Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid Programs
All projects are in direct response to needs expressed by our community. When a need arises, we find a way to meet it. Together.
THE DC BACK TO SCHOOL BASH IS BACK!
In 2020, Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid hosted the inaugural DC Back to School Bash (B2SB) to provide Black and Brown DC students with a truly comprehensive backpack with the materials and supports that are needed for students to be successful and that their white counterparts already have access to. We provided more than 425 backpacks filled with laptops, internet hotspots, masks, school supplies, and some fun activities.
And while students will return to their school buildings in the fall of 2021, the need for these critical learning tools has not disappeared. Join Serve Your City and the Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network in what has now become a community tradition!
Food & Supplies
We have delivered more than $50,000 of food to more than 2,000 families, including especially-vulnerable unhoused people living in tent encampments—and we know that barely touches the need. We distribute diapers, hand sanitizer, masks, cleaning supplies, and more.
We work with the Capital Area Food Bank, Food For All and local restaurants, and accept donations from individuals and other groups. Partners identify individuals and families in need and together we arrange distribution through a customized internal delivery app developed by our community members.
Education & Enrichment
Laptops and internet service
Serve Your City/Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network has stepped in where the DC government has failed its Black and Brown residents, particularly students and families. We’ve delivered over 425 backpacks filled with laptops, internet hotspots, masks and other supplies and some fun activities. We also have given laptops to elderly residents in need of devices to access health care and other services.
If you are in need of a laptop or have a laptop to donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We provide free virtual tutoring to students in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, thanks to hundreds of college students and others who have stepped up to help support parents and children during the pandemic. We pair each student with two tutors, and together, they work on math, reading, Spanish, science, history and whatever else students need. Last fall, we had 260 tutors working with 130 students, spending nearly 1,300 hours on video calls total.
Could your child use some help with schoolwork? Sign up for tutoring support.
Building on the after-school and youth engagement work Serve Your City has been doing for more than a decade, we place students into high-quality virtual and socially distant enrichment programs, including guitar lessons, creative writing, music production, yoga and meditation, photography, piano, computer coding, horseback riding and trapeze classes! The programs are free to our kids. We have more than 50 students participating in classes through Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Indivisible Arts Collective, Black Girls Code, Circle Yoga, Trapeze School, Sprout Therapeutic Riding and Education Center, and other programs.
If you want to learn more about these and future extracurricular opportunities, please contact email@example.com.
Laptop training program
With guidance from professionals, DC youth learn how to procure, refurbish, and distribute digital devices and laptops to their community, as well as for a profit. Students also learn how to provide tech support to families and others who have received devices. Classes are housed at the ONE DC Black Workers & Wellness Center, a member-led space that builds racial and economic justice through the promotion of sustainable employment and the incubation of economic alternatives.
This program follows the Mutual Aid model of leadership and support coming from within the community, instead of relying on charity. Through this training, students develop critical technological skills while filling a direct community need.
Health & Well-Being
Public health initiative
Black and Brown people are the hardest hit by COVID and have the least access to resources to help them stay healthy or to recover. We improve public health through education about COVID-19, flu shots, and other health issues and services, and we provide masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and other protective equipment to residents in a variety of settings. With the help of artists, health professionals and others, we have created and distributed more than 10,000 culturally-relevant informational flyers. We have handed out more than 50,000 masks. When vaccines became available to the general public in spring 2021, we set up a hotline to help Black and Brown residents get appointments for shots.
Yoga and more
During this stressful and traumatic time, this long-running mindfulness programming from Serve Your City and other partners is more critical than ever before. We keep us safe by ensuring our families and students have a few moments of calm in their lives through socially-distanced, outdoor yoga, meditation and other programs.
We make the community whole when we address everyone’s critical needs and fight to tear down the structural racism and inequity that harms Black and Brown people nationally and here in our city. We are fighting for internet access for all, with our partners at Brightbeam, and for an end to the morally bankrupt digital divide. We testify at the Wilson Building for city budget items and we call out a law enforcement structure and history that threatens the lives of Black and Brown people. We attend ANC meetings and track the city's comprehensive development plan to ensure more DC residents don't get pushed out of neighborhoods by developers. It's all of us, or none of us.
You can help! Solidarity requires the work of all of us. Reach out and let’s talk about what’s needed and how you can be part of our work — from becoming a community member (our word for volunteer) or through making a one-time or recurring donation or business sponsorship.
Need help or know someone who does?
firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-683-9962
Our work is made possible through individual donations, business sponsorships, and the generous support of foundations and neighborhood commissions, including the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, Foley Hoag Foundation, Sparkplug Foundation, ANC6C, and ANC6B.