Durham SEEDS Program
In June of 2018, the City of Durham adopted a new Strategic Plan with a core principle of Shared Economic Prosperity. The City is committed to taking intentional steps to better connect the most vulnerable residents in our community to the fruits of the strong Durham economy. Supporting the retention and expansion of local small, minority and women-owned business are an essential focus of the strategy. Removing barriers that limit access to the economy and building capacity to maximize jobs and business opportunities are important components of this strategy.
Durham’s rich tradition and history of “Black Wall Street” generated some iconic companies in the fields of insurance and finance. The City of Durham is looking to preserve and build on the legacy of its rich entrepreneurial tradition. National League of Cities (NLC) and Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) have joined the City of Durham to announce their support to develop a program for retaining legacy minority owned-businesses and the local jobs and wealth they create through the Shared Equity in Economic Development Program (SEED).
Durham is one of four cities selected for the inaugural SEED Fellowship along with Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia. The SEED Fellowship is a partnership between the National League of Cities (NLC) and Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) that convenes and equips city leaders with tools, resources and expertise to build equitable economies using democratic business ownership through a year-long program of leadership development, peer-to-peer learning, and strategy design support.
Durham SEEDS Fellows over the next year will be designing a plan to look at preservation of minority owned legacy businesses and expansion of small business ownership through succession planning, business evaluation and acquisition strategies including employee/worker conversions. With this program, the City in conjunction with its community partners will be able to begin a conversation with local minority owned legacy businesses. Businesses that have an interest will be linked to specialized resources that will provide technical assistance and extensive training to evaluate succession planning, acquisition and conversion.
The Durham Fellows are Deborah Giles, Director of the City of Durham Department of Equity & Inclusion; Andre Pettigrew, Director of the Office of Economic & Workforce Development for the City of Durham; and Chris Dickey, Economic Development Coordinator with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development for the City of Durham. They are joined by Community Fellow LaTasha Best-Gaddy, Business Consultant, Infinity Bridges, Inc.
The SEED (Shared Equity in Economic Development) Fellowship is a partnership between the National League of Cities (NLC) and Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) that convenes and equips city leaders with tools, resources and expertise to build equitable economies using democratic business ownership through a year-long program of leadership development, peer-to-peer learning, and strategy design support.
Digging Durham Seed Library
By providing both a repository for seeds and training for its patrons, the Digging Durham Seed Library helps to improve local sustainable food sources, enhance food security, develop local biodiversity, and boost Durham’s foodie culture.
Durham County Library patrons are invited to participate in this unique program by “checking out” and donating seeds. You can also help by volunteering to help with tasks such as sorting and packing seeds. If you would like to volunteer, or have any other questions, please contact Jenny Levine at [email protected] or 919-560-0268.
Checking Out Seeds
Seeds are available for checkout at these Durham County Library locations:
- East Regional Library – 211 Lick Creek Ln.
- North Regional Library – 221 Milton Rd.
- South Regional Library – 4505 S. Alston Ave.
- Southwest Regional Library – 3605 Shannon Rd.
Seeds are stored in old-fashioned card catalogs at each location. Checkout is limited to four seed packets per patron, and additional information is available at each location for the seeds.
Different types of seeds are available in the spring and fall – available seeds may include vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Seed availability is first-come, first-served while supplies last.
If you grow open pollinated seeds, please save some of the seeds from your harvest and bring them back to the library! This will help Digging Durham Seed Library continue to grow as well as develop seeds well-adapted for Durham’s soil and climate.
The seed library will accept donated seeds throughout the year at every location. To donate, place the seeds in an envelope with your name and contact information, as well as the history of the seeds, including how they are linked to your family, house, or farm, and the plants they produced.
While all donations are appreciated, the library is especially focused on open pollinated and/or heirloom flower and vegetable seeds well-suited for Durham’s climate. You may also give already opened seed packets if they have been stored in a cool, dry environment and are less than two years old.
The Digging Durham Seed Library is sponsored by the Durham Library Foundation.
Digging Durham Seed Library By providing both a repository for seeds and training for its patrons, the Digging Durham Seed Library helps to improve local sustainable food sources, enhance food