Monday, November 14, 2011

Creating Solutions Together – 2011-2012 Community Feedback Survey

The Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative was recently awarded federal funding to strengthen and expand our community violence prevention and intervention work.

We value your opinions about your neighborhood. As part of this grant, we are conducting a short survey in order to gain a better understanding of what residents think and feel about their community.

We hope to use this feedback to better provide resources and address community needs. The survey should take about 5-7 minutes to complete.

No names or identifying information will be associated with your responses and all questions are voluntary. Please click on the following link to complete the survey:

If you have further questions about the Collaborative, our funding, or this survey, please contact Carmona Ross at or 202-518-6737.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hispanic Heritage Month @ Cardozo SHS

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

This year with the leadership of Ms. Benitez who is the new after school coordinator, Cardozo Senior High School celebrated their first Hispanic Heritage Month ceremony. This was a great event for Ward 1, it brought youth of all races together and shared the Latino culture and customs. The program included typical Latino food (Tacos from Mexico, Pupusas from El Salvador, Sancocho form Domican Republic, and much more). Youth from all ethnic back grounds were able to indulge in different foods, and music. Nothing stood out more than the performance by youth from GALA Theater, and the talented Quique Avilés. Youth from Gala presented to those in attendance an amazing skit that portrayed the struggles of immigrant mothers. This was followed by a song that left its audience in a whimper of silence. The performances both shocked and left the audience wanting more. In the end Quique Avilés stunned the audience with a poem that gave confidence, and amazed youth from all back grounds.

At the end of the program over 30 youth walked and talked without any immigration boundaries, and treated each other as equals. This was an amazing event that needs to be commended and supported! This is a great step for Ward 1, and a great accomplishment to Cardozo Senior High School.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Substance Abuse Community Conversations

One of the things we talk a lot about on the blog is the importance of community engagement. Through Community conversations communities discover what they care about, and what issues are key to the success of their community. Conversation is part of life. And it’s an important part of community building. In conversation, we not only discover what we care about, we uncover new ideas for building healthy community. “Drug and alcohol abuse rates are higher in the District than anywhere else in the country, and experts say the wide availability of drugs, high stress levels and difficulties getting abusers into treatment fuel the city's persistently stratospheric rates.” To read more please see this article that goes in depth on DC’s substance abuse rate.
Since September SWOTDC has taken much interest into finding more information to help with this issue. In September SWOTDC held meetings that discussed substance abuse rates in Wards 1 and 2, and has continue to hold meetings and community conversations to discuss possible solutions. Please join in conversation facilitated by the DC Prevention Center October 18th 2011 at 6pm at the Northwest association Community Meeting. It will be held at the Saint Stevens Episcopal Church for more information please see attached flier.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Secure Communities in DC

In May The American Prospect reported that the deployment of Secure Communities hit a roadblock in the nation’s capital when D.C. council members introduced a bill to ban the program. Secure Communities is a DHS program designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law. Under Secure Communities, participating jails submit arrestees’ fingerprints not only to criminal databases, but to immigration databases as well; allowing ICE access to information on individuals held in jails. Unlike other ICE-local partnerships, Secure Communities gives ICE a technological, not physical, presence in prisons and jails. No Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with local law-enforcement agencies are required, and no local law-enforcement agents are deputized to enforce immigration laws through Secure Communities.

As of October 2010, Secure Communities is available in 686 jurisdictions in 33 states. ICE plans to have a Secure Communities presence in every state by 2011, and plans to implement Secure Communities in each of the 3,100 state and local jails across the country by 2013. To learn more about secure communites please follow the link.

Last month Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier signed an agreement to share arrest data with ICE, despite the district’s longstanding ban on city employees inquiring about immigration status.

For months immigrants’ advocacy and service groups have rallied against secure communities, and have made great progreess to ban the law. In july immigrant advocat groups won a victory when the D.C. Police Department (DCPD) decided to withdraw their agreement with the federal government to implement Secure Communities.

In August 24th Roxana Olivas Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, (OLA) spoke against Secure communites at a rally held in Arlington, Virginia. Olivas had this to say "For decades the District of Columbia has had policies that created a "bright line" between Immigration and Custom's Enforcement and local police. Why? Because we care about keeping all communities safe. In 2010 the Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier signed an agreement to share arrest data with ICE, despite the district’s longstanding ban on city employees inquiring about immigration status." To read more about her testimony please follow the link. The Mayor's Office of Latino Affaris has been working hard with immgrantion advocates to better help the immigrant population in the district of columbia.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 Data on Child Abuse and Neglect

After a spike in fiscal year (FY) 2009, substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in the District returned to more historic levels in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The data shows that child abuse and neglect have been declining across the country, but there is no evidence of that trend in D.C. The number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in the District rose by 27 percent in FY 2009, to find out more information of this dramatic spike please view this article.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Upcoming Parenting Classes in English and Spanish in Ward 1

The Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative will be hosting two sets of parenting classes this fall.

