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Dream dreams, old and new into the next decade – 2020

This is a very special day for me and for us. Today is my last call as a staff member of ONE DC.

Thank you for allowing me to organize with you in your homes, in our laundry mats, at the metro stops and supermarkets, and especially in public housing and the corners – where I learned how to build relationships to organize for social change and movement building.

As we enter a new decade, let us learn from all the mistakes, challenges, and outright failures of our organizing. We ARE LOSING!!! After thirty plus years of organizing, I am not afraid to admit this fact and truth. We gained very small wins, but as I move forward in solidarity with ONE DC and national and international movements, I want to WIN BIG!!!

We must dream to win big.

ONE DC commemorated 400 Years of Inequality this year. Part of this remembering dealt with enslaved Africans, Native Americans, and indentured servants struggling to be free and creating a just society. Angela Davis is a comrade who provides us guidance on organizing for liberation and so I am taking her stories into the next decade – will you too?

"I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement." -Angela Davis

LEAP (Leadership Education for Action and Power) was a dream over 13 years ago. Through Creative Reconstruction, a period of ONE DC self-accountability, we started LEAP again in 2019.

Cooperative alternatives were a dream, and throughout ONE DC’s history we've supported the development of the MLK Latino Coop, Duncan Coop, Co-Familia, and Dulce Hugar. Like a elephant’s memory, I will remember the struggles, challenges, and success of this work with all of you.

Finally, in a strategic plan ten years ago, we dreamed of a Black space for organizing, political education, and wellness – and WE DID IT!!! We purchased and are now renovating a debt-free Black Workers and Wellness Center.

I celebrate with you all the invisible work and care work we did together – supporting each other, caring for each other in the most difficult moments of self-destruction from inside and outside of ONE DC.

Let us dream of being a Black-led and fearless movement. You and I will make more mistakes and confront challenges into the next decade. Nevertheless, dream on and be FREE!!!


dominic t. moulden
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Housing the Work

Over the past couple years, the Black Workers and Wellness Center’s role has predominantly been to offer space for a wide variety of community groups and events that support popular education and economic opportunities for Ward 7 and 8 residents.  

One such group, National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens, hosted its 1st Cohort of its “Ready to Work Program” at the BWWC. The program is designed to assist returning citizens in their transition back into the workforce. Members learned how to write a resume, deliver a 30 second pitch and participated in mock interviews to prepare them to find work. Since its introduction last year, 60% of the participants of the cohort were hired within two weeks of starting the program.

1st Cohort of the National ReEntry Network or Returning Citizens' “Ready to Work Program” at the BWWC

Willie Hill, founder of the Coming Home Coop

Willie M. Hill, founder of the Coming Home Coop

This summer, the Coming Home Coop also found a home in the BWWC. The Coming Home Coop is a new project whose purpose is to empower District of Columbia returning citizens and other justice-involved persons to work together to create financially stable futures for themselves and others. The Coop is operated by Haul Masters LLC, a local business owned by returning citizen entrepreneur Willie M. Hill, and is currently funded by the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). “The Coop’s mission intersects with the BWWC’s mission in various ways,” said project manager Clark. “By hosting our meetings at 2500 Martin Luther King Avenue, we hope to introduce returning citizen entrepreneurs to all that BWWC offers, and to support the Center through our rental fees. As the Coop grows and evolves, we are confident we will identify even more synergies between our respective missions.”



The ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center is a member-led community & wellness space in Anacostia that builds racial & economic justice through popular education, organizing toward sustainable employment, & the incubation of economic alternatives such as worker cooperatives.

We are 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 in 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 give today!

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!

