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         Sister Cities of Durham

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

We have Sister Cities with Arusha in Tanzania, Celeya 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    And our Friendship Cities are Kunshan, China and Xianning, China
Note:  On Aug. 15, 2022, Durham City Council voted to "suspend" relations with Kostroma, Russia, based on concerns about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

We invite You to become a Member

As a member of Sister Cities of Durham, you support our programs and activities to build mutual cooperation and understanding with Durham's Sister Cities around the world,

and to become familiar with our own Durham neighbors who represent over 30 countries.

You can be a part of one of our City Committees, or help with one of our Board committees, which are all described below.  Or you may decide to be a general member providing general support for our activities without being tied to a specific committee.
We invite you to be involved as you wish.
Family = $35;  Individual = $20; Student = $10.
Payment can be made with PayPal on our website below,

or mail to  PO Box 767;  Durham, NC 27702

Details are below.

Our Annual Meeting was at City Hall on Friday, Oct. 14, with a reception and business/awards program.  

-- The 9th annual SCD/Mayor's Awards for 
"Promoting International Understanding" were presented at the reception, which also featured refreshments representing our Sister Cities.

-- The 11th annual Dorothy Borden Awards for long term service to SCD were presented to Lusia Li and Eve Marion.

-- City Committee annual reports and our financial statement were presented.

  See the full program and reports in the Documents section of this website.


Pictured above: 
L-R:  Recipients of the Sister Cities/Mayor's Awards for "Promoting International Understanding" at our Annual Meeting on Oct. 14.  
-- Mayor Elaine O'Neal (center) with
Ellen Holmes, Zweli & Leonardo Williams and Bryan Fox/Chamber of Commerce.

-- Ellen Holmes, Jordan High School

-- Leonardo & Zweli Williams, Zweli's

-- Bryan Fox, representing the Chamber 

Enjoy a 3 minute video of the Festival:


Two Durhams Beer Festival was
Aug. 19, 2022 at Central Park
Here is a 3 minute video of the Festival

Our first successful Beer Festival at Central Park in Aug featured beers brewed locally using recipes from England.
Then the Steam Machine Pub in Durham, England hosted a celebration of our beer partnership. 

They were the partner with Full Steam for our event, and now they are celebrating Durham, NC.
See the poster to the right ---->>> 

Next Project - Maybe a "pub crawl" in England?

2nd Annual Festival:

5 -9 pm, Fri, June 9, 2023

at Durham Central Park

       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,
 to go to their page on this website.

Arusha in Tanzania

Celaya in Mexico
Durham in England, UK

Kavala in Greece

Sibiu in Romania

Tilaran in Costa Rica

Toyama in Japan
Zhuzhou in China

Kostroma in Russia - suspended on Aug. 15, 2022 by the
Durham City Council.

 Durham also has two Friendship Cities in China:

    Kunshan and Xianning                                             

Durham's other international connections represent these countries with restaurants, businesses and associations 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 are already providing much needed shade for Park visitors.


These oak 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.


 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) Hosting local government officials

8) International Art Booth at Centerfest  

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.  Pictures 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 member.

  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.  Help with our Centerfest booth, Sept 17 - 18, which focuses on international art representing our nine Sister Cities

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:
At Large:



Durham, UK:







Tom Harris

Chris Boyer

Mark Goodwillie

Bob Ashley

Gwenn Bookman

Sue Mathias
Susanna Ochola-Love

Patricia Sheppard
Min Shu

Ronda Pierce, Gwenn Bookman

Elsa Jimenez

Nancy Proia

Randy Griffin

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.
Board Committees usually meet bi-monthly
 (Marketing, Membership, Governance, Fundraising, Technology)  Festival of Nations meets bi-weekly in 2023

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

Coming Events, 2023:

Discussions are taking place about these possible projects with all our Sister Cities
-- Fri, June 9 Second Annual
"Two Durhams Beer Festival":
-- Tea Tasting

-- Photography Exchanges

-- Food Recipes Exchanges
-- Castle Theatre of Durham University presenting Shakespeare in late August
-- Trips to some of our Sister Cities

-- Sun, Oct. 8,  5th Annual Festival of Nations

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 for Membership Dues 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.  Help with our 4th Annual Festival of Nations, April 3: