In Photos: Mount Pleasant 20 Years After the Riots

The Mount Pleasant riots began on May 5, 1991 after a police officer shot a Salvadoran immigrant. Last week’s Metro Connection took a look at what happened during those two tumultuous days, and today’s Kojo Nnamdi show featured a discussion around the legacy of the riots for D.C.’s Latino community.

The riots, which also spilled over into Columbia Heights, left a lasting mark a neighborhood that has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. We take a look at Mount Pleasant today:

Tomorrow on Kojo: African American Success Stories

Flickr: National Organization for Women

Julianne Malveaux

Friends and readers of DCentric may want to tune into The Kojo Nnamdi show tomorrow at 12:30 pm:

Whether the American economic system discriminates against minorities is a matter for debate in some circles. What is clear is that one-in-four African Americans currently lives in poverty, compared to only one-in-ten white Americans. We explore how learning about African American economic successes may help non-white Americans more successfully navigate today’s economic landscape.

Kojo’s guest will be Julianne Malveaux, whom Dr. Cornel West once called “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.”

Yesterday’s Kojo Show was so DCentric

In case you missed it– yesterday, Kojo Nnamdi spent an hour talking to Robert Puentes of The Brookings Institution and John McIlwain of the Urban Land Institute about “Growth and Change in Greater Washington”:

Census data are confirming what Washingtonians already know: Our region is booming, with the suburbs becoming more urban and the city luring residents who once fled the metropolis. We’ll explore the trends behind the data and how we should be responding to maintain a high quality of life in both the city and the suburbs.

The thoughtful trio discussed issues that would be of extreme interest to DCentric readers, including:

- Diversity without integration

- How D.C.’s height limit limits D.C. (taller buildings accommodate more people, increase tax base)

- Complaints from the ‘burbs about Hispanic immigrants who are renters, with multiple people in one home

- How the 30-year, fixed mortgage built the suburbs

- Whether Generation Y will be able to afford homes– could it lead to a major shift in home ownership nationally?

Interesting, right? Go here, to listen at your leisure.

Tomorrow on Kojo: Organic Food


Organic Onions at Whole Foods. Not to be confused with Organic Funyuns.

For those of you who are passionate about Organic food or examining issues like privilege, access and health– make sure you listen to tomorrow’s edition of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, which will “explore where chains like Walmart and Whole Foods fit into the healthy food movement and how their strategies compare with government efforts”.

The first hour of the show is devoted to “The Walmart Diet”; panelists include WaPo Reporter Lyndsey Layton and Corby Kummer, a Senior editor at The Atlantic.

After writing two posts about how Organic Food is often out of reach for many Americans, I’m looking forward to Kojo’s thoughtful take on the politics of buying pesticide-free food.

If you are outside of the D.C. area or you can’t tune in to hear the discussion live at Noon, look for the “Listen” link here, and enjoy it whenever.

Kojo on Tucson, Guns and Volatile Political Discourse

WAMU 88.5

Kojo Nnamdi

I was lucky enough to see WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi when I was at the station this morning; I asked him what he thought of the tragic shooting this weekend in Tucson. His take:

It seems to me that there are two political battles we are trying to fight: one is whether or not we can lower the volatility of our political discourse and the other is whether we can limit access to handguns and weapons of deadly force.

I don’t have a great deal of optimism that either battle can be won. In the short term, the battle to lower the decibel levels of our political discourse may seem to succeed, but in the final analysis, talk radio is a for-profit business and volatility seems to drive the profitability.

In the second instance, gun manufacturers and the NRA seem to have congress in a headlock, to mix metaphors. Hence my lack of optimism.

Oh, we’re unique all right…


If you were loitering outside the studio and around @FrontDeskAmy, you'd see this picture of Kojo!

I’m listening to snippets of The Kojo Nnamdi show right now. The theme? “The D.C. Area’s Unique (?) Cultural Identity“. Panelists include WaPo’s Tim Carman and Blake Gopnik, TBD Editor Sommer Mathis and Lynn C. French (who was once a Senior Adviser to Mayor Anthony A. Williams). Despite the inevitable comparisons to New York that such a show must engage in (comparing D.C. to NYC is a pet peeve of mine– the two are different. Period.), it’s an extra-interesting show, on many levels. I’m sad I was in a meeting for the beginning of it. I’m definitely going to listen to the whole thing later, because either I heard a comparison between bricks and kente cloth or I hallucinated it. Other snippets:

“I think the transients (Ed note: transients = people who live here for two years and leave) may be coming to an end…”

“I have had a hard time embracing the sports teams here…”

“A lot of our ethnic neighborhoods are more vibrant in the suburbs”

See? Even better Kojo-show than usual!

On Kojo, Tomorrow: LGBT Youth in D.C.

Michael Paolantonio

Andrew Barnett of SMYAL

I wish I had seen this earlier, so I could have posted it when you were all bored at work and more likely to see it. After reading the following preview, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Kojo Nnamdi show and I thought some of you might be interested in it, too:

Bullying and suicide often come to mind in daily conversations about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. But young people from these communities confront a wide range of challenges their straight peers never see, often with little support from their families or schools. We hear about the personal experiences and activism of local LGBT youth.

One of the scheduled guests, Andrew Barnett, is Executive Director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL). The KNS website has the following video of a local 16-year old named Sydney, who goes to SMYAL just so she can “be (herself)”.
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Welfare Reform on KNS, in two hours.

A quick programming note– look what’s airing today at noon, on The Kojo Nnamdi show: “Rethinking Welfare: We explore recent proposals to cap welfare benefits offered to poor residents in the District of Columbia.”

The District of Columbia has long offered generous welfare benefits to poor city residents. But this week, local lawmakers suggested that more needs to be done to break dependence on government assistance. We examine a proposal to put a lifetime cap on welfare benefits, and what it would mean for D.C. residents.

This has been an extra-hot topic since Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry discussed it on FOX last week (and then followed-up that buzzed-about appearance with an Op-Ed in the Post).

KNS Video: Jack Evans on Food Truck Regulations

Below the jump, you’ll find a video from WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, featuring a brief discussion on food trucks. It stars Council member Jack Evans, the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and KNS regular/NBC 4 reporter, Tom Sherwood.

As someone who has spoken to food truck owners for this blog, I’m dismayed that “official” D.C. is so inhospitable to them. They increase the diversity of food offerings in this town, trek out to feed under-served neighborhoods and create a much lower barrier to starting a business– which is helpful if you’re young, a person of color, etc. Thankfully, Kojo points out in the video below that if we want “to be considered a major city”, food trucks are a part of that. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis also thinks that trucks are an asset to D.C.
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