Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Sister Cities of Durham, NC

Sister Cities of Durham, Inc.  PO Box 767; Durham, NC 27702

Sister Cities in China, Costa Rica, England, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Tanzania.   

Update from our Annual Meeting, October 22

The major event at our Annual Meeting was the 8th Annual

"Mayor's/Sister Cities of Durham Award for Promoting International Understanding",
 a joint program between the Durham Mayor's Office and Sister Cities, recognizing Individuals and Organizations in the Durham area.

Presentation of Awards - Individual

Retiring Mayor Steve Schewel received the Individual award for 2021 for his strong support of our Sister Cities programs during his four years as Mayor.

Pictured here are  members of Sister Cities who presented Mayor Schewel with his award, and also gave him food items and presents from around the world (Durham's 9 Sister Cities).

Front, L-R:  Ann Evangelisto, Gwenn Bookman, Mayor Schewel, Carolyn Surles.

Back, L-R:  Yuki Temma, Mark Goodwillie, Randy Griffin, 
Susanna Ochola.  

Presentation of Awards - Organization

The Center for the Global Learner at Durham Tech Community College received the Award for an Organization for their impact on the Durham area working with international students.

 Pictured here are Randy Griffin, Board Member of Sister Cities, presenting the award to Dr. Constanza Gomez-Joines and the staff of the Center for the Global Learner.

  Annual Dorothy Borden Volunteer Award
 for long term involvement with Sister Cities of Durham were presented to:

                Mark Goodwillie  and Ronda Pierce   

"Appreciation" recognitions presented to:

Betty Tilley Seddon by the Kavala City Committee

Barbara Pinter by the Toyama City Committee

Update on our Annual Meeting, Oct. 22

  Board Members Elected for 2021 - 2024:
Rich Jaworski;  Guillermo Solares;  Susanna Ochola-Love

Check out our Awards on our Facebook page. 


       Durham's Sister Cities:
Our Sister Cities of Durham partnerships around the world are signed by the Mayor of Durham and the other respective Mayors.

Check out our Sister Cities with the tab above, or click the City listed below to go to their page on this website.

Arusha in Tanzania

Celaya in Mexico
Durham in England, UK

Kavala in Greece

Kostroma in Russia
Sibiu in Romania

Tilaran in Costa Rica

Toyama in Japan
Zhuzhou in China

 Durham also has two Friendship Cities in China:

    Kunshan and Xianning                                             

Durham's other international connections represent these countries with restaurants and businesses in Durham:

Argentina;      Colombia;       Cuba;       Ethiopia;      France;       Germany;       Guatemala;       Honduras;  Kenya;       Korea;       India;       Ireland;       Italy;  Jamaica;       Mongolia;       Nigeria;       Peru; Scandinavia;       Thailand;       Vietnam;       Zimbabwe.       

Our Peace Grove at Durham Central Park


 In partnership with the Park, we planted 9 Overcup Oaks in January, 2021 to represent our 9 Sister Cities.  These trees will provide much needed shade for Park visitors.


These trees are very sturdy and can survive in difficult conditions.

Plans are underway to develop signage for the SCD trees, in partnership with Durham Central Park.

Pictured below:

SCD Vice President Guillermo Solares stands beside one of our trees to show you how the trees have grown --  now approximately 15 feet tall.

 7th Annual Fund Drive         October  - December 15

Help us support exchanges with our 9 Sister Cities, and to create greater awareness of Durham's international community of 25+  nations.

     We promote exchanges in Education, the Arts, Medicine, Business,  and Local Government which help Durham connect to cities around the world.

To Donate - Two  Options:   PayPal or Check

1.  Use this PayPal button 

2.  Donate by Check, mail to:   Sister Cities of Durham; PO Box 767; Durham, NC 27702

 From our Chair,  Constanza Gomez-Joines

     It is my honor to chair this year’s Annual Fund Drive for SCD.   
     Our mission is to 
promote world peace by cooperation and respect between international peoples.  Our success in fulfilling our mission would not be possible without the support and generosity of people like you.

Please consider donating to our Annual  Fund.

     No amount is too small!

     We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you in person soon.

Constanza Gomez-Joines,

Chair of Annual Fund Drive for Sister Cities of Durham and Member of the Board of Directors

    4th Annual Festival of Nations

      Postponed to April 3, 2022 
            Durham Central Park
             11 - 5, April 3, 2022


      Hosted by Sister Cities of Durham

Durham connects world wide with cities on almost all continents.  Our Festival of Nations introduces you to Durham's international links

Sister Cities of Durham participates in many city wide events, including Library Presentations, City Hall displays.  Pictured above -- participating in Durham's Annual Holiday Parade.  

Come join us and  participate in a City Committee, our Festival of Nations, or a general committee.

  Here are opportunities to be involved in the programs and activities of Sister Cities of Durham:

1.  Membership information is below on this home page.

2, Volunteer to serve on one of our City Committees -- See the list of our Sister Cities on this home page.

