What do you want in a president? Curators Natalie Campbell & Saisha Grayson invite the public to join in a writing workshop to adapt, update and engage with a 1992 text by artist and activist Zoe Leonard listing demands for a new U.S. president. The adapted texts from a series of workshops this fall will be archived online and will culminate in a public collective reading on Oct 16 at 5:30 pm in front of the White House.
Black Freak Mosh Heaven is a poetic autobiography about a black youth who rocks and rolls to his own beat and is forced to battle racism, stereotypes and ignorance. It is a thought-provoking tale of a man who struggles against society's intolerance and fights to create a world of acceptance. It is a literal companion to his autobiographical one man show, Dreadlocks, Rock 'n Roll & Human Rights.
Join us for a coffee tasting featuring four varieties from Finca el Puente, followed by a co-presentation between Counter Culture Coffee and The Potter's House about the current challenges facing the coffee market in Honduras and the innovative work of Finca el Puente.
Coffee Tasting: 6:15pm-7:00pm
Field Report: 7:00pm-8:00pm
This event is free and open to the public!
Tell Me the Number before Infinity: the story of a girl with a quirky mind, an eccentric family, and oh yes, a disability by Becky Taylor and Dena Taylor is a one-of- a-kind memoir, written from their two perspectives with interwoven chapters about Becky’s life growing up with cerebral palsy.
Mary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists. While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front. Washington's work incorporates these black intellectuals back into our understanding of mid-twentieth-century African American literature and art and expands our understanding of the creative ferment energizing all of America during this period.
History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.
Fungi (i.e. mushrooms, yeasts, lichens, molds) are everywhere around us, forming symbioses with all plants and animals, and performing critical roles that keep complex ecological webs intact. And yet, most people are completely unaware of the incredible and ubiquitous nature of the Fungal Kingdom. In this part presentation, part mushroom roadshow, author Peter McCoy will present many means for dispelling this paradox. From the ecological importance of mushrooms and other fungi, to their rich history with human cultures around the world, to the increasingly profound potential for mushroom cultivation to address a range of pressing global issues, this special event will take you deep into the fungal realm. The result just may change the way you look at fungi, and the world at large.
This event is FREE!!
Calling is a sense that something greater than you invites you to deeper purpose.
Knowing what invites you is hard.
Knowing the purpose requires discernment.
Saying yes requires trust.
Join others for a time of creative listening, sharing, reflection, and engagement with calling. Come to trust your experiences, gifts, and desires. Come to honor your story, and how sharing it can empower you. Come to welcome how your sense of call might open you – and others – to something greater.
Come join the conversation that is intended to increase your awareness of death with a view to helping us make the most of our (finite) lives. The Death Café movement (deathcafe.com) is happening across the U.S. and worldwide. Death Cafés provide a free venue--with food and drink--for people to talk about death openly. Bring your questions, experiences and concerns—big and small—or just come to soak in the rich discussion and enjoy food and refreshments. This free event is sponsored by Community Hospices and the Potter’s House.
ON A TRANQUIL SUMMER NIGHT in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 was supposedly one of the most secure sites in the world, a bastion of warhead parts and hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs. The three activists—a house painter, a Vietnam War veteran, and an 82-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers. Once inside, these pacifists hung protest banners, spray-painted biblical messages, and streaked the walls with human blood. Then they waited to be arrested.
Studs Terkel was an American icon who had no use for America’s cult of celebrity. He was a leftist who valued human beings over political dogma. In scores of books and thousands of radio and television broadcasts, Studs paid attention – and respect – to “ordinary” human beings of all classes and colors, as they talked about their lives as workers, dreamers, survivors. Alan Wieder’s Studs Terkel: Politics, Culture, But Mostly Conversation is the first comprehensive book about this man.
DC Stampede hosts a monthly letter-writing night to political prisoners.
“Art Between Us” is the DMV's quarterly all-women’s event for an all-women audience. (All persons who identify as women are welcome!) In an effort to create safe spaces for ladies from marginalized arts communities, “Art Between Us” aims to encourage creativity, develop sisterhood within the arts, and build a support network for women and girls of all backgrounds to connect with each other over artistic expression and celebrate our diverse voices and experiences in a space that's just for us.
Join us for the Recovery Cafe Open Mic! All DMV recovery communities, musicians, artists, supporters, families, friends are invited! This event is open to all.
In Partnership with The Potters House of Washington, DC, Recovery Cafe has a vibrant and much loved history. With a renovation complete, let's reignite the hope that anyone going through Recovery of any type, has a place to come and express themselves as they find their way. You will be supported at this open mic.
// The revolution WILL be improvised!
