The following content was originally distributed through IMPACT Silver Spring's June 2017 e-newsletter.
3 Communities Come Together at Potluck Dinner
Residents of Flower Branch apartments joined Takoma Park Mobilization and Clifton Park Baptist Church (CPBC) members to host a neighborhood potluck on May 19th. The dinner, called Breaking Bread Together, was held in CPBC’s gym. In the aftermath of last year’s fire at Flower Branch apartments, members of these three groups realized that even though they live in close proximity, they’ve had few opportunities for meaningful interaction.
Coop Members Participate in Workplace Democracy Conference
On June 9th nine members of the Montgomery Community Investment Cooperative (MCIC) traveled to New York to attend the three-day Eastern Conference on Workplace Democracy. The bi-annual Conference, this year held at Fordham University, focuses on worker-owned businesses and the movement for workplace democracy. MCIC members attended sessions on topics around advocacy, income taxes, legal structures, and cooperative development. The Conference gave MCIC members the opportunity to learn new things, meet members of other cooperatives, build enthusiasm for the movement, and deepen their relationships with each other. MCIC member Amilcar Peña Martinez said of the experience, “We learned about strategies, memberships, even about failure. After the breakouts, we [the MCIC members] came together to talk about the different sessions we’d attended. I was very impressed."
Making Acorn Urban Park More Inclusive
On June 10th, historian David Rotenstein, Danielle Ring of SURJ MOCO, and IMPACT Silver Spring organized about a dozen community residents to take action to make Acorn Urban Park in downtown Silver Spring more inclusive. Acorn Urban Park, a historic site from which the Silver Spring community takes its name, is home to depictions of Silver Spring’s history, including “Memory Wall” murals and their explanatory plaques and interpretive signage created in the 1990s.The history presented by these depictions ignores the history of the people of color who helped build Silver Spring and their experiences of segregation.
As the Montgomery County Department of Parks moves forward in its renovations of Acorn Urban Park, community members signed a petition or sent a postcard to respectfully request the following:
1) Creation of an advisory committee led by people of color who live in the community; people with expertise in African American history and ethnography; people with expertise in African American art history and arts; and, artists with expertise in producing public art in historic spaces;
2) Interpretive signage be created that is inclusive and that strives to accurately tell Silver Spring’s history in ways that confronts the racism of the community’s founders; and,
3) Additional public art be installed that reflects the African American experience in Silver Spring’s history.
If you were unable to attend this action, but would like to encourage a more inclusive Acorn Park, please make your comments on the Department of Parks website: https://goo.gl/uwm7Ie. Thank you to all who participated!