Who we are:
El Kilombo Intergaláctico is a community organization made up of migrants, students, working class residents, and people of color in Durham, NC.
We opened the doors of our community center on May 1st, 2006 as a neighborhood social space and program center. We started free programs – youth and adult education programs, health and legal clinics, a weekly dinner, neighborhood festivals and more – proposed and created by residents to support our community’s general well-being.
Over the past six years we have grown beyond our space to create a community garden that provides healthy food and an outdoor community space, employment cooperatives that provide stable and dignified work, and a low-income housing cooperative through which we have acquired, renovated, and collectively manage housing for nine low-income families (and we are expanding!). We have done all of this on a shoe-string budget and with no paid staff. Through thousands of hours of community labor, we are working together to build a community and a city based in equality and cooperation.
Although we've built a strong community through the center and its programs, we've also experienced directly the effects of 'urban revitalization' as it has displaced many neighborhood residents - all low-income people of color living in the city center. The financial crisis has also disproportionately affected our community, with cuts in social services, rising unemployment, and defunding or privatization of public housing and public schools.
We believe that to fight the disparate effects of both development and crisis on low-income communities of color, we must build, from the ground up, our communities’ capacity for self-determination, spaces “where everything that is done for us is done by us.”
Why do we need your support?
Creating a model for a self-determined community is a multi-faceted project with many different forms, and it is a project that is always growing! In addition to all of our ongoing projects and operating costs, we will be bringing new families into our housing cooperative, training new youth leadership, and continuing to build our membership. Here’s how we will dedicate your contribution:
$500 to support our community garden (for a lawn mower, 3 seasons worth of seeds, new shovels and picks, new wheels for our wheelbarrow, sign-making materials, pickling supplies, and a new garden hose)
$1,000 enables us to purchase needed equipment and supplies for the community center (expanding our library, upgrading our computers, purchasing art supplies, cleaning supplies, chairs and tables, repairs to our front door, floor and bathroom etc.)
$2,000 goes toward costs for our youth program (leadership trainings, transportation, lunches, supplies for activities, and field trips)
$4,500 goes toward materials to finish renovating another house and add a family to our housing cooperative.
$2,000 goes toward housing maintenance costs and energy efficiency improvements to reduce the cost of bills.
What if we exceed our goal?
As a community organization with a tiny operating budget, we have learned to do a lot with a little. We set our goal at $10,000 to meet our most basic costs, but exceeding that goal would allow us to strengthen our community and increase participation through expanded programs at our center, greater support to the formation of employment cooperatives, and the renovation of more housing.
Other ways you can help:
If you would like to support us but cannot donate right now, please share the campaign – send it to your friends and colleagues, post it on facebook and tweet it.
Thank you so much!
- From all of us at El Kilombo
Note: El Kilombo is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by the law.
PS: Those who prefer to donate by check, please feel free to mail a check payable to El Kilombo Intergalactico to PO Box 2103, Durham, NC 27702, along with contact information and an indication of your selected perk. Thank you!