The Home Stretch

The ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWWC) has been an evolving project for over five years, and we cannot thank you enough for your support in making this dream a reality. After years of grassroots fundraising from 963 donors to purchase the former United Black Fund, Inc. building, followed by clean-up by hard-working ONE DC members, the BWWC was opened to the public in early 2018. Over the last year, the BWWC has been operating as a vital community organizing center - a space for political education, the promotion of sustainable employment and worker-owned alternatives, and building power for racial and economic justice. In 2018, some of the projects developing out of the BWWC included: 

  • Cooperation DC, a project of ONE DC that works with residents to expand employment opportunities in low-income communities of color by developing worker-owned cooperative businesses and other alternatives to the capitalist system. 
  • Code on the Block, a coding program conducted by members for DC Ward 8 residents which aims to increase dignified and sustainable employment opportunities for Black DC residents
  • Worker Justice Clinics, where low-wage workers can receive free legal advice on employment matters from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Workers Rights.
  • Black Workers Center Chorus, a group of 25+ members who perform movement songs at community actions, meetings, and events
  • Partnership with Laborer’s International Union of North America, LIUNA is one of the most progressive and diverse unions of construction workers. ONE DC works with LIUNA to offer job intakes in demolition and construction work and build collective power through the BWWC.

ONE DC members at a Learning Circle in the BWWC


BYP100's Black Joy Experience performs at 2018 Membership Appreciation

We are excited to update you on our upcoming full-scale renovation of the building, which we are undertaking with the help of Emotive Architecture, a local Black-owned architecture firm. As of February 2019, we have raised $1,025,000 of the $1,500,000 needed for the renovation. As we enter these final months of fundraising before the renovation begins, your support is more important than ever. The Share Fund has generously offered to match all money donated until April 16 (Emancipation Day) up to $100,000! That means for every dollar you donate, ONE DC will receive double that amount!

Please click here to donate to the Black Workers & Wellness Center now!

We will begin renovations in late summer 2019, with a focus on accessibility, climate consciousness, and inclusion. To do this, some of our expenses will include:

  • New elevator to provide access for all to basement and second floor - $100,000
  • Create accessible front and rear entrances with new ramps - $40,000
  • New front facade to create inviting and open entrance with large glass doors and patio - $100,000
  • New sprinkler system to maximize safety - $100,000
  • Maximize open meeting space for up to 175 people by relocating stairwells - $35,000
  • Excavate basement floor & renovate basement as usable cooperative incubator and wellness space - $130,000
  • Efficient new heating-cooling-ventilation system for clean air & comfortable environment - $200,000

Future Black Workers & Wellness Center facade

We have come so far already, and we are entering the final push before renovations begin this summer to secure the $1.5 million needed for these exciting updates. As a reminder, The Share Fund will match your donation if you donate now until April 16th!

Click here to support the renovation of the Black Workers & Wellness Center.

You can also mail your gift to ONE DC at PO Box 26049, Washington, DC 20001. Again, thank you for your continued support of ONE DC. We are deeply grateful for your generosity.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Iradukunda, Claire Cook, & Nawal Rajeh

8 special ONE DC moments from 2018

Thank you for making 2018 an exciting and transformative year for ONE DC:

1. A special Emancipation Day ceremony at our newly purchased building for the Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWWC).
2. ONE DC members help get the BWWC space ready for use
3. 100,000+ signatures dropped at the HUD office to reject rent hikes
4. Cooperation DC day held at the BWWC in August
5. ONE DC members attended a training in Oakland hosted by the National Black Worker Center Project
6. Our 1st Annual Juneteenth Festival in Anacostia
7. Community artwork goes up at the Black Workers & Wellness Center
8. The idea of the Creative Reconstruction emerges at the Shared Leadership retreat

These are only a few of the incredible moments that made up 2018. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to help us continue our work in 2019 and beyond! Click here to donate.

You can also mail a check to PO Box 26049 (check must be dated 12/31/2018).

Happy New Year!

Community Celebration & Fundraiser at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center

On Saturday, October 20, Resource Generation sponsored a community celebration and fundraiser as a kick-off event to raise $300,000 for renovations to the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center. The event lasted from 5:00 to 11:00 PM, with a program featuring performances by the Black Workers Chorus, SAMAI.YAH, Twin Jude, BYP100's The Black Joy Experience, Pontiannà Ivàn, Yon Cové, and Ras Lidj & Deep Band. Food was catered by Oohs & Aahs.

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At the event, we received word that Live to Give Foundation will grant a matching donation for up to $100,000 raised through the end of the year. With another $25,000 pledge and $8,000 in donations received through the course of the event, we are on our way to meeting our goal of $300,000!

