Sign up to get the latest updates

The State of Black Labor Organizing in DC: Past, Present and Future

On Tuesday, October 25, ONE DC, along with Resource Generation, hosted an interactive panel discussion about the history and current state of black labor in DC as well as the role of intersectionality in solidarity organizing. Sitting on the panel were Iimay Ho, the Associate Director at Resource Generation and serving on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Kimberly Mitchell, a long time union member and labor activist in the fashion, beauty, and retail industry as well as Vice President of the UFCW Board of Directors; and Eugene Puryear, founder of the anti-gentrification group Justice FirstJobs Not Jails Coalition, Stop Police Terror Project-D.C. and author of the book Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.

During the discussion, the panel named two forces impeding a robust and inclusionary coalition of black labor organization: 1) A shift away from labor organizing towards non-profit paternalism and 2) an absence of worker solidarity.

Many of the organizations built to work on behalf of black workers and communities are run by non-representational groups. It's the "professionalization of organizing," Eugene remarked. Non-profits embody an institutional hierarchy whereby the needs of the community are defined by an organization and not the people. "Black workers have become the object of organizing, not the subject," Eugene quickly added. Career activism has a tendency to silence the voice of the community in favor of its own programs and political allegiances, especially when confronted with the need for funding.

This tendency speaks to the reality of organizing within conditions set by Neoliberal Capitalism. Organizations need money to function and that money must come from somewhere. Yet, Resource Generation has worked tirelessly to reduce the limitations funding an organization normally necessitates. "We have the flexibility to give to organizations, which frees you to support this or that," Iimay deftly explained, "There's no hoop jumping." One of Resource Generation's core values is believing that "social justice movements need to be led by communities most directly impacted by injustice." Resource Generation aims to reverse the status quo of funding: They subordinate their privilege and wealth to the voice of the community.

Still, even if an answer to the question of funding were found we must still confront the stark lack of worker solidarity and organization. Lamenting, Kimberly spoke a hard truth, "Mothers and daughters have always been organizing the community, church, schools, etc but they've become complacent. I have to remind them that they are needed." A little later she discusses the disparity between the older and newer generation of workers: "I see workers that have worked for forty plus years being disrespected and told 'We don't need you.' What we have now is an assembly line of workers who are unorganized and untrained who are lucky to be there past the ninety day probation period. Its very important we teach the younger generation to let them know that this is not okay or normal." Similarly, Iimay vigilantly highlighted the need for an intersectional approach to organizing: "The legal/illegal immigration status is a strategy for keeping a mass of workers that are vulnerable. Trans folk have some of the highest homeless and unemployed numbers, which are even more when you're black and trans. Queer youth can be cut off from their family and resources."

In the end, the panel left the audience with some advice for moving forward. "Accountability is a key issue. The city will pass anything that sounds progressive but will include either infinite loopholes or make it impossible to enforce." Kimberly was in agreement: "DC is dressed up with nowhere to go." Kimberly also was adamant about opposing gentrification: "What we need to organize around is housing. We are being displaced. This is everybody's fight." Earlier in the discussion, Iimay stood by countering the effects of gentrification: "I don't believe DC should be built on my needs and my consumption." By the end of the night she returned to this sentiment: "The powers that be center the needs of wealthy people and not long-term residents. We need to change the game. We need to focus systemically."

If you would like to find out more about Resource Generation click here. Click here to support ONE DC.

Share

ONE DC Member Spotlight: Luci Murphy

luci.JPGOver the weekend, we sat down with Luci Murphy as a part of our ONE DC Member Spotlight feature. We met at Lamont Park in Mt. Pleasant, which was soon to be the site of the annual Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration with Luci slated to perform later that day. Together we discussed her thoughts on ONE DC, politics, and the unique importance of music.

ONE DC: Before we get started, I see everyone is setting up for an event. What is it? Are you performing today?
Luci: Mmhmm! Its the Day of the Dead. The tradition is that people build an altar and bring photographs of their deceased loved ones, put them on the alter, and remember them. It's a day of remembrance. We'll have music and poetry. We usually do a little parade a few blocks through the neighborhood to remind everybody.

ONE DC: You have a rich history with ONE DC stretching back 10 years. Could you briefly state what attracted you to the organization in the beginning and what motivates you to still be an active member?
Luci: The issues. The issues of housing and jobs. These are issues that we still have not resolved. There's a lot of dislocation. I remember when my aunt lived in a substantial house in the 60s and the price on it was 25,000. The same house is probably three quarters of a million now. How to you do that? People's salaries aren't changing. What is this?

ONE DC: What is it about ONE DC's approach to organizing that you like?
Luci: The emphasis on co-ops. Studying co-ops and preparing people to build co-ops! 

ONE DC: Last month you performed at the Renter's Day of Action. What inspired your performance? What did you want people to take away?
Luci: We have a lot of vacant buildings in Washington, DC and then we have our homeless. Why can't we get these two together?

ONE DC: The Black Workers Center Chorus is in its early stages of gestation. Whats the difference between it and the DC Labor Chorus?
Luci: The Black Workers Center Chorus will mostly be from Washington, DC. It's going to be the people who are dealing with these issues first hand. I would really like to see a good representation of wards 6, 7, & 8, which is where the Black Workers Center is located.

ONE DC: When do you think it'll begin meeting?
Luci: It'll be after December 3rd.

ONE DC: And if someone is interested in joining?
Luci: Call me! People are scared to call me! They know I'm going to give them something to do!

ONE DC: As a performer, music and art are an essential dynamic in your activism. Who's work, either artistic or political, inspires you?
Luci: I grew up with some very activist congregations -- St. Stephen's and the Incarnation. And because I was a member of St. Stephen's, I met a woman, an older lady from Mississippi who embodied the tradition. She played three chords on the guitar but she played them in a hell of a way! She got people to sing along with her. She had something called Mother Scott and her children and I was one of her children. The pastor would take us to city council hearings and she would sing to make a point and of course that would make the news. Not everyone comes to a city council hearing with a guitar prepared to sing!

ONE DC: There's something special about music, especially call-and-response, that can bring people together. What do you find unique about it?
Luci: It works! 

ONE DC: Music and Art have always played a fundamental role in the struggle for justice, emancipation, and equality. Outside of the feeling of solidarity when performing music, how else do you see music contributing to the struggle for justice?
Luci: We didn't have the SNCC freedom singers here but we had their recordings. We were able to use them.

ONE DC: American University was hosting a panel and an art gallery to honor the work of Emory Douglas. They were discussing the power and importance of his work and the way he could communicate very complicated messages in a very simple way thereby reaching a wide variety of people. Do you feel that music shares this quality?
Luci: Absolutely! I think music is actually more social because more people can participate. The creation of visual art is a very solitary process whereas music is a social process.

ONE DC: You mentioned there's more participation in music not only in a call-and-response but people are also free to riff on music anyway they want to at any time they want to through rhythm, clapping, vocalization, improvisation, etc.
Luci: Fredrick Douglas KirkPatrick said that it used to be that anybody could sing a song or pray a prayer but now its gotten so complicated. We only have specialists doing these things and we're lost in this specialization.

