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Durham Needs a Living Wage

The Durham Living Project is an endeavor of The People’s Alliance Fund. The DLWP officially launched in early 2015 and brought on a part-time staff person in June 2015. 

Our certification program is modeled after Just Economics' Living Wage Certification Program out of Asheville, currently the largest living wage certification program in the country (right here in North Carolina!)

Click to find answers to frequently asked questions, or for more information, contact us at livingwage@durhampa.org!

Mission

The mission of the Durham Living Wage Project is to support worker livelihoods by urging employers to pay living wages, certifying and publicly recognizing employers, and promoting living wages as a matter of conscience within our community.

Vision

We envision Durham as a livable community where all workers can prosper.

Purpose

We exist to promote a just economy where workers are paid fairly, employers are successful, and our community thrives as a result.

Steering Committee

The Durham Living Wage Project is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of employers, employees, and community members committed to a just and sustainable local economy.

  • Kate Fellman: Kate currently serves as Interim Director of the PA Fund. Prior to this role, Kate worked for 4 years as the PA Coordinator.  Kate has a passion for civic engagement and making voting an integral part of people’s lives to help empower underrepresented communities.
  • Kevin Griffin: Kevin is the President and CEO of AVANT Group, LLC,  a full service staffing and recruiting firm that is also a 3rd party certified sustainable company (B-Corp).  The AVANT focus is matching the right candidates with the right positions, at the right times.  Paying a living wage is a key component of a good career opportunity, and Mr. Griffin’s role is to present that fact to the business community, and to advocate for all companies to raise their standards of pay.
  • Sami Grover: Sami is Creative Director and Co-Owner of The Change Creation, a brand strategy and design agency with an agenda to make the world greener, fairer, truer, and longer lasting.
  • Tom Harris: Tom is a retired labor lawyer with extensive skills and knowledge of wage and hour laws.
  • Fern Hickey: Fern lives in Durham and co-manages vegetable, small fruit, and flower production at Maple Spring Gardens in nearby Cedar Grove. She serves on the DLWP Steering Committee, representing one of the many economic sectors that historically struggles to pay a living wage.
  • Reginald Hodges: Reggie brings 32 years of international development experience focused on education empowerment, and 10 years as the Executive Director of the Durham Literacy Center. 
  • Matt Kopac: Matt’s experience blends business, policy and social/environmental justice. As the Social & Environmental Responsibility Manager at Burt’s Bees and Vice-President of The Burt’s Bees Foundation, Matt focuses on responsible sourcing, sustainable packaging, environmental footprint management and community outreach. 
  • Shayla Martin: Shayla is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for telling the stories of small businesses, the food we eat, and the world we live in.
  • Candace Rashada: While Candace works as a Program Coordinator at Durham Technical Community College Division of Corporate and Continuing Education, she serves as a community advocate for youth and adults in transition from homelessness, incarceration and abuse. She believes that education and living wages are the cornerstones of stability that transform lives.
  • Carl Rist: Carl has spent over 20 years at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and is currently the Director of Children's Savings and Senior Advisor, Asset Building.  Carl is also an active community volunteer and serves on the boards of the Durham People's Alliance, the Self-Help Federal Credit Union and NC Child.
  • Brian Schneiderman: Brian is Director of Commercial Lending at Self-Help.
  • Michael Young: Michael is the National Field Director at United for a Fair Economy, which raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. Michael has recently returned to Durham, where he grew up, and is excited to participate with the DLWP, working to forge a more just and fair local economy.

This Project’s existence is owed to many, many volunteer hours and the steadfast support and generous contributions from the following businesses, organizations, and artists:

  • The PA Fund
  • Cocoa Cinnamon
  • Monuts Donuts
  • Self-Help
  • Center for Documentary Studies
  • Durham Congregations in Action
  • Durham CAN
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • KLP Designs
  • Leslie Cunningham Films
  • Just Economics
  • NC Justice Center