Check out these highlights from the ERC’s 2023 Members Meeting!

By Nick Adjami
April 27, 2023

Thank you to all who joined us for our 2023 Members Meeting on April 25th! We were thrilled to have your company as we announced a new internship program, honored our Advocate for Change award recipient, presented highlights from the ERC’s recent work, and heard Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott speak about disappeared communities of color in Northern Virginia and the importance of “altering the terrain” of segregation.

For those of you who weren’t able to make the event, or for attendees who want to re-visit the content we shared, we’ve compiled highlights from the meeting here!

Robert Dinerstein, President of the ERC’s Board of Directors, kicked off the event by announcing the Macdonell/Gibson Internship Program. The internship honors the tremendous contributions Reverend James Macdonell and James O. Gibson made to the ERC, the region, and the greater civil rights movement throughout their lives. Sadly, both heroes passed away in 2022. Please share the internship posting with your network to help us spread the word. You can also make a contribution to help fund the program. Finally, help us to honor Rev. Macdonell and Mr. Gibson by submitting a story about how one or both of these men inspired you or bettered your community. Your story will contribute to a page on our website memorializing their work and impact.

Rev. James Macdonell smiles for the camera. He wears a blue suit and sits outdoors.Mr. James O. Gibson smiles for the camera at an ERC event. He wears glasses and a brown checked suit.

Then, ERC Executive Director Kate Scott shared highlights from the ERC’s recent work: from using civil rights testing to expose housing and employment discrimination, to empowering our neighbors to know and defend their fair housing rights, and championing accessibility in the local community. Our work is critical to the advancement of equal access and opportunity in the Greater Washington, D.C. region and across the country. You can explore the ERC’s 2022 Annual Report to learn more about our impact.

Next, we presented the 2023 Advocate for Change award to ERC client Candice Wright. Candice is a native Washingtonian and mother of three who has experienced illegal housing discrimination multiple times in her years-long search for housing. So far, we have assisted her with filing four administrative complaints of discrimination. We are so grateful for Candice’s dedication to holding discriminatory housing providers accountable, protecting her own rights, and helping to ensure that other housing voucher holders across the District won’t have to endure the same struggle she has. The ERC’s Senior Fair Housing Rights Program Manager Susie McClannahan met with Candice in advance of the meeting to present her with the award and record this video sharing her story.

Finally, Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott gave a keynote presentation about disappeared communities of color in Northern Virginia and the importance of “altering the terrain” of segregation. “When somebody doesn’t accept a voucher, they are rooted in this racial calculus that was entrenched a long time ago,” said Dr. Manuel-Scott. “We might be talking about housing discrimination, but you can’t disentangle that from inadequate education or health services, from premature death or food insecurity. All of this is bound up together.” You can watch her talk in full below.


The Equal Rights Center (ERC) — a national non-profit organization — is a civil rights organization that identifies and seeks to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations in its home community of Greater Washington DC and nationwide. The ERC’s core strategy for identifying unlawful and unfair discrimination is civil rights testing. When the ERC identifies discrimination, it seeks to eliminate it through the use of testing data to educate the public and business community, support policy advocacy, conduct compliance testing and training, and, if necessary, take enforcement action. For more information, please visit

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

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