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We founded a small grassroots organization called Together We Stand NC (TWS) in June 2020.  The impetus of the founding was the murder of young Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, along with several other killings of people of color over the past ten years.  The goal of TWS is to initiate and facilitate brave, authentic conversation between races and genders for better understanding and heightened awareness of their daily challenges.


We wrote an article entitled “A Black Man Living In America” that was published in the August 2020 issue of Durham Magazine which was the precursor to founding Together We Stand.


Together We Stand NC uses wearables as our “conversation starters.”  As of today, we have released four conversation starter shirts.  Each shirt features our TWS logo (a bull surrounded by the words Together We Stand) on the front and a socially relevant quote on the back.  Our first shirt, released in June 2020, featured the MLK Jr. quote “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere” on the back.


In February 2021, we began hosting and organizing virtual rallies across North Carolina.  Each of the Together We Stand public rallies is geared to raise awareness and benefit a local socially conscious organization.  On February 23rd, for our Maud 2.23 event, we partnered locally with Fleet Feet Durham, to host a virtual 2.23-mile walk/run in remembrance of Arbery.  The event registered over 400 runners and the Maud 2.23 shirt was sent to 65 cities in 23 states in the country. Former Olympic athletes Meb Keflezghi and Aliphine Tuliamuk featured the Maud shirt on their social media pages ON Feb. 23rd. The virtual event benefitted the Durham People’s Alliance and raised $4700 for the organization. The Maud 2.23 shirt, the third in the series, featured the Nelson Mandela quote, “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest” on the back.


Recently, on July 17th, we hosted the 5K for Unity with five breweries across North Carolina: Divine Barrel of Charlotte, Foothills Brewing of Winston-Salem, Little Brother Brewing of Greensboro, Ponysaurus Brewing of Durham, and Vecino Brewing of Carrboro). The 5K for Unity was a live social walk/run followed by conversations of 6 questions posed by Together We Stand for small group discussion.  Between the 5 breweries, we registered over 500 participants raising $7,540 for Neighborhood Hope, Black Child Development Institute, United Way of Forsyth County, and Girls on the Run of the Triangle.  The 5K for Unity shirts featured the MLK Jr. quote “Our Lives Begin to End the Day we Become Silent about Things the Matter” on the back.


In June 2021, prior to the 5K for Unity, we partnered with Engine Enterprises (Carrboro) and Incue Productions (Cary) to film a short video entitled Catalyst for Change.  The video featured myself and 4 representatives from the 5 breweries.  The short piece was a primer of the purpose and mission of the 5K for Unity and TWS.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO


Our goal is to build a network of engaged persons and businesses with the purpose of creating a sustainable conversation effort to build awareness of the challenges facing people of color and the LBGTQ community.  Our view is the conversations must be authentic, engaging, and sustainable to achieve the goals of education and build greater awareness.


In August we partnered with Greensboro’s Little Brother Brewing and Fleet Feet Greensboro/High Point on a monthly series called” Continuing Conversations”.  The series will take place the 3rd Tuesday of the month after the Run Club at Little Brother and focus on continued authentic conversations bringing local community members and businesses together.


We will launch the Durham version of Continuing Conversations on Saturday November 13th at Anissa’s Spot in Durham.  


Our next event will be Dog Day Afternoon on Saturday October 23rd at Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham.  The event combines a dog social with continued conversations among the humans.  We expect 25-50 participants.  Our shirt release for the event will feature the John Lewis quote, “We Must Respect the Dignity & Worth of Every Human Being”.


In February 2022, we will host our 2nd Maud 2.23 event in honor of Ahmaud Arbery.


“We must respect the dignity and worth of every human being.” -John Lewis