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Bowser Talks Prosperity at Outset of Black History Month

D.C. has been ranked as the city where African-Americans are doing the best economically, based on having the highest median incomes and homeownership for Black residents nationwide and the highest growth rate of Black startup businesses over the past five years, according to Forbes magazine.

Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off Black History Month on the coattails of that ranking, speaking about prosperity for the city’s Black residents with the release of a toolkit that aims to give them access to needed government resources.

The kit — “A Fair Shot: A Toolkit for African-American Prosperity” — gives an overview of each of the city’s government programs and resources available to help African-American residents. Along with an overview of the program, the D.C. government agency that oversees each resource is included, as well as contact information.

“African-Americans in Washington, D.C., have created a rich history that cannot be overlooked. Our community built much of the city, its character and culture,” said Rahman Branch, director of the D.C. Office of African-American Affairs. “For far too long, many African-American Washingtonians have felt left out or locked out of the progress happening around them.”

Branch said the toolkit is a starting point to get more Black residents on the pathway to the middle class and hopes that residents will take advantage of the programs included in the guide.

Some who have participated in the programs say they wish more knew about them.

Robin McKinney, a Ward 8 resident and single mother of seven, participated a housing program after a flood in their apartment left them homeless and in a shelter.

“Me and my children now not only have keys to our own home, [we also have] keys to the city,” McKinney said.

Divided into four sections — individual residents, senior citizens, families and business owners — city officials said they hope it will be a “roadmap” to help Black residents of all zip codes and income levels thrive in the city.

“We know there is more work to do to ensure African-Americans in every corner of the District have a fair shot,” Bowser said. “With this toolkit, we are ensuring that the hardworking residents who could benefit most from the many resources and programs we have available actually know about them.

On Feb. 24 at noon, several city agencies will host “A Fair Shot: A Prosperity Fair,” an opportunity for residents to learn about the programs outlined in the toolkit, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

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