·         The English classes will be titled “Parents Raising Safe Kids” You will learn new discipline methods; such as controlling your child’s tantrums, resolve conflicts, and understanding and managing anger. For date, time and more information see flyer.

·         The Spanish Classes will be titled “Padres Criando Niños Seguros” You will learn new methods of child/parent interactions, sibling interaction, controlling child’s tantrums, and understanding and managing anger. For more information including date and time see the flyer (Español).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Be Prepared During Times of Crisis!

Join Serve D.C. for its free National Preparedness Month Forum, “Planning for Access & Functional Needs Populations in Emergencies,” to help celebrate National Preparedness Month. The forum focuses on educating D.C. residents of the necessary precautions needed to ensure safety during emergencies. Various speakers from D.C. government agencies will lead the discussions and communicate the information to people of all ages and abilities.
The panel emphasizes inclusion and ease of access of emergency resources. Registration is free and lunch will be provided.
Save the Date! 
Where: Department of Employment Services (1st Floor Community Room), 4048 Minnesota Avenue NE
When: Thursday, September 1, 2011, 12:00 P.M.-2:30 P.M.
More details at:
Contact Information:
Jason Williamson
Serve DC
(202) 727-7925

Created by AU FSE Volunteers

MLK March Leads to Memorial Unveiling!

On Sunday August 28, 2011 a historic event will take place—the debut of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. This occasion marks the first monument dedicated to an African American on the National Mall in Washington DC. Leading up to this day, there are several events that will honor and celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. King.

Come join and help pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in the D.C. Full Democracy Freedom Rally and March held on Saturday, August 27, 2011. This symbolic march will begin at the Abraham Lincoln monument and continue to the MLK memorial, signifying emancipation to liberation. The rally will feature civil rights leaders and elected officials of the District of Columbia. The purpose of the march is to promote an understanding of the need for jobs and justice. Don’t pass up the opportunity to participate in this remarkable experience!
Don’t forget:
Where: Freedom Plaza—14th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Assemble: 9:30 A.M
Rally begins at 10:00 A.M
March begins at 11:00 A.M. and ends at 15th and Constitution, NW

Created by AU FSE Volunteers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Come celebrate 40 years with Fiesta DC!

The largest Latino festival in D.C. is celebrating its 40th year on September 25th. The annual free festival promotes Latino culture, music, art, and food.

Over 60,000 people gather every year to participate in this fun-filled festival. It’s a day that brings together the Latino community and provides entertainment and education for the entire family. Come enjoy a Parade of Nations, various vendors, and live performances. Everyone’s invited to come and experience this memorable event!

Mark your calendars!
Where: Mt. Pleasant St. NW, between Argonne Pl. and Park Rd. Washington, DC
When: September 25th 11 A.M.-7 P.M.
For more information visit

Created by AU FSE volunteers

Monday, August 22, 2011

Creating Solutions Together (CST) Violence Prevention Fair

Join Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative August 25 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at The Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St NW, first floor) for the 2nd Annual Youth Violence Intervention Stakeholder's Meeting and Unity Fair. Please come and learn about successful violence prevention strategies the Collaborative and it's partners have implemented across the city this year.

Attendees are encouraged to share information about their program and services and network to effectively intervene in and prevent youth violence as youth head back to school.

If you would like to RSVP please contact Carmona Ross.

For more information clinck the links. English flier (PDF) and the Spanish flier (PDF)

Ayuda has a new home!

 Ayuda has a a new home: 6925B Willow St NW, Washington DC 20012.    

Ayuda's mission is to protect the rights of low-income immigrants in the DC metropolitan area. We are the District’s leading source of multi-legal and social assistance for low-income immigrants in the areas of immigration, human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault. Our overall goal is to improve the ability of our clients to live safe, violence-free lives and become fully participating members of our community.

Currently they have very limited limited access to internet and phone service due to the Verizon strike makes communications a challenge, but they are open for intakes for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Anti-Trafficking Program (9:00 am - 5:00 pm walk-in).  