Help us reach our goal by donating today.

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New temporary banner at the BWWC Community artwork welcomes members to the space


Resources from the Community, For the Community

By Rebecca Harris, ONE DC member

Raising more than $5,000 for the Black Workers & Wellness Center, Showing Up for Racial Justice DC (SURJ) & ONE DC hosted a teach-in fundraiser on November 13th featuring Congress member Keith Ellison, the first Black Muslim individual ever elected to Congress.


This event represents only one piece of ONE DC’s larger campaign to raise $1.2 million to purchase a building to permanently house the Black Workers & Wellness Center (BWC) in Anacostia. The BWC is a member-led space that builds racial and economic justice through popular education, direct action, and worker-owned alternatives.

“It’s so critical to have this Black Workers Center, because so much of what we experience as oppression is economic,” Ellison said at the teach-in on November 13th. Though it’s critical that we respond to violent acts of racism, he continued, “if you don’t understand that the very root of that [violence] is trying to impose poverty on people, then you’ve missed so much of what racism is really all about.” Ellison noted that the Black-white wealth gap has roots in racist practices ranging from modern developers’ assault on urban Black communities to the Department of Agriculture’s displacement of Black landowning farmers over the course of more than a century.

Congress member Ellison also emphasized the importance of Black landownership, a priority for ONE DC. As Ellison noted, the decline of Black homeownership over the past few decades -- driven by exploitative mortgages and unchecked gentrification -- represents a tremendous blow to Black wealth overall. By buying a building in Anacostia to permanently house the BWC, ONE DC is at once laying a foundation for sustainable organizing and laying claim to a piece of what ONE DC organizer Dominic Moulden has called "the last frontier of working people" in this city.

The teach-in, which took place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, also featured Dominic Moulden, Resource Organizer for ONE DC; Delvone Michael, Senior Political Strategist for the Working Families Party; Yasmina Mrabet, People’s Platform Organizer for ONE DC, Eugene Puryear, Director of Field Operations for Justice First, and Delonte (Tae) Wilkins, Black Workers Center Organizer for ONE DC.

Keith Ellison’s full remarks can be watched online here.

Support our capital campaign for the Black Workers & Wellness Center today.

Can you imagine your name on the Wall of Liberation?

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On Saturday, June 17th, ONE DC members, SURJ members, and supporters came together for an afternoon of good food, music, political education, conversation, and fundraising to celebrate Juneteenth! Baltimore-based hip-hop artist Son of Nun performed a couple of his amazing tracks. We heard stories & wisdom of movement building from our elders-- Betty Robinson, Arthur Brown, Jr. and Linda Leaks. Talented artists from around the DMV donated their art for a silent art auction.

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As many of you know by now, in 2016, ONE DC launched a 2-year 10th Anniversary capital campaign to fundraise over $2 million for the Black Workers Center and to sustain our future work. We are close to purchasing a building to house the BWC. A community-controlled space is critical to building power, political education, and leadership development with an emphasis on Black workers.

It is essential that ONE DC, a Black-led organization, operate from a liberated space East of the River, where unemployment rates are the highest in the city and where residents are vulnerable to a new wave of mass displacement and gentrification. All Juneteenth donors who give $50 dollars or more will be receive of honor of being recognized on our sponsorship “Wall of Liberation” when we succeed in purchasing a building to house the Black Workers Center!

Please donate today to get YOUR NAME on the Wall of Liberation!

ONE DC's Juneteenth 10th Anniversary Celebration

On Juneteenth Weekend, ONE DC celebrated 10 years of fighting for equity in the District!


Thanks to the support of our extended community, this event was a glowing success.


First, we learned and coordinated with vendors in our marketplace.


Then, we discussed community organizing in DC with Angela Davis and Barbara Ransby.


We heard moving testimonies by some of our members.


Finally, we celebrated our DC with music, dancing, and togetherness.


We at ONE DC cannot express how grateful we are for the honor of ten years of working with DC residents. Through our triumphs and our trials, we always come out on top because we have the support of a community who believes in our work. From the bottom of our heart, to our members, our volunteers, our supporters, our sponsors....


