ONE DC Monthly Voice June 2019

 “Anything that is as old as racism is in the blood line of the nation. It's not any superficial thing - that attitude is in the blood and we have to educate about it.”
-Nannie Helen Burroughs

In the Pursuit of Affordable, Sustainable Housing

At the ONE DC office in Shaw on a Tuesday evening, Right to Housing Organizer Patrick Gregoire carefully reads over a drafted email blast about the upcoming People’s Right to Housing Mini-Assembly. He edits the language to make it more accessible and compelling, asking for feedback from others. Members of the Right to Housing Committee have been meeting week after week to build out a city-wide housing campaign, and now it's time to launch summer outreach and base-building.

Sending communications is one of many features of Patrick’s work with ONE DC: his priority is to reach out and connect with people in ONE DC’s base of working class people of color. As the Right To Housing Organizer, Patrick's role is to organize tenants, especially long-time DC residents, to fight displacement, dismantle housing inequities, and end the privatization of housing. Housing being ONE DC's longest standing pillars of organizing, Patrick explains, “the big North Star is to have community-controlled, sustainable, affordable and dignified housing and to pursue models that support that."

Patrick (fourth from left) at a LEAP workshop

In order to move towards these goals and connect with the community, Patrick organizes regular 1-on-1 meetings with ONE DC members to connect the values of the organization to their experiences living in DC. “I mean if you don’t have safe dignified housing, what do you have? You can’t focus on your work. Where are you stacking your food if you've got any? We can’t fight for the things we need if we can’t even stay where we are.” he says. 

Patrick’s passion and dedication to the fight for equitable housing grew from his experience as a ONE DC member. After coming on staff, he now organizes closely with a dedicated group of ONE DC members and interns that make up the Right to Housing Committee. Several members have been displaced from their own neighborhoods in the District and use their experience to inform campaign strategy. In addition to the housing team, Patrick also works with other ONE DC staff and organizers: “I love being with a diverse cadre of people -- our Shared Leadership Team, our interns, the staff, our general membership -- especially when we have people that are the most impacted by displacement coming together and brainstorming ideas about how we’re gonna fight for our right to housing.”

ONE DC's Right to Housing Committee connects with the nation-wide Homes for All Movement at a Tenant Power Assembly Training in Minneapolis

Join with Patrick and tenants in DC to develop a popular education agenda and build our skills so we can fight back against predatory landlords and developers, and create collective power at the People's Right to Housing Mini-Assembly on Saturday July 6! This event is the first in a series of three and will be followed by the People's Right to Housing Freedom School and ONE DC's citywide People's Assembly.

Click here to RSVP

Nobody's Free Until Everybody's Free - Juneteenth in DC 2019

This past month was filled with preparation, planning, and most importantly, outreach for our annual Juneteenth in DC events. Thanks to the hard work and mobilizing efforts of ONE DC members, interns, and staff, the events turned out to be a huge success!

On Saturday, June 15, we hosted our 2nd Annual Juneteenth in DC Festival at the vacant lot owned by Bethlehem Baptist Church, located next to our Black Workers and Wellness Center in Anacostia. There was an estimated 500+ turnout, with over 60 vendors, community partners, performers and food trucks.


On Wednesday, June 19, in commemoration of the first observance of Juneteenth, ONE DC held a Juneteenth Community Learning Event with over 230 people in attendance. Dr. Camara Jules P. Harrell, Professor of Psychology at Howard University and author of Manichean Psychology: Racism and the minds of people of African descent, started off the program with a presentation on the history and significance of Juneteenth. In his presentation, Dr. Harrell disrupted the narrative of Abraham Lincoln as a benevolent white savior and uplifted the long history of rebellion of Africans in the U.S. against the system of slavery. They fought to liberate themselves by “…running away, rebelling violently, fleeing to the British, murdering slave-catchers…refusing to work, breaking tools….” In this legacy, ONE DC members continue our fight against the oppressive system of racial capitalism today.