ONE DC: This kinda goes back to politics where the only people to be respected are the specialists.
Luci: Our Chorus is singing a song called 'You can dance, you can sing' taken from a proverb from Zimbabwe, which has been translated as 'If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing' but thats really a message for us in the United States. What the actual song says is if you can dance, dance, if you can sing, sing! You know, like do it! Everyone in Zimbabwe can dance and sing and nobody's embarrassed. That is part of what you do as a member of a community whereas here if you don't move just right you may get criticized and if you're self-conscious you may decide not to participate. 

ONE DC: Similarly, there are now specific places to do it. The community aspect is being pushed out. The only way to access it is by joining a club that you have to pay for or renting a space to play in.
Luci: And I see some of the singing and music playing has become commercialized: "If you pay such and such an amount you can play as a part of this jazz group we are starting."

ONE DC: You should be able to just pick up and play. That's just what you do.
Luci: But somebody has just rented some space and has decided that they're going to get some people to pay for their time. That shouldn't be the only way that culture survives.

ONE DC: All across the country people are facing dispossession and displacement at the hands of the ruling class for profit. From the District to North Dakota neoliberal capitalism is violating people's right to housing and land. Even more, resistance is often met with brutal state violence and repression. How do you think people should go about building solidarity with one another, especially when you are economically contributing to those forces, willingly or unwillingly?

Luci: We need to study history because in order to know who we are we need to know where we come from. This country is built on great injustice and cruelty for which it's never apologized. It's never apologized to the indigenous people for all the murder and theft and never apologized to the African people for all the centuries of unpaid labor. We need to study who we are, where we come from, and then form that we will know what we have to do, but it starts with an apology. 

ONE DC: How do you get an apology without allowing Empire to bury these issues as something that's happened only 'in the past'?
Luci: We have to build consciousness and right now folks are very unconscious. They are having poisonous television, poisonous food, poisonous water, and poisonous air thrown at them all the time. Well, how can they get conscious? We've got to build a movement. A movement that has to educate, energize, and encourage folks.

To contact Luci about the Black Workers Center Chorus you can find her Facebook page here or call her at 202.234.8840.

Share

Please join us in Standing with #NoDAPL

In a display of absolute barbarism, militarized police, in conjunction with the National Guard, brutally repressed the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The fascists subjected the Sioux Nation, along with fellow demonstrators, to beatings, tear gas, sound cannons, and dog attacks. There are also reports of inhumane treatment where protesters were thrown into dog kennels after being arrested.

The Sioux Nation are protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline on grounds of both treaty and human rights violations. First, the pipeline would cut straight through Sioux territory violating the treaty of Fort Laramie drawn in 1868. Second, the pipeline would devastate the local environment and wildlife including our most precious resource: water.

These events must be taken in the context of America's long history of brutalizing and betraying indigenous peoples. This tradition traces all the way back to America's seventh President Andrew Jackson and beyond. The United States has endlessly violated treaties with indigenous peoples often redrawing them under the threat of violence.

From gentrification in the District to violating the land rights of the Sioux Nation we see the same pattern repeat. Power knows but two modes of response: indifference to the cries for justice and violence for those who resist.

We ask you to stand with the Sioux Nation and with all peoples displaced and dispossessed in the name of profit and Empire!

Begin by learning more and visiting the Sacred Stone Camp website.
Sign a petition calling for an end to the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Stay updated by following NoDAPL on twitter.

Share

ONE DC Monthly Voice - October 2016

Click here for the full post

"Movements should operate under the assumption of equality of sacrifice. Working in solidarity means doing something that's uncomfortable.” -Eugene Puryear, founder of Justice First


The State of Black Labour Organizing in DC: Past, Present and Future

On Tuesday, October 25, ONE DC, along with Resource Generation, hosted an interactive panel discussion about the history and current state of black labour in DC as well as the role of intersectionality in solidarity organizing. Sitting on the panel were Iimay Ho, the Associate Director at Resource Generation and serving on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Kimberly Mitchell, a long time union member and labor activist in the fashion, beauty, and retail industry as well as Vice President of the UFCW Board of Directors; and Eugene Puryear, founder of the anti-gentrification group Justice FirstJobs Not Jails Coalition, Stop Police Terror Project-D.C. and author of the book Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America.

rg_event1.jpg 
 From Left: Kimberly Mitchell, Iimay Ho, Eugene Puryear


During the discussion, the panel named two forces impeding a robust and inclusionary coalition of black labour organization: 1) A shift away from labour organizing towards non-profit paternalism and 2) an absence of worker solidarity.

Many of the organizations built to work on behalf of black workers and communities are run by non-representational groups. It's the "professionalization of organizing," Eugene remarked. Non-profits embody an institutional hierarchy whereby the needs of the community are defined by an organization and not the people. "Black workers have become the object of organizing, not the subject," Eugene quickly added. Career activism has a tendency to silence the voice of the community in favor of its own programs and political allegiances, especially when confronted with the need for funding.

This tendency speaks to the reality of organizing within conditions set by Neoliberal Capitalism. Organizations need money to function and that money must come from somewhere. Yet, Resource Generation has worked tirelessly to reduce the limitations funding an organization normally necessitates. "We have the flexibility to give to organizations, which frees you to support this or that," Iimay deftly explained, "There's no hoop jumping." rg_event2.JPGOne of Resource Generation's core values is believing that "social justice movements need to be led by communities most directly impacted by injustice." Resource Generation aims to reverse the status quo of funding: They subordinate their privilege and wealth to the voice of the community.

Still, even if an answer to the question of funding were found we must still confront the stark lack of worker solidarity and organization. Lamenting, Kimberly spoke a hard truth, "Mothers and daughters have always been organizing the community, church, schools, etc but they've become complacent. I have to remind them that they are needed." A little later she discusses the disparity between the older and newer generation of workers: "I see workers that have worked for forty plus years being disrespected and told 'We don't need you.' What we have now is an assembly line of workers who are unorganized and untrained who are lucky to be there past the ninety day probation period. Its very important we teach the younger generation to let them know that this is not okay or normal." Similarly, Iimay vigilantly highlighted the need for an intersectional approach to organizing: "The legal/illegal immigration status is a strategy for keeping a mass of workers that are vulnerable. Trans folk have some of the highest homeless and unemployed numbers, which are even more when you're black and trans. Queer youth can be cut off from their family and resources."

In the end, the panel left the audience with some advice for moving forward. "Accountability is a key issue. The city will pass anything that sounds progressive but will include either infinite loopholes or make it impossible to enforce." Kimberly was in agreement: "DC is dressed up with nowhere to go." Kimberly also was adamant about opposing gentrification: "What we need to organize around is housing. We are being displaced. This is everybody's fight." Earlier in the discussion, Iimay stood by countering the effects of gentrification: "I don't believe DC should be built on my needs and my consumption." By the end of the night she returned to this sentiment: "The powers that be center the needs of wealthy people and not long-term residents. We need to change the game. We need to focus systemically."

If you would like to find out more about Resource Generation click here. Click here to support ONE DC.


Please join us in Standing with #NoDAPL

In a display of absolute barbarism, militarized police, in conjunction with the National Guard, brutally repressed the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The fascists subjected the Sioux Nation, along with fellow demonstrators, to beatings, tear gas, sound cannons, and dog attacks. There are also reports of inhumane treatment where protesters were thrown into dog kennels after being arrested.

The Sioux Nation are protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline on grounds of both treaty and human rights violations. First, the pipeline would cut straight through Sioux territory violating the treaty of Fort Laramie drawn in 1868. Second, the pipeline would devastate the local environment and wildlife including our most precious resource: water.

These events must be taken in the context of America's long history of brutalizing and betraying indigenous peoples. This tradition traces all the way back to America's seventh President Andrew Jackson and beyond. The United States has endlessly violated treaties with indigenous peoples often redrawing them under the threat of violence.

From gentrification in the District to violating the land rights of the Sioux Nation we see the same pattern repeat. Power knows but two modes of response: indifference to the cries for justice and violence for those who resist.

We ask you to stand with the Sioux Nation and with all peoples displaced and dispossessed in the name of profit and Empire!

Begin by learning more and visiting the Sacred Stone Camp website.
Sign a petition calling for an end to the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Stay updated by following NoDAPL on twitter.


 

ONE DC Member Spotlight: Luci Murphy

luci.JPG
Over the weekend we sat down with Luci Murphy as a part of our Member Spotlight feature. We met at Lamont Park in Mt. Pleasant, which was soon to be the site of the annual Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebration with Luci slated to perform later that day. Together we discussed her thoughts on ONE DC, politics, and the unique importance of music.

ONE DC: Before we get started, I see everyone is setting up for an event. What is it? Are you performing today?
Luci: Mmhmm! Its the Day of the Dead. The tradition is that people build an altar and bring photographs of their deceased loved ones, put them on the alter, and remember them. It's a day of remembrance. We'll have music and poetry. We usually do a little parade a few blocks through the neighborhood to remind everybody.

ONE DC: You have a rich history with ONE DC stretching back 10 years. Could you briefly state what attracted you to the organization in the beginning and what motivates you to still be an active member?
Luci: The issues. The issues of housing and jobs. These are issues that we still have not resolved. There's a lot of dislocation. I remember when my aunt lived in a substantial house in the 60s and the price on it was 25,000. The same house is probably three quarters of a million now. How to you do that? People's salaries aren't changing. What is this?

ONE DC: What is it about ONE DC's approach to organizing that you like?
Luci: The emphasis on co-ops. Studying co-ops and preparing people to build co-ops! 

ONE DC: Last month you performed at the Renter's Day of Action. What inspired your performance? What did you want people to take away?
Luci: We have a lot of vacant buildings in Washington, DC and then we have our homeless. Why can't we get these two together?

ONE DC: The Black Worker's Center Chorus is in its early stages of gestation. Whats the difference between it and the DC Labour Chorus?
Luci: The Black Worker's Center Chorus will mostly be from Washington, DC. It's going to be the people who are dealing with these issues first hand. I would really like to see a good representation of wards six, seven, & eight, which is where the BWC is located.

ONE DC: When do you think it'll begin meeting?
Luci: It'll be after December 3rd.

ONE DC: And if someone is interested in joining?
Luci: Call me! People are scared to call me! They know I'm going to give them something to do!

ONE DC: As a performer, music and art are an essential dynamic in your activism. Who's work, either artistic or political, inspires you?
Luci: I grew up with some very activist congregations. St. Steven and the Incarnations and because I was a member of St. Steven I met a woman, an older lady from Mississippi who embodied the tradition. She played three chords on the guitar but she played them in a hell of a way! She got people to sing along with her. She had something called Mother Scott and her children and I was one of her children. The pastor would take us to city council hearings and she would sing to make a point and of course that would make the news. Not everyone comes to a city council hearing with a guitar prepared to sing!

ONE DC: There's something special about music, especially call-and-response, that can bring people together. What do you find unique about it?
Luci: It works! 

ONE DC: Music and Art have always played a fundamental role in the struggle for justice, emancipation, and equality. Outside of the feeling of solidarity when performing music, how else do you see music contributing to the struggle for justice?
Luci: We didn't have the SNCC freedom singers here but we had their recordings. We were able to use them.

ONE DC: American University was hosting a panel and an art gallery to honor the work of Emory Douglas. They were discussing the power and importance of his work and the way he could communicate very complicated messages in a very simple way thereby reaching a wide variety of people. Do you feel that music shares this quality?
Luci: Absolutely! I think music is actually more social because more people can participate. The creation of visual art is a very solitary process whereas music is a social process.

ONE DC: You mentioned there's more participation in music not only in a call-and-response but people are also free to riff on music anyway they want to at any time they want to through rhythm, clapping, vocalization, improvisation, etc.
Luci: Fredrick Douglas KirkPatrick said that it used to be that anybody could sing a song or pray a prayer but now its gotten so complicated. We only have specialists doing these things and we're lost in this specialization.

ONE DC: This kinda goes back to politics where the only people to be respected are the specialists.
Luci: Our Chorus is singing a song called 'You can dance, you can sing' taken from a proverb from Zimbabwe, which has been translated as 'If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing' but thats really a message for us in the United States. What the actual song says is if you can dance, dance, if you can sing, sing! You know, like do it! Everyone in Zimbabwe can dance and sing and nobody's embarrassed. That is part of what you do as a member of a community whereas here if you don't move just right you may get criticized and if you're self-conscious you may decide not to participate. 

ONE DC: Similarly, there are now specific places to do it. The community aspect is being pushed out. The only way to access it is by joining a club that you have to pay for or renting a space to play in.
Luci: And I see some of the singing and music playing has become commercialized: "If you pay such and such an amount you can play as a part of this jazz group we are starting."

ONE DC: You should be able to just pick up and play. That's just what you do.
Luci: But somebody has just rented some space and has decided that they're going to get some people to pay for their time. That shouldn't be the only way that culture survives.

ONE DC: All across the country people are facing dispossession and displacement at the hands of the ruling class for profit. From the District to North Dakota neoliberal capitalism is violating people's right to housing and land. Even more, resistance is often met with brutal state violence and repression. How do you think people should go about building solidarity with one another, especially when you are economically contributing to those forces, willingly or unwillingly?
Luci: We need to study history because in order to know who we are we need to know where we come from. This country is built on great injustice and cruelty for which it's never apologized. It's never apologized to the indigenous people for all the murder and theft and never apologized to the African people for all the centuries of unpaid labor. We need to study who we are, where we come from, and then form that we will know what we have to do, but it starts with an apology. 

ONE DC: How do you get an apology without allowing Empire to bury these issues as something that's happened only 'in the past'?
Luci: We have to build consciousness and right now folks are very unconscious. They are having poisonous television, poisonous food, poisonous water, and poisonous air thrown at them all the time. Well, how can they get conscious? We've got to build a movement. A movement that has to educate, energize, and encourage folks.

To contact Luci about the Black Workers Center Chorus you can find her Facebook page here or call her at 202.234.8840.

