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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:  

A Great 4th Annual Festival of Nations,
11 - 5, April 3:  Durham Central Park

Attendance:  Between 1,500 & 2,000;  Participants included:
Our Sister Cities, 10 Sponsors, 30 Vendors (Food & Merchandise) and nonprofits,

              11 Performing groups, 20 International Restaurants promoting the Festival.

Use PayPal to pay Membership Dues,  Donations, Festival fees.

 Festival of Nations

Hosted by Sister Cities of Durham

11-5, Sun, Apr 3, Durham Central Pk

                A great time for all.
             Estimated Attendance:  1,500 -- 2,000

 Festival of Nations featured:

 -- Durham's Nine Sister Cities: 
-- Nations represented in Durham with restaurants, businesses, associations, and performing groups

Our International Groups Were:

    ---  Food and Beverage Vendors
    --  Cultural & Information Booths
    --  Children's Area

    --  Performers from over 10 nations

    --  Merchandise Vendors


  Virtual Festival of Nations

You can continue your experience with our Festival of Nations by visiting our Virtual Festival:
April 1 -July 31.  Here is the link:
The Virtual Festival introduces you to  the 

the 32 nations represented in Durham

with information and videos.


  Durham has over 100 international restaurants.  Sister Cities of Durham is proud to recognize some of the many international restaurants who are part of Durham’s International Community 

Alpaca - Peru                              Bali Hai - Mongolian

Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub            Dos Perros
El Chapin - Guatemala               
El Dorado - Mexican            Gocciolina - Italian                     International Delights          Italian Pizzeria                            Maggiano’s Little Italy          Monsoon - India                         Mother & Sons Trattoria      Neo China                                   P F Chang’s                          Saladelia                                    Taqueria Los Amigos            Thai at Main St                          Torero’s - Mexican                Vin Rouge - French Bistro

Mateo Tapas - Spanish/Southern   

Sister Cities of Durham has many programs with our 9 Sister Cities around the world:

Arusha in Tanzania;

Celaya in Mexico;

Durham in England;

Kavala in Greece;

Kostroma in Russia;

Sibiu in Romania;

Tilaran in Costa Rica;

Toyama in Japan;

Zhuzhou in China.

We have exchanges in the areas of Education,

Art & Music, Medicine, Local Government, Business.

Click on the Cities below for more information.

And we have programs that include all our Sister Cities, such as:

1) Our annual Festival of Nations,

2) Library Presentations,

3) Tea Tastings,

4) Peace Grove at Durham Central Park.

5) Durham's annual holiday parade in Dec.

6) Promotional materials.
7) Annual Festival of Nations
8) International Art Booth at Centerfest

Sister Cities of Durham, North Carolina

PO Box 767;  Durham,  NC 27702

Resolution Adopted by the Board of Directors, March 16, 2022

Fellow Citizen Diplomats of Durham, North Carolina and Kostroma, Russia,

The Board of Directors met to address the situation between Russia and Ukraine,
and our relationship with our Sister City of Kostroma, Russia.

You can read the full text of the resolution in the "Documents" section of this web page

Tanzanian Ambassador Elsie Kazan
Ambassador Kazan was hosted by the Arusha City Committee and guests at North Carolina Central University, Dec. 5, to celebrate 60 years of Independence and cooperation with the USA.  

Pictured Left:  Ronda Pierce, Chair of the Arusha City Committee

presided at the event, with Tom Harris, President of Sister Cities of Durham, Mayor Steve Schewel, Ambassador Kazan, and
Gwenn Bookman Arusha City Committee Co-Chair 

Pictured Right:  Tom Harris, President of Sister Cities of Durham, presents the Ambassador with the Sister Cities lapel pin. 

Pictured Left:   
The group attending this meeting included representatives of major area international organizations, state and local officials, and representatives from North Carolina Central University. 

Pictured Right
Past President Sue Mathias and President Tom Harris welcomed Ambassador Kazan to Durham. 

       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;   Brazil;   Colombia;   Cuba;   El Salvador;  Ethiopia;       France;   Germany;   Guatemala;   Honduras;  Kenya;   Korea;   India;   Ireland;   Italy;   Jamaica;  Mongolia;   Nigeria;  Peru;   Philippines;       

Scandinavian countries -- Norway;  Sweden;   Denmark;
Sierra Leone;   
Spain;   Thailand;             
Ukraine;   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 Sister Cities trees, in partnership with Durham Central Park.



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 below -- participating in the December, 2021 Durham Holiday Parade:

Come join us and  participate in a City Committee, our Festival of Nations, or as 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 -- Click on the City in our list on the left to see more about each Sister City.  .

3.  Volunteer to help with our  Annual Festival of Nations.:

           -- Planning and/or Day of the Event.

4. 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]

Use the PayPal "Donate" button here for Membership Dues, Festival Fees, Donations

      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 Pres: 



At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:



Durham, UK:








Tom Harris

Chris Boyer

Rich Jaworski

Mark Goodwillie

Bob Ashley

Gwenn Bookman

Sue Mathias
Susanna Ochola-Love

Vivian Wan

Ronda Pierce, Gwenn Bookman

Elsa Jimenez

Nancy Proia

Randy Griffin

Brian Snyder

Mitch Scurtu

Melissa Perez

Yuki Temma

Lusia Li

Dot Borden, Life Time Director

Brady Surles, Executive Director

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 14, 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, 2022:

"Two Durhams Beer Feast" in August.
Featuring an exchange of beer recipes between breweries in Durham, NC & Durham, UK

Discussions are taking place about these possible projects with all our Sister Cities:
-- Tea Tasting

-- Photography Exchanges

-- Food Recipes Exchanges

More information later.

Pictured above is our sign at Durham Central Park.

Our Vision:

We strive to develop a peaceful world, with mutual cooperation and understanding, 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
Durham Arts Council
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

-- Business/Educational Group  $150

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: