When I first learned about the Movement for Black Lives Convening, I was immediately excited. As a mental health clinician, I had been having an internal conversation about the need for Black spaces, a safe space meant for us to heal and just be. This was perfect. Being at the Convening, I got everything I could ask for. I had the opportunity to attend the Emotional Emancipation Circle, a session held by Erika Totten on how to implement and facilitate weekly support groups for Black people for the purposes of processing stress, violence, and aggression related to racism and White supremacy. I also attended a session hosted by the Black Alliance for Just Immigration called Welcome to America: the Black Immigrant Experience of Anti-Black and Anti-Immigrant State Violence in the U.S., which provided a lens on intersectionality and the universality of Black Lives Matter.
It was amazing, being among Black excellence and brilliance, seeing beautiful Black people in all their essence and diversity, and feeling right at home. I came home reinvigorated, with a heightened sense of pride, motivation, inspiration, and a full heart and soul. I went to the M4BL Convening for its healing qualities, but I got so much more out of it. I did not realize how much I would learn and glean from a short weekend.
First, I was reminded to be confident in my strengths and how they contribute to the movement. Each person has their own strengths, resources, and expertise. The movement is not only about what is seen out on the forefront, but about the genius in the background too. Even if you are not on the front lines regularly, you are needed. Secondly, I was encouraged to be confident in the capacity of my own voice. In my advocacy, I have a tendency to be observant and strategic. But, there are times things just need to be said as soon as it comes to mind, and done so unapologetically. Next, I was reminded to be confident in our capacity and adaptability. Our people are strong and resilient, and should never forget that. Though many try to say we are apathetic or "can't get our stuff together," our movement is historical and has been ongoing; we just have to often adjust due to deliberately placed roadblocks. We must never forget that this movement never died, and is just revitalized continuously.
Lastly, we must be confident that we are indeed one family and we have so much love. This weekend only reinforced that. From a passing smile and "how are you doing?" and the short elevator conversations to the deeper discussions about social ills and next steps, I connected with many, because despite being different in many ways, we are all part of the Black experience and understand that all Black lives do matter.
I left the M4BL Convening, with the mission of being intentional, proud, and unapologetic. I look forward to the next year's assembly of Black lives. I want to express extreme gratitude to ONE DC for making my attendance at this convening possible.
Gabrielle Z. Jackson
ONE DC member
Howard University School of Social Work
What is state violence? How does it affect our lives? How is state violence manifested in our search for living wage, dignified work? What does resistance to state violence look like?
Freedom School will include discussion, group breakouts and exercises, video, art, music, and fellowship with other ONE DC members. Food will be served. We are encouraging everyone who plans to attend the Jobs Action on July 22nd to join us at Freedom School so we have a shared understanding.
By Art Brown
|Photo: Adwoa Masozi
For the past three months, members and staff of ONE DC organized three Cooperative Learning Journey trips visiting Baltimore, Maryland (Red Emma’s, a coop book store), New York City (Build with Prospect Construction Coop; The Working World, The Participatory Budgeting Project; COLORS) and Philadelphia (Childspace West-worker owned child care coop; Mariposa Food Coop). The purpose of these journeys was to prepare a cadre of people/workers who will invest time and commit effort to building a cooperative movement in DC. Also, a DC Worker Coop Coalition has been established and has been meeting since March of this year to initiate and coordinate a cooperative building effort.
As an added bonus to the Philadelphia Cooperative Learning Journey, participants got the opportunity to attend the US Social Forum (USSF). We took part in the Advancing the Solidarity Economy Peoples’ Movement Assembly and met with Peter Frank, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). The PMA addressed such topics as: Participatory Budgeting, The Mapping Process of Current Local and National Networks, Urban Agriculture, Cooperative Infrastructure, Land Banking and Land Use Distribution, Divestment and Reinvestment Ethics, Loan Funds to the Grassroots and Climate Justice Projects.
The discussion with Peter Frank of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance was to gain insight into its operation and to receive guidance for the recent start-up of the DC Worker’s Cooperative Alliance. Prior to our return to DC, members and staff organizers from ONE DC held a debriefing session as a prelude to the creation of a cooperative economy in DC. The group agreed to meet on July 8th, 6:30pm at Impact Hub DC to map out next steps.
