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Avila Center for Community Leadership

Avila Center IMG_2882

Avila Center meeting

Creating economic opportunity for all through community organizing


At Self-Help, we know that we’re part of a movement. Creating ownership and economic opportunity for all isn’t something we can do alone. Our partnerships and relationships with others who are working for change often lead us to powerful opportunities.  

In 2019, such an opportunity emerged: Self-Help had been exploring an idea to create a physical space that could serve as a collaborative center for community organizing and capacity building. Our partners Michael Young and Jeannette Huezo at United for a Fair Economy had a similar vision. When a historic retreat center space just north of Durham went up for sale, Michael and Jeannette saw an opportunity and reached out to Self-Help. 

Working in collaboration with United for a Fair Economy and other partners, Self-Help purchased the property and began the process of transforming the space to realize Michael Young’s vision. 

The result, Avila, is now open and operating as a place where people and groups connect, deepen their work and rejuvenate. Its mission is to support and connect community organizers and leaders working collectively for systemic change in the South and beyond.  

Learn more about Avila: