Siler City nonprofit focuses on diversity, equity

Posted 7/5/19

SILER CITY — A Siler City nonprofit is trying to be a part of the solution to widening division, according to its founder.

In 2018, the year it opened its doors on East 3rd Street, Becoming One …

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Siler City nonprofit focuses on diversity, equity

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Posted

SILER CITY — A Siler City nonprofit is trying to be a part of the solution to widening division, according to its founder.

In 2018, the year it opened its doors on East 3rd Street, Becoming One provided services to 73 children in Chatham County. Founded by Dr. Albert Reddick in 2015, Becoming One is a nonprofit organization dedicated, according to its mission statement, to “understanding that our nation is rapidly transforming, appreciating that our mixed cultures in America actually endow us with strength, and respecting the rights of all our people’s regardless of whether they agree or disagree with our particular point of view.”

“At a time in our nation when two powerful forces seem to be moving in opposite directions — increased racial diversity within our communities and a rising discontent from our citizens regarding the institutional inequalities for minorities — the mission of the Becoming One center is to create a model of cooperation, community and commitment,” said Reddick, a retired investigator/hearing officer for the Pennsylvania State Human Relations Commission and senior pastor of the United Methodist Church.

Reddick noted that the goals of the center included reframing dialogue between citizens, emphasizing progress in race relations, and developing programs that “create a sustainable cultural, economic, social environment of respect and shared values for all our citizens.”

The Becoming One Center, funded by donations and private funding from Reddick and his wife, Sandra, is open six days a week to provide support for school kids, adults, and special needs families. Perhaps its most successful programs are those that focus on children. Becoming One offers free after-school tutoring for students from 1st to 11th grades. More than 30 students from Siler City Elementary, Jordan-Matthews, Chatham Middle, Virginia Cross and Pittsboro Elementary schools attended during this past school year.

“The Becoming One after-school tutoring program is an avenue to help build confidence and character in an individual and in a team,” Reddick said. “Whether in the math room, training room, or in the community, their efforts and accomplishments do not go unnoticed. The recognition they receive motivates them and their center mates to work and find their everyday successes.”

During the summer months, Becoming One hosts a summer camp for school-aged children. Children are provided safe spaces, access to Becoming One resources, as well as day-trip “outings.” The goal, Reddick said, is to “create an avenue to build confidence and character in individuals.” Children learn lessons from volunteers, spend time with their peers in a safe space, and just have fun.

Becoming One also has a scholarship program where it awards deserving students during its awards banquet, scheduled this year for July 27th at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center. Last year, the organization presented scholarships to three Chatham County students.

Scholarship winner Mackenzie Parker graduated from Northwood High School this spring and will attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. In an essay, Parker wrote, “Being biracial has also taught me to look at every side of the problem and its solutions. I have learned to value everyone’s beliefs and to respect them whether or not I agree — even in cases in which others do not take them seriously (because I know what that feels like).”

The two other scholarship recipients, Jamia Walton and Vonisha Payne, who are rising seniors at Jordan-Matthews, wrote about diversity. Walton asked what it really means when it’s said that America is a melting pot. “It means that we are a place that united different cultures and brings together a variety of people from many nations in harmony under our flag. ... This is something that we should be proud of because the fact that there are people who consider leaving their homes to come to our nation says a lot.”

Payne offered advice with her essay, writing, “There are so many things we can learn from others by simply having an open mind when it comes to listening to one another about our background. We could learn and understand so much if we would just take the time to listen and broaden our way of thinking instead of being judgmental.”

At Becoming One’s banquet in July, residents who have impacted the community in positive ways will be honored. Last year four Siler City residents — Phil Scotton, proprietor of the Phil’s Barber Shop; Ilana Dubester, founder and director of the Hispanic Liason; Gene Goldston, retired teacher at Siler City High School; and Gretchen Carter, owner of Groomn Plus — were recognized. This year’s recipients include Becky Loflin, Marsha Scurlock, Gover Paige, Clarence Scotten Jr., and Martin and Annette Mason. Reddick hopes that Becoming One will be able to raise enough money to build a new facility rather than the office space they are currently using.

Reporter Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.

Becoming One

427 East 3rd St., Siler City

919-663-3447

Dr. Albert Reddick: 267-312-3722, disciple2005@verizon.net

Dr. John G. Duesler Jr.: 215-913-0569, thedialoguetv@gmail.com

Programs

• After School Tutoring and Training

Registration deadline for the 2019 -2020 school year is July 8-18

Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m. (during the school year)

• Relationship Training: How to Mend and Maintain Relationships

Tuesdays 7-8 p.m.

• Adult Training: Historical and Biblical Foundations of Becoming One

Thursdays 7-8 p.m.

• Programming for Special Needs Neighbors: Couples Night Out!

Saturdays 4:30-7 p.m.

Upcoming Events

The Becoming One Community Enrichment and Diversity Center Second Annual Banquet: Celebrating diversity leaders in Siler City and Chatham County.

The evening is a celebration of our community and will feature a number of special guests, the announcement of the award recipients, as well as a full meal and live music.

Saturday, July 27

5 - 10 p.m.

Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, 1192 U.S. 64 Business, Pittsboro

Single Ticket - $55

Full Table (seats up to 10 people) - $450

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