3.  Join us to carry a Flag when we participate in Durham's Holiday Parade.

4. Volunteer to help with our 4th Annual Festival of Nations, April 3:             -- Planning and/or Day of the Event.

5. Join one of our other regular committees: 
  -- Marketing 
  -- Governance
  -- Technology/Social Media

  -- Membership
  -- Festival of Nations
  -- Fund Raising

Contact Brady Surles, Executive Director for more information

    [email protected]

You can use the PayPal "Donate" button here for Donations and Membership Dues.

      We appreciate your support of our programs for International Awareness and Exchanges in education,

the Arts, medicine, business, local government.  These help Durham connect to cities around the world.
       To Donate, or to pay Membership Dues:

-- Use this PayPal button.

-- Or By Check, mail to: Sister Cities of Durham; PO Box 767; Durham, NC 27702


Our Board of Directors:

Board of Directors Meetings, 2022, Locations TBA


Vice President:



At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:
At Large:



Durham, UK:








Tom Harris

Chris Boyer

Rich Jaworski

Mark Goodwillie

Bob Ashley

Gwenn Bookman

Connie Gomez-Joines

Sue Mathias
Susanna Ochola-Love
Guillermo Solares

Vivian Wan

Ronda Pierce, Gwenn Bookman

Guillermo Solares, Elsa Jimenez

Nancy Proia

Randy Griffin

Anne Berkley, Ann Evangelisto

Mitch Scurtu

Melissa Perez

Chris Boyer, Yuki Temma

Mark Goodwillie, Lusia Li

Dot Borden, Honorary Director

Executive Director, Brady Surles

9 am, Jan 29, Planning Retreat, Zoom

7 pm, March  3, Zoom?

7pm, May 5, Zoom?

7 pm, July 7, Zoom?

7 pm,, September 1, Zoom?

5:30 pm, October 21, Annual Meeting

7 pm, November 3

City Committees usually meet monthly or bi-monthly.

If you are interested in participating in any of these meetings, please contact SCD Executive Director Brady Surles [email protected]

Coming Events, 2021 - 2022:

Dec 18  Marching in Durham's Holiday Parade

Jan 29  Annual Planning Retreat

April 3   Festival of Nations 
-- at Durham Central Park

-- and Virtual 

Pictured above is our sign at Durham Central Park.

Our Vision:

We strive to develop a peaceful world, with mutual understanding and cooperation, one person and one community at a time.

Our Mission:
We partner with the City of Durham to organize and promote Sister Cities activities for Durham residents and to establish international Sister Cities relationships.

At our Annual Meeting, Oct. 22, we will present a summary of the activities and programs of our City Committees and the general organization during this past year. 
 We also present 2 Awards:.
-- The Annual SCD/Mayors Award for "Promoting International Understanding" to both individuals and organizations in the Durham community.

-- The Annual "Dorothy Borden" Award to SCD members for long term contributions to Sister Cities

Note: Some of our programs have been postponed because of the Coronavirus.  Hopefully our in person programs will resume in the near future.  However, we still maintain our conversations with our friends around the world -- Come join us!   Zoom enables us to link globally in more meaningful ways than ever before.

What do we do ?   Join us in these activities.

-- Educational Exchanges with high schools, college students, educational professionals.

-- Exchanges with artists and musicians.

-- Exchanges with medical personnel.

-- Annual Festival of Nations.

-- Peace Grove at Durham Central Park.

-- Sister Cities Quilts displayed in City Hall.

-- Hosting virtual meetings with our Sister Cities to develop friendships, better understanding.

-- Participating in Durham's Holiday Parade.

-- Presentations in the Library's Public Forums.

Plans are developing for trips to:

Greece, Japan, Romania, when COVID recedes.

The trips will be open to the public.

Check back later for updates as plans develop.

We appreciate the support of our partners:

City of Durham and the Mayor's Office

Durham Public Schools

Center for the Global Learner at DTCC 

Durham County Public Library

Durham Central Park -- Peace Grove
Duke Garden - the Asiatic Arboretum
Sister Communities of San Ramon, Nicaragua
Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum
Carolina Friends School
Central Park School for Children
Carolina China Council
Triangle Community Foundation -- Sister Cities of Durham
        Endowment Fund for International Understanding

Pictured:  Durham students welcome visiting students from our Sister Cities at RDU airport.


We invite you to join us in Sister Cities of Durham to promote a greater understanding of Durham's international connections.

Annual Membership Dues per Calendar Year:

-- Family Membership $35

-- Individual Membership $20

-- Student Membership $10

Also Life Time Membership $300

Payment can be made:

-- on our PayPal button on this page;

-- or Mail checks to:

Sister Cities of Durham

PO Box 767; Durham, NC 27702

Thanks for supporting Sister Cities of Durham

Here are opportunities to be involved in the programs and activities of Sister Cities of Durham:
1,  Volunteer to serve on one of our City Committees  -- See the list of our Sister Cities.

2.  Helping with our 4th Annual Festival of Nations, April 3: