ONE DC Shared Leadership Team - Staff
Call 202.232.2915 to reach any staff member
Claire Cook - Administrative Organizer
Dominic Moulden - Resource Organizer
Jason Ajiake - Black Workers Center Co-op Organizer
Kelly Iradukunda - People's Platform Apprentice Organizer
Nawal Rajeh - Black Workers Center Organizer
Patrick Gregoire - Right to Housing Organizer
Bunny Jackson - Accounting
ONE DC Shared Leadership Team - Board
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries for members of the SLT.
Organizing Neighborhood Equity’s (ONE DC) mission is to create and preserve racial and economic equity in Shaw and the District. We are also a values-driven organization. Therefore, we believe we must practice the values and the structural alternatives we desire. As such, we are principally committed to modeling grassroots and democratic leadership, inclusive and authentic grassroots organizing, collective sharing of power and resources, the respect of people’s right to indigenous culture, and collective economics and cooperation.
Our mission and values ultimately led us to adopt a non-traditional organizational structure, called Self-Management by Committee. Through this structure, ONE DC’s Shared Leadership Team, which is comprised of our elected/appointed Board of Directors and staff, oversees and coordinates our organizational work through three committees: Administration & Organizational Management, Resource Development, and Organizing & Membership Development. Even though our organizational structure is not traditional, our organizing work and power has not suffered—quite the contrary, ONE DC has thrived because we value, affirm, incorporate our powerfully diverse leadership into our organizational structure. Without a doubt, our commitment to practicing our organizational values has enabled us to turn our alternative organizational structure into an asset, while also courageously modeling how one can develop and sustain a genuinely effective, member-led and democratic organization!
Members of both the board and staff come predominantly from communities we serve. Currently, of our 13 SLT members: 10 are African-American or of African descent; 8 have lived in the city for at least 20 years; 9 are women; 1 is disabled; 6 have been formerly homeless or live(d) in subsidized housing.
ONE DC BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Co-Chair, Shared Leadership Team-Board Member:
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Ph.D., is a political economist specializing in economic development policy, Black political economy, and popular economic literacy. Her research focuses on democratic community economics, cooperative businesses, worker ownership, and racial wealth inequality. She has taught in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland, and the Economics Department at Howard University. Though a resident of Washington, DC, Gordon Nembhard currently teaches at John Jay College, City University of New York. She is a member of the board of directors of ONE DC and a co-founder of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network; the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy; and the Democracy Collaborative. In addition, she is a charter member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives; and a member of: Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) Newsletter editorial collective, the Association of Cooperative Educators, The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, the Canadian Association for the Study of Co-operatives, and the National Economic Association. She was appointed to the Black Enterprise Board of Economists in October 1999. Jessica has been an active member of ONE DC’s Right to Land and Housing campaigns, and the precursor Equitable Development for Shaw campaign with Manna CDC (ONE DC’s former name). She was one of the team that negotiated ONE DC’s Community Benefits Agreement with Broadcast One Partners for Parcels 33 and 42. She has been a member of the ONE DC board of directors for over 2 years and was elected Board chair in March 2010. In addition to her history with ONE DC and commitment to ONE DC’s mission and values, Jessica’s research focuses on community economic development, particularly economic justice and cooperative economic development. She is one of the only scholars in the U.S. documenting and analyzing how cooperatives benefit their communities, how they develop assets with their members, and the workings of democratic workplaces, particularly in worker cooperatives. She has been studying the education, training, orientation, and process of democratic participation of worker cooperatives for the past 10 years. Her efforts to guide and participate in ONE DC’s transition to shared leadership force her to reflect even more on her research and findings, and actually to live and practice some of the processes and strategies that she had previously studied and observed. She is able to bring knowledge to the group and learn more about these same practices and their challenges as she herself tries to explain them to her colleagues at ONE DC and put them into practice at ONE DC. Jessica Gordon Nembhard is also one of the foremost scholars of African American cooperatives. In spring 2014, Jessica Gordon Nembhard released Collective Courage: The History of African-American Economic Thought and Practice, a long-anticipated book on the history of African American Cooperatives and alternative economics. Her book has received wide acclaim and she is currently on book tour, discussing this under-examined history and how ONE DC continues the historical footsteps of collective enterprise and cooperative economics.
Nicole Newman, Co-Chair, Shared Leadership Team-Board Member:
Nicole Newman is a poet and organizer. She enjoys sunflowers, books and chocolate. She is committed to seeing the divine in all people and things and creating spaces where both she and others can take up more space than commonly allowed. Nicole join the Shared Leadership Team in 2016.