Join ONE DC, the DC Black Workers Center, and the Kalmanowitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at our Juneteenth Press Conference to release the Marriott Marquis Training Program Accountability Report.
Even with a landmark jobs training program for the new Marriott Marquis hotel and the First Source Law [which requires businesses that receive financial assistance from the District to make a “good faith effort” to hire DC residents for at least 51 percent of new jobs created] only 178 graduates of the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program were hired out of 719 trained.
Download and read the full report: "Trained to Death" and Still Jobless: A Case Study of the Efficacy of DC's First Source Law, Economic Development Policies, and the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program.
It is not enough. We, the residents of Washington DC, want to see good jobs be available to Black District residents and public funds be used for the improvement of our communities, not just businesses.
1. THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (DOES) ENFORCE OUR FIRST SOURCE LAW
2. THAT THE MUNICIPALITY & DC RESIDENTS SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF THE BLACK WORKERS CENTER
SIGN THE PETITION
Can you support us by sharing a tweet?
This #Juneteenth, join @_onedc in demanding economic freedom for black District residents onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition #DCBWC #BlackWorkersRising
This #Juneteenth, join me in signing the petition to demand greater @DOES_DC enforcement of First Source Law http://www.onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition
'"Trained to Death" and Still Jobless' | Demand better employment opportunities for DC residents http://www.onedconline.org/firstsourcepetition #DCBWC
Join the conversation online by following @_ONEDC and hashtags #DCBWC and #BlackWorkersRising.
We chose Juneteenth (June 19th) because of its historical significance. Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of enslaved black Americans in the United States. 2015 marks its 150th Anniversary
In these Cooperatives, the price is LOW to keep them affordable to the people who need housing most!
The maximum income limit is $60,839 for one person and $69,530 for two people.
If you are interested in affordable home ownership, apply soon, these prices are too good to last long!
VACANCIES AS OF JUNE 2, 2015
2711 Q Street SE Cooperative
Join a 10 unit cooperative in the Randle Highlands area of Southeast with easy street parking and convenient to Pennsylvania Avenue.
1 BR - 2BR $990 - $1190 a month carrying charge, $1490 share price, payment plan available. To view a unit contact Ms Weeks at (202) 421-6487 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
1314 K Street NE Cooperative
Excellent location off the Potomac Avenue Metro stop with ample street parking available, and just minutes from DC-295. 1 BR $1100 a month carrying charge, $3500 share price, payment plan available. To view a unit contact Nicole Pope at 202-543-6321 or e-mail her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOPE Cooperative at 1445 Spring Road NW
Basement studio and large one bedroom with walk in closet available in Columbia Heights, near 14th street, rock creek park, and walk to bus or metro. Very large one bedroom with study available, $1200 and share price $2,300. Basement efficiency $1,000 a month carrying charge and share price $2,300. To view call Ana Margarita Pineda at 202-640-9093 or contact email@example.com
WHY COOPERATIVES? OWNERSHIP
All the apartments listed here give you the opportunity to BUY YOUR OWN HOME at UNBELIEVABLY LOW COSTS.
The "share price" listed is the cost to become an owner and a member of the Cooperative. (There is no security deposit.)
The "carrying charge" is what you pay each month to cover the cost of the building mortgage and other common building expenses.
The Cooperatives listed here provide an opportunity to stop being a renter and become a homeowner.
When you buy into a Cooperative, you become a Member of the building. Cooperative Members own and manage the building themselves.
This means that costs can be kept lower. No landlord is pocketing the profit.
It also means that Cooperative Members work as a community to manage the building; you will be asked to take some responsibilities. AFFORDABLE
The Cooperative buildings listed here have a goal of preserving affordable housing for low income residents.
You must be low income to qualify for membership, the amount of income depends on household size.
For example, a one person household must have income of less than $60,839 a year.
