In 1991, the Shaw Community Center was created as a social justice outreach program of the Potomac Association, United Church of Christ, along with the historic Lincoln-Westmoreland affordable housing apartments. These institutions are a powerful UCC response to Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and widespread civic unrest that followed. Courageously, members of four local UCC churches banded together to implement these affordable housing and social services, remarking that social justice requires action, not just words.
As the U Street and 7th Street commercial corridors again experience rapid change, our services support self-reliance, equity and justice for community members and long-time residents of this inner city neighborhood. SCC signature programs are the After-school Enrichment program, and the ‘Art of Service’ summer camp, serving nearly 100 elementary school children over the course of the year. These programs provide safe-structured childcare throughout the year, and empower parents to work or enroll in continuing education, tusting that their children are in good hands. More recently we have responded to the crisis of ‘disconnected youth’ by developing a college scholarship and mentoring program, and instituting vocational training in technology, interpersonal skills and customer service; valuable skills in the many hostpitality and retail jobs that have come to the neighborhood. With staff employed directly from the community and trainied in national youth-development best practices, we are a conscientious employer, with the feel of a family, and a demonstrated mission in social justice.
Today, SCC’s urgently needs your help. Under the Trump administration, the political climate for funding out-of-school programs like ours has changed. DC and federal pass-through funding of approximately $200,000 a year, which has sustained us for a decade, may no longer be available. We need to raise $50,000 by Thanksgiving to give SCC time to find new replacement sources of funds. A gift of $1,000 would support a child for an entire year worth of programs; however, any amount that you can give will help us meet this goal. With your help, we can continue to provide these valuable programs on which our Shaw families have come to rely. SCC believes, as you do, that social justice requires action.