Pepco Powers Ward 6


By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@

As the nation celebrated Juneteenth and the official ending to  American chattel slavery, Pepco commemorated the historic date with the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly restored James C. Dent House in Southwest, D.C.  

Dent was a former slave, turned farmer and pastor of Moriah Baptist Church in S.W, whose house will now be used to offer science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education and workforce development programming for residents of all ages in Ward 6.  Pepco worked to restore the house, which was built in 1906 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010, as a means to continue Dent’s legacy and bring opportunities to the community. In partnership with Living Classrooms, an organization that offers hands-on training and workforce development programming, Pepco is able to bring the educational aspect of their mission to the Dent House.

Living Classrooms student speaker Samaria Edwards (denim), Living Classrooms Foundation President and CEO James Bond, Pepco Holdings President and CEO Dave Velazquez (center), D.C. Public Service Commission Chair Willie Phillips (navy suit, light brown shoes), and Senior Pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church Lucius Dalton (navy suit, dark shoes), with members of Mount Moriah Baptist Church and Living Classrooms BeatZone performers. (Courtesy Photo)

“Pepco has powered economies, connected communities, and worked toward securing a safe and brighter future for our customers for more than 120 years,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO, Pepco Holdings in a press release. “Knowing the historical significance of the James C. Dent House, it was important for us to find a way to again make it a central part of the community. This historic landmark represents not just a flashback to late-19th and early-20th century living in the District, but also that spirit of resiliency, which was ever present in its original owner James C. Dent and now lives on through our partnership with Living Classrooms in this community-based center to serve families residing in Ward 6.”

In its first phase since opening last week, the Dent House will offer a workforce training program, STEAM and robotics programming for middle schoolers, and an arts program for young people to learn about music production, while also writing and recording their own music. From the success of the trial programs and community input, Pepco anticipates to offer further opportunities such as: after school and summer academic enrichment programs for youth, mentoring and adult education and job training. 

“We are very grateful to Pepco for this opportunity to serve the D.C. community and families residing in Southwest, D.C.,” said James Piper Bond, president and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation.  “We are committed to honoring the spirit of James C. Dent by providing hands-on education and job training for the children, youth, and adults who live here – ultimately helping contribute to a safer, stronger, and healthier community.”

As part of the pomp and circumstance of the ribbon cutting on Juneteenth, Pepco also announced a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum, to display a satellite version of the exhibit, “A Right to the City- Southwest DC,  powered by Pepco,” at the Dent House. The exhibit is part of the museum’s larger goal to showcase the history of six neighborhoods across D.C., particularly highlighting how ordinary residents helped to shape and reshape their communities in extraordinary ways.

The Dent House is located near Pepco’s Waterfront substation, which began energizing the area in 2017.  The two-level substation, created with input from the community, provides power to communities in Southwest including Buzzard Point, the Southwest Waterfront and Navy Yard, and is one of the largest indoor substations ever built with provisions for six high-voltage transmission feeders and 72 electric distribution circuits.  

To learn more about the work happening with the Dent House, visit {The Source, Pepco’s online newsroom.  To follow Pepco on Facebook go to and on Twitter at