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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!!!
In LOVE and STRUGGLE,
dominic t. moulden
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ONE DC Forms Transition Committee to Coordinate Transition of Longtime Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden
Earlier this year, longtime ONE DC Resource Organizer Dominic Moulden announced that he would be transitioning from his position as a staff organizer to becoming a ONE DC member at the end of 2019. In order to prepare, ONE DC formed a Transition Committee, tasked with coordinating this change.
Over the last few months, the Transition Committee has:
- Held discussions with the Shared Leadership Team to identify potential challenges of the transition, as well as opportunities to address these challenges
- Organized two funders briefing to share information with funders and major donors about the future direction of ONE DC
- Worked with the Hiring Committee to begin the process of hiring two new staff organizer
Meet the members of the Resource Organizer Transition Committee:
Ms. Virginia Craft Lee graduated from Howard University in 1969 with a B.A. in History and Political Science. She had the aspiration of doing something that would make a positive difference in my community. Much of her life after graduation has been spent battling the chronic disease, Systematic Lupus. Diagnosed in 1992, she has managed in spite of and because of this dhallenge, to live a productive life. To paraphrase the old Timex ad, “She took a licking and keeps on ticking”.
In addition to her degree from Howard she also participated in an Executive Management Program, AMP, HBS in 1983. She had a twenty-year career in customer service with Bell Atlantic, retired as District Manager in Marketing in 1989 and served as an Organizational Effectiveness Consultant with Senn- Delaney Associates from 1990-92. Her community involvement has included being a member of Federal City Alumnae Chapter, D.S.T., Inc, initiated in 1976, focus on social action and education development. She served on the Board of the Howard Country Center of African American Culture from 1990-2003. She has been a Founding Board Member of ONE DC since 1997. For the last 15 years she has volunteered with Literary Volunteers of America, Experience Corp and Reading Partners to help raise the literacy level for adults and children in D.C.She is also an active member of the historic Nineteenth Street Baptist Church.
Ms. Lee resides in historic Shaw community in Washington, D.C. She is the proud mother
Ms. Jalisa Whitley is the Program Officer of the Beckner Advancement Fund and Founder and Principal Consultant of Unbound Impact, a boutique consulting agency that helps nonprofits and philanthropic entities create spaces, processes and programs that advance equity and amplify their impact. Ms. Whitley has been active in the nonprofit community as a professional, volunteer, and board member for 10 years. Her work has included large, small and volunteer-run nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in a wide array of mission areas including education, human services, and health. These organizations have included but are not limited to the National Institutes of Health, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, and the United Way of the National Capital Area. Jalisa is passionate about connecting communities to opportunities to elevate their impact, co-create solutions, and implement sustainable change through strategic philanthropic investments and data-driven programmatic initiatives.
A native of Geneva, New York, Jalisa received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Public Policy from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a Masters of Public Policy in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Rosemary Ndubuizu is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University. Dr. Ndubuizu is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies how housing policies are shaped by race, gender, political economy, and ideology. Her untitled manuscript-in-progress historically and ethnographically traces how low-income black women have been affected by post-1970s changes in public and affordable housing policies and advocacy. Her research project also examines the contemporary landscape of affordable housing policy and politics to better understand why low-income black women remain vulnerable to eviction, displacement, and housing insecurity in cities like the District of Columbia. Additionally, her work presents the organizing challenges low-income black women tenant activists in D.C. face as they organize to combat the city’s reduction and privatization of affordable housing.
Originally from Inglewood, CA, Rosemary relocated to Washington, D.C. in 2006 after she completed her undergraduate studies. After a brief stint as an after-school coordinator for an all-black girls youth program in Washington, D.C, Rosemary became a ONE DC community organizer from 2007 to 2010. Coordinating ONE DC’s Right to Housing Campaigns, Rosemary worked with long-time DC residents to demand greater public investments in truly affordable housing. Additionally, Rosemary supported residents’ campaigns to extend affordability covenants on multi-family housing. After she enrolled in graduate school at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2010, Rosemary returned to ONE DC to join the Shared Leadership Team in 2011-2012. Since then, Rosemary has served on various SLT committees and she continues to support and facilitate ONE DC’s community learning and community organizing efforts.
Ms. Jourgette Reid-Sillah, (Ms. J), is retired from 30 years in the hospitality industry and has been a member of ONE DC for three years. The majority of her organizing experience comes from being a member of Unite HERE Local 25 serving as shop steward for many years. She returned to school after a cancer diagnosis and graduated from the University of the District of Columbia (2017) with a BA in Sociology. That allowed her to intern in focus groups in Public Housing, Breast Cancer initiatives in Wards 7&8 with Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and Howard University. She participated in Revisiting Tally’s Corner (Elliott Liebow) involving the changes within DC due to gentrification. She is currently a member of ONE DC’s SLT as an apprentice and is a member of both the Transition team and Resource Committee.