Sponsor ONE DC's Presentation of Dance Place's What's Going On: Life, Love, & Social Justice

For one night only on Friday, November 18th, ONE DC will be hosting Dance Place’s very special Marvin Gaye-inspired performance: “What’s Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice.” In Dance Place’s first full-length production, taking inspiration from 1971’s inimitable What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye’s insights into life, love and social justice are given fresh perspectives with new choreography by Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah. The evening-length work features Modern, Jazz and West African dance and seeks to spark conversations to ignite change in each community it touches.

WhatsGoinOn5-photo-JonathanHsu.jpg

Dance Place has generously dedicated the performance of “What’s Going On” on November 18th to be a night of fundraising for ONE DC. The evening will begin with a reception at 6pm, followed by the performance, lasting until 9pm.

By sponsoring this event, you will contribute to our efforts to raise over $1 million to fund the opening of ONE DC Black Workers Center, as well as to fund #Another10Years of organizing for our human rights to housing, income, & wellness in DC. Securing sponsors will also enable us to offer more free/reduced price tickets to this event for our long-time members. Click here to become a What's Going On? sponsor!

To make your sponsorship donation offline, please mail check to ONE DC, PO Box 26049, Washington, DC, 20001, or contact Dominic at 202-232-2915, dmoulden@onedconline.org.

You can also buy your ticket to the event here. Free or reduced price tickets are available!

We are looking for volunteers to both prepare for and help run the event!
Volunteer roles include:

  • 6 Ushers - 4 volunteers to usher people in and out of the theater. 2 volunteers to assist stage manager Hannah with various tasks
  • 4 volunteers to arrive at 5:00pm to both set up food and clean up afterwards
  • 2 volunteers to monitor the food once it's been set up
  • 4 volunteers to help clean up after the event
  • 2 volunteers to help serve beverages
Similarly, ONE DC is also looking for volunteers to phone bank the weeks of 10/31 and 11/7. Phone banking will include spreading the word about the event as well as recruiting sponsors. If you're interested in volunteering for the event please email Claire at ccook@onedconline.org, or call 202.232.2915.

ONE DC Welcomes New Staff!

 NewStaffYas1.jpg
Pictured right: Yasmina Mrabet

Yasmina Mrabet is a Moroccan-American organizer and conflict resolution practitioner. She grew up in the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States in a cross-cultural, interfaith household. Yasmina is Community Organizer for ONE DC's People's Platform, and has been a member of ONE DC for three years. She joins ONE DC with experience as an organizer in the Labor Movement, the Anti-War Movement, and the Movement for Black Lives. Most recently, as a union organizer with UFCW Local 400, Yasmina worked to develop Project Retail, a growing group of retail and food workers fighting for living wages, fair working conditions, and access to public transportation in and around Washington, D.C. She remains a member of Stop Police Terror Project DC's core organizing group, and is President of the Board of Directors of NVMS, a conflict resolution organization based in Fairfax, VA. Yasmina is passionate about organizing to expose, oppose, and resist institutionalized racism and the systematic targeting of black and brown communities through gentrification, mass incarceration, and war. Yasmina holds a BA from the University of Virginia in Middle Eastern Studies and a MS from George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.


Organizing & Coalition Building Updates

Congress Heights
On October 27, DC attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Sanford Capital LLC, citing 129 code violations. This is the second lawsuit this year filed by the District against Sanford Capital (The first was on behalf of the Congress Heights residents while this lawsuit is on behalf of the residents of Terrace Manor Apartments). Click here and here to read more.

Brookland Manor

Tenant_Statement_BM.jpg

Click here to sign and show your support for Brookland Manor residents.

Black Workers Center
Members from the Black Workers Center met on October 20 at our regular monthly meeting to continue discussing the Five Faces of Oppression. In our discussion of Marginalization, the act of relegating or confining a group of people to a lower social standing or outer limit or edge of society, questions were raised concerning the disparity between gentrification in the District and the struggle for economic and racial equality. More specifically, how to organize in the face of the displacing and deteriorating effects of gentrification. Along these lines, members also discussed the Black Workers Center's definition of Blackness. By the end, the definition was left open and subject to develop as we continue to push our conversations each month.

Back in September, members of the Black Workers Center and Cooperation DC sat down with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. DMPED is beginning to develop a new economic strategy and is interested in cooperative development as part of a broader economic strategy for DC. To get involved with Cooperation DC, click here. Similarly, DMPED is hosting a panel discussion on the effects of sharing and gig economies on the District. Click here for more information.

Click here to read the feature of the ONE DC Black Workers Center in Yes! Magazine!


Upcoming Events

4th Annual Coop Clinic - Co-op Management
Saturday, November 12 - 9 AM - 12:30 PM
3047 15th St NW - Next Step Charter School
The next Coop Clinic will be focused on strategies for better Co-op Management. The trainings will be provided by organizations involved in supporting housing cooperatives in the DC area.
Click here for more info and to RSVP

DC Ideas Fest
DC IdeasFest opens on November 17, and what will follow are four days of high-profile keynotes, ideas events and workshops to showcase solutions and innovations from every quadrant of Washington and harness all of our diversity, creativity and energy to build a stronger city, specifically targeting opportunities in the areas of education, equity, and innovation. Signature events will include idea slams, participatory theater, “What Works” workshops featuring cross-experiential groups of thinkers tackling problems such as affordable housing, and a series of “Solve This” challenges to encourage grassroots solutions to intractable problems such as closing off the school-to-prison pipeline.
Click here for more info

Admin & Organizational Management Committee
Meeting
Tuesday, November 29 - 6:00 PM
ONE DC Office - 614 S St NW, Carriage House
Admin Committee meets monthly to identify what tasks need to be completed that month, assign tasks to members, & discuss long-term committee strategy. Committee oversees some of the following: website, member database, social media, e-newsletter & communication, strategic planning, member events & more.
Click here to RSVP

Member Appreciation Celebration
Saturday, December 3 - 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
RISE Demonstration Center - 2730 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
The Member Appreciation Celebration is our end-of-year event to celebrate the wins, actions, and accomplishments of our members, donors, supporters, and volunteers. All ages are welcome as well as long-time members and new supporters.
Click here to RSVP

National Conference on Gentrification and the Destruction of Black Washington DC
Saturday & Sunday, November 5 & 6 - 9:00 AM & 10:00 AM
The conference will feature panels exploring, among other topics, gentrification in DC, the state of public education & the school-to-prison pipeline in DC, and policing, mass incarceration, & the enforcing of unfair sentencing laws. The conference will also include workshops on the criminal justice system, affordable housing, police brutality, political organizing, and school privatization.
Click here for more info & to RSVP


ONE Bit of Good News

For the last 10 years, ONE DC has been fighting for freedom and justice. Help us celebrate our anniversary by sharing your stories of the struggle! We would love to hear your memories and reflections on your experiences with ONE DC. Tell us about a particularly memorable campaign or event that you were part of, or share your thoughts on where we’ve been and where we’re going. All you have to do is email Dominic at dmoulden@onedconline.org and we’ll set up a time for you to be informally interviewed.



donate.png


sustaining_donor.png
become_a_member.png

volunteer.png

Do you want to be a writer or editor for the Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

Share

ONE DC Monthly Voice - September 2016

"We’ve got to come together as a community and fight for what we want. Our voices have to be heard. But in numbers.” -Adriann Borum, Brookland Manor Resident & ONE DC Member


Sponsor ONE DC's Presentation of Dance Place's What's Going On: Life, Love, & Social Justice

For one night only on Friday, November 18th, ONE DC will be hosting Dance Place’s very special Marvin Gaye-inspired performance: “What’s Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice.” In Dance Place’s first full-length production, taking inspiration from 1971’s inimitable What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye’s insights into life, love and social justice are given fresh perspectives with new choreography by Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah. The evening-length work features Modern, Jazz and West African dance and seeks to spark conversations to ignite change in each community it touches.

