Meet Bethlehem: #DurhamNative Team
My name is Bethlehem Ferede, and I'm a sophomore at Duke University, studying History, African and African American Studies, and Education. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but I was raised in Durham for practically my whole life, and I'm a graduate of Durham Public Schools (Jordan c/o 2019!). Some of my interests include writing (especially poetry), community organizing, and reintegration support -- specifically for young Black and Brown/LGBTQ+ folks who were pulled out of schools and other networks of care due to the school-to-prison pipeline, substance abuse, or other environmental factors. Currently, I work with a local non-profit called Made in Durham, where I help DPS high school students organize action projects in their schools to dismantle racist policies and practices while strengthening their voice in the non-profit as a whole. At Duke, I'm involved in a variety of advocacy groups, including Duke NAACP.
I joined the team because as we know, questions of environmental impact disproportionally impact lower-income and Black and Brown people, the same people who are not given appropriate space in political conversations. Anjali being able to center these voices and perspectives as Durham's Soil and Water District Supervisor is an important factor in why being on the #DurhamNative team is so important to me. I'm most excited about working with a group of all Durham folks who all are bringing a unique perspective to our campaign!