Durham, North Carolina

Durham, NC

Durham was once best known for its textile mills and its tobacco factories, including the “Bull Durham Tobacco and Company” and “Duke & Sons.” However, in the late 1980s Durham hit hard times, marked by the closure of Erwin Mills (Burlington Industries) in 1986 and, just one year later, of the American Tobacco factory.

Located in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Research Triangle” region of North Carolina—anchored by Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Durham has sought in recent years to reinvent itself as the “Medicine City. Today, the city houses roughly 300 medical and health-related companies and medical practices with a combined payroll that exceeds $1.5 billion annually.

The Research Triangle region is home to over 1.5 million. The city of Durham, like the rest of its surrounding region, has grown rapidly in recent years. The Census Bureau estimates that the city of Durham's population as of 2010 was just greater than 228,000 — nearly 20,000 above the level of just five years before and more than 40 percent greater than in 1990. About 42 percent of the population is white, another 40 percent African American, and the remainder are Asian or indigenous. Just over 14 percent of Durham's population identifies as hispanic or latino.

Despite its relatively small size, the city of Durham is home to a wide range of community wealth building institutions, which have played a leadership role, both locally and nationally, in community wealth building efforts.

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

 

Anchor Institutions

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Although based in Winston-Salem, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2006, Foundation grants in Durham included a $300,000 grant to SJF Ventures to assist with its job creations and a $150,000 grant to the Latino Community Credit Union to support the credit union's home ownership and home counseling programs. Read more about Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation...

Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation manages funds over 750 funds; in sum, the foundation has more than $145 million in assets. One new effort is its Community Grantmaking Program, which focuses on two themes: Civic Engagement and Youth Leadership and Development. The Foundation has committed $300,000 a year to support initiatives in these areas and also plans to provide additional funding to support Community Collaboration efforts that have a broad impact in the community. Read more about Triangle Community Foundation...

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Like the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Winston-Salem-based Z Smith Reynolds Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2005, foundation grants in Durham included a $100,000 grant to the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina SJF and a $150,000 to a Duke University-community partnership program, in which the university works with local community development corporations (see University Partnerships, below). Read more about Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation...

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974 UDI has developed a wide range of projects, including affordable housing, employment skills and opportunities programs, and expanded opportunities to own, manage, and operate business enterprises. Among UDI's more notable developments is a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 and has an asset base of $30 million. Read more about United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation...

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Self-Help

Founded in 1980, Self-Help is a community development lender that has provided $6.08 billion through 74,548 loans to homebuyers, small businesses, and nonprofits nationwide. Self-Help has also been a leader in efforts to limit predatory lending policies of check cashing outlets and other "fringe" banking services. Read more about Self-Help...

SJF Ventures

SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) is a community development venture capital fund. To date, SJF has invested $10.3 million in 18 companies, helping to retain 815 jobs and create an additional 702 jobs. Investment in a company is contingent on the company signing a covenant, with mutually agreed upon goals regarding job creation, facility location, and environmental impact. Read more about SJF Ventures ...

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Since its founding in 1987, the Durham Community Land Trustees, located in Durham's West End neighborhood, has developed over 200 units of permanently affordable housing with an addtional 47 units under development.   Read more about Durham Community Land Trustees...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Generations Community Credit Union

Generations Community Credit Union is a 9,000-member plus credit union, which aims to strengthen Durham and the surrounding community by using our financial resources to improve the quality of life for all. In particular, Generations promotes homeownership, economic development and financial literacy. Generations works to reach the underserved members of our community who have traditionally lacked access to financial services. Read more about Generations Community Credit Union...

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000, Latino Community Credit Union is the first fully bilingual credit union in the state of North Carolina. The credit union currently has grown to have about 42,000 members and more than $23 million in assets. Read more about Latino Community Credit Union...

Reclaiming the Commons

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, SEEDS aims to create neighborhood commons, gathering places close to their places of residence, such as community gardens. SEEDS also helps establish other commons spaces such as a Durham Farmers' Market and a space for emerging artists to display their works. Read more about South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc. ...

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, TROSA, the largest drug rehabilitation program in the state, runs seven business enterprises, which include a moving company, a brick masonry company, a lawn care maintenance company, a catering business, a paint company, and a picture frame shop. A large part of the staffing comes from drug rehabilitation program residents. Part of TROSA's two-year resident program requires that residents work in one of the businesses.  Read more about Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers...

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

In 1999, Self-Help worked with a state coalition to help pass the North Carolina Predatory Lending Law, the first such law in the country. In 2002, Self-Help established the Center for Responsible Lending to build on initial successes and to include practices outside of mortgage lending, such as payday lending. Since then, CRL has conducted or commissioned landmark studies on predatory lending practices and the impact of state laws that protect borrowers. Read more about Center for Responsible Lending...

Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina

The Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina's mission is to promote and protect community wealth. The group advocates for change in the lending practices of financial institutions to promote wealth building for underserved communities and to end predatory lending practices that strip wealth. Committed to taking a creative approach in its advocacy mission, CRA-NC uses a combination of research, education, mobilization, media, litigation, regulatory challenges, legislative proposals, and stockholder actions to bring about change. Read more about Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina...

Land Loss Prevention Project

Over the past several years, the Durham-based Land Loss Prevention Project has been a leader in the environmental justice arena, helping preserve land ownership for women and minority (predominately African American) farm-owners across the state, including winning landmark civil rights victories against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read more about Land Loss Prevention Project...

North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development

Based in Durham, NCIMED provides technical support for efforts statewide to develop women and minority-owned business. The Institute's working philosophy is that information and business development are critical to wealth creation and to building the asset base among low-wealth sectors of the population. NCIMED has also engaged in policy research and analysis on the state of and emergent trends in North Carolina's low-wealth and minority communities. Read more about North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development...