Ka Flewellen has over 20 years of experience as a social change organizer and activist in the Washington, DC area. In 2000, she earned a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from American University’s School of Public Affairs. She has devoted her work to nonprofit social change organizations in building their infrastructure, strategic planning, board development and coaching leaders. While serving on the Board of Directors of the Peace Development Fund in 2002, she led the foundation’s Building Action for Sustainable Environments (BASE) which supported people of color communities impacted by the production and storage of nuclear and chemical weapons. In 2004, while serving as Assistant Director for Strategy at a small think-tank, The Preamble Center, she helped incubate and launch the National Black Environmental and Economic Justice Network (NBEEJN) which bought together over 100 black community environmental organizations to fight the impact on their communities of toxic industries, municipal landfills and decommissioned military bases serving as storage sites for nuclear and chemical weapons. In 2009, she co-founded the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) bringing together black women internationally to provide pathways for women seeking to work in the public policy arena and carry out special programs of support for girls, and communities challenged by poverty and recovering from disasters.
Ka was introduced to ONE DC in 2009 as a consultant to assist with strategic planning and supporting the development of the Shared Leadership Team. She has stayed a member and played a number of roles from working in development to assisting displaced residents return to a new 8 story high-rise built on the grounds of their former homes at Kelsey Gardens. As a regional member of ONE DC, she serves on the Shared Leadership Team. She currently serves on the Coordinating Team of ONE DC’s period of internal reflection, training and infrastructure development, Creative Reconstruction and as a member of the Transition Committee overseeing the transition from Dominic Moulden, one of the founding members of ONE DC from a strategic staff role to an active member.
Additional members include: Kathleen Maloy, with staff support by Kelly Iradukunda and Claire Cook
In August, ONE DC’s focus has been centered around the theme of “building”: whether that be through the renovation of our home in the Black Workers and Wellness Center or through the strengthening of the organizational structure on which our future work will be done.
Over the past month, we have held both our Staff and Shared Leadership Team retreats, in which we molded our goals and strategies for the future. During the SLT retreat, we reflected on our accomplishments over the past five years and developed our Movement Vision in which we identified our goals for the next five years.
ONE DC's Shared Leadership Team at the Annual Retreat
As well as renovating the Black Workers and Wellness Center, we want to develop more community alternatives in the future. We plan on creating an East of the River worker coop with MOMIES LLC, base-building with Black and Brown workers and returning citizens, in partnership with Trabajadores Unidos, Afro-Latino Caucus, Family and Friends of Incarcerated People, Serve Your City, National Reentry Network, DC Jobs with Justice, LiUNA, and GRID Alternatives. Similarly, we want to continue creating political education spaces and other opportunities for popular education on worker rights, racial unemployment, job related opportunities, and economic alternatives. We focused our intentions to expand on our base building movements by: cultivating the next generation of leaders through youth apprenticeships and internships and gaining 500 members per year, leading to 2,500 new members by 2025. Furthermore, we aim to continue our work in political education and leadership development by sustaining 25 members per year in our LEAP program and holding more Freedom Schools in conjunction with our larger campaigns.
In our People’s Platform, People’s Assembly & Right to Housing Campaigns we aim to preserve public land by gaining community control of land through a community land trust located East of the River. This work will be spearheaded by our Fall People's Assembly and will work hand in hand with our continued affiliation with Homes for All (Right to the City) and grassroots housing organizations around U.S. The People’s Platform will also hold monthly political education with curriculum geared toward community control over land and housing. Finally, we aim to send members and staff on learning journeys to visit Chainbreakers, Dudley Street LT, City Life/Vida Urbana and Charm City Land Trust to learn and build.
Entwined in the future of ONE DC is the transition of long-time Resource Organizer, Dominic Moulden, from staff to member. ONE DC and Dominic are committed to ensuring the organizational history and information is transferred on to the next generation. Because of this, a Transition Committee has been formed made up of ONE DC members, the Shared Leadership Team, and staff, and is responsible for identifying knowledge transfer, strengthening staff leadership, and working to ensure a smooth transition for the organization. Recently, we hired a documentation consultant to assist the transition committee and on September 19th the committee will hold a Funder’s briefing to update major ONE DC contributor’s on the transition and our work as a whole.
As a result of both this transition and our movement vision, ONE DC is now hiring! We are looking for three exceptional organizers who are passionate about grassroots community organizing and committed to the struggle for liberation.