Rosemary Ndubuizu, Treasurer, Shared Leadership Team-Board Member:
Raised in Inglewood, California, Rosemary Ndubuizu is a child of Nigerian immigrants. Ambitious and initially filled with a desire to help women of color improve their reproductive health, Rosemary went to college originally to become a gynecologist, but she quickly realized community organizing was her passion and future life's work. After her brief tenure as a program coordinator for an all-Black girls’ after-school program in D.C., Organizing Neighborhood Equity hired Rosemary as a community organizer. She organized residents to advocate for their human right to safe, decent, and affordable housing. Although Rosemary never had any formal experience as a community organizer, she quickly realized she was born to do this work. Within a year, Rosemary mobilized close to a hundred residents for direct actions and accountability meetings with public officials. As a black feminist, Rosemary excelled at recruiting DC residents, particularly women of color, to join ONE DC. She often encouraged women of color to politicize their organizing work as a feminist endeavor; therefore, many of these women ultimately fought not only for the right to affordable housing but also for the right to be respected as intelligent and valued champions of transformative justice. Rosemary returned to graduate school in 2010 to analyze the challenges of organizing for some of America’s most demonized populations, namely chronically unemployed single mothers, formerly incarcerated residents, and substance abusers and sellers. Advocating for the housing rights of these populations is a tough proposition because public officials often claim these individuals are unworthy of state support. Rosemary’s dissertation examines how D.C. housing advocacy organizations fight for politically marginalized groups. Rosemary also observes how gender-, race-, and class-based ideologies shape affordable housing debates, particularly discerning how these narratives influence structural outcomes like gentrification. Rosemary hopes her research will provide advocates and scholars alike with an opportunity to reflect on how advocacy groups work to house every individual, not just those who are considered ‘morally worthy’ of affordable housing. True to her lifelong passion, Rosemary remains connected to community organizing and maintains active involvement in ONE DC as she carries out her community-engaged research and develops her black feminist scholarship.
Gwendolyn Johnson, Secretary, Shared Leadership Team-Board Member:
Originally a Southern belle, Johnson relocated to the D.C. area to attend Howard University in the 1960’s. Since her graduation, she has remained in D.C. Now as a Washingtonian for the last forty years, Ms. Johnson has dedicated her life to assisting others to ensure that everyone has the tools they need to flourish and grow. For the last thirty plus years, she has been a pre-school teacher, teaching these young minds that they are capable of fulfilling all of their dreams. In addition to teaching, she has been politically involved in D.C. and national electoral campaigns. She was pivotal in D.C.’s recent mayoral election, phone-banking, canvassing, and recruiting voters. She did similar work on President Barack Obama’s historic presidential campaign. Through the Foundry United Methodist Church, she also served as a church’s chair and representative for D.C.’s local faith-based organizing group, Washington Interfaith Network (WIN). Since her departure from WIN, Ms. Johnson has been a trailblazer for justice at ONE DC, coordinating People’s Platform campaign meetings, testifying in front of D.C.’s city council, and scheduling accountability members with public officials. She committed to leading that march for economic and racial justice and believes ONE DC is one of the few organizations in D.C. that will be able to build the economic and racial justice movement D.C. sorely needs. Ms. Johnson is also the vice president chair of the program committee of the DC Democratic Women Club and a member of the DC Federation of Democratic Women. She is now with the ministry at New Bethel Baptist Church, working with the pastor and visiting churches to make sure all needs are met. She feels proud to live in the District and will continue to fight for our rights in any way necessary.
Patricia Penny, At-large Shared Leadership Team-Board Member:
Born and raised in Washington, DC area, Pat Penny was educated in DC Public Schools. After high school, she attended Washington Business School and currently works as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Information Management IT for the Department of Defense. She has worked for over 20 years at the Department of Defense and is the mother of three wonderful daughters. She grew up in and around the U Street and Shaw neighborhood. She was displaced from the Shaw area because of poor property management and the neighborhood’s ever-increasing rents. After writing countless letters and meeting with management, there was still no improvement at the complex so she moved out of the neighborhood. In fact, she still visits her family and friends in Shaw regularly. Her life experiences were the principal reasons why she became an organizer with ONE DC’s Right to Housing and Land campaigns. She has witnessed first-hand how poor property management and gentrification pushes people out of their neighborhoods and homes. Her volunteer work began in 1999 with Manna CDC (currently ONE DC) and SEA (Shaw Educate for Action). Back then, they did participatory action research, recording the vacant property in the Shaw area that could have been used for low-cost-housing for low-income residents. She was part of a group of concerned community members who created Manna CDC’s SEA Program. ONE DC was the first grassroots community group to develop a comprehensive list of vacant and abandoned properties in Shaw. She is still an active member of the Right to Housing campaign. Our organizing is focused on tenant organizing around the People’s Platform and also ensuring that housing built on two publicly owned parcels of land are truly affordable with households paying no more than 30% percent of their income on rent without the use of a Section 8 voucher. The Right to Housing campaign also includes educating tenants on their rights when owners of subsidized developments decided to ‘opt-out’ of project-based Section 8 affordability programs. She has a fiery passion for organizing to make sure safe, decent affordable housing is recognized as a human right in the Shaw community and DC, particularly for homeless and low-income families.
Serita El Amin