initiative is to eradicate inequalities systemically instituted by race, and to reinvest in Durham’s underserved communities enabling the reclamation of a proud indigenous heritage. The conversations engage diverse populations to include adult, collegiate, and youth (ages, 14-17) from every sphere and socioeconomic status, as well as develop strategies that will make an impact in Durham by serving as a catalyst for change and model for the nation.
During Black History Month, DCABPI Scholars are assisting in the coordination (e.g., logistics, marketing) for the upcoming Virtual Introduction to Courageous Conversation: The Experience, a two-day multiracial dialogue about the roots of racial disparities to promote racial equity to be held on February 24-25, 2021. DCABPI Scholars will also coordinate and facilitate a virtual solution-oriented series forum entitled Empowering the Next Generation for College & High School Students to be held in March 2021. This session will be open to students from colleges and universities throughout the region, and designed to engage youth in the Courageous Conversation™ as stakeholders.
DCABPI Scholars are also coordinating Durham's youth involvement through a Creative Art Expression about Race project. Area youth will have a choice of genres to reflect / react to inter-generational
conversations and issues surrounding Race and Social Justice emanating across the nation. Youth participants will be encouraged to reflect and share their creative expressions (e.g., literary, visual arts) to be displayed via social media and exhibitions. Local authors, poets, playwrights, artists, musicians / rappers, photographers, and journalists will assist area youth to develop their projects. All UCV project sessions will be held via a virtual environment until further COVID-19 pandemic guidance is given by state and local officials.
Throughout the year, DCABPI and NCCU Student Interns will also be delivering a community engagement model for the City’s NIS Department to help strengthen the community, address local citizen concerns, and find ways to help improve conditions in Durham communities. DCABPI is working alongside the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department to conduct interviews with community leaders and activist. Both projects will be collecting feedback from community residents through surveys as well as using social media and other platforms to effectively engage residents while following approved COVID-19 protocols.
DCABPI Chairman Frederick Ravin noted, “We are grateful to NCCU for collaborating with us in these monumental projects, along with our other amazing companies and organizational partners Duke Energy Foundation, Microsoft, Courageous Conversations, and The City of Durham. We hope to partner with many more along the way.”