REAL Durham Glossary

Ally. Within REAL Durham, this is someone with institutional privilege, access, and/or resources who has undergone training and is committed to working in partnership with Leaders on financial and life goals that Leaders set for themselves.

Anti-racism. Because we live in a society that is systemically racist, only strategies, solutions, communities, and relationships that recognize and constantly challenge the power of racism will result in equity, liberation, and thriving communities. Anti-racism is the daily practice and work of living out the dismantling of white supremacy and the construction of an equitable society.

Asset-based community development. An approach that focuses on connecting existing, often unrecognized assets to larger systems of capital and access to create local economic opportunity. It is sustainable and community-driven, recognizing the role of people in their own liberation.

Building capacity. Equipping individuals and communities with relevant access, skills, and knowledge to attain their own goals and respond well to an ever-changing environment.

Charity. A way of “helping” someone perceived as lesser; the “helper” has little or no risk in the situation and is largely unaffected by the outcome; often accompanied by a “feel good” sense but without the hallmarks of deep impact or sustainability that effective change carries.

Durham Congregations in Action. A cooperative, multi-faith network offering care and support for the most vulnerable and forgotten in our community, and planting seeds in new initiatives to change lives in Durham"; REAL Durham's first fiscal agent and incubator.

End Poverty Durham. A “group of interfaith leaders and community-based organizations working collaboratively to eliminate poverty in Durham, NC”; shared the inspiration for the REAL Durham model.

Financial stability. An individual or family unit that is consistently able to provide for all of their essential needs from their own income, without the assistance of government aid; able to determine what financial decisions are best for themselves and their families to live dignified lives.

Leader. Within REAL Durham, this is someone currently in material poverty who is looking to become financially stable. They have undergone training and are committed to working on their economic and life goals with the support of Allies and other Leaders.

Liberation. The dismantling of white supremacy and all other systems of oppression; also, the construction of an equitable society in which all people, especially People of Color and all other groups currently exploited and/or oppressed by society, can live out their full humanity in safety, health, and well-being; something that can only be determined collectively and through imagining a new order of things.

Material poverty. Lack of financial or material resources necessary for meeting basic financial or life needs; can be both generational and circumstantial. Generational poverty is often the result of systemic and institutional exploitation and oppression. We make a practice at REAL Durham of not blaming people for their poverty.

Racism. A system of advantage based on race; can be interpersonal, institutional, relational, and systemic.

Systemic racism. When implicit and explicit racial biases shape the culture and implementation of education, media, legal processes, law enforcement, government, etc., such that they benefit the dominant group and oppress, exploit, murder the non-dominant groups; in the U.S.: white supremacy in its many forms.

Solidarity. A way of walking alongside a person and/or community that recognizes their full humanity; both people are willing to sustain risk in their lives to impact changes in systems (albeit if in different ways); results in changed lives and communities for the long-term.

Volunteer. Someone who supports REAL Durham in ways other than being an Ally (i.e. providing meals, helping with childcare, helping with transportation, etc.).

© 2018 by REAL Durham

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