Monday, August 15, 2011

DC Public Schools Beautification Day 2011

This  Beautification Day will be held this year on Saturday, August 20, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This annual event was established in 2005 as a citywide “spruce up” of all DC public school buildings in preparation for the first day of school. Beautification efforts will include landscaping, trash pick-up, light painting, planting flowers, and other external beautification efforts. Volunteers and supplies are needed at over 100 schools. Please click the links below to volunteer or donate supplies. Please Register here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Discount Car Seat Program; Programa de sillas de niños para Carros

DC’s Mary's Center has a Car Seat Program that provides car seats at discounted rates.  More information is here:

El Distrito de Columbia’s Mary’s Center tiene un programa de silla de niños para carros. Si usted califica, padres pueden obtener sillas a precios rebajados. Para más información sigue la conexión:

GREAT, Local Photographer for hire!

Neighbors, If you ever have photography needs for professional events, personal parties, weddings, photo shoots and more, check out local, skilled photographer Kristian Whipple:
  • Krisitian has photographed numerous events, including a wedding, and his photos are simply beautiful. He is very professional and talented.
  • In addition, Kristian offers affordable workshops on various photography skills. He is currently offering a Composition and Critique Photography Class and has a couple more spots open if you want to learn how to take better photos. Short description of the class below:
  • "This 6 week workshop series is for participants of all levels but class instruction is geared towards beginners with some technical aspects to entice those more advanced. Each week will feature a mini-lesson, an assignment and critique of student images. Depending on the weather, at least one week will also be on location. The key to this class however is the shooting that participants do on their own!"
Check out his website for an idea of the services he provides. He also sells his prints that are both beautiful and affordable. If you have framing needs he can quote a competitive price for you. Feel free to pass his name on to friends!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gang Prevention Parent Workshop

On Friday May 27, 2011, the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, the Latin American Youth Center and the DC Department of Mental Health Invites you to a Gang Prevention and Intervention Workshop.This is an important training in which parents learn about gang activity and strategies on how to protect and keep their children safe from the grip of gangs, both at home and in the community.

Facilitators: include members of the MPD Gang Intelligence Unit (GIP), and Mr. Chavez Valiente, Safety Counselor for the Embassy of El Salvador. The workshop will be held at 3101 16th Street NW (Columbia Heights Educational Campus cafeteria) For more information call: Lucy Lemus, Parent’s Coordinator, CHEC (202)939-6680 ext. 5010 or Mrs. Silvia A. Diaz, Community Education Coordinator, CHSFSC (202)-319-7599 ext.2208

Friday, May 20, 2011

Help Wanted: Understanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Bonding Program


La Clinica del Pueblo Seeks to Hire in Several Positions

La Clínica del Pueblo, Inc. (LCDP) a bilingual, community clinic providing culturally appropriate health services to persons in the Latino community seeks qualified bilingual professionals for the following positions: HIV Prevention Program Coordinator - Bilingual, Project Officer - Bilingual, Program Assistant - Bilingual, Accounting Manager, Program Assistant (MHSA) Bilingual, Mental Health Therapist II (Bilingual), Ryan White Services Coordinator (RN) (Bilingual), and a Chief Medical Officer (Bilingual).
More about the position, including how to apply for the job, are in the job posting.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strengthening Ward One Together Community Canvass

The fifty organizations of the Strengthening Ward One Together (SWOT) coalition are planning a Community Canvass for Saturday morning, May 14, 2011. Volunteers will meet at the Boys and Girls Club House #10 2500 14th Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 (corner of 14th and Clifton Street) Volunteers will pair up and knock on doors.

The goals? In the short term, we expect to recruit dozens of new volunteers for our organizations, let residents know about our activities, and help connect them to services if they need them.

In the longer term, we are trying to build a civic culture where all residents feel responsible for the community and where all feel they can connect with other individuals and organizations committed to building a community that works. For more information please contact German Vigil or call at 202-391-1527.

Monday, May 9, 2011

DC Voice Town Hall Meeting

Did you know that DC ranks last among all states and territories in the use of technology to educate our young people? Did you also know that 2 out of 5 kids who begin high school in the District do not graduate? These and other issues will be discussed by DC Voice on Friday May 13, 2011 DC Voice will hold a Town Hall Meeting at Cardozo Senior High School (1200 Clifton Street NW). This Town Hall Meeting will address several community school and family empowerment issues. The meeting will also discuss the community project to move harmful negative distractions from schools. For more information or to RSVP, email or call 202-506-6367.

