Why "Ward 7 Speaks"?

Ward 7 Speaks is a neighborhood-scale, resident-driven, place-based creative placemaking project. The goal is to create an engaging interactive experiences that is equity-focused. We are using art to promote community purpose, address community issues, and fulfill community needs.

This project is about the uplifting voices of the residents in Ward 7 – What's needed in the communities, what people want for their neighborhoods, and finding resources that can help with the needs and concerns of the community.

The neighborhoods and areas we focused on are Deanwood, Lincoln Heights, Capitol View, and Grant Park.

We intend this site to be the start of broader conversations about community development. This is a tool to keep residents engaged and informed.

Connecting With The Community

To get feedback from the community, we conducted an online survey and contacted local leaders and community organizations to share the survey with residents of Ward 7.

In addition to the survey, we used zoom to host virtual information and feedback sessions with Ward 7 residents. We also met in-person with residents who communicated additional questions and concerns.

What We Learned

  1. Ward 7 is full of vibrant communities, with rich histories and strong neighborhood pride. This is something that residents want
    to celebrate!
  2. Residents of these neighborhoods want access to fresh food, health and wellness resources, and cultural development.
  3. Residents can show pride in their communities by keeping the streets and parks clean and supporting the local economy.
  4. There is a desire for more community events and opportunities to celebrate one another.
  5. Members of these communities feel neglected. They want their questions and concerns to be heard, their safety to prioritized, and
    their contributions to be valued.

Questions From The Community

We conducted surveys and held virtual meetings with the ward 7 community. Below is a list of questions and concerns communicated to us by the residents.

  1. How can I make my neighborhood safer?
  2. How can we get more trash clean up in our neighborhood?
  3. Where can I learn about the history of this area?
  4. Where can I find health and wellness resources in my area?
  5. What are my options for healthy food in my neighborhood?
  6. How can we organize more community events?
  7. How can we increase public art and support access for artists?
  8. How can we revitalize and create healthier spaces?
  9. How can we create more play spaces for the youth?
  10. How can we convert unused spaces into community space for the youth?
  11. Who decides what happens in my neighborhood?
  12. How can I connect with the leadership in my community?
  13. How can I become a leader in my neighborhood?
  14. How can I better connect with my neighbors?
  15. What can I do to invest in my community?
  16. What social programs are available in my neighborhood?
  17. What life services can I access in my neighborhood?
  18. What can I do to support small businesses in my community?
  19. Where can I go to voice my ideas for my community?
  20. Where can I go to learn more about my neighbors?

Project Team

CreativeJunkFood is managing this project in collaboration with Deborah Jones, Executive Director of the Ward 7 Business Partnership, Tina Whitlow, Co-founder of The Whitlow Foundation, and Sarah Cappo, Community Engagement Consultant. 

This project has been made possible by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED), as a part of a broader initiative engaging stakeholders and residents in developing a Comprehensive Community Development Model in Deanwood, Lincoln Heights, Richardson Dwellings, and Capitol View neighborhoods. CNHED’s mission is to foster just and equitable community development solutions that address the needs and aspirations of low-and moderate-income residents by convening, advocating, and educating diverse stakeholders. 

This work is funded by the District of Columbia Office of Planning, the Office for the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Kresge Foundation.