In commemoration of Juneteenth — the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S. — Pepco and Living Classrooms, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of a community center at the newly restored James C. Dent House in southwest D.C.
The center will provide hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education, workforce development programming and other enrichment activities serving families and residents of all ages residing in Ward 6.
“Pepco has powered economies, connected communities, and worked toward securing a safe and brighter future for our customers for more than 120 years,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO, Pepco Holdings. “Knowing the historical significance of the James C. Dent House, it was important for us to find a way to again make it a central part of the community. This historic landmark represents not just a flashback to late 19th- and early 20th-century living in the District, but also that spirit of resiliency, which was ever present in its original owner James C. Dent and now lives on through our partnership with Living Classrooms in this community-based center to serve families residing in Ward 6.”
The Dent House, located near Pepco’s Waterfront substation, was built in 1906 as the home and parsonage of Rev. James Clinton Dent. Born into slavery in 1855, Dent served as the second pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church after making his way to D.C. In 2010, the house was designated a historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house will initially offer a workforce training program, STEAM and Robotics programming for middle school youth, and a music program where youth can learn about music production while writing and recording their own music. Anticipated community offerings will include after school and summer academic enrichment programs for youth, adult job training and education, mentoring, and other programming developed in partnership with the community.
Pepco’s restoration and the transformation of the James C. Dent House is part of the company’s commitment to powering communities and being a good corporate citizen for the areas where its employees live and work.
“We are very grateful to Pepco for this opportunity to serve the D.C. community and families residing in southwest DC,” said James Piper Bond, president and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation. “We are committed to honoring the spirit of James C. Dent by providing hands-on education and job training for the children, youth, and adults who live here — ultimately helping contribute to a safer, stronger, and healthier community.”