Rotary Minute: Cora Cole-McFadden

Cora Cole-McFadden began her minute by noting that one of her role models in politics was long term Rotarian and City Councilman Howard Clement. Ms. Cole-McFadden’s roots are deep in Durham.  She told how she was born in Duke Hospital before it became Duke Medical Center and also when it was unusual for Blacks to be treated there. She grew up in a neighborhood that was wiped out when the Durham Freeway was built. Her father was a janitor at the Durham County Courthouse and her mother was a domestic caretaker.

She mentioned that she transferred from Hillside High School to Durham High during desegregation to help integrate the formerly all-white school. She has undergraduate and masters degrees from NCCU and made it clear during her minute that she was an Eagle.

As most of us surely know by now, Ms. Cole McFadden is running for another term on City Council. Among other things this means that there is more information about her online than most of our new members. A great source is her current election website. This is not her first campaign either. She is the first African-American women to serve as Mayor Pro-Tem with Mayor Bill Bell. She was also the first African-American woman to serve as a department head in the City of Durham government.

This deep experience makes her a formidable candidate but what she emphasized in her minute was her attraction to Rotary because it touches lives. As she concluded, “Because I’m blessed, I must bless others.” Because of her position many of us have known her but it has been a pleasure to get to know her better since she became a Rotarian back in July.

The website is 

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