From the NC Cooperative Extension, a partnership between NC State University and NC A&T University:
Dear Friends and Community Partners,
I would like to invite you to join us on Thursday, October 15 from 8:30AM-12:00PM to be a part of the development of a Durham Promise Zone. The event will take place at the Durham County Human Services Building at 400 E. Main Street in Conference Room A. A light breakfast will be provided.
What is a Promise Zone?
The Promise Zone Initiative is a federal program created by the Obama administration to designate high poverty communities as “Promise Zones.” The designation creates a partnership between the federal government and the local community to address priorities within the zone. A Durham Promise Zone would not supplant existing initiatives and efforts; it would reinforce this work. The Promise Zone designation will enhance our ability to act in concert with federal and state agencies and garner resources that can support local work and improve quality of life in the zone. There is a competitive community-based federal application process to request a Promise Zone for Durham.
What is my role?
Durham County Cooperative Extension has been asked to shepherd the federal application process for a Durham Promise Zone on behalf of the City, County, and Durham Community. Essential to this process is community input, investment and commitment from partners who are the implementers of community based programs, initiatives, practices, and strategies in Durham. We are inviting YOU to participate and become one of the “Pillars of Promise” because you and your organization are deeply engaged in the community and the goals of the proposed Promise Zone. On October 15, you will learn more about the Promise Zone application process, review the proposed zone map, and have direct input into the five goals for the zone:
- Create Jobs
- Increase economic activity
- Improve educational opportunities
- Reduce violent crime
- Promote health and access to healthcare
Through your participation, you and your organization will have the opportunity to become an Implementation Partner for the Durham Promise Zone.
What do I need to do?
Please RSVP using the link below and join us on October 15. There is a space on the RSVP form to indicate your interest if you cannot attend and to recommend other potential partners in this process. You can also send someone else to represent your organization. Please contact Donna Rewalt, Community Outreach Coordinator, at (919)560-0538 or firstname.lastname@example.org you have any questions.
What are the benefits?
If designated as a Promise Zone (a ten-year designation), the benefits for Durham include: preference for certain competitive federal programs and technical assistance, federal staff to assist in implementing goals and navigating federal programs, potential tax incentives, and the expertise of five (5) full time AmeriCorps VISTA members to manage volunteers and increase capacity. The Promise Zone designation propels our collective ability to address multiple community challenges and has the potential to expand and strengthen the good work you are already doing in the community.
We look forward to meeting with you on October 15 and sharing more about the potential for a Durham Promise Zone. Together we have an extraordinary opportunity to be the catalyst for ongoing collaboration and to serve as the pillars of change, growth and prosperity for a greater Durham.