This year’s gathering to be cost-effective and fun

This year’s gathering to be cost-effective and fun

2009 Annual National Meeting to be held in Durham, NC
by Jan Martell, North Carolina Green Party

This year the North Carolina Green Party will host the national meeting on the campus of North Carolina Central University in Durham. The meeting will be from July 23-26, and will include plenary business sessions, workshops, a silent auction, and other fundraising events. There will be space for vendors and tabling, and plenty of Green mer≠chandise will be available for sale.

It is an opportunity for committees and caucuses to have face-to-face meetings and really get some work done.

Durham is the fourth largest city in North Carolina with a population of 218,000. It is home to Duke University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and it is one of the three corners of the Research Tri≠angle area, along with Chapel Hill and Ral≠eigh. The romantic comedy Bull Durham, depicting Durham’s beloved minor league team, was filmed there in the 1980s. This spring it was also the setting for the film Main Street, due to be released in 2010.

Until the 1960s Durham was primarily a factory town, home to tobacco companies and fabric mills. More recently it has become known for its high-tech industries, research institutions, and medical centers. The distinctive 19th-century brick architecture of the tobacco warehouses and mills is being preserved and repurposed as office buildings, shops, and lofts, and a new downtown central park is taking shape connecting greenways and a farmers’ market, surrounded by theaters, artists’ studios, and offices.

During the early 20th century Durham developed a vibrant black community, where some of the most prom≠inent and successful black-owned businesses in the country were established, centered on Parrish Street, which came to be known as ìBlack Wall Street.î With a strong African-American community, a strong Civil Rights movement developed in Durham. Mul≠tiple sit-ins were held, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the city five times during the struggle for equal rights.

NCCU, the site of this year’s meeting, is a part of the North Carolina state university system, and is an historically black institution (HBCU). The college first opened its doors in 1910 as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua. Later known as North Carolina College, it joined the state system as NCCU in 1969. It is located in the heart of the city, close to the freeway and downtown. Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is 20 minutes away. Durham is also accessible by rail: an Amtrak line connects to the main north-south Amtrak route in Raleigh, 30 miles away.

Meeting attendees will stay inexpensively in dormitories on campus, close to the meeting spaces, and will eat in the University’s dining hall on one of several meal plans offered. There are also many alternative places to stay and many wonderful area restaurants. Attendees opting for alternative arrangements should consider bringing or renting a car, as public transportation is limited. Some home stays may be availableócontact the Triangle Greens at cochair@trianglegreens.org

This annual meeting is planned to be cost effective, laid back, and fun. Getting together at the annual meeting is a great way to meet in person Greens with whom you have been doing business only by e-mail or phone. It is an opportunity for committees and caucuses to have face-to-face meetings and really get some work done. There will be many workshops to showcase some of the latest initiatives of the Party. Come on down to Durham in July!

The annual meeting will be held in Durham, North Carolina
The annual meeting will be held in Durham, North Carolina

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