Following the presentation, Aidyn & Addison Ellis-Otovo, two sisters from DC who have a passion for the arts and equal rights advocacy, performed on violin "Lift Every Voice and Sing." We also heard spoken word and musical performances from Pchs, Mena, Iyon, and closed the program with a healing mediation by Sista Alchemy.

It's not too late to become a sponsor of Juneteeth! By making a donation, you help ONE DC cover the costs of food, space and equipment rentals, and supplies.

Thank you all for commemorating Juneteenth with us!

We Are Ready for Change: Let's Face it Together

A note from Dominic Moulden

As the Resource Organizer for ONE DC, I’m writing to make an important and joyful announcement. This year, 2019, marks a truly unique year for ONE DC. It is year 13 since we began our journey as a community organizing collective organizing for racial and economic equity in Shaw and the District.  We are also in a period of Creative Reconstruction, ONE DC organizers, members, and shared leadership team are healing and learning together. This process also includes critiquing ourselves and our organization and doing the work necessary to imagine what our work looks like in the future.

Looking around me, I am honored to stand beside people committed to organizing for liberation and to see the strong and courageous ONE DC movement that we ALL have created. The work I am most proud of is the relationships we have built and sustained. Liberation always requires transformation. For us to grow, something must shift. This shift doesn’t mean anything is wrong, it means that we as an organization are ready to grow in new formations and ways. Shifting is possible for organizations and individuals and I am writing to inform you that at the end of 2019, I am transitioning off of staff as the Resource Organizer for ONE DC.

In the shared leadership structure, no one person is the spoke that keeps the wheel turning. There are many spokes. My transition is an act of solidarity with the movement work of ONE DC. It is rooted in the belief that no one person holds an organization up. I will continue to work closely with our membership and Shared Leadership Team throughout this time. I am committed to working closely with ONE DC to ensure that organizational history and information is transferred. I ask you to bravely support us as we lead this transformation at ONE DC. 

Now in my third decade of organizing in DC, I’m reflecting on what it means to be black and fearless. To me, being fearless means evaluating our organizational capacity; it means fostering membership development and healing; it means taking charge of your own political education and your own leadership development. And it means supporting the staff that will continue to redevelop and reorient the culture of ONE DC after my resignation. This one quote comes to mind:

“You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it.”
-Grace Lee Boggs

ONE DC is a strong and a courageous organization.  We have a long history of people who have demonstrated a commitment to organizing for a more equitable future. As I look back at the strength we have built as a collective, I am ready to fight with you all into the future and to continue our wins in our Right to Housing, Income and Wellness campaigns. A Transition Committee has been formed and is responsible for identifying knowledge transfer, strengthening staff leadership, and working with me this year and next to ensure a smooth transition for staff and membership. I will continue to work closely with them during this time and in the future. I look forward to joining the powerful membership of ONE DC, and hope you will too.

I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this very special organization. I’m committed to working with all of you to bring a life of joy and liberation in DC to fruition. 

Please look out for other announcements and information in the coming months. Thank you for the many special memories and the chance to smell the roses.

In solidarity,

Dominic T. Moulden

Upcoming Events

Know Your Rights Outreach Blitz
June 28-30, times & location vary
DC Jobs with Justice
This summer 2019, on July 1st, the minimum wage for hourly worker will increase to $14.00 and $4.45 for tipped workers in the District. This July also marks the first day of business tax collection for the Paid Family Leave benefits program. We will be doing outreach to workers about the new minimum wage, wage theft (including sick days, the tipped minimum, off the clock work) and TIMES UP resources for victims of sexual harassment. We will also be engaging managers on the Paid Family Leave tax collection and their responsibilities. We are looking for 150 people to come out and hit the streets with us on the weekend of June 28th! We'll have outreach events from Friday to Sunday across DC's neighborhoods. Will you join us?
Click here to register

