The Monthly Voice
|July 2015 - ONE DC Newsletter|
"In the spirit of Ida B. Wells, we value organizing against injustice and for human dignity." -from ONE DC values statement
From DC to Cleveland: Building a Movement for Black Lives
|Bottom, from left: Marybeth Onyeukwu, Jamier Sale, Kashara White, Chioma Iwuoha, Gabrielle Jackson
Top, from left: Lissette Miller, Caneisha Mills, April Goggans, Peta Lindsay, Andrew Nance, Eugene Puryear
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.
Education. Action. Reflection. Building a Movement for Equity in DC
For the full agenda, readings, and resources, click here.
The following Wednesday, members took to action with a teach-in at Freedom Plaza followed by a protest outside Mayor Muriel Bowser's office about the failure of First Source accountability on projects such as the Marriott Marquis. Our demand is for the Mayor to issue an executive order to strengthen First Source with clawbacking provisons. Members demanding this order were met by security and police outside the mayor's office. So what's next? How can we learn from this action and how do we move forward? Please join us at our next People's Platform General Body Meeting this Wednesday, August 5th at 6PM. RSVP Here
The Freedom School was also used as an opportunity to release The People's Platform Manifesto.
The People’s Platform principles are:
- Housing for every person. Housing is a human right, not an opportunity to exploit and profit.
- Decent, dignified, and sustainable work or occupation for everyone who wants it.
- A right to health for humans and the earth.
- Government transparency, accountability, and participatory democracy.
- Equitable development that values people over property. Development without displacement that cedes power over land use to democratic community control.
- Equitable and equal access to a free, decent, holistic, non-imperialistic education that creates critical, political thinkers and leaders.
- Full access for returning citizens to housing, jobs, education, as well as decriminalization, demilitarization, and prison abolition.
- Access to safe and affordable transportation so that we can travel between our homes, jobs, schools, and recreational spaces.
- A process of restorative justice for residents who have faced physical, emotional, or psychological violence at the hands of the District government and its agencies.
- The right of return and reclamation for those who have been forced out of the District by developers and gentrification. We demand self-determination, which depends on our ability to control the land.
Brookland Manor Tenants Hold First Election in 20 Years!
A few weeks ago, Brookland Manor held its first Tenant Association Election in 20 years. Brookland Manor is a historic Great Depression era complex which includes 19 garden apartment buildings: 535 units spread across 23 acres. Over 2/3 of the units are subsidized by the federal government. The apartment complex has been home to many Black families over the years. Mid-City Financial Corporation is gunning for a major demolition project to develop townhouses, condos and retail. Mid-City insists that all residents in good standing will be welcomed back to the property. However, if Mid-City succeeds in demolishing the property, they plan on reducing 162 affordable housing units, which are mostly 3, 4 and 5 bedrooms. This action equates to displacing hundreds of Black families in DC.
Each board member completed ONE DC leadership training seminars and ultimately made commitments to ensure healthy and accountable leadership. The board is currently ready to serve its tenants, with unconventional energy and commitment to let all residents' voices be heard. ONE DC is currently co- facilitating leadership trainings and workshops to ensure Brookland Manor Tenants Association can lead equitably and efficiently.
Build Relationships & Community
SoulFiesta on the Street
Saturday, August 1st - 4pm - 7pm
Block Party on N Street (between Vermont Ave & 14th St NW)
Third Annual N Street community block party created to bring Latino & African American neighbors together and share culture over food, music, dancing, art, and fun. (Tamale making party on Friday night!)
Click here for more info
The Pearl Coalition Summer Celebration
Wednesday, August 5th - 4:30-7:30pm
Monique Johnson Earth Conservation Corps Center
The Pearl Coalition is a DC-based organization dedicated to the restoration of “The Pearl,” a Chesapeake Bay Schooner that was chartered by free African Americans to help enslaved people escape to freedom. Event will include Boating, Interviews, Activities, Catered Food, Volunteer Sign-Up, Live Performances
Click here for more info
Film Screening: "Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution"
Save the Date: Friday 9/18 & Saturday 9/19
E Street Cinema
Director Stanley Nelson will be attending the Friday opening in DC. Producer Laurens Grant will be attending the screening Saturday evening.
Co-hosted by ONE DC & Justice First
Click here for more info
ONE Bit of Good News
ONE DC member April Goggans to host Black Self-Love Sunday Fundraiser for ONE DC in honor of her birthday this Sunday, August 2nd starting at 5pm.
Spades*Dominoes*Food*Music*Art Making*Carefree Blackness
2237 Mount View Place SE (Anacostia Metro - 90/B2 bus)
This is that no-organizing, no working, just being black and beautiful party that we always talk about having, but never do--UNTIL NOW! And it's in Southeast! Come be in community & bask in the beauty of blackness! All ages welcome.
**this is a black & POC space**
$10 dollar suggested donation gets you a plate & supports black organizing in DC. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you April and Happy Birthday!
If you are interested in hosting your own fundraiser house party to support ONE DC, please email dominic at email@example.com
The Democracy Collaborative is Hiring
In the media
"We must put an end to serial displacement in the form of segregation, redlining, deindustrialization, and gentrification, which has constituted one long wave of destruction for many black communities, undercutting the ability of residents to resist.” -Mindy Fullilove. Equitable Development and the Call for Community in Washington, DC by Gregory D. Squires and Dominic T Moulden, Social Policy, Spring 2015
Marybeth Onyeukwu's piece featured in Truthout "Black Immigrants' Lives Matter: Disrupting the Dialogue on Immigrant Detention."
Black Lives Matter Asks A Question Of Its Own Movement: Where Are More Men?