District of Change

District of Change

Examining the Transformation of the District of Columbia

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The rapid transformation of the District of Columbia is the undercurrent of so many conversations about life in the District. We're netting 1,000 new residents a month, and there isn't enough housing for everyone. Neighborhoods are changing dramatically, and local eateries are changing along with them.  

DC Public Library is both the keeper of our collective history and a place where people come to create the future. As a library and a civic institution, we want to engage the city in a broader conversation about where we're coming from and where we're heading. District of Change is an ongoing conversation series examining the transformation of the District of Columbia.

As part of District of Change, we'll be capturing reading and listening recommendations from partners, presenters, and librarians to enrich the discussion. Those lists will be available as part of DCPL's LibGuides.

The series is produced by former Slate editor David Plotz and published author Hanna Rosin in conjunction with the DC Public Library Foundation.



Is D.C. Still Chocolate City?

Feb. 10, 2015
In honor of Black History Month, the first District of Change of 2015 will explore the question: Is D.C. Still Chocolate City? The District of Columbia has always been rich in black culture and history. How will the more recent years of urban development and gentrification alter the racial, cultural, and political map of our city? Join us for a discussion moderated by DC author and scholar, Natalie Hopkinson, in conversation with Dan Silverman, creator of PoPville.com, and Latoya Peterson, owner/editor of Racialicious.com.


LGBTQ Life in D.C. Then and Now

Oct. 22, 2014
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For decades, the LGBTQ community has been a vibrant and prominent part of life in the District. From Frank Kameny's fight against the lavender scare of the 1950s to marriage equality and the #TransRespect campaign in the new millennium, LGBTQ life in D.C. has changed dramatically. Just how different is LGBTQ D.C. from its historic roots? And where is today's LGBTQ community going? Join us for a discussion on the past, present, and future of LGBTQ life in the District with moderator Mark Joseph Stern, writer on LGBTQ issues for Slate, in discussion with panelists: Andrew Sullivan, founder and editor of The Daily Dish.Philip Pannell, spokesperson and community activist for the gay community, citizens of Ward 8, and civil libertarians across the District. Loraine Hutchins, bisexual and feminist author, activist, and sex educator.

Are D.C. Schools Getting Better?

Sept. 10, 2014
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Over the past few years, public education in D.C. has been transformed - from IMPACT rating for teachers, to school closings, to boundary and feeder changes, to major facilities improvements, to an explosion of Public Charter Schools. Have these attempts to close the achievement gap worked? Are D.C. schools better? Join us as we talk to principals from around the city and learn about their challenges and successes.   Join moderator Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way, in discussion with panelists: Scott Cartland, former principal, Janney Elementary School (Ward 3), current principal, Wheatley Education Campus (Ward 5); Alexandra Pardo, executive director, Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School (Ward 8); and Andria Caruthers, principal, West Education Campus (Ward 4)

Making DC Better for the Arts

May 21, 2014
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The District has a rich creative history - from the Go-Go Scene to Punk Rock to the Washington Color School - that flourished at a time when DC was thought of as a government town. As the city continues to grow and becomes more culturally connected, can artists still find a welcoming home in DC? Featuring Matt Yglesias, Executive Editor of VOX Media, in discussion with performance/visual artist Holly Bass, DC musician, filmmaker, and former Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, and Victoria Reis, co-founder and Director for Transformer DC.

...more to come! Have ideas for topics, speakers, or other events? Email us at districtofchange@dcplfoundation.org.