Celebrating Black History Month




DC’s environmental history is closely tied to Black history since communities of color in DC built so much of Chocolate City’s foundation of the environmental and climate justice movements. As this month closes out, let’s continue to honor and continue to celebrate the Black leaders and movements of the past and present. We have a responsibility to learn about them and continue to share and build on their work. Below are just a few examples.

  1. In October 1991, the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit convened in Washington DC. They developed the 17 principles of environmental justice, which are the foundations for the EJ movement today!
  2. Black Americans have used cooperative economic development as a strategy in the struggle for economic stability and independence. In 1970, residents opened the Martin Luther King Food Cooperative at the Arthur Capper housing project after operating as a buying club for 18 months. This was one of the nation’s first food co-ops in a public housing development. As District Government agencies work to address food insecure areas, particularly in Wards 7 and 8, we continue their fight for more cooperatively-owned businesses that can increase access to fresh local produce.
  3. Sustainable DC 2.0 sets ambitious goals for increasing the amount of District land that is allocated to food production and increasing the consumption of locally-produced foods. Gail Taylor, founder of 3-Part Harmony Farm, launched DC’s first commercial farm business, and helped launch the “I Want DC to Grow” campaign that led to the passage of the DC Urban Farming and Food Security Bill. Read coverage of her history here. Long before her work, though, Black residents in DC have been growing their own food for food sovereignty. Hear more stories in this Oral History Project. You can also read more from DC’s own Michael Twitty on Afroculinaria, African American foodways and their history HERE.


Do you have a business, organization, or individual that is doing good work to further the goals and vision of Sustainable DC 2.0? If so, nominate them for a 2020 Sustainability Award!

The annual District Sustainability Awards program recognizes outstanding individuals, businesses, and organizations for understanding and responding to current environmental challenges and social disparities in DC, and intentionally building and supporting equitable environmental, social, and economic initiatives.

This is not a writing contest! If you need assistance submitting your application, ​or you are interested in submitting your application over the phone, please contact MaryLynn Wilhere at (202) 535-1939. If you need help in your language, please call (202) 535-1939 for free interpreter assistance.

The deadline is Friday, March 13, 2020.



The census creates a picture of who is living in the United States regardless of citizenship, age, or housing type. This information is used to make critical decisions that affect Sustainable DC. It impacts transportation and educational planning as well as federal government funds for SNAP benefits, school lunch, educational funding, healthcare, public housing, affordable housing support, transportation funding, energy efficiency, and so much more. In fact, in 2018, over $1.8 billion of federal funds that DC received was based on 2010 Census data! It is so important to make sure we are receiving the right funds to support our city, which is why we need you to help make sure everyone supporting Sustainable DC will fill out the census and get involved to encourage your neighbors, family, and friends to fill it out as well. If you want to learn more about how to get involved, click HERE.



Wondering where the winter went? DC is getting warmer and wetter year-round, and this causes impacts across the city. Sustainable DC’s sister plan, Climate Ready DC, informed SDC 2.0’s climate goals around evaluating and reducing vulnerability of DC’s communities and infrastructure. Read more about Climate Ready DC’s goals and how city agencies are preparing for #WarmerWetterWilder weather.



The George Washington University, Program Manager, Sustainability Minor

The Program Manager will manage several budgets associated with the Sustainability Program and facilitate the hiring of consultants and interns. This person will be the first point of contact for all student inquiries about sustainability GW, both in the classroom and on the campus. A main responsibility of this job is to manage outreach to students around sustainability academic program offerings, internships and career opportunities.

Website: gwu.jobs/postings/74386

WABA, Trails Coalition Manager

WABA is looking for a Trails Coalition Manager to help them turn 800 miles of planned trails into pavement that people can walk and bike on. You’ll work with a host of grassroots advocates from across the region, and you’ll hold a leadership role in the Capital Trails Coalition, a robust group of partner organizations and government agencies working together to turn our vision of a connected trails network into a reality. 

Website: bit.ly/36dUa5c

Multiple Positions, Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) 

The DC Department of Human Resources will host a virtual hiring fair, which will take place between 11:00 am and 8:00 pm, on Wednesday, March 4 through Thursday, March 5. Jobseekers have access to step by step instructions on how to register to the event. Registration is open now and will remain open until 8:00 pm on March 5.

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is hiring for 15 positions in this Virtual Hiring Fair. These positions include 2 Energy Program Specialists; a Public Health Analyst; an IT developer; an Attorney Advisor; 4 Environmental Protection Specialists, in Water Quality, Mold, Mitigation, and Toxics; an Epidemiologist; and 3 Program Analysts, including in Engagement and Equity, Buildings and Climate, and Environmental Services.



I Have Pride Black History & Culture Writing Contest Selection Committee

Wednesday, March 11, 1 to 3 hours

Black Swan Academy is in need of 12 volunteers to help select the 2020 "I Have Pride" winners! This writing contest is meant to provide youth with the opportunity to explore the uniqueness of their own history and culture and reflect on the impact that it has had in their personal lives, as well as the lives of others. The selection committee will review and score five submissions via email, with a time commitment of 1 to 3 hours. To register, click HERE.

Sign-ups Open to Lead an Extreme Cleanup in Rock Creek

Extreme Cleanup on Saturday, April 18
Trainings on February 26, March 7, and March 14, various times and locations

This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Rock Creek Conservancy is looking for Cleanup Leaders to make its Annual Extreme Cleanup on April 18 one to remember! Becoming a Stream Team Leader will help you organize your neighbors for action for the cleanup and, if you choose, throughout the year. Learn more and sign up HERE.


Rooting DC

Saturday, February 29, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Rooting DC is a FREE, all-day urban gardening forum that provides education about urban agriculture and food systems, cultivates health and protection of the environment, and builds community. The program includes dozens of interactive workshops, cooking and food preservation demonstrations, as well as panel discussions focusing on youth gardening, nutrition, sustainable growing techniques, and healthy food access. The event also hosts 60+ green businesses and nonprofits from throughout the region. To register, click HERE.



Environmental Film Festival

March 12 – 22
Cafritz Hall, 1529 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. Since 1993, their mission has been to celebrate Earth and inspire understanding and stewardship of the environment through the power of film. Each March in Washington, DC, they host the largest environmental film festival in the world, presenting 100+ films to audiences of more than 20,000. The Festival is one of the leading annual cultural events in Washington, DC, winning the 2017 DC Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Industries. To learn more about it, click HERE.

what we're reading

The 2020 U.S. Census and Afro-Latinos in the DC Council

Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System, Seventh Edition 

Black Lives Matter at School 2020 Curriculum Resource Guide

Make Food Work: A Strategy to Strengthen the DC Food Workforce

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

The All the Fly Kids Show: "Fresher Than the Harvest" with Boe Luther + Wallace Kirby of Hustlerz 2 Harvesters




facebook twitter facebook twitter instagram