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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia Heights in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Social Justice

Cultural Convergence

 

—Columbia Heights Heritage Trail —

 
Social Justice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
1. Social Justice Marker
Inscription.
Straight ahead is All Souls Church, Unitarian, long known for its social activism, starting with abolitionism in the 1820s and ranging through nuclear disarmament and interracial cooperation. During the segregation era, All Souls was one of the few places in DC open to integrated meetings. During the 1980s and '90s it (and other neighborhood churches) even hosted concerts by DC's influential punk bands Bad Brains, Fugazi, Minor Threat, and others.

In the 1960s, the church launched the model Girard Street Playground Project in response to growing neighborhood crime. After the 1968 riots, the church worked with Change, Inc. to build 406 apartments on 14th Street. All Souls' first African American senior minister, Rev. David H. Eaton led the church as it opened its doors to Antioch Law School, DC Music Center, DC Rape Crisis Center, and other groups. Eaton also became president of the DC Board of Education in 1982.

Others shared All Souls' commitment. Sojourners, a Christian social justice community, ran summer and after-school programs at 1323 Girard Street and at Clifton Terrace, and helped form the Southern Columbia Heights Tenant Union. Sojourners organizes nationally for social change.

The Community for Creative Non-Violence grew out of anti-Vietnam War protests at George Washington University.
Social Justice Marker in front of All Souls Church image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
2. Social Justice Marker in front of All Souls Church
After the war, CCNV opened soup kitchens, free clinics, and shelters. Eventually the group moved its headquarters to 1345 Euclid Street. Led by Mitch Snyder until his death in 1990, CCNV won political influence for its causes.

Behind you on your right is the Mexican Cultural Institute, welcoming visitors to see exhibits and murals on Mexican life and history. The Institute succeeded the Mexican Embassy in the 1911 building originally the residence of Chicago Socialite Emily MacVeagh.
 
Erected 2009 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 17 of 19.)
 
Location. 38° 55.547′ N, 77° 2.182′ W. Marker is in Columbia Heights, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on 16th Street, NW south of Harvard Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2835 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ambassadors of Faith (a few steps from this marker); Polish-U.S. Diplomatic Relations (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Embassy of the Republic of Poland (about 400 feet away); Fashionable 16th Street (about 600 feet away); Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
Social Justice Marker - photo on reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
3. Social Justice Marker - photo on reverse
Radical activist, Angela Davis speaks from the pulpit at at All Souls Church, 1974. (Photograph by Nancy Shia.)
(about 700 feet away); Lithuania's March to Freedom (about 700 feet away); The Latino Community (about 800 feet away); Life on the Park (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
More about this marker. [Caption, photo in upper center]:
All Souls pastor and DC School Board President, Rev. David H. Seton, 1984. (Washington Post.)

[Caption, photo in upper right]:
A Poor People's Campaign participant receives medical care at All Souls Church, 1968. (Star Collection, DC Public Library, ©Washington Post.)

[Caption, upper center below top photos]:
Members of the Columbia Heights Youth Club received help with homework, around 1960. All Souls Church organized the group as the city's first integrated youth club in 1954. (Columbia Heights Youth Club.)

[Caption, photos in center right]:
Left, the Chilean exile group Inti-Illimani performed at All Souls in 1974, a year after a coup d'etat brought in the Pinochet dictatorship.

Above, Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye and audience at 1963 punk music show. (Photography by Jim Saah ©2009.)

[Caption, photo in lower left]:
This view of the murals created by Diego Rivera protege Roberto
Social Justice Marker - view south toward the Mexican Cultural Institute image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
4. Social Justice Marker - view south toward the Mexican Cultural Institute
Cueva del Rio in the Mexican embassy in 1941 also shows the handiwork of noted architect Nathan Wyeth. (Mexican Cultural Institute.)

[Caption, photos in lower right]:
Representative Steve Stark [D-California] pulls usable food from a dumpster behind Giant Food, 14th and Newton Sts. during CCNV campaign for the hungry, 1982. (Washington Post.)

Former CCNV leader, Mitch Snyder. (Washington Post.)
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Another marker with history of All Souls Church.
 
Also see . . .
1. All Souls Church, Unitarian (Washington, DC). (Submitted on November 1, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Liberalism in the United States. (Submitted on November 1, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Other Columbia Heights Heritage Trail markers entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on November 6, 2009.)
 
Additional keywords. Liberalism; activism; radicalism; War on Poverty; Angela Davis.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAfrican AmericansArts, Letters, MusicChurches, Etc.Civil RightsPeacePoliticsWar, Vietnam
 
The All Souls Church and Mexican Cultural Institute buildings. image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
5. The All Souls Church and Mexican Cultural Institute buildings.
16th St., south of Harvard St. NW, in Columbia Heights, D.C.
Mexican hero, Emiliano Zapata image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
6. Mexican hero, Emiliano Zapata
statue in front of the Mexican Cultural Institute
The Freemasons Scottish Rite Temple and the Unification Church National Cathedral, image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, October 25, 2009
7. The Freemasons Scottish Rite Temple and the Unification Church National Cathedral,
across 16th St. - in Adams-Morgan, D.C.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,702 times since then and 63 times this year. Last updated on November 6, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 1, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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