University & Community Partnerships

North Carolina Central University, Academic Community Service Learning Program

North Carolina Central University, a historical black college in Durham, has been a leader in volunteer service, service-learning, and community partnerships. In 2009-2010, NCCU students completed volunteer hours with an economic impact of nearly $4 million in the Durham area. NCCU has also supported the work of the Eagle Village Community Development Corporation (EVCDC), which works on community wealth building efforts within a 2-mile radius area surrounding the campus. Read more about North Carolina Central University, Academic Community Service Learning Program...

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

In 1999, Self-Help worked with a state coalition to help pass the North Carolina Predatory Lending Law, the first such law in the country. In 2002, Self-Help established the Center for Responsible Lending to build on initial successes and to include practices outside of mortgage lending, such as payday lending. Since then, CRL has conducted or commissioned landmark studies on predatory lending practices and the impact of state laws that protect borrowers. Read more about Center for Responsible Lending...

Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina

The Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina's mission is to promote and protect community wealth. The group advocates for change in the lending practices of financial institutions to promote wealth building for underserved communities and to end predatory lending practices that strip wealth. Committed to taking a creative approach in its advocacy mission, CRA-NC uses a combination of research, education, mobilization, media, litigation, regulatory challenges, legislative proposals, and stockholder actions to bring about change. Read more about Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina...

Land Loss Prevention Project

Over the past several years, the Durham-based Land Loss Prevention Project has been a leader in the environmental justice arena, helping preserve land ownership for women and minority (predominately African American) farm-owners across the state, including winning landmark civil rights victories against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Read more about Land Loss Prevention Project...

North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development

Based in Durham, NCIMED provides technical support for efforts statewide to develop women and minority-owned business. The Institute's working philosophy is that information and business development are critical to wealth creation and to building the asset base among low-wealth sectors of the population. NCIMED has also engaged in policy research and analysis on the state of and emergent trends in North Carolina's low-wealth and minority communities. Read more about North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development...

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Since its founding in 1987, the Durham Community Land Trustees, located in Durham's West End neighborhood, has developed over 200 units of permanently affordable housing with an addtional 47 units under development.   Read more about Durham Community Land Trustees...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Generations Community Credit Union

Generations Community Credit Union is a 9,000-member plus credit union, which aims to strengthen Durham and the surrounding community by using our financial resources to improve the quality of life for all. In particular, Generations promotes homeownership, economic development and financial literacy. Generations works to reach the underserved members of our community who have traditionally lacked access to financial services. Read more about Generations Community Credit Union...

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000, Latino Community Credit Union is the first fully bilingual credit union in the state of North Carolina. The credit union currently has grown to have about 42,000 members and more than $23 million in assets. Read more about Latino Community Credit Union...

Anchor Institutions

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Although based in Winston-Salem, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2006, Foundation grants in Durham included a $300,000 grant to SJF Ventures to assist with its job creations and a $150,000 grant to the Latino Community Credit Union to support the credit union's home ownership and home counseling programs. Read more about Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation...

Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation manages funds over 750 funds; in sum, the foundation has more than $145 million in assets. One new effort is its Community Grantmaking Program, which focuses on two themes: Civic Engagement and Youth Leadership and Development. The Foundation has committed $300,000 a year to support initiatives in these areas and also plans to provide additional funding to support Community Collaboration efforts that have a broad impact in the community. Read more about Triangle Community Foundation...

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Like the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the Winston-Salem-based Z Smith Reynolds Foundation also supports a number of community-based groups in Durham. In 2005, foundation grants in Durham included a $100,000 grant to the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina SJF and a $150,000 to a Duke University-community partnership program, in which the university works with local community development corporations (see University Partnerships, below). Read more about Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation...

University & Community Partnerships

North Carolina Central University, Academic Community Service Learning Program

North Carolina Central University, a historical black college in Durham, has been a leader in volunteer service, service-learning, and community partnerships. In 2009-2010, NCCU students completed volunteer hours with an economic impact of nearly $4 million in the Durham area. NCCU has also supported the work of the Eagle Village Community Development Corporation (EVCDC), which works on community wealth building efforts within a 2-mile radius area surrounding the campus. Read more about North Carolina Central University, Academic Community Service Learning Program...

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Self-Help

Founded in 1980, Self-Help is a community development lender that has provided $6.08 billion through 74,548 loans to homebuyers, small businesses, and nonprofits nationwide. Self-Help has also been a leader in efforts to limit predatory lending policies of check cashing outlets and other "fringe" banking services. Read more about Self-Help...

SJF Ventures

SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) is a community development venture capital fund. To date, SJF has invested $10.3 million in 18 companies, helping to retain 815 jobs and create an additional 702 jobs. Investment in a company is contingent on the company signing a covenant, with mutually agreed upon goals regarding job creation, facility location, and environmental impact. Read more about SJF Ventures ...

Reclaiming the Commons

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, SEEDS aims to create neighborhood commons, gathering places close to their places of residence, such as community gardens. SEEDS also helps establish other commons spaces such as a Durham Farmers' Market and a space for emerging artists to display their works. Read more about South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc. ...

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, TROSA, the largest drug rehabilitation program in the state, runs seven business enterprises, which include a moving company, a brick masonry company, a lawn care maintenance company, a catering business, a paint company, and a picture frame shop. A large part of the staffing comes from drug rehabilitation program residents. Part of TROSA's two-year resident program requires that residents work in one of the businesses.  Read more about Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers...

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974 UDI has developed a wide range of projects, including affordable housing, employment skills and opportunities programs, and expanded opportunities to own, manage, and operate business enterprises. Among UDI's more notable developments is a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 and has an asset base of $30 million. Read more about United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation...