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Jun 16

Imagining Statehood: DC Statehood Activism through the Years

June 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

Activists Ty Hobson-Powell, Anise Jenkins, and Samuel Jordan join moderator Cosby Hunt to discuss the movement for DC Statehood.

In June 2020, the House of Representatives passed a historic vote to grant statehood to Washington, DC. Following the 2020 election of a Democrat-led Congress, Delegate Eleanor Norton Holmes reintroduced H.R. 51, which passed for a second time, solidifying the long-time, local issue of DC Statehood as a tenant of the Democratic Party platform.

The relatively sudden national visibility of the movement for DC statehood is invigorated by a new generation of activists, but DC residents’ struggle for local self-determination is as old as the city itself. While repeated campaigns for DC Statehood failed within the halls of Congress, from 1980 to 2016 the percentage of DC voters who supported a local ballot referendum on statehood lept from 60 to 86%. All the while, local statehood activists dared to imagine a more just future for all DC residents.

Long-time DC statehood activists Anise Jenkins and Samuel Jordan join Ty Hobson-Powell, a young activist, to discuss the movement’s roots, new and continuing stakes, and how statehood activism is adapting to the current political climate. Cosby Hunt, a full-time social studies teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy and manager of youth programs for Center for Inspired Teaching, joins the discussion as moderator to provide additional context.

“Imagining Statehood” is the latest installment in our Context for Today series of online conversations with thoughtful and thought-provoking speakers who look to the past to explain the present. In a previous Context for Today, we asked “Is Statehood Possible?” Now, we join DC statehood activists to imagine the future of DC Statehood.

Participation instructions and the Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the event.


Ty Hobson-Powell is the co-founder and director of policy for Concerned Citizens DC. He is a lead organizer with 51 for 51, serving as an outreach strategist and issue advocate in their campaign for DC statehood. He is a native Washingtonian and lifelong community advocate.

Anise Jenkins joined the Stand Up! for Democracy in DC (Free DC) upon its founding in 1997 and has served as its executive director / president since 2008. A native Washingtonian, Jenkins is a graduate of the Howard University Department of Political Science and also earned a master’s degree in Business at Howard. She is widely recognized for her activism around human rights and democracy in DC.

Samuel Jordan is the executive director of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition, which he founded in 2016. He has conducted community livability, issue organizing, and skills training programs in Baltimore and Washington, DC over the last 12 years. A protégé of DC Statehood Party founders Julius Hobson and Josephine Butler, Mr. Jordan is a past president of the DC Statehood Party.

Cosby Hunt is a native Washingtonian and a full-time social studies teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy. He is also the manager of youth programs for Center for Inspired Teaching. In that capacity, he co-founded Inspired Teaching’s Building Literacy in the Social Studies (BLISS) program through which he helped create Common Core-aligned curricula at the middle and high school levels for District of Columbia Public Schools. He also created DC’s first citywide, credit-bearing high school history course, Real World History, which is going into its eighth year. Cosby was named the 2008 History Teacher of the Year for the District of Columbia and the 2019 Hannah E. MacGregor Teacher of the Year for National History Day (Senior Division). He has been a National Board Certified Teacher since 2006.


If you require accommodations for a disability, please email the DC History Center at programs@dchistory.org with your request. We are committed to making events accessible for all participants.

The DC History Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization that deepens understanding of our city’s past to connect, empower, and inspire. As the only community-based nonprofit focused on the District’s history, our vision is to reach into all eight wards to preserve and elevate the stories of Washington’s diverse people, neighborhoods, and institutions. Visit us at www.dchistory.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @dchistory.

This educational program is supported by a grant from the Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia.

This event is free, but donations ($20/person suggested) are welcome.

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