We are currently hiring for the following positions:
- Resource Organizer (full-time)
- Black Workers & Wellness Center Organizer (full-time)
- Black Workers & Wellness Center Coop Organizer (part-time)
Please share with your networks!
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.
Dominic T. Moulden
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ONE DC Creative Reconstruction: A Period of Collective Learning, Healing and Transformation - Update
ONE DC's Shared Leadership Team is continuing our Creative Reconstruction work with energy, gratitude, and support. We have heard from many members and partner organizations about the importance and need for all of us involved in this work to take time to reflect and look inward. During the past few months, we have done internal political education in racialized capitalism and in participatory democracy. We have also engaged in healing and wellness activities to help us take inventory of our own wellness as individuals, and as group. As we move forward, we are working with a Coordinating Team to plan a set of trainings for 2019, to make a road map of both where we've been and where we are going, and creating a plan for opening up this process to more of our membership. There will be an update about our current Creative Reconstruction work at our Annual Membership Meeting on December 8, 2018.
“We have to transform ourselves in order to transform the world” - Grace Lee Boggs
At our annual retreat this past July– members, staff, volunteers, and Shared Leadership team members sat under the shade of a large oak tree reflecting on the last years’ work and the many years before. 2018 marks the 12th year of ONE DC’s organizing efforts for racial and economic equity in Washington. As with every annual retreat, we reflected about the state of our organization. As we did so, a recurring question arose from the group. What would it look like for ONE DC to turn our work inward for a time of deep learning and reflection?
We heard feedback from our members during our shared leadership listening sessions in the Spring, and took these conversation into account while wrestling with questions about prioritizing the direction of our work for the coming year. At the end of our discussions, dialogues, and through a process of consensus building, it became clear that there was energy in the room to take on this internal work of reflection and transformation.
We see this as a time set aside to actively practice, shape, and reshape our organization- to do collective healing, and learning with ourselves and our membership.
We are living in especially toxic times- pressing up against the systems of oppression that destroy our universal rights to housing, income and wellness. And yet, how do we live, work, and organize in this space and not replicate the systems of oppression in our relationships with ourselves and others? How do we, as an organization, uphold our values in all the spaces we traverse? The answer, we believe, is in intentional practice.
Intentional Practices are those that we choose to do in order to transform the way we show up in the world. Through new practices we increase choice and alignment with our values. …Organizationally we want to ask similar questions: What practices do we need to be in as a staff and organization? What practices do we want to support in our member base to align with our vision and political commitments? ("The Transformative Power of Practice" by Ng’ethe Maina and Staci Haines)
What does it mean for ONE DC to take on this period of internal reflection, practice, and transformation?
At our retreat– members, staff and SLT members defined the major areas of internal work and growth that they saw as priorities for the end of 2018. We are now organizing ourselves, with a Coordinating Committee to take on this challenging work of growth. During the next several months, we plan to make a full plan of orientations, re-orientations, and a 2019 training schedule for our full membership. We want to tackle issues like gender equity, power, and popular education. We will be re-examining staff roles, treatment and expectations. We have also created a Healing and Wellness committee that will be working diligently to create a code of responsibility, processes for ONE DC to deal with conflicts, and ways to help upkeep the internal health of our organization at all levels.
For the next three months, this means that ONE DC will not be engaging in new organizing work or campaigns. We will be paring down our level of coalition work, panels, and outside engagements. This opens up opportunities for members to join us in envisioning what it means for us as a community to do this work and what it will mean for our external work in the future.
The Road to Transformation
"In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been." -Ella Jo Baker
Members of ONE DC will be an integral part of our growth. We invite you to reach out to us directly if you feel called to take on parts of this journey with us. And we invite you to engage in opportunities to practice, learn, and grow as part of this community in the months and year ahead! Those involved in campaigns and other active members will be receiving calls and emails about trainings and workshops that we hope you will choose to participate in.
We are looking forward to what this intentional time will do and mean for our community. And we look to our movement ancestors before us who knew deeply that the “work” is both in how we treat each other, how we organize ourselves, and how we fight for justice around us. We draw inspiration from them and from all of you, who have been showing great support for this time ahead. We hope to continue our radical imaginations for what is possible, and to deepen our connections to one another during this time.
ONE DC Shared Leadership Team
“in community, our potential is truly realized. what we have to offer to each other is not merely critique, anger, commentary, ownership and false power. we have the capacity to hold each other, serve each other, heal each other, create for and with each other, forgive each other, and liberate ourselves and each other. these are not new thoughts, this is what beloved community means. it is what we all long for, and what we all need.so in this context i ask you to ask yourself – who are you in relationship with, and how can you go deeper, be more present, and offer more of your whole self?” -Adrienne Marie Brown, author of Emergent Strategy