The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People will celebrate its 80th year in its own facility at 601 Fayetteville St.
This is the first time in the organization’s history that the Durham Committee had its own permanent home. The group was started in 1935 by community leaders and businessmen C.C. Spaulding, James E. Shepard, R.N. Harris, W. D. Hill, L. E. Austin, J.T. Taylor, John Wheeler, W. J. Kennedy and R. L. McDougald.
The Durham Committee serves as “a public forum for discussion of community affairs, and especially African-American affairs, in order to arrive at the consensus of its constituency’s general betterment, particularly in the area of African-Americans Affairs for the citizens of Durham and Durham County,” according to a news release. “The primary mission of the organization shall be to work toward the elimination of racial discrimination, or distinction in public and general private affairs; and to cooperate with other public and private groups in improving civic, cultural, economic, educational, health, housing, governmental, legal affairs, youth affairs, and religious and human affairs.”
This mission continues today under the leadership of former state Sen. Ralph Hunt Sr. It has nine subcommittees: Civic, Economic, Education, Health, Housing, Legal Redress, Governmental, Religious and Human Affairs, and Youth.
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“This group and many other concerned citizens of Durham will continue to strive for equality in our communities,” the news release continued. “DCABP Inc. and the leaders of the sub-committees hope the new facility will be a place to plan strategies that build collaboration of efforts to reach our common mission. Join us as we move forward with greater strength.”
The public is invited to an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at 601 Fayetteville St. A press conference will start at 5 p.m., followed by a tour of the building, and concluding the evening with refreshments. The open house will end at 6:30 p.m.
The Durham Committee general body meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month. The first general body meeting in the new facility is Thursday, June 4.