Located in Northwest Washington, D.C., the historic Shaw community has a rich legacy dating back to the American Civil War. Shaw is home to Howard University, jazz great Duke Ellington, the famous “U” Street corridor, the Lincoln Theater and the African American Civil War Museum and Memorial.
In 1991, our social service organization was created to complement the Lincoln-Westmoreland affordable housing apartments in response to Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and the civic unrest that followed. Ranging south and east from the popular U Street corridor, the Shaw neighborhood poignantly represents the cultural and demographic crossroads in the District of Columbia. Shaw Community Center, located in mostly rapidly gentrifying zip code in the nation, provides services to 300 low-income, minority families who have lived for decades in this historically black neighborhood. As the neighborhood again experiences rapid change, SCC empowers youth to participate and benefit from the growth rather than feeling disenfranchised or pushed out. SCC was founded with the name ‘Shaw Community Ministry’ by the Potomac Association, United Church of Christ.
In 2015, Shaw Ministry updated its name to ‘Shaw Community Center’ to reaffirm our non-sectarian commitment to educational and social services, and to reflect our enhanced capabilities in areas of technology, arts education, literacy, vocational training and direct employment to sustain families. The change to ‘Center’ also affirms a sense of belonging in a community where identity and location are so closely intertwined.