Security Cameras to be added at Shaw-Howard Metro Station

Councilmember Evans announced last week the upcoming installation of security cameras at both entrances of the Shaw-Howard Metro station.
"The Metro Transit Police and Metropolitan Police are working closely to address the on-going issues at this Metro stop," said Evans. "The addition of these cameras, which will face the station's two entrances, will help to identify those who commit crimes and disrupt the neighborhood."
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has received a $2.7 million Urban Area Security Initiative grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to finance the installation of the security cameras, scheduled for June.
The Metro Transit police has also increased patrol efforts in and around the Shaw-Howard Metro station and deployed a patrol vehicle to the station, in addition to working closely with the Metropolitan Police Department to address crime issues there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CM Sekou Biddle Discusses School Safety and Truancy Report

On Friday April 22, 2011 Council Member Sekou Biddle was able to discuss with SWOTDC the significance of the special committee on School Safety and Truancy’s recommendations to the entire city council. This was an important step in terms of being able to shape and mold educational reforms.  Recommendations discussed in depth included the Families Together Amendment Act of 2010, School Transit Amendment Act, South Capitol Street Tragedy Memorial Act of 2011, and the Coordinating Council’s Truancy Task Force.  If you would like a copy of the Committee Report of The Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy please click the link, and hopefully it will give you an in-depth look at the upcoming school reforms.

CM Sekou Biddle Discusses School Safety and Truancy Report


Thursday, April 21, 2011

SWOTDC April 22, 2011 Meeting

Please join SWOTDC as we host Council Member Sekou Biddle as he discusses issues dealing with The Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy.The meeting will take place April 22, 2011 from 9:00am -11 am at the Columbia Heights Community Center (1480 Girard Street NW). For more information please view the flier or contact German Vigil at (202) 391-1527 or email  

Save Our Safety Net Walking Tour

On April 21 2011 Save Our Safety Network and SWOT is organizing a walking tour highlighting social service agencies in Columbia Heights whose communities will be affected by the mayor's budget cuts. We have invited Councilmembers Graham and Biddle to attend and hope Ward 1 residents will learn about vital community organizations and share their feelings on the budget.

We'll start at the Columbia Heights Metro at 5:30pm and the tour goes until 6:30. From 6:30-7:30 we're having a happy hour at Alero restaurant that is near the Gala Theatre. This will be an opportunity to pass out information about your agencies, hear about the history of the neighborhood, and talk with Ward 1 residents and council staff. At this point we will also hand/send council staff letters from organizations about how budget cuts affect them, and we'll post the letters on the SOS blog as well. You are invited to write a letter as well! Please see the flier for more information.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Got Talent 2 (April 18 2011)


Distribucion de Comida

 La Oficina Executiva de la los Asuntos Latinos con colaboración con The Capital Area Food Bank van a tener una Distribución de comida el 28 de abril de 2011 la locación va hacer en el Barbara Chamber’s Children’s Center localizado en el 1470 Irving St. NW, para más información por favor llame al (202) 671-2825

Food Distribution

The Executive Office of Latino Affairs (OLA) in Partnership with the Capital Area FOOD BANK will have their next food distribution on April 28th 2011 the location will be at the Barbara Chamber’s Children’s Center 1470 Irving St. NW for more information please call (202) 671-2825.

Senior Wellness Center Seeks Donations

The Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center has really begun to serve the area’s seniors in earnest since its open house on February 28th. With your help this program has the potential to serve several senior citizens in Ward 1. They have been able to obtain several donations in the last two months; however it is still not enough to provide for all of their needs.

There are many opportunities for the entire community to be involved and support our seniors. One easy way is through donations of needed items in new or like-new condition. Below is a list of items needed by the Ward 1 Senior Wellness Center. People can call 202-727-0338 for more information.

•Shuffle Board Set (Floor)
•Putt Golf Set
•Plastic storage containers
•Sewing and quilting supplies — (including fabric, cutting mat, rotary cutter, scissors, thread, straight pins (quilting), ironing board, backing, batting, long plastic cutting ruler, marking pencils, yard sticks)
•Crochet and knitting needles
•Jewelry making materials
•Gently used books – Self-help, Novels, Nonfiction
•Bibles and Korans
•Board Games and Puzzles
•Coffee Machine
•Umbrella Caddy
•Patio table, chairs, umbrellas
•Cameras (photography class)

Winning a Better Budget

Two out of every three dollars cut Mayor Vince Gray's proposed budget come from programs that support DC residents struggling with poverty, even though these programs make up only one out of every four dollars in the entire budget. 
  • Do we need affordable housing in DC
  • Is child care important for local workers?
  • Does everyone have a right to shelter?
Join us Tuesday, April 12  5pm-8pm at Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street NW (Between P and Q, 2 blocks from Shaw/Howard.) to learn about what’s happening and what you can do to make sure your tax dollars are spent on the services our city needs.

