April 2015

Reader Profile 2: Darrell Scott

When we got started on the idea of reader profiles, I knew Darrell would be a great candidate—he’s always sharply dressed but never too serious, he’s a great conversationalist, and every time we talk it seems like he’s doing something amazing and new. In this case, that amazing, new thing is [dot]Push, a startup media platform with serious social change chops—read on for more.

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Darrell lives in Shaw and works as a Venture Manager for Accelerate Change, a group that works with funders and donors to identify scalable, sustainable social ventures. He subscribed to 730DC more than a year and a half ago when we launched in October 2013.
Hayden: So how did you end up in DC?
Darrell: Friends. I wanted to be where a large group of friends were based. Before DC, I lived in Winston-Salem for two years and visited the District at least once a month.
Hayden: Ha. I was the exact opposite—when I moved here I’d literally never set foot in the city. What’s your go-to, “hidden gem” type spot in DC?
Darrell: Well, my go-to spot used to be Azi’s Cafe because it was next door to my house. But, it’s gone now. I don’t miss the coffee, but I do miss the curry chicken salad sandwiches.
Hayden: DC’s sandwich game is not on point, though I’m spoiled — I have Uncle Ben’s and DCity Smokehouse right around the corner from me. It’s all right. So, I’d love to hear how you are involved in your community.
Darrell: Man, I love DCity. I’ve been going there since it was just Revive Catering. It’s not Little Rock barbecue, but I’ll take it any day over Hill Country. Since 2013, I’ve worked with high school students from DC, Maryland, and Virginia who want to make a lasting impact on their school, using social entrepreneurship. The program is called LearnServe International. You should come to their pitch competition on April 27th at Microsoft in Chinatown.
Hayden: That’s awesome–sounds like an item for a publication I know. Tell me about [dot]Push! Tell the world about [dot]Push! It sounds radical, in all the best ways.
Darrell: [dot]Push is a media platform that provides content relevant to the lives of young black people. We’re cutting through the noise that is mainstream media and sending you the positive stories, images, and content that highlight what it means to be young and black in America.
Hayden: I’ve been asking people how they think young people can contribute in DC—but you’ve got some thoughts on that, right?
Darrell: I’m not a DC native but I’ve lived, worked, and voted here for almost three years. So I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer questions about DC’s social and political reality. Also, I’m wary of answers to questions like this.  Unless someone is heavily involved in a community, I think they could come across as fake or insensitive. It takes work to become a community member rather than a gentrifier. Anyways, I’ve yet to attend an ANC meeting, but I plan to do so next month.

 

Hayden: It’s totally a concern, I definitely agree. So where does that process start?
Darrell: I don’t know. Get involved in your neighborhood. Be kind to people you don’t know. Read the local headlines. Attend community events. It’s not hard.
Hayden: So this is a fun one a friend suggested: What do you have to take with you when you leave home?
Darrell: My backpack. I usually have chargers and my computer in there.
Hayden: You need to have something to read, too!
Darrell: I’m very slowly getting into Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.
Hayden: I got my mom On Beauty for Christmas a year ago. Okay, now that we’re on the arts—who’s your favorite DC writer, artist, musician you want to turn people on to?
Darrell: Black Alley.
Hayden: New to me—looks promising. And they’re performing on Emancipation Day, gotta put that in the scheduler. New last question: What can the readers of 730DC do for you?
Darrell: If you’re black and between the ages of 18 and 35, let the [dot]Push team interview you next week. Contact me at darrell.scott2@gmail.com!

 

Reader Profile 2: Darrell Scott

When we got started on the idea of reader profiles, I knew Darrell would be a great candidate—he’s always sharply dressed but never too serious, he’s a great conversationalist, and every time we talk it seems like he’s doing something amazing and new. In this case, that amazing, new thing is [dot]Push, a startup media platform with serious social change chops—read on for more.
Darrell lives in Shaw and works as a Venture Manager for Accelerate Change, a group that works with funders and donors to identify scalable, sustainable social ventures. He subscribed to 730DC more than a year and a half ago when we launched in October 2013.
Hayden: So how did you end up in DC?
Darrell: Friends. I wanted to be where a large group of friends were based. Before DC, I lived in Winston-Salem for two years and visited the District at least once a month.
Hayden: Ha. I was the exact opposite—when I moved here I’d literally never set foot in the city. What’s your go-to, “hidden gem” type spot in DC?
Darrell: Well, my go-to spot used to be Azi’s Cafe because it was next door to my house. But, it’s gone now. I don’t miss the coffee, but I do miss the curry chicken salad sandwiches.
Hayden: DC’s sandwich game is not on point, though I’m spoiled — I have Uncle Ben’s and DCity Smokehouse right around the corner from me. It’s all right. So, I’d love to hear how you are involved in your community.
Darrell: Man, I love DCity. I’ve been going there since it was just Revive Catering. It’s not Little Rock barbecue, but I’ll take it any day over Hill Country. Since 2013, I’ve worked with high school students from DC, Maryland, and Virginia who want to make a lasting impact on their school, using social entrepreneurship. The program is called LearnServe International. You should come to their pitch competition on April 27th at Microsoft in Chinatown.
Hayden: That’s awesome–sounds like an item for a publication I know. Tell me about [dot]Push! Tell the world about [dot]Push! It sounds radical, in all the best ways.
Darrell: [dot]Push is a media platform that provides content relevant to the lives of young black people. We’re cutting through the noise that is mainstream media and sending you the positive stories, images, and content that highlight what it means to be young and black in America.
Hayden: I’ve been asking people how they think young people can contribute in DC—but you’ve got some thoughts on that, right?
Darrell: I’m not a DC native but I’ve lived, worked, and voted here for almost three years. So I don’t know if I’m qualified to answer questions about DC’s social and political reality. Also, I’m wary of answers to questions like this.  Unless someone is heavily involved in a community, I think they could come across as fake or insensitive. It takes work to become a community member rather than a gentrifier. Anyways, I’ve yet to attend an ANC meeting, but I plan to do so next month.

