About 500 DC Statehood activists gathered in Freedom Plaza Friday morning to rally for DC Statehood and protest the payment of federal income taxes without the benefit of Congressional representation. Friday was April 15th, traditionally the day income taxes are due. Since DC Emancipation Day fell on a Saturday this year, DC government took Friday as a holiday for Emancipation Day, and many DC children were off from school and came to the rally. The rally affirmed DC residents’ longterm struggle for DC Statehood. After listening to speeches and music, the marchers gathered in the southeast corner of Freedom Plaza to march up Pennsylvania Avenue. More people joined the march as it moved up the avenue and got closer to the Capitol. They arrived at the US Capitol to the welcoming people of Democracy Awakening who are in DC this week to protest money in elections. More speeches were made in front of the Capitol calling for DC Statehood. Statehood Activists are in it for the long haul, and know the struggle is far from over.
In continuation of Chevrolet & NNPA’s journalism fellowship program launch at Howard University, several fellow students who were selected by the university’s faculty were surprised with a brand new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu as their new means of transportation for reporting tasks. The fellows thought they were just taking a walk with the Dean of School of Communications Gracie Lawson Borders, little did they know Rapper MC Lyte, President & CEO of NNPA Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr, NNPA Chair Denise Rolark Barnes, Michelle Matthews-Alexander of Chevrolet were all waiting outside with a camera crew ready to surprise them with their new set of wheels Friday, April 15. Photos by Travis Riddick.
Attorney Jack Olender hosted his annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee reception at the Jack H. Olender & Associates, P.C. office in Northwest, DC, awarding the top four winners with cash prizes of different denominations and a certificate for their participation in the 34th Annual Washington Informer Spelling Bee Thursday, April 14. Photo by Travis Riddick
Some of DC’s top food and pastry chefs came together to provide more than a hundred homeless men a delectable 5-course meal at the New York Avenue men’s shelter, Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in Northeast. The event was spearheaded by R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn, founder of Love Life Foundation, and Jasmine Crowe, chief change maker of Black Celebrity Giving. What began as an idea in 2013 to provide men, women and children experiencing homelessness with a hot, home-cooked meal complete with volunteers and classic old school music, soon transformed into a Sunday Soul Pop-Up restaurant two years later, that provides a 5-course meal, restaurant style for the homeless. Guests feasted on a variety of appetizers, soup and salads, chicken, fish, and vegetarian entrees, followed by an assortment of desserts such as cupcakes and bread pudding. Sponsors for the event included MAGIC 102.3 radio station, Wegmans, 7 the Barber, Chef Jordan 24/7, Kitchen Cray, and the Akoma Foundation. Sunday Soul also takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, where dates are given in advance. Volunteers have to stay alert for the location, which gives an element of surprise to the highly attended community gathering.
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the Washington Monument in celebration of the Annual Cherry Blossom Kite Festival, one of the most highlighted events during the National Cherry Blossom season. Although this year’s kite flying got off to a slightly slower start compared to past years due to the minimum rainfall, that didn’t discourage the masses from coming out and celebrating for hours on Saturday, April 2. Photos by Travis Riddick
THEARC on Mississippi Avenue in Southeast D.C. was lit up with blue lights in recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm. Ward 8 Council member LaRuby May joined residents and guest speakers from Autism Speaks of the National Capital Region to educate the community about the neurological disorder that affects more than 1 in 68 children in the U.S. Attendees received literature on how to recognize the signs of the disability, complimentary blue light bulbs, water bottles, wrist bands, and were served blue ice cream. Students from the Malcolm X Elementary School drum line and pom pom squad provided the entertainment.
People came from all over the country on Saturday April 2nd to witness and help carry a 51-foot inflated marijuana joint in a demonstration headed for the White House. They were calling for Federal de-scheduling of marijuana as a dangerous drug. After several attempts to get the inflated joint onto Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the US Treasury Building (next door to the White House), the police refused to let it pass by to get to the White House, calling it a security threat. After the joint was deflated, the police still would not let it pass. The demonstration proceeded to the White House without the joint. For almost two hours, people took turns at the microphone, talking about the need to decriminalize marijuana. At almost 4:00 pm, the joint miraculously reappeared on Pennsylvania Avenue, directly in front of the White House. The police escorted it away through Lafayette Park, out the northeast corner of the park. At about 4:20 pm (or possibly earlier), people lit up marijuana joints in front of the White House and openly smoked cannabis in front of news cameras and police. In the end, after all that police and security presence, two people were given a citation for a $25 fine, one of them for blowing marijuana smoke into the face of an officer.
Always a great day to play one of America’s favorite sports “baseball”, however dozens from the Washington Nationals Youth Academy got the opportunity to take it to the field with several Washington Nationals major league players. On Friday, April 1, Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper and other players assisted in a fun filled game of baseball with the youth of the Washington Nationals Youth Academy located in Southeast Washington.
Alumni from Dunbar High School were delighted to attend the world premiere of “Dunbar: The Alchemy of Achievement,” at the Landmark E Street Cinema, Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in northwest D.C. Patrons purchased popcorn and found the best seat in the house to view the first documentary highlighting one of America’s oldest public high schools for African Americans. The high school, named after the famous poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, has a controversial history that many continue to find of interest today, in which some claim it to have been a school for the elite. The film featured well known alumni such as former DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Congress woman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Pulitzer Prize Winner, Colbert King, who gave an oral history of the school’s challenges with desegregation, funding issues, low enrollment, and building renovation. Dorothy C. Egbufor, a 1991 alumnae, moderated a panel discussion with the cast members after the screening.