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!
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!
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.