Courtesy of Empower DC
Courtesy of Empower DC

Children in D.C.’s Ivy City community will hold a march at 4 p.m. Wednesday to demand a safe place to play and the restoration of the historic Crummell School as a community center.

The march route will begin at Trinity Baptist Church, 1814 Central Place in Northeast and end at the historic Crummell School after circling the community. Demonstrators will highlight the need for safe recreational facilities and green space in the neighborhood.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issues that have long plagued Ivy City,” said Ryan Linehan, advisory neighborhood commissioner. “At a time when the need for outdoor recreation and physical distancing is higher than ever, the Crummell School site remains fenced off and inaccessible to the children of our neighborhood, forcing them to play in the street.

“While I applaud the Council for budgeting interim recreational services while we fight for the future of the Crummell School, there is still a lot to be done to work with the community to implement the funding as soon as possible,” Linehan said. “Until I see kids playing at the site, I will stand with the community to fight for their vision that is more than 40 years in the making.”

For more than 40 years, Ivy City residents have advocated for the historic Alexander Crummell School to be reopened as a community center to serve the multigenerational Ivy City community, to offer educational and recreational programs for youth, workforce development for adults, and programs for seniors. In the meantime, children in Ivy City have been forced to play in the street in unsafe conditions.

The committees of the D.C. Council recently held hearings to identify priorities for the coming year’s city budget.

After outcry from residents, a total of $1.1 million was allocated towards recreational opportunities for Ivy City youth thanks to the leadership of Councilmen Robert White, Kenyan McDuffie and Trayon White.

The budget will be finalized in late July with the monies becoming available Oct. 1.

The march agenda is as follows:

4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. – Gather outside of Trinity Baptist Church (1814 Central Place NE) for sign-making
4:30 p.m.-5 p.m. – March throughout community
5 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – Community speak out and performance by Baba Ras D at Crummell School (1900 Gallaudet Street NE, Kendall Street side)
5:30 p.m.-6 p.m. – Pizza party for participating families

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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