ONE DC Monthly Voice September 2019

Love is contraband in Hell, Cause Love is an acid that eats away bars.
But you, me, and tomorrow hold hands and make vows that struggle will multiply.
The hacksaw has two blades. The shotgun has two barrels.
We are pregnant with freedom.
We are a conspiracy.

-Assata Shakur

Developing Our Power: Right to Housing Freedom School

This Saturday, October 5, ONE DC’s Right to Housing Committee will be hosting a Freedom School. The event takes place from 12:00 to 3:00 PM at Thurgood Marshall Academy and follows our Right to Housing Mini-Assembly that took place in July. Together, we will address the issues raised in the Mini-Assembly, specifically displacement by development and landlord neglect.

The concept of Freedom Schools were developed by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi as a way of building political power through popular education.  Though many things are different between the Deep South in the 1960's and Washington, DC today, the need for working class people of color to become a force for social change is ever-present. Serious changes are taking place in the political, social, and economic climate of the District. Very few of these changes directly benefit long-time residents—many of them actually undermine our ability to access our basic human rights to stability, community, and a sustainable life for ourselves and our families.

As importantly, residents who are so affected by these changes almost never have a seat at the decision-making table. Once again, there is a strong need for capacity and skills building so that everyday people can create and implement a vision for change. In this spirit, our Freedom School will provide us with a common knowledge of the history of displacement in DC, how it works, and the solutions we can work towards to reclaim housing in DC.

As always, ONE DC will provide food, transportation, and childcare. Join us in our fight for community control of land and housing in DC!

Click here to RSVP

Another Step Toward Liberation

Since purchasing a building to house the Black Workers and Wellness Center in December 2017, ONE DC has taken several steps towards transforming the BWWC into space that is equipped to organize for racial & economic justice through popular education, promotion of sustainable employment, & the incubation of economic alternatives. 

We have submitted our construction permits and made partnerships: both with Emotive Architecture, a local Black-owned architecture firm based in Washington, D.C. to develop a design and architectural plans for the renovation the building; and with Capital Construction Group (CCG), a local Black-owned general contracting firm to carry out the renovations. Through our grassroots funding campaign, we have raised $850,000 toward our total fundraising goal of $1.5 million. Finally, we have held several Space Planning meetings to gain input from ONE DC members and partners about the design and future use of the space that includes accessible entrances and an elevator, new HVAC, and a cooperative incubation space. 

Join us at our next Space Planning Meeting, this Thursday, October 3 at 6:00 PM at the Black Workers & Wellness Center, where we will be updating our members and supporters on the progress of the renovations and capital fundraising campaign. Click here to RSVP


ONE DC is an organization with a membership base comprised of longtime DC residents who have been directly affected by displacement, gentrification, and structural unemployment. Our organizing model centers the voices of those who are ignored by wealthy developers and government officials. Our strength comes from numbers, and need YOU to help us build political strength in the District.

When you donate to our BWWC Capital Fundraising campaign, you are joining hundreds of others in making a community-controlled Black-led space in DC a reality. Please donate today!

A Co-op is Democracy in Daily Life

In September, the Housing Co-op Study Group met with members of the Ella Jo Baker Intentional Community, a multicultural limited equity co-op of activists in Columbia Heights. We learned about how they're able to maintain $973 per month for a 2 bedroom in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Columbia Heights, and the principles that drive them. One co-op member and longtime activist, Ajowa Ifateyo, expressed that a co-op is "democracy in daily life... this is no one's fiefdom." Linda Leaks, a co-op founding member and lifelong co-op and tenant organizer, added "being a cooperative means just that - we cooperate. We work together, and educate."

The next meeting of the Housing Co-op Study Group will be a discussion with Amanda Huron about Limited Equity Co-ops at the ONE DC Shaw office, on Monday, October 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. All are welcome! Optional pre-reading can be found here.

Contact or for more information.

Upcoming Events

ONE DC Learning Circle
Wednesday, October 2 - 6:00 - 8:00 PM
ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center - 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE
ONE DC's Learning Circle is a space for ONE DC members to come together to learn about the legacy of of progressive action that we are carrying forward. By engaging with text, media, and storytelling, we learn from one another and our predecessors about guiding principles and ideals of racial equity, cooperative economics, and community building. The Learning Circle is currently reading "Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones." In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones, a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist.
Click here to RSVP

Join the Homeless Encampment Sweep Response Team
Thursday, October 3 - 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Organized by Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Have you noticed people sleeping in tents on the street in your neighborhood, while you are out, or on your way to work? Have you seen government officials forcing people to move their belongings or trash trucks disposing of people’s personal items or tents? The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (“WLCH”) is organizing a new volunteer opportunity for lawyers and non-lawyers who want to help people living on the street protect their belongings. We want to invite you to learn more about homeless encampments in DC, what should and should not happen during clean-ups, and ways you can help people experiencing homelessness protect their belongings and maintain their dignity during city clean-ups.

No Pepco Pledge Campaign Launch
Friday, October 4 - 7:30 - 8:30 AM
UDC - 4200 Connecticut Ave NW
In the DC region, meaningful action on climate justice is repeatedly blocked by our utility monopoly, Pepco. But we know we can stop their business-as-usual tactics and make way for a just, renewable, publicly-owned energy system.That's why 350 DC and a coalition of environmental advocacy organizations active in the District are launching the No Pepco Pledge Campaign during the upcoming 2020 DC Council elections!
Click here to RSVP

2019 Symposium: Racial Equitable Community Development

October 22 - 23, 2019
Brunn Conference Center - 7310 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21208
Organized by the Network for Developing Conscious Communities
The Symposium Racial Equitable Community Development on October 22-23, 2019 will descend on Baltimore, Maryland, attracting national and local community stakeholders, public and private sector businesses, nonprofit organizations, organizers, health and wellness practitioners, activists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and visionaries for the purposes of framing new community development paradigms. Symposium organizers are committed to strengthening and supporting Black and Brown communities through deconstructing racial barriers and racial inequities that have been biased on the distribution of opportunities to some, at the expense of others.
Click here to register

Rally to Reclaim Rent Control!
Saturday, October 26 - 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Lamont Park, 3213 Mt. Pleasant St NW
Organized by Reclaim Rent Control DC
It’s been clear for a long time now that our nation’s capital is in the middle of a housing emergency. We cannot afford to keep the status quo any longer. It’s time for action. The Reclaim Rent Control campaign is calling for the DC Council to use the upcoming reauthorization of the rent control laws as an opportunity to expand and strengthen rent control in order to protect the affordable housing we already have as well as drastically increase the number of units protected by rent control.
Click here to RSVP

ONE Bit of Good News - Resource Committee Looking for New Members!

Click here to RSVP

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