    You Got Talent 2


    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Creating Solutions Together (CST)

    The Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative has started a new initiative geared towards strengthening and improving the youth violence prevention and intervention efforts in Washington D.C. Join CH/SFSC to learn more about their plans and how we as community members can become part of the movement to reduce youth violence in our ward. The kickoff to the CST will be Tuesday March 22 2011 from 9:30 am- 10:30 am at the Thurgood Marshall Center located at 1826 12th Street NW Washington DC 20009, to RSVP please contact Carmona Ross at  , please view the flyer at this link!

    Walk A Mile in Her Shoes!

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia invites the community Saturday April 9 2011, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, to come and learn about the challenges facing women re-entering the community. This even will take place at the Matthew’s Memorial Baptist Church located at 2632 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE Washington DC 20020. For more information contact (202) 514-6930 email

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Equal Rights Center is seeking to hire Testers and Advocates for Civil Rights

    The Equal Rights Center is seeking to hire Testers who ensure that various entities are complying with a variety of local, state, and federal civil rights laws by gathering information to identify unlawful discrimination. For more information about these positions, including how to apply for the available jobs email this link or apply online here. Please put “Tester” in the subject line when sending an email.  

    DPR is in search of Programmatic Partners and Volunteers for Summer Camps.

    If you are interested in working with youth, providing quality programming at the Department of Parks and Recreation locations there are two key components that you must follow before being able to Volunteer or become a Programmatic Partner.

    Volunteer Certification: Individuals interested in volunteering at a DPR summer camp must complete a volunteer application. More information and application is provided through this link.

    ·  Organizations interested in providing free summer programs at DPR recreation centers must submit a DPR Programmatic Partner vetting application by March 31, 2011.  Please visit this site to learn more and to download application. If you have any questions please contact Yaiza Burrell at or at 202.255.2881.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Support Group for Survivors of Domestic Violence

    Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE) is offering a Free support group to women who are survivors of domestic violence. Meetings will be held from Thursday March 17- June 30 from 6:30- 8pm. Their office is located at 1422 K Street NW (1422 is the basement of 1422 K Street) Call 280-6391 for more information.

    Join DCAYA and Participate in an Exciting Volunteer Opportunity!

    The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates will be conducting a survey of homeless and unstable housed youth. Two very important things to know about being able to volunteer in this survey

    • Last date of orientation is Wednesday March 2, 2011 from 6-8 pm at the DCAYA Offices. Office is located 1012 14th St NW, Suite 610 Washington, DC 20005 (14th St between K St. and L St.) Call 202.587.0616 Ext: 36 for more information.

    • Orientation details include: Background on the study, and overview on how to administer the survey, and dates a person can volunteer to administer the survey.


    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    DC's 4th Annual Forum for Urban Gardens

    Rooting DC will offer a range of workshops and hands-on learning opportunities for new and old green thumbs alike. It will:
    • Build community among groups and individuals who want to improve our city through gardening and greening
      Share information and resources about gardening and greening in DC
    • Provide opportunity for DC gardeners to coalesce around specific areas of interest
    • Identify volunteer opportunities by creating a database of community based garden projects
    • Keep gardeners connected via monthly e-newsletters that highlight volunteer opportunities, events and news from participants

    Join others for the event Saturday, February 19. More information is available in this flier.

    Youth Power for Peace Summit

    Please join us in Ward 1  Satruday February 19th 2011, as we attempt to stop youth violence and increase the peace city wide. This event is being sponsored by NCLR, LAYC, Barrios Unidos, DPR, and other Community Organizations.

    Time 10 am-4 pm
    Location Mary & Lougham Center
    2500 14th Street NW Washginton DC 20010  

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Parenting Workshop March 4, 2011 at 6 pm

    Please join the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, as we host a parenting workshop at Columbia Heights Educational Campus, as we may increase community awareness in Ward 1.

    Contact Person
    Lucy Lemus, Parent Coordinator—(202) 939-6680
    Silvia Diaz 2--- (202) 319-7599