Unity on Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill residents Laelia Gilborn and Soyun Park recently launched Unity on the Hill, a campaign to celebrate Capitol Hill’s diversity and denounce discrimination. Gilborn and Park have visited businesses, schools, churches, and community spaces throughout Capitol Hill to bring awareness and gather support for their Unity campaign centered around the week of Inauguration.
Gilborn and Park have shared the below letter and worked with Linsey Silver of Element 47 Design to create a logo. Interested parties should like the Unity on the Hill facebook page and contact them to display the logo in your business.
Dear Business Owners,
We are Capitol Hill residents, concerned about the recent rise in hate crimes and discrimination across the country and in our own city. Many of these acts occur on or near business premises. There have already been highly publicized incidents at several businesses in the area, including those at a Maggiano’s and Comet Ping Pong. Last month, nooses were placed where they would be found by a black employee, at a construction site in the nearby Southwest waterfront area. We are particularly concerned that we may see a spike in discriminatory behavior in our neighborhood during Inauguration Week, and thereafter.
Capitol Hill is a uniquely tight-knit and diverse community. While our political views may vary, we believe that most residents of Capitol Hill value diversity, strive for tolerance, and oppose racist and otherwise discriminatory language and actions.
Capitol Hill businesses are in a unique position to set a tone of tolerance leading up to, during and after Inauguration Week, during which people from all political persuasions and regions of the country will gather in D.C. for celebrations and/or demonstrations. Many of them will travel through, dine, shop, and stay in our neighborhood and in your businesses.
Let’s show our visitors and well as our own community members that Capitol Hill is not just the seat of the Federal Government, but a united, vibrant, diverse community where we live, eat, dine, learn, and play together in harmony, where we value our differences and open dialogue, and where we are willing to speak up in opposition to discrimination and hate.
We are proposing a neighborhood-wide non-partisan campaign to celebrate diversity and tolerance, as well as a commitment to fighting against hate. Your business is key to the visibility and impact of this effort. Participation on the part of your business would require simply endorsing the proposed principles below and agreeing to display a decal or sign in your shop window or anywhere else that would be visible pronouncing your commitment to and celebration of diversity and tolerance.
For those business owners who feel strongly enough about these principles to do more, we have lots of ideas about additional actions to amplify the message and to highlight your business’s commitment to these values – a step that we believe will be rewarded by the growing loyalty of your neighborhood customers. We already have one business owner who would like to donate a portion of her Inauguration Week profits to local non-profits serving groups who may be particularly vulnerable to discrimination.
Below are the principals we hope you will endorse.
This effort is a rapidly growing work in progress. We welcome your ideas and support of any kind. We are publicizing this effort through print and social media and already have support from Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, The Hill Rag, Capitol Hill businesses, and groups like CHAW, and the Cluster Schools. We hope this concept will spread throughout the city, but we want Capitol Hill to lead the charge!
Please contact us at your soonest convenience if you would like to participate in this effort… window cling to be delivered soon! (Logo design donated by Capitol Hill designer Linsey Silver at Element 47 Design.) Thank you! We hope to hear from you soon.
Laelia Gilborn (<a href=”mailto:mail4laelia@gmail important site.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org) & Soyun Park (email@example.com)
Unity on the Hill Statement