WhatsGoinOn5-photo-JonathanHsu.jpg

Dance Place has generously dedicated the performance of “What’s Going On” on November 18th to be a night of fundraising for ONE DC. The evening will begin with a reception at 6pm, followed by the performance, lasting until 9pm.

By sponsoring this event, you will contribute to our efforts to raise over $1 million to fund the opening of ONE DC Black Workers Center, as well as to fund #Another10Years of organizing for our human rights to housing, income, & wellness in DC. Securing sponsors will also enable us to offer free/reduced price tickets to this event for our long-time members.

  • Fight for Justice - $500 – Two tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt.
  • Organize for Equity - $1,000 – Four tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt, ​copy of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Struggle by Barbara Ransby & ​Freedom is a Constant Struggle by ​Angela Y. Davis.
  • Path to Liberation - $2,000 - $5,000 – Ten tickets to tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt, copy of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Struggle by Barbara Ransby & ​Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Opportunity to speak on-stage during special performance of “What’s Going on?”

Click here to become a What's Going On? sponsor!

To make your sponsorship donation offline, please mail check to ONE DC, PO Box 26049, Washington, DC, 20001, or contact Dominic at 202-232-2915, dmoulden@onedconline.org.

You can also buy your ticket to the event here


ONE DC Welcomes New Staff!

newstaff.jpg
From Left: Nawal Rajeh, Delonte Wilkins & daughter Taylor, Madeline Hernandez, Nia Nyamweya

Delonte (Tae) Wilkins was raised in the Green Leaf community of SW as a child, then later moved to the Eckington area of NE, attending schools such as Amidon Elementary, Jefferson Junior High, then Dunbar Senior High, where he graduated. Like many youth in his era, Tae experienced violence from all angles in his life-- from street violence, poor education, to police profiling-- all forms of violence leading up to a hopeless community. Struggling to stay positive in a community of hopelessness, Tae experienced severe anxiety, accompanied with stress and depression, which led to poor choices which later landed him in prison. While in prison, Tae educated himself. He read history, law, political theory, and books on various organized rebellions. After educating himself, he learned that his condition was a result of a systematic agenda that purposely created the hardships he has endured . Shortly after his release, Tae began to organize with ONE DC after hearing about the organization from a friend in the neighborhood. Hearing the group discuss the “People's Platform,” recognizing human rights as the foundation in which a nation should be built on, sharing the same vision, Tae immediately stayed on board, motivated to help in any way possible. Tae is a part-time apprentice organizer focusing on the Black Workers Center.
Contact: dwilkins@onedconline.org

Nawal Rajeh is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants who fled the country’s 16-year civil war and settled in Youngstown, Ohio. It was during her youth that she learned firsthand of the hardships that accompanied injustice and ignited her passion for organizing. Before coming to DC, Nawal was a community organizer in Baltimore, where she worked on joblessness and youth programs. She co-founded By Peaceful Means, which continues to run two summer programs for children in East Baltimore. Upon moving to DC eight years ago, Nawal began facilitating youth programs focusing on peace and conflict resolution in DC Public Schools. She has been a member of ONE DC for three years and is excited to continue learning and building on the legacy of resistance and alternative vision for the city that ONE DC and its members have been fighting to preserve and create. Nawal is a part-time apprentice organizer focusing on the Black Workers Center.
Contact: nrajeh@onedconline.org

Nia Nyamweya
is a Kenyan-American, intersectional feminist organizer and activist. She is from Silver Spring, MD and received her BA from Towson University in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in French. Nia began organizing after college in St. Louis, Missouri when she worked with youth in the Normandy District to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Ending environmental racism and healing oppression of black women is her passion. She works part-time with the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Nia happily joins ONE DC to create spaces that center black women's voices and create alternative economies. In her free time, she practices yoga and dances salsa. Nia is a part-time apprentice organizer focusing on the Black Workers Center.
Contact: nnyamweya@onedconline.org

Madeline Hernandez was born in Washington, DC on September 1, 1998 to Salvadoran parents. Her parents immigrated to the United States a couple years before she was born, escaping from the civil unrest El Salvador was undergoing in the hopes of providing better for themselves and their future. Madeline was raised uptown in the Brightwood/ Fort Totten area where she attended the city’s public schools, such as Rudolph Elementary (before it became Latin Public Charter) and Truesdell Education Campus. She is a 2016 graduate from School Without Walls Senior High School, and it was here there that her passion for political activism and critical thought began to blossom. Her perspective as a Latina of low socioeconomic status was enough for her to have something to say in classrooms that were dominated by kids in various positions of privilege. She owes the development of her consciousness to being raised during the birth of Black Lives Matter in such a politically active city and having teachers in high school that openly discussed Feminist Theories. After graduating high school, she decided to take gap year to pursue experience in the field she plans on entering, (a double major in Women’s Studies and Social Services or Latino Affairs) and that is how she stumbled upon this organization.  Her attraction to ONE DC came from hearing one keyword: radical. For years, Madeline used “Radical” as her social media platform because she described her thought process as one that got to the root of issues by constantly asking why. Ultimately, coming to the conclusion that the institutions put in place are to blame for all of society's issues, especially when it comes to race, a conclusion that ONE DC reached years ago in its beginnings. She’s determined to channel her passion into making change within her community. Madeline is a part-time intern organizer.

We also welcome back returning interns Vincent DeLaurentis (Georgetown), Noah Wexler (George Washington), K Me (Georgetown), Citlalli Velasquez (Georgetown), and welcome Samantha Lemieux (George Washington), Jennifer Hosler (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Gregory Lee (Montgomery College) as new fall interns & fellows!


Turning the Light of Truth: #RentersDayofAction at Congress Heights

On Thursday, September 22nd, ONE DC, Justice First, tenants of Congress Heights, Brookland Manor, Museum Square, and our members and supporters rallied in solidarity with renters in DC and nationwide for the Renters Day of Action. Across the country, in more than 50 cities, renters rose up in powerful demonstrations of the power of everyday people standing up for racial, economic & social justice. Renters are making four major demands:
rda_demands.jpg

In DC, residents living at a Congress Heights property are making another demand. Department of Housing and Community Development must take control of 3200 13th Street SE from the current owners to prevent known slum landlords and developers from gaining site control to move forward with their development plan in which they seek to displace Congress Heights tenants. Affected residents at Congress Heights and the larger neighborhood must be given priority as to determining alternative plans to create the affordable housing originally intended for the site in a manner that is beneficial to and determined by the community. Additionally, DHCD must take action to recuperate the missing $1 million from the owners of 3200, and commit to reinvesting it back into the development of 3200 to create much needed income-based affordable housing on the property as was originally intended.
Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_1.jpg Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_13.jpg
liberation.png  Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_12.jpg
Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_66.jpg Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_61.jpg
Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_69.jpg Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_85.jpg
 Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_41.jpg  Renters_Day_of_Action_9.22.2016_95.jpg

Workers with Project Retail also shared their experience with displacement in DC & request support for their petition for fair access to public transportation.