 

Hayden: It’s totally a concern, I definitely agree. So where does that process start?
Darrell: I don’t know. Get involved in your neighborhood. Be kind to people you don’t know. Read the local headlines. Attend community events. It’s not hard.
Hayden: So this is a fun one a friend suggested: What do you have to take with you when you leave home?
Darrell: My backpack. I usually have chargers and my computer in there.
Hayden: You need to have something to read, too!
Darrell: I’m very slowly getting into Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.
Hayden: I got my mom On Beauty for Christmas a year ago. Okay, now that we’re on the arts—who’s your favorite DC writer, artist, musician you want to turn people on to?
Darrell: Black Alley.
Hayden: New to me—looks promising. And they’re performing on Emancipation Day, gotta put that in the scheduler. New last question: What can the readers of 730DC do for you?
Darrell: If you’re black and between the ages of 18 and 35, let the [dot]Push team interview you next week. Contact me at darrell.scott2@gmail.com!

 

Reader Profile 1: Allison Parker

A one-time note to readers: This week we’re introducing reader profiles into our newsletter. We feel strongly that our readers are the biggest resource we have. Inviting readers to share their passions is a great way to foster community and showcase the many amazing projects, organizations, businesses, and campaigns going on in our city—as well as the people who make up our shared universe.

We decided when we set the goal of reaching 2,015 readers by the end of March that we’d interview the 2,015th reader to kick off our reader profile series, which will continue in the newsletter every Friday. Allison Parker was that special reader—she even reached out to us with a pointer about our signup form, which previously directed subscribers to choose from a male/female binary. No more of that!

Allison is 25, lives in Shaw, loves to run, works for a women’s health organization, and has been reading 730DC for a week. (The best week of her life, we hope.)

allisonheadshot

 

Hayden from 730DC: Why did you move to Washington?

Allison Parker: I had a summer internship in DC during college and although my focus while in school was politics in the Middle East, I was drawn to US politics as well. Plus, I graduated in January of 2011 at the start of the Arab Spring, so I really thought DC would be a temporary place until things settled down in Egypt. I’ve now been here for 4+ years and I’m very happy I’ve stayed.

Hayden: What’s your favorite “hidden gem” in dc?

Allison: Blagden Alley, which is between M St. & N St. NW and 9th St. & 10th St. NW. The alley includes a great coffee shop (and the only reason I will get out of bed on a Saturday) called La Colombe. Also in the alley, Craig Nelson, the owner of Nelson Mosaic, has opened a new retail space next to his studio. He only sells locally produced items (jams, cookies, cakes, you name it) and has a lot of his artwork displayed throughout the alley. There are some other businesses popping in there, but when walking around the alley, it’s easy to forget you are in the middle of DC.

Hayden: I totally agree, Blagden Alley has a comforting, European feel to it. La Colombe has great coffee, too. Pivoting to you: How are you involved in your community?

Allison: I am involved in the community through my church, National Community. There’s a lot of outreach that happens through the church and options to volunteer in the community. I also believe it’s really important to show compassion to people experiencing homelessness in DC. I think we can do better
as a community than walking by people without acknowledging them or just handing out money. I think
it’s important to ask the person’s name, how long have they lived in DC, and if I can walk with them to
a nearby restaurant to buy some food.

Hayden: I did that just the other day! What do you see as the biggest political issues confronting young people, in particular, in DC? What are the unique contributions young people can make to the city?

Allison: DC is a transient city and a lot of us (myself included) are not nearly as involved in local matters as we should be. A lot of us are here because of government jobs, so we know how to make our voices heard
from Letters to the Editor, rallies, meeting with elected officials, etc—we should consider more of the issues that impact us and make sure we find ways to engage.

Hayden: What is one thing in DC you wish you could tell everyone in 730DC about?

Allison: After resisting for about a year, I signed up for DC’s Capital Bikeshare program. I have an annual pass and I am in love with it. It’s made commuting during rush hour enjoyable, even in the winter, as I fly by
cars stuck bumper to bumper. The program has really grown and makes transit more of a community
thing because I see so much. I am surprised how quickly I can get around DC to explore new places.

Ed note: Please send us feedback about this series—that includes suggesting friends you think we should profile, ideas for questions, etc. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. Also, please note we are working on changing the subscription process to deal with the issue Allison pointed out. Thanks!