Stonewall50 Rally + Action to DecrimNow!
Friday, June 28 - 4:00 - 7:00 PM

Freedom Plaza - 14th St NW & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
No Justice, No Pride
Research shows that over 80 percent of street-based sex workers experience violence in the course of their work. Criminal penalties have also made sex workers more vulnerable to violence and police abuse. By removing criminal penalties, this legislation will reduce the vulnerability of sex workers to exploitation and violence, promote public health by improving access to services, and help address human trafficking. Join us as we call on Members of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety to hold a hearing for our new bill the ‘Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019.’
Click here to RSVP

ICE Out Of DC! / Fuera ICE de DC! Rally in Columbia Heights
Saturday, June 29 - 4:30 - 7:00 PM
Columbia Heights Civic Plaza - 14th & Park Rd NW
Sanctuary DMV
Last Saturday, ICE agents roamed freely through Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, entering a private home and taking 2 parents away from their children. They also interrogated people in several local businesses, spreading fear and alarm throughout the community. This comes despite Trump “delaying” massive ICE raids by two weeks, which were planned to target families in cities across the country, including DC.We'll have a community gathering at 4:30, hear from a set of community and organizational leaders at 5pm, and then walk through the streets of our neighborhood in a show of support for our immigrant neighbors. Please show up in solidarity with our neighbors on Saturday!
Click here to RSVP

July Learning Circle: Healing Justice and Right to Wellness
Wednesday, July 3rd - 6:00 - 8:00 PM
ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
July's Learning Circle will focus on the ONE DC principle of the Right to Wellness and the role of healing justice in our work. Created by Cara Page and the Kindred Healing Justice Collective, “healing justice...identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence, and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.” Our July 3rd learning circle will focus how we can live out our commitment to wellness and healing in our work at ONE DC.The monthly Learning Circle explores the principles and legacies that ONE DC moves forward and meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 6-8pm at the Black Workers and Wellness Center.
Click here to RSVP

Play-in for Climate Action

Thursday, July 11 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The National Mall at 3rd St NW & Madison Dr NW
Moms Clean Air Force
Parents and kids from across the country will gather near the US Capitol in Washington, DC to call for climate action. This family-friendly protest against the air pollution that causes dangerous climate change showcases exactly what’s at stake as temperatures and sea levels rise: our kids. Moms know that kids can’t sit still, so we are ditching a traditional sit-in and holding our sixth annual Play-In.
Click here to RSVP

The Inaugural: Art-a-Thon
Saturday, August 24 - 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Hill Center @ Old Naval Hospital - 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
The Sanctuaries
Discover new passions as you tell your story through hip hop. Explore new ideas as you design a street theater skit. Learn new skills as you spraypaint wearable art. Dare to be different as you embark on an artistic adventure through the heart of Washington, DC — surrounded by friends and supported by local artists. Then, later that evening, take the big stage and share what you’ve created with your loved ones at an exclusive arts showcase at the Hill Center. Whether you’re a first-time creator or a seasoned professional, you'll have the best time of your life. All for a great cause!
Click here to register

Department For-Hire Vehicles T2R
The Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) is pleased to introduce a transportation pilot program for residents and visitors East of the River called Taxi-to-Rail, or T2R. T2R marks an effort to vastly improve transportation options East of the River, as many neighborhoods in this area are not in close proximity to metro stations. T2R will allow DC residents and visitors to pay a $3 flat fare rate to ride to any of the following eight Metro Stations - Deanwood, Minnesota Avenue, Capitol Heights, Benning Road, Anacostia, Congress Heights, Southern Avenue, and Naylor Road.  A rider may also use this service from one of these metros stations to a destination of their choice (located in East of the River). Call (202)-727-3T2R for more information.

ONE Bit of Good News - ONE DC Member Published in the Washington Post

Recently, ONE DC member Vincent DeLaurentis published an opinion piece in the Washington Post, which discusses the corporate dominance and influence on the June Pride season. The article presented various and compelling ideas, specifically about how brands often do not extend the same amounts of inclusion and fair treatment to queer workers. You can read the full article here. Congratulations, Vincent! 

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