On a beautiful blue skied Washington DC day, June 17, 2023, the Humanities Truck joined 15+ DC organizations to celebrate the Ward 8 community, led by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8E Chairperson Kelly Mikel Williams and Commissioner Deborah Wells. Deborah Wells has been a key partner with AU and the Humanities Truck through her contributions as a community health worker with the AU Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities Lab, DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), and her work on the Corner Store Communities in COVID (CCC) project.
The Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) comprises of locally elected representatives. The Commissioners serve to bring government closer to the people, and to bring the people closer to government. The ANCs’ main job is to be their neighborhood’s official voice in advising the DC government and Federal agencies on matters that affect their neighborhoods. The ANCs may also initiate recommendations for improving city services, conduct neighborhood improvement programs, and monitor resident complaints. The ANCs began operating in 1976 and there are currently 46 ANCs in DC.
The June 17th event brought together community stakeholders to celebrate the Ward 8 DC community. The grill was sizzling with burgers and hotdogs, the kids were entertained with a moon bounce and face painting, and the community was able to stroll through the exhibits in the beautiful Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) outdoor space to engage with resources, programs and learn about opportunities in the neighborhood. Much of the event focused on supporting mental health and access to services, a priority of Chairperson Williams. We invited community members who participated in the CCC project who shared their Covid experiences, both of challenges and connection. In that project, our primary goal was to listen. This event was about celebration and coming together as a community. There was even an impromptu dance party.
We were joined by the following organizations and thank them for their participation:
Boys Scouts of America
DC Child and Family Services
DC Department of Transportation
DC Fire & EMS
DC Office of Zoning
DC Public Library
Department of Aging and Community Living
Department of Corrections
Department of Health Studies, American University
Department of Human Services
Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking
Department of Parks and Recreation
Department of Public Works
Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions
Howard University School of Dentistry
Metropolitan Police Department
Office of Disability Rights, DC Developmental Disabilities Council
Office of the State Superintendent of Education, DC Child Care Connections
Public Service Commission