Knowing Our Past, Creating Our Future: Youth Leadership in DC Activism
Recorded February 25, 2021 The first in this year's Right to the City panel discussions. Young people have been at the forefront of social movements across the generations, acting as important forces for change. Join us for an intergenerational conversation with Washington, DC organizers—past and present—about the power and role of youth leadership in Black-led social movements in the city. Hosted by organizers Katie Petitt (Current Movements) and Matt Birkhold (Visionary Organizing Lab), the conversation will feature Courtland Cox (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Chi Hughes (Sapphire Sapphos), and Dion Harris (Black Swan Academy). BOUT THE SERIES: “Knowing Our Past, Creating Our Future” Washington, DC is widely seen as a site of large national protests but also has a long and overlooked history of local activism. In the 1960s, activists in Washington, DC created new schools, successfully organized to stop freeway construction in neighborhoods, created neighborhood governance when the city had no local elected officials, stopped urban renewal projects, and created parks, youth centers, and cooperative food stores. DC activists also organized to establish home rule and gain representation in Congress. In partnership with the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, two DC-based organizations that support activists who seek to deepen their work—Current Movements (CM) and Visionary Organizing Lab (VOL)—are collaborating to understand why DC was fertile ground for this kind of institution building. We believe that by bringing generations together to explore this question, younger and elder activists alike can grow in their work and see themselves as part of a multigenerational movement history unique to DC.