03/09/2012 12:28 pm ET Updated May 09, 2012

Fighting 30+ DCPS Closures (And Walmart) In Chocolate City to Empower DC

With what is well known about the historical legacy of extreme difficulty Black Americans have faced fighting for quality and equal education in our country...

It's excruciatingly hard for me to believe that I live in the nation's capitol where over 30 DC public schools, serving mostly Black and Brown American communities, are being recommended for closure.

Heap on top that this travesty is happening with the apparent blessing of our current elected Black mayor and sitting black council members, who obviously are not as much down with the Legacy of Dr. King as they proclaim, and my pain and disappointment worsens tenfold -- at least.

Not to put it all on Mayor Gray's administration; former Mayor Adrian Fenty, whom I dub the "Worst Mayor in the History of Washington, D.C." because of his complete political, social, and economic insensitivity as mayor that led to the destabilization and dismantling of many proud historic Black D.C. neighborhoods, closed something like 25 schools in Black and Brown neighborhoods during his reign. I'd be remiss if I didn't give my opinion that the way Fenty thumbed his nose in the face of D.C.'s long time disenfranchised Black and Brown communities singlehandedly lost him his re-election bid for mayor in Democratic primary -- in part for his war on DCPS, and in general for his hubris and cultural neglect in his governance of this "Chocolate City." Yes, it is STILL Chocolate City.

Catching my breath...

This Saturday, March 10th, D.C.'s most effective and on-the-job community grassroots organizing groups, Empower DC, is having an "Organizing Meeting to Fight School Closures/Privatization" at the Benning Library located at 3935 Benning Road, NE in Ward 7. The meeting will be from noon to 1:30pm.

On the February 20th 2012 broadcast of The Empower DC Community Hour radio show (Mondays on We Act Radio 1480AM), Empower DC Education Organizing Director Daniel del Pielago explains how the D.C. Government commissioned a study by a Chicago-based company, funded by private money from Walmart, that recommends D.C. Close or "turnaround" (charter school privatization) 38 schools.


So, let me get this straight. Walmart is about to open six "Urban" Walmart stores (apparently they've won), AND its money is tied to the recommendation to close 30+ schools in Chocolate City? I'm sorry, but I'm astonished that people who know information like this think it's okay.

And just what neighborhoods are these school closures being recommended to take place in? And why do government officials close schools with poor ratings instead of investing in the schools, while supporting our communities, to make them better and lift them up as a whole? I heard a rumor there are no charter schools in Ward 3. Is that true? And if so, why is that true?

If you've got questions of your own and want to be in the company of folks like you who are doing something get their questions answered, then you might want to pop in on the Empower DC "Organizing Meeting to Fight School Closures/Privatization" meeting this Saturday. The info is in bold a few paragraphs up, or contact Daniel del Peilago at