I am a sixty years old black man who has been fighting for social justice and fairness for low- income communities here in Durham North Carolina for the last 27 years. I have seen a lot of changes come into our communities that at the time I felt good about, housing has been improved, we have more and better parks and playgrounds, downtown Durham has come back to life and there are more things to do, access to main highways are being improve and a lot of different jobs are coming into the area. The problem I see now is that with all of these good things happening in Durham, not many poor blacks are benefiting, in fact we are being forced out of our neighborhoods, are young blacks men and women aren’t getting the good paying jobs and the black owned businesses are dying out. Try as I can, I don’t know how to turn this around or where to start, Any ideals?
I am Stephen Hopkins; I’m a 58 years old single father living in Durham North Carolina. I was born here and love the County and city of Durham. I have served on several city boards and have been a community leader for many years. I was a member of the Durham Housing Authority Board, Durham Housing Appeals Board and the Durham Homeless Serves Advisory Committee. I’ve held community leadership positions as PAC 1 Co-Facilitator, Durham’s NAACP Housing Chair, Few Gardens Resident Council President, The Old Five Point Neighborhood President, Co-Facilitator for the Campaign for Safe, Decent and Affordable Housing and the Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council. I have worked as a community organizer for the past 22years. I’ve worked as a organizer for the Durham Housing Authority and then for Durham Affordable Housing Coalition. I worked as a property manager for Moe Geo LLC and RDC Construction. I believe I have some ideals about community engagement and what it means to low income communities that might help with some of the issues facing communities all across North Carolina today.