Although we are officially the DC Street Team, we wish to be referred to as the DMV Street Team. We live in DC but our clubs extend as far as Towson, Maryland & Harrisonburg,Virginia. We are, dare we say it, the luckiest.
We have a saying in our San Diego office: “You come for the cause, but stay for the community”. This is very true of our Invisible Children Headquarters on the West Coast but with the first-ever launch of Street Teams (satellite offices in 5 major cities across the US), we had some work to do before we could say that for ourselves here in DC.
Trying to navigate our way around the metro system and then wandering from place to place, from campus to campus, we have gone far and wide in search of, and in hope of creating our own community here, and well…we’ll flaunt it because we’ve got it: in less than 2 months, we’ve discovered that the District (as well as Maryland and Virginia) is in fact MarVAlous.
For starters, we are lucky enough to have our friends at Resolve in the heart of DC. With most of them having volunteered or worked at Invisible Children at some point in their lives, we immediately felt that connection & as if we were a part of their family. They have not only allowed us to share their already small office, but they have helped us in so many other insurmountable ways & we are forever grateful to them for taking us under their wing.
Having toured as Mid-Atlantic Roadies in Spring 2011, we had already met a few incredible people from various clubs and screenings, so we were most excited to spend more time with them and get to know them better. We knew they were awesome – that’s without question, but we clearly didn’t know how awesome. In just 8 weeks, they have really given us a run for our money & proven themselves to be the best of the best.
Ira Miller is no newbie to us or Invisible Children; a Director at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, he helped us out big time a year ago with our “25″ Event in DC. And he delivered yet again, this time hosting an awesome double feature of KONY 2012 and The Hunger Games at the Montgomery Movies in Bethesda, Maryland. Collaborative efforts with the East Coast & Mid-Atlantic Roadie Teams, complete with DJ, pizza from California Pizza Kitchen & a raffle draw for a season pass of unlimited movies for a whole year made it seem like the odds were ever in our favor.
A literal jaw-dropping day was James Madison University’s annual fundraising event most, infamously known as Circles 13. Benefiting Invisible Children and two other local charities, it’s the biggest hip-hop charity event on the East Coast. DJ Fleg & DJ EX were just some of the people we saw spinning tracks, dropping hot beats & breaking it down on the floor all in the name of social justice – our minds were blown to say the least.
All of this has culminated towards two incredible events where we truly saw our DMV family at their finest: a lovely Sunday brunch at our home in Petworth complete with the Mid Atlantic Roadies, Regional Manager Jess Morris and representation from several of our clubs, as well as our KONY 2012 Pre-Launch Cover The Night Party at the L2 Lounge. Both gatherings saw the coming together of strangers who immediately became friends & people from all walks of life crossing and blooming into what is now this beautiful DMV community.
We have been blown away by the commitment of our friends to literally stop at nothing with respect to this yearlong campaign and ultimately doing anything & everything they can to see Joseph Kony brought to justice and the children of Central Africa brought home. Big shout-outs to everyone we have met (you know who you are!) and the unwavering support you have given us since we landed in DC. It is a clear demonstration to us of the truth behind the power of the human connection, and we cannot wait to see where this takes us over the course of this year.
IC DMV love,
Raf Deza & Gerri Lutaaya