To support all members of the Kenilworth-Parkside community in improving the quality of their own lives and inspiring positive change in their neighborhood.
Ending intergenerational poverty in the Kenilworth-Parkside community.
“If poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment, violence, failing schools, and broken homes, then we can’t just treat those symptoms in isolation; we have to heal the entire community.”
Barack Obama, August 6, 2008
DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) is the hub of a comprehensive effort to end intergenerational poverty in the District of Columbia’s Ward 7 Kenilworth-Parkside community and beyond. Founded in 2008 and operational since 2013, DCPNI has brought together neighborhood public and charter schools, community and faith-based organizations, resident leaders, local and federal government agencies, funders, corporations, and more than 30 program and service partners to collaborate in realizing our vision.
What is a Promise Neighborhood? Inspired by the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone, President Obama initiated Promise Neighborhoods – a federally funded program to ensure that children complete their education from cradle to college and enter adulthood as successful participants in the 21st century economy and contributors to the civic life of their communities. DCPNI is one of 12 organizations nationwide selected to receive a Promise Neighborhood implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Kenilworth-Parkside community.Three generations ago, Kenilworth-Parkside was a thriving working class community with stable families, a rich culture, and a proud history. Today it is an island of concentrated poverty cut off from opportunity physically, systemically, and culturally by
- a freeway, a waterway, and a decommissioned electrical plant;
- struggling schools, poor health outcomes, and lack of basic services;
- intergenerational poverty that wears down the optimism and agency of residents, and threatens children’s long-term life chances.
Restoring the Promise. We believe that real and lasting change in Kenilworth-Parkside will only be realized from within the community itself. Our role is to awaken the innate capacity of all residents of Kenilworth-Parkside to improve the quality of their own lives, and inspire positive change in their neighborhood and beyond. We do this by:
- Facilitating engagement strategies that honor the innate resilience and brilliance of our Kenilworth-Parkside children, parents, family members and community;
- Bridging the gaps among family, community and schools;
- Encouraging high expectations; setting high standards, and creating accountability systems to ensure these expectations and standards are met;
- Fostering meaningful long term relationships within the community and between residents; and
- Building a community of practice and learning so that others might find their way to ending intergenerational poverty in their own communities.
The Promise Realized. We will know we have been successful in Kenilworth-Parkside if the following things are achieved:
- Children are born healthy and enter school ready to learn.
- Students succeed in school with a life-long love of learning.
- Young people graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary education; and complete a post-secondary degree that prepares them for a successful career.
- Parents can provide for their children’s needs by passing on important values and providing economic stability.
- Community members – including young people – are empowered to create change on their own behalf.
- The community is a healthy and safe place to live, learn, and grow.
Our legacy will be empowered, educated, and informed residents sustaining their own community and building opportunity for their children.