Photo Credit: O. Michael Leslie

Organizing & Coalition Building Updates

People's Platform
On September 7, members of ONE DC's Shared Leadership team held a report-back with several members about decisions made during the annual Shared Leadership retreat about the future of the People's Platform. The People's Platform is a visionary framework that guides ONE DC's work, whether it be through our Right to Housing campaigns, the Black Workers Center, Cooperation DC, our resource organizing, or any other work. We seek to accomplish our goals by centering the leadership of working class black women; being funded by our base; prioritizing political education and leadership development in our work; always seeking to build a deeper analysis and assessing our work; building alternative institutions; learning from past movement's successes and limitations; championing non-reformist reforms; and always seeking to be a part of a broader movement that is multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-gender, and multi-class.

A full-time community organizer is expected to join ONE DC this fall. Monthly People's Platform General Body meetings will be held to serve as unifying political education & leader development spaces for ONE DC members across all campaigns & committees. We also seek to build up the membership of our Organizing & Member Development Committee, which will ensure our organizing, coalition building, community learning, & member development efforts are all member-led, strategic, & done interdependently.
Click here to read more about the People's Platform

Black Workers Center
Members from the Black Workers Center and Cooperation DC sat down with DMPED's Sharon Carney on September 15th to share information about the worker cooperative landscape in DC. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) is beginning to develop a new economic strategy and is interested in cooperative development as part of a broader economic strategy for DC. To get involved with Cooperation DC, click here.

ONE DC Black Workers Center staff also attended a presentation by the Workforce Investment Council's Executive Director Odie Donald on September 15th. The Workforce Investment Council is "responsible for advising the Mayor, Council, and the District government on the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of an integrated and effective workforce investment system." We attended to learn more the state of workforce development in DC. ONE DC Black Workers Center members demand a shift from failed training models that don't result in actual employment, to paid, on-the-job apprenticeships.

Click here to RSVP for next monthly Black Workers Center Meeting October 20th


Upcoming Events

Admin & Organizational Management Committee Meeting
Tuesday, September 27 - 6:00 PM
ONE DC Office - 614 S St NW, Carriage House
Admin Committee meets monthly to identify what tasks need to be completed that month, assign tasks to members, & discuss long-term committee strategy. Committee oversees some of the following: website, member database, social media, enewsletter & communication, strategic planning, member events & more.
Click here to RSVP

All Out for Barry Farm! Rally & Hearing to Protect Public Housing
justiceforbarryfarm.jpg
Empower DC needs everyone who can to turn out in support of Barry Farm public housing residents. They are fighting to remain in their homes in the midst of the City’s effort to privatize the property and relocate them. The Zoning Comission has already approved the demolition, however the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association is appealing the decision in court. Join us to send the message that dislocation IS hardship, and the DC Housing Authority is violating the law by not protecting the needs of residents.
Click here for more info & to RSVP

Black Women Activists Needed Ages 18-50 for Focus Groups
Wednesday, September 28 - 5:30 PM
Howard University, 239 Fredrick Douglass Building
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the strategies and practices of Black women ages 18-50 years old participating in movements against police brutality and killings. These interviews will help us to better understand the attitudes of Black women activists. Additionally, factors that contribute to, or mitigate the effects of police brutality and killings on Black women activists will be explored. Assessing activists' perceptions of and experience with dealing with police violence will provide a more comprehensive picture of activists' strategies for future research and practice implications for social movements.
Refreshments provided & chance to win a gift card! Contact Shaneda Destine at shaneda.destine@bison.howard.edu (IRB Case 16-CAS-35)

Investing in the Ecosystem of Social Change
designthewe.png

Thursday September 29 - 6:00 PM
Impact Hub DC - 419 7th Street NW, 3rd Floor
A salon-style discussion focusing on the following questions: What are the models and initiatives that brings us closer to a more just, vibrant, and equitable human experience? How are these models creating impact? How can we support these models?
Click here for more info & to RSVP

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation - Author Talk with Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor
Monday, October 3 - 7:00 pm
The Potter's House - 1658 Columbia Rd NW
The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists. In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
Click here for more info & to RSVP

ONE DC Bit of Good News

ONE DC is excited to announce that our Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden, in partnership with Dr. Mindi Fullilove and Derek Hyra, have been selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leader Fellow. Interdisciplinary Research Leaders will bring together researchers and on-the-ground change agents, and equip them with advanced leadership skills and a clear focus on health and equity. Together they will break down silos, address health disparities and build fundamentally healthier communities. They will build bridges between the myriad factors that have such an enormous influence on people’s health—education, neighborhoods, transportation, income, faith, and so on. They will transform our culture at every level, putting health and equity at the core.
Click here to read more



donate.png


sustaining_donor.png
become_a_member.png

volunteer.png

Do you want to be a writer or editor for the Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

Share

Become a Sponsor of ONE DC's Presentation of Dance Place's "What's Going On: Life, Love, & Social Justice"

For one night only on Friday, November 18th, ONE DC will be hosting Dance Place’s very special Marvin Gaye-inspired performance: “What’s Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice”. In Dance Place’s first full-length production, Taking inspiration from 1971’s inimitable What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye’s insights into life, love and social justice are given fresh perspectives with new choreography by Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah. The evening-length work features Modern, Jazz and West African dance and seeks to spark conversations to ignite change in each community it touches.

Dance Place has generously dedicated the performance of “What’s Going On” on November 18th to be a night of fundraising for ONE DC. The evening will begin with a reception at 6pm, followed by the performance, lasting until 9pm.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the event in order to contribute to our fundraising goal of $1.3 million over the next 24 months, we invite you to consider the following Sponsorship Levels:

  • Fight for Justice - $500 – Two tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt.
  • Organize for Equity - $1,000 – Four tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt, ​copy of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Struggle by Barbara Ransby & ​Freedom is a Constant Struggle by ​Angela Y. Davis.
  • Path to Liberation - $2,000 - $5,000 – Ten tickets to tickets to special showing of the Dance Place's "What's Going On? Life, Love & Social Justice" Marvin Gaye-inspired performance and reception on November 18, 2016, ONE DC 10th Anniversary T-Shirt, copy of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Struggle by Barbara Ransby & ​Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Opportunity to speak on-stage during special performance of “What’s Going on?”

Click here to become a sponsor

To make your sponsorship donation offline, please mail check to ONE DC, PO Box 26049, Washington, DC, 20001, or contact Dominic at 202-232-2915, dmoulden@onedconline.org

Share

DC Renters Day of Action this Thursday!

Share

15 Years Later: Rally Against Post-9/11 Violence

On the 15th anniversary of September 11th, organizers in DC will take part in a performative action. Our demands are to end the legalized profiling of LGBTQ South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Black communities, which has intensified in the 15 years since 9/11.

