The Pope & People Power


I’ve just returned from Modesto, CA where along with two of our grassroots leaders I participated in the US Regional Meeting of the World Meeting of Popular Movements.

This gathering was initiated by Pope Francis, with the purpose of creating “an ‘encounter’ between Church leadership and grassroots organizations working to address the ‘economy of exclusion and inequality’ by working for structural changes that promote social, economic and racial justice.”

Today on Taking Action we will report back from the World Meeting, sharing our reflections on the historic gathering.  Listen to today’s show here:
Here are the recommendations that came out of the gathering.   

In Solidarity, 

Parisa Norouzi
Executive Director


March With Us!

11th Annual MLK Peace Walk and Parade
Monday, January 16 
12:00 PM 
Meet at Excel Academy 
2501 Martin Luther King Ave SE   

Join Empower DC & Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association (BFTAA) at the 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr Day Peace Walk!  This year we will meet at the corner of MLK Ave & Sumner Rd at 12pm to hand out hot beverages and flyers before we join the parade route. 

This Saturday, January 14th we will meet at the Empower DC offices to make signs for the parade from 11am – 2pm. Light refreshments will be served. 

Let us know if you’re joining us by contacting Frances at or (202) 234-9119 x 105

Hearing at Appeals Court!

Barry Farm Tenants & Allies Association VS DC Zoning Commission

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rally and Vigil at 8:00 AM (hearing starts at 9)

DC Court of Appeals
430 E St, NW

Bring ID to enter the court building.

We are planning to stand with BFTAA (Barry Farms Tenants and Allies) on September 28th at the DC Court of Appeals. BFTAA is appealing the DC Zoning Commission’s Stage 1 PUD (Planned Unit Development) approval.  The Zoning Commission failed to acknowledge the displacement of Barry Farms residents as a “hardship” in their zoning approval of the redevelopment. The DC Office of Planning’s Comprehensive Plan calls for the redevelopment to avoid “dislocation or hardship” as if 1 doesn’t equal the other. We MUST show up to convey the message to the judge and to the public that displacement IS hardship!  BFTAA needs a STRONG presence with allies at this hearing.

Rally with Barry Farm residents before we enter the Appeals Court to deliver oral arguments in our appeal of the Zoning decision which approved the Barry Farm redevelopment.  Help us send the message that dislocation IS hardship, and DCHA is violating the law by not protecting the needs of residents.

UPDATE: DC Housing Authority Tables The Vote!

We want to thank everyone who came out to support Barry Farm residents! Please continue to support our Public Housing Campaign, which is lead by an amazing 4 year veteran of Empower DC , Schyla Pondexter-Moore.  Let’s continue to fight displacement in our city, to stand up for justice, to build our power and hold government officials accountable!

Video provided courtesy of Empower DC member Brendan Orsinger

URGENT! Action for Barry Farm!

IMG_20160419_150408This is a call to action.  We need everyone who is available to come to the DC Housing Authority (1133 North Capitol St, NE) tomorrow, Thursday August 18th at 11:30AM to stand in solidarity with Barry Farm residents. 

You can also help by sending an email to the members of the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.  This body has been unaccountable for far too long, signing off on resolutions that threaten the health, safety and housing of the people who call public housing home.

Please use the addresses and sample email below to tell the Board of Commissioners to vote NO on the resolution affecting Barry Farm that they are considering tomorrow at the last-minute “emergency” meeting.” 

Sample letter:
I urge the Commissioners to vote NO on resolution 16-14 to authorize pre-development financing for Barry Farm redevelopment. The Board should take no further action on the Barry Farm redevelopment until a firm residents’ rights agreement is in place.  I urge the Commissioners not to rubber stamp these deals that serve to displace residents and give away valuable public assets to private developers.  Moreover, DCHA should not conduct business during last-minute “emergency” sessions when the impacted residents have not received notification. 

Commissioners to send it to:
Aquarious Van Ghasri –
Bill Slover –
Brian Kenner –
Frank Lancaster –
Jose Ortiz Gaud –
Kenneth D. Council –
Shelore Fisher –
Terri Thompson –
Ken Grossinger –
Clarence Mobley –
Nakeisha Neal Jones – 

The residents of Barry Farm have been fighting diligently for years to make sure their rights are protected throughout the pending “redevelopment” of their public housing community.

The DC Housing Authority, on the other hand, continues to operate in an underhanded, unaccountable way – leaving the community in disrepair, spreading misinformation, and violating the rights of residents.

Yesterday we were informed that the DC Housing Authority has called an emergency Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting to vote on a resolution that impacts Barry Farm residents.  Typically the BOC does not meet at all in August. Now, they are holding a last-minute meeting, without notice to residents, on something that is critical to their future.

The leaders of the Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association (BFTAA) working with Empower DC want to show DCHA that there are people like you throughout the city monitoring their behavior, willing to hold them to account.

Please let Schyla Pondexter-Moore, Empower DC’s Public Housing Organizer, know if you will be joining us.  You can reach her at (202) 234-9119 x 101 or  Bring your ID to enter the DCHA building.

We appreciate your support! 

Parisa Signature
Executive Director

Sign The Buzzard Petition!

Please join Empower DC and Energy Justice in supporting the concerns of the Near Buzzard Point community about the planned DC United Soccer Stadium in Buzzard Point.

Click here to sign the letter to DC Zoning Commission in opposition to the proposed Planned Unit Development of the DC United Soccer Stadium. Your support can make a difference!

Environmental Justice Brunch This Saturday!

What does Environmental Justice mean in the Nation’s Capitol?

Join Empower DC for a  district-wide Environmental Justice Brunch. Connect with residents who live on the front line of environmental pollution and development in the historic communities near Buzzard Point, Southwest Washington, DC . Work together to discuss a year-long timeline that empowers and protects communities.

Saturday September 17, 2016
Christ United Methodist Church
900 4th St. SW Washington, DC 20024
10:00 am to 12:00pm

All are welcome. Seating is limited. Please RSVP with Kari Fulton at or 202-234-9119 ext. 104

You can also RSVP on Facebook here.  

See you on Saturday!