Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Boys & Girls Club Launches Diploma to Degrees (d2D)

Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington Launches Diploma to Degrees (d2D)
$15,000 contribution from AT&T helps teens prepare for STEAM careers

Washington, D.C. (October 21, 2014) – Officials from AT&T today joined teens from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, D.C., and other community leaders to kick off the club’s Diplomas to Degrees (d2D) initiative, designed to help students prepare for science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) careers.

The announcement was made during a special event at FBR Branch @ THEARC. A $15,000 contribution from AT&T will allow the students to engage in experiential learning activities using updated technology.  The students also will develop and build their academic and professional portfolios that will be used to assist them with securing college admissions, internship, and workshop exposure opportunities and STEAM careers.

“Education is our priority. We provide quality programs that raise graduation rates of our members,” said LeVar Jones, teen director, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.  “Education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. AT&T’s contribution will help us reach more students in Washington, D.C. We’re excited to team up with the company on the d2D initiative.”

Jones added that the project is part of the club’s Extreme Teens and teen leadership programs (grades 9-12) that focus on education, technology, leadership, character development, and community service.  The programs help youth to become proficient in basic educational disciplines, applying learning to everyday situations and embracing technology to achieve success in a career.

LaTara Harris, AT&T’s regional director of external affairs, said the program will help create the next generation of innovators in the District of Columbia. “When students graduate from high school, they improve their chances for success in college and careers,” Harris said.  “This program will keep these students engaged in school and on track to graduate, and will help them better prepare for success in college and beyond.  We want to do our part to help the next generation of innovators in Washington, D.C.”

Harris added that the program is aligned with AT&T Aspire, one of the country’s largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.  In 2012, AT&T announced an additional quarter-billion-dollar expansion to the program, bringing the total commitment to $350 million since the program was launched in 2008. Learn more about AT&T Aspire by visiting
Learn more about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington FBR Branch @ THEARC by visiting

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, social investment- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mayoral & Attorney General Candidate Forum

Inviting ALL DC Residents to attend
Have you decided who you are voting for on November 4, 2014? If you are still thinking, the Anacostia Coordinating Council along with 30+ Ward 8 and city-wide community based organizations would like to invite you to participate in two upcoming candidate forums!
First up, is the Mayoral Candidate Forum. All three leading candidates have confirmed their participation in this discussion regarding the future of our City and Ward. Now we need you and your neighbors to show up on this Thursday October 16, 2014 and let your voices be heard.

Then the following week, we host a forum for the Attorney General race. Do you know the role of the position? Did you also know this will be the first time District residents will be able to elect an Attorney General? Come hear what candidates have to say about how they will provide legal representation for the City.

Mayoral Candidate Forum 
When: Thursday October 16, 2014
Doors Open: 6:00pm
Where: Academies of Anacostia (Anacostia High School) - 1601 16th St., SE
Straw Poll: Ward 8 Vote

Attorney General Forum  
When: Monday October 20, 2014
Doors Open: 6:00pm
Where: Old Congress Heights School - 3100 MLK Ave., SE
Straw Poll: City-Wide Vote

Bring a friend and neighbor with you! See Flyers Below...

Is the Reeves Center Good for Ward 8?

Art of War Concept: Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

The Reeves Center is a symbol of neighborhood revitalization. Then Mayor Marion S. Barry's decision to relocate government offices to the corner of a blighted neighborhood suffering the aftereffects of the riots of the Sixties is credited with sparking the revival of the booming U Street corridor. Now, there is talk of the Reeves Center coming to Downtown Anacostia. The conversation assumes that a similar strategy will have a similar impact.

Anacostia and other neighborhoods in Ward 8 need more than just another government office building. Rather than pursue this 'copycat' approach to economic revitalization, the city should focus instead on how it can make neighborhoods special in their own right. What is needed is a shared vision and a well-thought-out plan.

A plan – a shared vision? Is that possible? In emerging communities, stakeholders often have different ideas.  Through conversations led by the people who live in the neighborhood, all can get on the same page. After all, the people who live there should know what is best for their own community, right? Yet, where is the dialogue?

In Wards 1 and 6, the city held public hearings to discuss the soccer stadium and the replacement of the current Reeves Center. Why were there no such meetings in Ward 8? Residents should be asked to weigh in on whether location of a major government facility in their midst is a good idea. They should be consulted on its location. After all, they live here! With all attention on the mechanics of the soccer deal, maximizing the potential of redeveloping governmental infrastructure to Anacostia remains an afterthought.

Actually, I think a Reeves Center type facility will have a positive impact on Ward 8. Day time foot

traffic generated by its office dwellers should attract needed retail. However, the proposed location on Good Hope Rd. SE is not in the best interest of the community. Moving the project closer to the
Anacostia Metro Station is preferable. Downtown Anacostia has very few thoroughfares. A location next to Metro ensures government workers can use public transportation for their commutes.

Moreover, there has been no discussion about how the design of a new Reeves Center will relate to historic fabric of Downtown Anacostia. Will it look like the ugly DC Lottery buildings fronted by massive parking lots? Will it resemble the sterile architecture of the DC Dept. of Housing and Economic Development? Large buildings of this caliber that have no reference to the architectural fabric of the surrounding historic neighborhood threaten to undermine its integrity and beauty.

I and many of my neighbors choose to live in Anacostia precisely because of the beauty and charm of its built environment as well as its history. Any new development should be respectful of our choice.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Art All Night -- Congress Heights

Art of War Concept: For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.

I want to congratulate Congress Heights Main Streets and the Ward 8 Arts & Culture Collaborative for a job well done on the Arts All Night event held a couple of weekends ago. Arts All Night was an all-night exploration and celebration of contemporary art, encompassing five of DC’s most vibrant neighborhoods. This year the event was hosted in four neighborhoods across the city. Congress Heights represented Ward 8!

These two organizations turned the St. Elizabeths Pavilion into an art extravaganza. From fashion shows to mural drawings there was something for everyone! It was great was you could tell they made a concerted effort to infuse the energy of the community into the event. I hope this is the first of many events in Congress Heights. I fully expect that next year it will be bigger and better!

Check out some pics below.

Great times!
Something for everyone...
A bunch of stuff

Jewelry Makers...
Hey who is that pretty lady? Mrs. Wilson :-)

The runway...

 The audience had front row seats!

 The Photags were out in force!

One of many fashion shows during the night

Carnival theme fashion show...