Something is up in south Asheville

I have recently learned of a very impressive positive community organization in south Asheville. The Ducker Road Community Involvement Council, which is a 501(c)3 organization, has worked to “clean up” an entire neighborhood, making it positively uninhabitable for drug dealers, providing community programs for youth and even offering several people transitional housing.

All of this was done primarily by one man: Mr. Cookie Mills. He started the DRCIC seven years ago, when he realized that somebody had to do something, that the children and families in his neighborhood were in crisis. The information pamphlet provided by the DRCIC shows pictures of the children and families that they have helped, and are a home-printed labor of love.

Every year, the DRCIC has a 7-mile march down Airport Road to raise awareness of the problems that drugs bring into people’s lives and as a show that drug crime will not be tolerated in Arden.

Mills informed me that he had a really difficult time getting any media support for the work he does — with the help of his wife, his neighbors, and a few friends who help out a lot — toward making south Asheville a better place for children to grow up. He said that he had tried to get a little news coverage for the march, but that most media sources didn’t even call him back.

As a resident of Buncombe County who enjoys hearing about people doing important and empowering work, especially at a grassroots level, it seems to me that people could be inspired to participate in their own communities by learning about people who have faced the challenge of promoting sustainable social change.

I see a lot of stories about locals doing good work, but a lot of people get left out. There are so many good people doing such good work in Asheville and in WNC. Why don’t we ever hear about them? Have Mills tell you about the time the dope dealer was threatening to shoot him in the head. It’s a good story. Thank you for consideration of the importance of inclusiveness in our media.

— Faith R. Rhyne
Asheville

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2 thoughts on “Something is up in south Asheville

  1. xvelouria

    What a great story! I looked into it some more and the Urban News had a few really nice articles on the DRCIC several years back:
    From 2006: http://www.theurbannews.com/content/view/128/61/

    From 2008:
    http://www.theurbannews.com/content/view/583/8/

    I would love to see the MX do its own story on Cookie Mills and the DRCIC… it would be great to get these ideas out to a wider audience. Asheville doesn’t have any shortage of drug problems, and this is an inspiring approach. Go Mr. Mills!

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