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Statement about ONE DC Changes, May 2016


“We, the people of ONE DC, envision the nation's capital as a place where low income, people of color, and immigrant, communities are organized, educated, and trained to take action to create and preserve racial and economic equity."

ONE DC has a big vision for what is possible in Washington, DC. This vision will not be realized overnight or without struggle. As ONE DC strives to realize vision and live our values, we recognize that the road to transformation is not without twist and turns, and bumps and bruises. We acknowledge these things as part of the fodder for social change, and commit to dealing with them head on.

As with any transformative work, we know people will come along and leave handprints on ONE DC, and then transition to other organizational endeavors. We recognize that we cannot make people stay with us past where their story is complete. We know most people view transition as a negative thing, and see it as weakness. So much of the damage of capitalism and racism in the District tells us relationships are disposable. We reject these notions and strive to be a place where change and growth are embraced, and community is valued. We value the contributions of staff both past and present and members both active and not. All these people are instrumental to our growth, and teach us, as we teach them.

Clearly, no organization is perfect. We know that there are no easy or straight paths on the way to liberation, but at ONE DC we try to live out our values. And we understand that ONE DC exists within an imperfect city. DC’s structural and interconnected forces of racism, capitalism, and patriarchy under-value certain populations, challenge the city’s Black working class, prioritize profit over people, and mistreat Black women leaders. To change that, we have to collectively build power through both an alternative vision and the relationships to carry that vision out. As an organization, we choose time and time again to see the possibilities in people, and help to develop them.

As with any organization, we are shifting and changing; and although some of these growing pains may seem scary, WE INVITE THEM. We know that because of the work we are doing now we will be stronger and bolder to handle all of the changes that come with living in and loving this imperfect city.

Two of our full-time staff, Marybeth Onyeukwu and Jennifer Bryant, are voluntarily leaving ONE DC employment. At ONE DC, we have valued every member or staff person who walked through ONE DC’s doors and gifted us with their time, energy, and passion. Ms. Onyeukwu and Ms. Bryant are no exception to this ONE DC ethic. While we will miss having them employed with us, we know our organization is stronger because of their work and efforts. They have been instrumental to ONE DC’s growth. For their many great deeds at ONE DC, we thank them! Please check our next newsletter for highlights of their contributions and accomplishments.

The People’s Platform Coordinating Committee and our Shared Leadership Team are also going through some leadership shifts, as is common. To both bodies, we thank everyone for their hard work. ONE DC is stronger because of their leadership! Even in the midst of these transitions, former staff and members/volunteers should know that ONE DC is committed to their ongoing growth and development, and looks forward to the ways they stay involved.

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No matter what, our deep love and commitment to low and moderate income people in the District and our commitment to organizing for racial equity and social change remain. We hope our members and supporters will also see the BEAUTY IN OUR GROWTH and accompany us as we give birth to new and exciting possibilities.

In Solidarity,

ONE DC Shared Leadership Team

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