Longform improv is improvised theater with a team of other players. At Soulful Improv, we explore improvisation as "practice" for the real world: Engaging in that vulnerable-but-gratifying act of making something beautiful out of chaos - in the partnership of others.
There are some conversations you could not have prepared for, but then you stand amazed and grateful you could be part of them. How do those conversations happen? In the Firelight Wisdom Circle, we will practice careful listening and clear speaking to each other. We will invite one another to risk sharing what's most valued in our minds, hearts, and souls based on our lived experience and the wisdom of our being.
Join a group created especially for Grandparents and their grandchildren! Have a cup of coffee and share ideas, anecdotes and helpful advice, as well as entertain your grandchildren in a group setting.
Each meeting will have a general theme related to the special relationship between grandchildren and grandparents as well as stories/songs for the children.
Well before Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out against nuclear weapons, African Americans were protesting the Bomb. Historians have generally ignored African Americans when studying the anti-nuclear movement, yet they were some of the first citizens to protest Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Now for the first time, African Americans Against the Bomb tells the compelling story of those black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament by connecting the nuclear issue with the fight for racial equality.
Join Embrace Yoga DC teachers on the first Monday of each month at the landmark café/bookstore, Potter’s House, for a free community yoga class. This flowing open level vinyasa yoga class is an expression of love to our community. Dive in, flow and celebrate life with some of the Embrace Your Flow teachers and friends! Open to all levels. Bring a yoga mat, a smile, and a friend.
Godless Circumcisions is a witty and forceful study of race, sex and politics in contemporary culture. Personal and poetic, these essays, poems and biographical trysts disrobe issues central to the black, queer and working class existences. Wilson speaks fluently—fluctuating between academic authority, queer griot and matter-of-fact honesty—to issues of racial-sexual terror; masculine anxiety; how Black men learn the erotic, sex and vulnerability; the stereotypes of Black and BlaQueer people in the United States. Paying special attention to the costs of assimilation—or cultural circumcisions—Wilson invites the reader on his personal and political journey to a practice of critical love ethics.
In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need.
The capital of the U.S. Empire after World War II was not a city. It was an American suburb. In this innovative and timely history, Andrew Friedman chronicles how the CIA and other national security institutions created a U.S. imperial home front in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. In this covert capital, the suburban landscape provided a cover for the workings of U.S. imperial power, which shaped domestic suburban life. The Pentagon and the CIA built two of the largest office buildings in the country there during and after the war that anchored a new imperial culture and social world.
The first released work of poetry from White, Found Them deals with physical and spiritual place along an arduous but liberating gender and sexuality journey. This chapbook includes seventeen poems which explore transformation and departure as means of survival, as well as ancestral magic as an omnipresent resource.
Francisco-Luis White is an agender, AfroLatinx writer, poet and storyteller currently residing in District of Columbia. They have presented at the Carolina Conference on Queer Youth (2014 and 2015), Fire & Ink Conference for LGBTQ Writers of African Descent (2015), and the United States Conference on AIDS (2014). In 2015, they were recognized by National Black Justice Coalition as an SGL/LGBTQ Emerging Leader to Watch and one of Qnotes Faces of The Future. White is a contributor toTheBody.com and for HIV Equal.
Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have touted and promoted Chicago as a "world class city." The skyscrapers kissing the clouds, the billiondollar Millennium Park, Michelinrated restaurants, pristine lake views, fabulous shopping, vibrant theater scene, downtown flower beds and stellar architecture tell one story. Yet, swept under the rug is the stench of segregation that compromises Chicago. The Manhattan Institute dubs Chicago as one of the most segregated big cities in the country. Though other cities including Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore can fight over that mantle, it's clear that segregation defines Chicago. And unlike many other major U.S. cities, no one race dominates. Chicago is divided equally into black, white, and Latino, each group clustered in their various turfs.
The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
In this innovative study, Crystal Sanders explores how working-class black women, in collaboration with the federal government, created the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM) in 1965, a Head Start program that not only gave poor black children access to early childhood education but also provided black women with greater opportunities for political activism during a crucial time in the unfolding of the civil rights movement.
Collective Action for Safe Spaces is a grassroots, volunteer-powered organization working to make public spaces safer for everyone. We train community members to respond to street harassment and be active bystanders to help promote a culture where women, LGBTQ, and gender nonconforming folks are treated with respect. Join us for a workshop to learn effective skills for responding to harassment and to intervene if you witness it!
From the front lines of the wrongful conviction capital of the United States—Cook County, Ill.—these stories reveal serious gaps in the criminal justice system. Flowers depicts the collateral damage of wrongful convictions on families and communities, challenging the deeper problem of mass incarceration in the United States. As she tells each exoneree’s powerful story, Flowers vividly shows that release from prison, though sometimes joyous and hopeful, is not a Hollywood ending—or an ending at all. Rather, an exoneree’s first unshackled steps are the beginning of a new journey full of turmoil and triumph.
