Together We Can Stop the war on our poor citizens, friends & Families

Why Everyone Needs to Get a SWOP Button - or a hundred! And How.

Most every day we hear that our city of Durham, NC is "thriving," with prosperity around every corner. DRT supports thoughtful, sustainable city growth that ensures the continuation of our city's treasured character - a stable multiplicity of race and economy that values a strong African American presence at diverse financial levels. With rents and food costs skyrocketing all over town, and our most economically vulnerable citizens - seniors, children and people of color - impacted first and worst by the rapid change, that rich identity  is significantly endangered.

Durham, NC is caught up in the increasing national gap between wealth and poverty, mimicking economic boom and bust trends that result in increased homelessness along with diminished nourishment and educational resources (including access to the arts that support vital literacy and character development.) The result nationally is homeless levels not seen since the last big recession and a mass of citizens working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. In Durham, as of 2017 we had lost more than 10% of our African American community since  2010. Families are being forced to leave their homes and communities to seek housing outside Durham. 

Because current national and local trends are a serious threat to DRT's ability to fulfill our mission - and because we believe in turning lemons into lemonade - we have decided to help make the racial and economic injustice visible - With "Stop the War on Our Poor (SWOP)" buttons. DRT artistic director, Jenny Justice, designed the SWOP buttons using photographs from DRT shows and summer camps. Thanks to all the talented photographers and to the actors for their inspiration.


  • 1 - 20 buttons = $4 per button and 20+ buttons = $3 per button 
  • Buttons are 2"x 2" squares with back-pin, made of high-quality, pretty, and durable plastic
  • Press the "Add to Cart" button beside the button(s) you want to purchase. Buy extras and give the buttons away to everyone you meet. Make the injustice infecting our city and our nation visible. As Gandhi observed, it is the first step to creating peace. Donations will 1) cover the costs of making and mailing buttons and 2) support DRT's mission to serve an authentically, thriving, multi-racial community
  • Please allow 2 weeks for buttons to be printed and mailed to you (pick-up is available too)

Stop the war on our poor (SWOP) buttons #1-#7

#1 Falling Doves (Original picture from a free clipart site)

#2 Holding Hands

#3 Make New Friends

#4 Mz. Ruth

#5 Team Works

#6 Listen Up (I know what I'm talking about)

#7 Please Stop

Falling Doves, SWOP 1
Holding Hands, SWOP 2
Make New Friends, SWOP 3
Mz. Ruth, SWOP 4
Team Works, SWOP 5

#5 Team Works

Listen Up, SWOP 6
Please Stop, SWOP 7

From Barack Obama’s 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention ...

...For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga.  A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief - I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper - that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.