ONE DC's 10th Anniversary Juneteenth celebration served as the kick-off for a major capital fundraising campaign to raise over $1 million to fund the opening of ONE DC Black Workers Center, as well as to fund #Another10Years of organizing for our human rights to housing, income, & wellness in DC.

Our organizational shero Ella Jo Baker once said, “We who believe in Freedom cannot rest." For us at ONE DC, the type of freedom we are fighting for won’t be granted by the system today. No, the freedom we need today will not be given. It must be won through political struggle.

For the last 10 years, ONE DC has been in the political struggle for freedom and justice. ONE DC has been fighting for a more just DC—a DC truly governed by the people, not corporations or the wealthy. We want justice! It’s a justice that requires housing for every person, not just those who can afford it. We must have decent and dignified and unionized work for everyone who wants it! We want a city that values people over profit—that allows us, the working-class, to democratically decide what we need in our communities. We need education that does not mentally enslave us to the inequitable systems of our day. We need free and universal education that nurtures political thinkers and leaders. We demand an end to a criminal injustice system that tears apart our families, locks up our sisters and brothers, and frees the police officers who shoot our children with impunity! And lastly, we demand self-determination, which means we must control the land and social institutions meant to rear our children and guide our work.

At ONE DC, we believe that in order to order to fulfill our mission of organizing for racial & economic equity and justice, we need to be funded by our base. That means people just like you. Because if you believe in freedom—if you believe we still have to march towards a better form of justice in the District, then you want to organize with ONE DC. We ask that if you are moved to join ONE DC’s freedom and justice struggle, then please donate today. If you want to give a dollar or a thousand—no amount is too small. We appreciate you and we need you in ONE DC’s freedom movement…because we who believe in freedom cannot rest!

Do You Support Black Organizing?

Resist.jpgLet me tell you a story about Libanos, an African immigrant living at Mount Vernon Plaza. A few months ago, Libanos was participating in a class discussion at UDC-Community College when the professor, who happened to be a ONE DC member, started talking about #BlackLivesMatter in DC and ONE DC. Libanos shouted out, “That’s my organization!” With tears in her eyes, Libanos described how resident leaders in Shaw are working with ONE DC organizer and African immigrant, Marybeth Onyeukwu, to resist displacement in their neighborhood. Under the leadership of over a dozen Mount Vernon Plaza resident-leaders and support from ONE DC’s People Platform campaign, Mount Vernon Plaza residents won their rent court cases, preserved 63 low-cost units, and now continue the struggle to win permanently low-cost housing at Mount Vernon Plaza.

Show your support for Black residents, workers, and organizing by making a donation to ONE DC today.

tenantorganizingTable.pngONE DC’s work has always been about doing the hard work of movement building - building community and building leaders to fight back against the rapid gentrification, displacement, and unemployment that longtime DC residents are facing. Our organizing connects the dots between underemployment, poor jobs, mass incarceration, and the demolition of affordable housing, forcing the state and private interests to recognize that #BlackLivesMatter.

This year, ONE DC’s Right to Income campaign is fighting to ensure that #BlackWorkersMatter in DC. With support from ONE DC organizers, resident leaders are forming a coalition of partners to plan for the establishment of a Black Workers Center, a black resident-led space whose mission is to create and maintain racial and economic justice.

As we build a movement to make #BlackWorkersMatter in DC, we are focused on building leadership, especially Black women leadership, who are so often minimized in conversations about Black employment. For us, movement building isn’t a fad: it requires us to organize alongside Libanos, Azieb, and countless other Black women leaders who are fighting for an economically and racially equitable city.kimandphyllissa.jpg

But to ensure we are building a movement and not a moment, we must continue to invest in leaders like Libanos. Movement building is hard work. But some residents—like Libanos, Azieb, Kimberly, & Phylissa (pictured) —are up for the task and ready to fight!

Here’s how you can help. Make a donation today to support ONE DC in sending members and staff to participate in movement-building trainings: Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), and the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). ONE DC is a member-led, member-funded movement, and with your support, we can continue to build the leadership of Black organizers and longtime DC residents who will pave our way to a more equitable DC.

Build the movement with us.