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Bus Stop Ads. Murals. Notebook Covers. Pocket Cards. Window Signs. T-shirts. Sermon Series. Videos/Skits. Posters—on Telephone Poles, in Doctor’s Offices, in Schools.… Every child in our community should grow up seeing the Community Code EVERYWHERE, and every adult should take pride in helping to make it happen! Reach out to us at OurCommunityCode@gmail.com and we will send you a camera-ready version of the Code so YOU can take the ball and run with it. It’s yours for the taking and the making!
The Code is NOT a list of rules and regulations. It IS a declaration that beautifully captures and elevates the faith, pride, concern for others, and indomitable work ethic that characterized many African American communities for centuries. In its formative stage, the Community Code was well-received and eagerly embraced by groups of returning citizens, medical professionals, community activists, faith leaders, and many others whose input helped refine the Community Code into its final version. It “IS” because of who we “ARE” despite how things currently appear to be.
In 2021, Rev. Dr. Wanda Thompson, Pastor of the Ambassador Baptist Church in Southeast, Washington, DC, attended a “1st Fridays at the IHOP” community meeting to strategize with local faith leaders and community activists about ways to counter violence in the Nation's Capital. This was one moment where one suggestion from one individual would lead to one citywide appeal, that would lead to one of many follow up gatherings that would lay the groundwork for the Community Code.
During the meeting, Dr. Thompson suggested capturing the unwritten “code of ethics” that used to be passed down from one generation to the next in African-American communities and sharing it with the current generation. Afterward, she wrote down 20 principles that were traditionally modeled or taught in African-American communities and reached out to a wide swath of leaders and activists from faith, political, and community organizations for input.
From that mass outreach, a small group emerged that worked over several months to condense the 20 principles down to 12 and incorporate the essence of an additional list offered by Rev. Anthony Motley, community activist and a co-convener of the “1st Fridays” gathering. The number 12 was chosen so one element could be focused on each month of the year. The color scheme and artistic layout were prayerfully and carefully chosen to “speak” to the African American community.
The Community Code resonates with all who see, read, and hear it because it gets to the heart of what so many of us desire for our communities --
Safety, Peace, and Prosperity.
1 Corinthians 3:6
The Wards 7 & 8 Faith Leaders give thanks for the Life, Love, and Legacy of the incomparable Linda K. Harllee Harper. Our hearts are heavy with grief, yet also filled with resolve to carry on the great work she began. Our 9-23-23 Anniversary CARE-a-van ride is in her honor ❤️.