Community leaders hope cultural center will help curb crime in McDougald Terrace

August 7, 2018

Bull City United plans to move into McDougald Terrace, one of Durham's highest crime neighborhoods, to implement a violence prevention model that they said has been very successful in other cities.

A troubled public housing complex in Durham is trying to change the narrative about its community.

Local activists are taking the lead in making changes at McDougald Terrace, which has seen a rash of shootings in recent years, including a fatal officer-involved shooting in 2016.

Leaders on Saturday showed off a new cultural center, which includes a computer lab, history room and library. The new space is part of an effort to prevent more acts of violence in the community going forward.

“Something for the kids to look forward to. It’s a place for them to come and be like ‘this is ours’ and cherish it. So, it was really important and much needed in our community,” said Resident Council President Ashley Canady.

Canady said there has been a greater Durham police presence in the neighborhood, which has helped deter crime.

Community leaders hope the center, which officially opens Monday, will be another way to prevent crime.

Eventually, leaders said they hope to use the space to run programs for kids as well.

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