Ivy City

20 November, 2019

Fighting for community use, not condos, at the historic Crummell School in the Ivy City community.

Ivy City is one of DC’s most historic Black communities, founded in 1872. The historic Crummell School, named for abolitionist preacher Rev Alexander Crummell, was opened in 1911 to serve Black children of Ivy City and Trinidad, but was closed by the city in the 1970’s, cutting off Ivy City residents from the heart of their community.  Since our founding, Empower DC has worked with Ivy City residents to document neighborhood history, advocate for community improvements, and to reclaim Crummell School for public use, not private profit. In 2013, we sued the city and successfully stopped the operation of a polluting bus depot at this historic site.

In 2016, we organized a group of young people and partners to propose redevelopment of the site as a community center and 1 acre park, governed by Community Land Trust, along with affordable housing and health care services. Mayor Bowser rejected the community’s proposal, instead giving development rights to a team of politically connected insiders to build largely high-cost housing on the site. But, because of community opposition organized through Friends of Crummell School, that plan has not been approved by the DC City Council. Join us as we continue the fight to reclaim the Crummell School property to serve Ivy City’s children and community.   


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