This is part of a series of events designed to bring us together to heal, fortify, unite, and continue the fight against injustice. They will culminate in a RALLY FOR JUSTICE on 9/11 on 14th and U St. Full list of events and details are below.

Click here for more info and to RSVP

15YearsLaterFlyer-1.jpg

+ Mon 9/5 @ 7pm: Healing Circle +
gathering for survivors of post-9/11 violence, in all its forms. snacks and beverages will be served. RSVP to sasha@nqapia.org for address.

+ Sat 9/10 @ 6-8pm: Performance Activism Training +
those attending will receive training for the 9/11 action, including know your rights and de-escalation tactics segments. snacks and beverages will be served. RSVP to sasha@nqapia.org for address.

+ Sun 9/11 @ 10am-12:30pm: Performance Action +
must attend training on Saturday, 9/10 for details.

+ Sun 9/11 @ 1pm: Rally for Justice +
gather at 14th & U St to demand an end to the continued surveillance and profiling of south asian, arab, middle eastern, and black muslims and those perceived as muslims.

+ Sun 9/11 @ 4-7pm: Eid Rooftop Cookout +
the islamic calendar is based on a lunar calendar, unlike the calendar we use day to day which is based on a solar calendar. as such, each year an islamic date falls on a different solar calendar date. this year eid, one of the holiest islamic celebrations, falls on 9/11. we are hosting a cookout for all community members to gather to celebrate this occassion. RSVP to sasha@nqapia.org for address.

PLEASE RSVP FOR LOCATIONS AND REQUEST MORE INFO by emailing sasha@nqapia.org.

Share

ONE DC Monthly Voice - August 2016

"We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only ensure our own self-destruction." -Berta Caceres

Brookland Manor Families & ONE DC File Lawsuit Against Mid-City; Residents Organize Against Displacement, Harassment, & Intimidation

IMG_7943.JPG
Brookland Manor resident Cheryl Brunson speaks at the press conference on August 25, 2016

As you have heard, the proposed redevelopment of Brookland Manor will eliminate and reduce family-sized housing for nearly 150 families. This redevelopment will eliminate significant affordable family sized housing in the Brentwood neighborhood and force ONE DC members and residents to move from the community in which they have long resided and which they call home. The exclusion of these families from Brookland Manor destroys their community and will disrupt their children’s education and the networks of services and supports that many residents rely on. Medical doctor Mindy Fullilove calls this health condition “root shock”—a phenomena which tears up primarily Black working class communities. ONE DC’s organizing is designed to resist these conditions, and our legal team supports us in these efforts.

The developers wrote to the tenants that large families must be excluded from the redeveloped property because large families are “not consistent with the creation of a vibrant new community.” They justified the negative impact that the elimination of large units would have on families by telling the Zoning Commission that “housing very large families in apartment complexes is significantly impactful upon the quality of life of households as well as their surrounding neighbors.” These statements reflect a hostility towards families that violates both federal and District of Columbia Fair Housing laws, which prohibit discrimination based on one’s familial status. ONE DC supports our legal team through our organizing to make “the developers obey the law.” If the residents and ONE DC members don’t make the developers obey the Fair Housing laws, they will violate them. We join the families of Brookland Manor who are bringing this lawsuit in demanding that the developer obey the Fair Housing laws!

Our members and our legal team support the choice of Brookland Manor residents to have a large family or a small one, to live with multiple generations or to live alone which is protected by law. Click here to read Dominic Moulden's full remarks from the press conference.

Media Coverage of Brookland Manor

The Mysterious Private Police Force That’s Killing People In The Nation’s Capital Carimah Townes, Think Progress, August 31

DC Residents File Housing Lawsuit Against Developer Mark Segraves, NBC4 Washington, August 26

D.C. Developers Accused of Pushing Out Poor, Britain Eakin, Courthouse News Service, August 26

Brookland Residents Sue Owner Of Massive Complex Over Redevelopment Plans, Rachel Sadon, DCist, August 25

Northeast Tenants Sue Owner for Alleged Discrimination, Andrew Giambrone, Washington City Paper, August 25

As the nation’s capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25 Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, August 8


A Reflection on Black August & Organizing with ONE DC

By Paige DeLoach, ONE DC Intern, Cornell University

During the last week of my summer internship with ONE DC, I received an email from Dominic Moulden advertising Black August, a BYP100 and BLM-DC month long event. Black August is described as “a month of rest from, reflection on, and recommitment to our decades long struggle.” Rest from the struggle, reflection on the struggle, recommitment to the struggle. An August that is Black like me. A struggle that is mine.

IMG_6863.JPGBlack August is so necessary. So often, people fighting the essential fights do not recognize their work as continued exposure to trauma. Black people face constant assaults on our personhood and our integrity. We fight for the right to inhabit our bodies, to be in charge of them, to protect and treasure them. This specific kind of fight, against racism and mistreatment, requires us to confront triggering experiences, possibly even share and re­live them, so that others see the validity of this plight. But when we must use these experiences as fuel, we are denied the chance to heal.

Black people are familiar with burnout. Black people are familiar with wounds that are cut open every day. Burnout is full of rage, hopelessness, weariness ­ a type of emptiness that is very hard to shake. Through my internship, I hoped to fight for and with those too burnt out to fight alone. I wanted to take part in fighting for the rights of Black people in my community. I wanted to build power, to provide support, to give solidarity. I wanted to give people the chance to heal.

My work at ONE DC taught me how to work for and with others, how to be an active citizen in the creation of public policy, and how a non­profit organization can help create positive and sustainable change from within a community. I met Angela Davis and Barbara Ransby; I was part of a DC artist’s inner circle for a night; I yelled at city officials; I protested.

As I look back to where I was and all ONE DC accomplished this summer, the one fact I know is that ONE DC gave me the chance to heal, because I was in need of the solidarity I was trying to provide. My rest from the struggle involved joining the struggle of others, and realizing that as I fight for others I fight for myself. We fight for one another to assure ourselves we are not helpless or hopeless, but that within us lies the power to change our world. Spaces like ONE DC and Black
August are essential to our survival, because when we come together, we lift one another up ­ we save each other.

As I return to school, I know that transitioning back to a primarily white institution will be difficult, but I am not afraid. More than anything, I am grateful to every person I met through ONE DC this summer, who helped me heal: you have made all the difference. More than anything, I am eager to come from this period of rest and reflection recommited to the struggle. More than anything, I am ready.
­­
“Who made us forget our past? Who can make us forget that we come from a long legacy of organizers, thinkers, and doers who understood that the fight can be long, it can be hard, but it can be won?”


Watch Video from ONE DC 10th Anniversary Juneteenth Celebration

Thank you to ONE DC member Paul Abowd for filming our 10th Anniversary Juneteenth Celebration! Click here to watch & share video of the event, including the community dialogue with Dr. Angela Davis & Dr. Barbara Ransby.

IMG_0508.JPG

And don't forget to make your 10th Anniversary donation to ONE DC!