You can find the household income limits here: http://dhcd.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dhcd/publication/attachments/Inclusionary%20Zoning%202013%20Income%20Schedule.pdf
Let me tell you a story about Libanos, an African immigrant living at Mount Vernon Plaza. A few months ago, Libanos was participating in a class discussion at UDC-Community College when the professor, who happened to be a ONE DC member, started talking about #BlackLivesMatter in DC and ONE DC. Libanos shouted out, “That’s my organization!” With tears in her eyes, Libanos described how resident leaders in Shaw are working with ONE DC organizer and African immigrant, Marybeth Onyeukwu, to resist displacement in their neighborhood. Under the leadership of over a dozen Mount Vernon Plaza resident-leaders and support from ONE DC’s People Platform campaign, Mount Vernon Plaza residents won their rent court cases, preserved 63 low-cost units, and now continue the struggle to win permanently low-cost housing at Mount Vernon Plaza.
Show your support for Black residents, workers, and organizing by making a donation to ONE DC today.
ONE DC’s work has always been about doing the hard work of movement building - building community and building leaders to fight back against the rapid gentrification, displacement, and unemployment that longtime DC residents are facing. Our organizing connects the dots between underemployment, poor jobs, mass incarceration, and the demolition of affordable housing, forcing the state and private interests to recognize that #BlackLivesMatter.
This year, ONE DC’s Right to Income campaign is fighting to ensure that #BlackWorkersMatter in DC. With support from ONE DC organizers, resident leaders are forming a coalition of partners to plan for the establishment of a Black Workers Center, a black resident-led space whose mission is to create and maintain racial and economic justice.
As we build a movement to make #BlackWorkersMatter in DC, we are focused on building leadership, especially Black women leadership, who are so often minimized in conversations about Black employment. For us, movement building isn’t a fad: it requires us to organize alongside Libanos, Azieb, and countless other Black women leaders who are fighting for an economically and racially equitable city.
But to ensure we are building a movement and not a moment, we must continue to invest in leaders like Libanos. Movement building is hard work. But some residents—like Libanos, Azieb, Kimberly, & Phylissa (pictured) —are up for the task and ready to fight!
Here’s how you can help. Make a donation today to support ONE DC in sending members and staff to participate in movement-building trainings: Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), and the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). ONE DC is a member-led, member-funded movement, and with your support, we can continue to build the leadership of Black organizers and longtime DC residents who will pave our way to a more equitable DC.
Build the movement with us.
1-Bedroom Units Available in the Maya Angelou Cooperative – Submit Your Application Now!
Newly Renovated and Excellent Location
Buy into the Maya Angelou Cooperative and own an affordable coop unit in a vibrant community of long-time residents who purchased their 9-unit building in July 2014 and are committed to affordable homeownership in their Marshall Heights neighborhood (Ward 7). The coop will undergo renovations during February – April 2015 including: new roof, all new windows, new individual furnaces and air conditioners, new flooring, appliances, and lighting. The Coop will begin selecting new members as early as March 2015, so submit your application as soon as possible.
Unit and Building Features:
- Individually controlled central heating and air conditioning
- Large windows/light-filled rooms
- Cable and telephone ready
- New laundry room
1 bedroom Features:
- Price = $750 per month plus gas and electric (plus one-time $2,000 buy-in price)
- Size = 585 square feet, including linen closet and walk-in bedroom closet
Benefits of Cooperative Membership:
- Residents make decisions about the building and its management (no landlord)
- Long term affordability – non-profit coop is resident owned, keeps operating costs low, and re-invests in the building so it remains quality affordable housing for many years to come.
- The coop share is inheritable (may be passed on to family) and increases in value
To join, your household income must not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (for a one-person
household, the maximum is $59,920; for a two-person household, the maximum is $68,480)
- Approximately 1⁄2 mile walk to Benning Road Metro Stop and nearby retail amenities
- U5 and U6 bus lines stop at property and provide service to Benning Rd Metro Station
- Approximately 1⁄4 mile walk to Capitol View Neighborhood Library
- Plenty of street parking and easy access to DC-295 and I-95
To Obtain an Application, Please Contact:
Ask for Ms. Michele Washington
The Employment Justice Center's workers' committee is interested in learning more about DC workers' experiences of being fired for any reason or no reason. Please complete the survey linked below to help guide a potential campaign on this issue!