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Sister Cities of Durham, NC

Sister Cities of Durham

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

Statements against Discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

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

Both Sister Cities of Durham and Sister Cities International have issued statements opposing the

discrimination and violence expressed against our friends who are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.





As an organization for whom mutual respect for all peoples is a deeply embedded value, Sister Cities of Durham is profoundly troubled by escalating incidents of disrespect, hatred and even violence directed at Asians and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Last week’s fatal attacks in Atlanta were another reminder that this bigotry and discrimination has been overlooked for too long. 

We are enriched by our relationship with four cities in China and Japan -- two full Sister Cities and two in the Friendship category -- and continue to promote activities that engage our cultures in shared experiences and increased understanding of one another.

As members and allies of our American Asian and Pacific Islander communities, we reject such discrimination and violence, and we will continue to strive for greater understanding, respect and justice in our society. We cannot stand by and ignore these events.




We are saddened to hear about the continued abuse and violence toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Heightened by the pandemic, violence towards the AAPI community has been increasing at a frightening rate.

While we acknowledge that anti-Asian rhetoric is unfortunately not a new phenomenon, it is discouraging and disheartening to see its terrible effects in our communities.

Sister Cities International is an organization that values the building of cultural bridges, and the acts that we are witnessing in this time are much too reminiscent of past mistakes that have hurt communities immensely. The profound harm caused by racism, hate, and discrimination is fatal, and we condemn it deeply.

Our organization seeks to create citizen diplomacy, and this can only be done through the appreciation and cherishing of other cultures. We strive to use our organization to fight against systemic racism in our society and institutions. It is important to us that we ensure that all spaces are inclusive and equitable, providing a space where all can feel valued and safe in their diversity.

It is vital to repudiate these hateful acts, as well as the actors, to protect our communities and ensure safety and appreciation during these difficult and heartbreaking times.

Sister Cities International condemns racism, hate, discrimination and violence in all forms. We stand proudly in solidarity with our AAPI community in fighting against this hatred.

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, and the environment.

These link our Durham community to the World.

To pay dues or donate by check, mail to: Sister Cities of Durham; PO Box 767; Durham, NC 27702

Thanks for your support of Sister Cities of Durham

Durham's Sister Cities:

Arusha in Tanzania;

Kavala in Greece;

Tilaran in Costa Rica;

Durham's Friendship Cities:

Celaya in Mexico;

Kostroma in Russia;

Toyama in Japan;

Xianning, China;

Durham in England;

Sibiu in Romania;

Zhuzhou in China.

Kunshan, China

4th Annual "Festival of Nations" -- Oct. 3, 2021: In-Person & Sept 25 - Dec 31: Virtual

Hosted by Sister Cities of Durham

We look forward to the in-person Festival at Durham Central Park, 11 - 5, Sun, Oct. 3

In addition we will have a virtual festival available to the world, Sept 25 - Dec 31.

During our first Virtual Festival in 2020, 2500 people from 20 countries viewed the Festival

Plan to join us for our international focus -- with cultural booths, food trucks, musicians, dancers

representing Durham's 9 Sister Cities and 18 other countries represented in Durham

Durham is truly an International Community

Here is a video from our 2020 Virtual Festival: Our Toyama, Japan youth group singing "We Are the World" (Toyama, Japan)

Our "Peace Grove" at Durham Central Park

Our Board of Directors:

Board of Directors Meetings, 2021, Locations TBA


Vice President:



At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:

At Large:



Durham, UK:








Sue Mathias

Guillermo Solares

Chris Boyer

Mark Goodwillie

Bob Ashley

Gwenn Bookman

Connie Gomez-Joines

Tom Harris

Rich Jaworski

Vivian Wan

Ronda Pierce, Gwenn Bookman

Guillermo Solares, Elsa Jimenez

Nancy Proia

Betty Seddon, Randy Griffin

Anne Berkley, Ann Evangelisto

Mitch Scurtu

Melissa Perez

Chris Boyer, Yuki Temma

Mark Goodwillie, Lusia Li

Executive Director, Brady Surles

10 am, Jan 30, Planning Retreat, Zoom

7 pm, February 18, Zoom

7pm, April 15, Zoom

7 pm, June 17, Zoom

7 pm, August 19

5:30 pm, October 22, Annual Meeting

7 pm, November 18

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:

Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park:

In partnership with Durham Central Park, nine Oak trees were planted in January to represent our nine Sister Cities.

We will have dedication ceremony in the spring.

Signage recognizing Sister Cities will be designed later. 

Our Vision:

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

Note: Some of our programs are 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 ?

-- Educational Exchanges, especially with high school and college students and educational professionals.

-- Exchanges with artists and musicians.

-- Exchanges with medical personnel.

-- Annual Festival of Nations.

-- Peace Grove of Trees at Durham Central Park.

-- Quilts from our Sister Cities on display in City Hall.

-- Hosting virtual meetings with our Sister Cities to develop friendships and 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

Durham Public Schools

Center for the Global Learner at Durham Tech Community College

Durham County Public Library

Durham Central Park

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.

Pictured is our sign at Durham Central Park.

The Peace Grove of Trees at the Park will represent our nine Sister Cities, with our partnership with Durham Central Park.

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