 


Black Workers Continue Building Community Power in DC

Artist Edgar Reyes works with members to complete mural for new Black Workers Center space

bwc_mural3.jpg  bwc_mural4.jpg



Join Jobs with Justice in #BlackWorkMatters Twitter Town Hall September 1st, 2:00 - 3:00 PM

twitter_town_hall.jpg



Share your story, experience, and thoughts on #BlackWorkMatters tomorrow from 2-3 PM and throughout Labor Day weekend.

  • What would our country look like if Black lives mattered in our employment and economic systems?
  • What are the biggest opportunities right now for Black communities to organize and win economic justice fights?
  • What propels and inspires you to continue working at the intersection of economic and racial justice?
  • What strategies and initiatives do you see as leading the way in dismantling the ways racism shapes our economy?
Info Session at Skyland Workforce Center

0001.jpg

 


 

Join Mind.Over.Matter Collective in Solidarity Demonstration to Support Incarcerated Strikers

 

Currently, incarcerated people in over 20 states, have organized to not give their labor to the prisons on Friday, Sept 9th. The United States is the most incarcerated nation in the world. Due to this, most people, whether they have served time in prisons or not, have been affected by them - family members, friends, friend's family members. This is an extremely dangerous action for them to take. So we, 'the people' on the other side of the wall have to show up and hold them through their struggles. Mind.Over.Matter, along with ally organizations, plan to hold a noise demo at the prison to support the prisoners' direct action.

Due to the nature of this action (protesting on prison grounds), this is considered a potentially arrestable action. Mind.Over.Matter collective will hold a meeting/training this Sunday September 4th 12pm-3pm at 1624 Division St. 21217 Baltimore, MD. There will be transportation for willing participants.

Click here for more info and to RSVP

For additional questions and info, email powerfularetheproactive@gmail.com

 


Upcoming Events

Black Workers Center Meeting
Thursday, September 15 - 6:00 PM
United Black Fund - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
To challenge chronic black unemployment and underemployment, we must understand how race & work intersect while creating spaces where Black workers can create their own opportunities for training, employment, and worker ownership.
Click here to RSVP

ONE DC Admin & Organizational Management Committee

Tuesday, September 27 - 6:00 PM
ONE DC Office - 614 S St NW, Carriage House
Admin Committee meets monthly to identify what tasks need to be completed that month, assign tasks to members, & discuss long-term committee strategy. Committee oversees some of the following:

  • Writing regular blog posts or taking photos for the website
  • Website design & maintenance
  • Social media strategy
  • Monthly enewsletter & email blasts
  • Maintaining member & donor database
  • Reorganizing & archiving ONE DC documents to preserve our community learning & organizing history
  • Strategic Planning

Click here to RSVP


ONE DC Bit of Good News -  Upcoming Walking Tour Part of "What's Going On: Voices of Shaw"

Shaw Community Social Justice Walking Tour

Back_on_the_Block.jpg ShawTour-42.jpg


Thursday, September 29 - 6:00 PM
Meet at ONE DC office - 614 S St NW, Carriage House
ONE DC invites you to engage with us in a conversation and community learning process about displacement and resistance in DC, and how we organize for equitable development. ONE DC will show you the physical side of gentrification in the Shaw neighborhood and discuss its effects on the community, along with stories of how ONE DC organizes with residents to stand up for community-led, equitable development. Participants will have the opportunity to raise and discuss questions together, as well as tie learned experience to the Shaw story and context. We will explore the interconnectedness of the right to housing, the right to income, and the right to wellness. Participants will walk a little less than 1 mile total. Depending on questions and reflections, tour lasts about 75-90 minutes.We are presenting this tour free to residents as part of "What’s Going On: Voices of Shaw," a public art project that examines and celebrates the micro-cultures of Shaw through the voices and diverse lens of the community. For more info or to submit your own project, click here. We welcome donations to support the organizing work of ONE DC.

Space is limited. Click here to RSVP.



donate.png


sustaining_donor.png
become_a_member.png

volunteer.png

Do you want to be a writer or editor for the Monthly Voice? Email organizer@onedconline.org

Share

ONE DC Statement on Family Size Discrimination Litigation At Brookland Manor

Borum, et al, v. Brentwood Village, LLC, et al
Family Size Discrimination Litigation Regarding Brookland Manor

By: Dominic T. Moulden, Resource Organizer
Organizing Neighborhood Equity DC

ONE DC is honored to be here today with residents of Brookland Manor, our community legal partners the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and legal counsel at Covington & Burling to announce the filing of litigation to challenge redevelopment plans for Brookland Manor that will discriminate against families.


As you have heard, the proposed redevelopment of Brookland Manor will eliminate and reduce family-sized housing for nearly 150 families. This redevelopment will eliminate significant affordable family sized housing in the Brentwood neighborhood and force ONE DC members and residents to move from the community in which they have long resided and which they call home. The exclusion of these families from Brookland Manor destroys their community and will disrupt their children’s education and the networks of services and supports that many residents rely on. Medical doctor Mindy Fullilove calls this health condition “root shock”—a phenomena which tears up primarily Black working class communities. ONE DC’s organizing is designed to resist these conditions, and our legal team supports us in these efforts.


The developers wrote to the tenants that large families must be excluded from the redeveloped property because large families are “not consistent with the creation of a vibrant new community.” They justified the negative impact that the elimination of large units would have on families by telling the Zoning Commission that “housing very large families in apartment complexes is significantly impactful upon the quality of life of households as well as their surrounding neighbors.” These statements reflect a hostility towards families that violates both federal and District of Columbia Fair Housing laws, which prohibit discrimination based on one’s familial status. ONE DC supports our legal team through our organizing to make “the developers obey the law.” If the residents and ONE DC members don’t make the developers obey the Fair Housing laws, they will violate them. We join the families of Brookland Manor who are bringing this lawsuit in demanding that the developer obey the Fair Housing laws!


Our members and our legal team support the choice of Brookland Manor residents to have a large family or a small one, to live with multiple generations or to live alone which is protected by law.


Many of the residents of Brookland Manor have lived in the neighborhood a long time. Some families have lived there for generations. They have built a community and invested their lives in the neighborhood. They should not be displaced and removed like the families at Valley Green in Southeast, Ellen Wilson on Capitol Hill, and Arthur Cappers in Southwest. Now, when amenities are returning to Brentwood, when the neighborhood is becoming a destination and families with means are moving in, longtime residents are being forced out. The design of the proposed redevelopment will not benefit the families who currently live in Brookland Manor, and instead appears to be for those who are new to DC and the Brentwood neighborhood.


ONE DC recognizes Black low-income DC residents’ right to housing and right to the city. Our People's Platform organizing work speaks to ONE DC's solidarity with working class people and we defend these rights through legal action to protect all DC citizens' right to fair, equitable, and large family housing units at Brookland Manor.


The residents and ONE DC members who filed this suit today and those that are here with us at this press conference bear witness to the possibility of DC being the Human Rights City it claims. ONE DC’s Shared Leadership Team during this 10th Anniversary year is calling DC’s political leaders and human rights organizers to task to join us in humility and solidarity with all of the original 535 families at Brookland Manor who claim their right to live and work in DC. We remain encouraged and envision a victory for all these families who put their lives on the line for a just and equitable DC. We honor all of you today in filing this lawsuit and claim loudly IT IS OUR DUTY TO WIN!

Share