Between DC and Me

Written by Kia Johnson

Dear D.C . ,

The city I was born into , the place I consider home. I write to you at this moment to tell you how you have been a part of my story and salient identity. Through my most unforgettable experiences, my most valuable life lessons , and accomplishments you have been present. As I write this letter I feel inclined to share that at times
I’ve feared that our relationship would eventually fade after moving into a different space, but we stayed connected. You have created a space for me that no other place has and for that I’m forever grateful and feel inclined to pour into you.

You have touched and seen the lives of so many, so please allow me to remind you of who I am. I am Kia Johnson, I proudly identify as an African American woman. Audre Lorde once said “ If I didn’t identify myself for myself I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies and eaten alive.” ( Audre Lorde 1982) The child of two DC Natives who instilled the importance of knowing where you come from as it will guide your legacy of who you become.

That’s where you come in , from you I learned the importance of giving back to my community and working to build the change that I see. Which is why I made it my mission to create spaces for critical discourse that focuses on cultivating communities and evoking continuous positive outcomes within the city. My professional journey began at THEARC, to now have the opportunity to serve as the Equitable Development Manager is a full-circle experience for me as it aligns with my guiding principles and professional ethos. I’m now back where
I first laid my roots and began my journey of community development. Being able to serve the community in a larger capacity is the most rewarding attribute of this opportunity. I’m excited to maintain all aspects that have been successful within the community and look forward to supporting the community and all stakeholders

So to you D.C. I give you my word that for you I’m dedicated to pouring into you and always remembering our story.