Chapbook Release Party!
I Wanted Just to Be Soft (April 2016, Anomalous Press)
by Temim Fruchter
Temim Fruchter, author of I Wanted Just to Be Soft (April 2016, Anomalous Press)
Seema Reza, author of When The World Breaks Open (March 2016, Red Hen Press)
Plus, other surprises!
Come join us to celebrate the release of new work by DC writers!
The smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot-only days after D. receives notice that he's been accepted into Georgetown University—the plans for his life explode, and he takes up the mantel of his brother's crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he's known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.'s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.
D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon; his work has been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, Rolling Stone and other publications. He is also a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Baltimore and founder ofthe BMORE Writers Project.
Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film draws back a curtain to reveal a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see – how the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls makes it difficult for women to feel powerful and achieve leadership positions.
"A semi-ethnographic examination of efforts in one U.S. city to curb gentrification by harnessing the paradoxical power of the condominium to mitigate turnover even as it generates it. The Politics of Staying Put is a deeply researched study of tenant empowerment that makes an important contribution to debates in the social sciences about displacement, neighborhood governance, and apartment living, challenging the dominant view of the condo as yuppie. Rich fieldwork and case studies illustrate how communities can — and cannot — successfully challenge the market in an era of rapid urban transformation."—Matthew Gordon Lasner, Assistant Professor, Hunter College, author of High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century
Carolyn Gallaher is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. She is the author of On the Fault Line: Race, Class, and the American Patriot Movement, and After the Peace: Loyalist Paramilitaries in Post-accord Northern Ireland.
Join us for an inspiring evening as we gather four contributors to Hands on the Freedom Plow Betty Garman Robinson, Judy Richardson and Jennifer Lawson in conversation about their work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement.
On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, and online exploration, that opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.
The Potter’s House is joining On Being in piloting local and live conversations on selected programs. On May 15th at 2:30 p.m. in the Community Room, join two Potter’s House board members in discussing Krista Tippett’s conversation, Who We Want to Become: Beyond the New Jim Crow, with Michelle Alexander.
American military bases encircle the globe. More than two decades after the end of the Cold War and nearly three-quarters of a century after the last battles of World War II, the United States still stations troops at some eight hundred locations in foreign lands. These bases are usually taken for granted or overlooked entirely, a little-noticed part of the Pentagon’s vast operations. But, in an eye-opening exposé, Base Nation shows how this global base network causes an array of ills—and undermines national security in the process.
In Collective Courage, Jessica Gordon Nembhard chronicles African American cooperative business ownership and its place in the movements for Black civil rights and economic equality.
Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC uncovers and explains the dynamics that have influenced the contemporary economic advancement of Washington, DC. This volume’s unique interdisciplinary approach using historical, sociological, anthropological, economic, geographic, political, and linguistic theories and approaches, captures the comprehensive factors related to changes taking place in one of the world’s most important cities.
The pariahs writing from outside the margins anthology shares experiences of exclusion from the writing industry based on gender, race, and stereotypes. By offering counter narratives as part of the theme “pariahs,” the writing collection and linocut prints collaboration poses as an alternative method of exposing biases in literature and exclusionary practices by academics and literae alike. The "pariah" writers redefine the literary margins and stretch past conformity and exclusivity. By including poetry, essays, prose, and diverse languages coupled with printed art, pariahs celebrates writers far beyond the common pages.
In South Side Girls Marcia Chatelain recasts Chicago's Great Migration through the lens of black girls. Focusing on the years between 1910 and 1940, when Chicago's black population quintupled, Chatelain describes how Chicago's black social scientists, urban reformers, journalists and activists formulated a vulnerable image of urban black girlhood that needed protecting. She argues that the construction and meaning of black girlhood shifted in response to major economic, social, and cultural changes and crises, and that it reflected parents' and community leaders' anxieties about urbanization and its meaning for racial progress.
Dr. Marcia Chatelain is Assistant Professor of History at Georgetown University.
In a world constantly experiencing injustice and fear, where do we see a desire for spiritual and social transformation? Amongst urban neighborhoods undergoing rapid displacement, what forms of life and expressions of community might enable us to respond faithfully?
Together we will explore these big questions, drawing on wisdom found in the book The New Community. Written by Elizabeth O'Connor, it chronicles pivotal years in the life of The Potter's House, including the birth of Jubilee Housing and the scattering of The Church of the Saviour into smaller faith communities. The New Community was recently republished in celebration of the renovation and renewal of The Potter's House. Copies will be available for purchase, with reading groups to follow this spring.
Refreshments will be provided.