Our priorities are community-informed. During fiscal year 2019-2020, we listened to our community partners, neighbors, Durham city and county officials, and community organizers. We arrived at five focus areas in which Duke can forge purposeful partnerships to advance quality of life in Durham. 


Duke convened a community conversation on housing in Durham. Approximately 75 community members and leaders met to discuss and think critically about Duke’s partnerships in affordable housing availability in Durham. Participants suggested that Duke continue its investments in loan-making and land-banking, financial literacy, transportation, health, and homelessness. In conjunction with those activities, Duke is committed to increasing affordable housing units and to help existing residents remain in place.  


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Duke Health hosts annual Durham Health Summits to address community health needs. Eliminating health disparities and gaining access to food security and nutrition were identified at these summits as fundamental areas impacting quality of life. Duke will work in partnership with nonprofits and faith-based organizations to tackle food security and nutrition and to help close gaps in health.


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Duke held a community conversation with nearly 100 participants to broadly discuss education needs in Durham from early childhood through grade 12. The group of experts, including teachers, students, principals, administrators and education scholars sought a holistic approach to early childhood development and public education. Based on these discussions, Duke is committed to expand access to high-quality childcare and education through outreach and investments local schools and programs. 


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Duke held multiple focus groups to discuss college and career readiness including post-secondary opportunities and workforce partnerships in Durham. The focus groups indicated a desire for Duke to expand on its already successful internship and work-based learning opportunities. With this in mind, Duke is committed to lowering barriers to employment for traditionally excluded groups, and to help coordinate and navigate Duke’s resources for college and career opportunities.


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Through several listening sessions and regular community outreach, Duke is committed to holistically furthering partnerships with nonprofits and faith-based organizations. These groups are specifically seeking sustained commitments by Duke in support of capacity-building activities such as grant writing and board development, resources such as funding, research and volunteerism, and programmatic support in the five focus areas. 


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