By Nyame-Kye Kondo, Special to the AFRO

Washington, D.C. has long been a hub for progressive movers and shakers of color. From its political sassafras to Black Broadway and beyond, The District of Columbia is, and always will be, a multifaceted waterhole for people of the diaspora.

In more recent years D.C. has become a home to a number of movements and organizations that are focused on the protection, cultural retention and development of minority communities throughout America. One such organization at the epicenter of this movement is the D.C. based Advancement Project.

Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project National Office, Ash-Lee Henderson, co-executive director of the Highlander Research and Education Center and Movement for Black Lives Activist, Greisa Martinez Rosas, deputy executive director of United We Dream, and Rinku Sen, author/activist.

With its national headquarters in Washington D.C. , the organization is, “rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice,” according to the website. “We exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.”

Advancement Project celebrated their 20th anniversary on June 11 at the African American Civil War Memorial, with a panel called, “Our Future: Race, Movement & Politics.”  

With a panel moderated by Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office Judith Browne Dianis and featuring author and activist Rinku Sen, Ash-Lee Henderson, co-director of Highland Research Center, and Greisa Martinez Rosas, director of United We Dream, audiences were enlightened about current issues, finding solutions and ways to continue advancement and growth in the fight for equality.  Giving honest responses to a handful of questions, each panelist brought their own energy, and ultimately left the audience feeling hopeful and invigorated about the future.

Currently focusing in on a national effort dubbed the 2045 Project, Director Jeralyn Cave gave the AFRO a breakdown of what the project entails and represents.

“The conversation that is happening is a series that we have encapsulated under the Umbrella of the 2045 Project. It is a new project that we are rolling out in our 20th anniversary year, and it is a set of strategic conversations between politicos, organizers, great thinkers, movement activists, and also folks who have done research about various issues over a number of decades,” Cave said.

“What we are really trying to do is ultimately develop a strategy that will allow people of color to build power, so that when they come into power in 2045, that they have the corresponding power to make change.”