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Edgewood Commons: Voices from the Village.

In a city known for singles and working professionals, Edgewood Commons (formerly Edgewood Terrace) is a community known for its families. Two decades ago, hundreds of people made the Edgewood campus ‘home’—a place to plant their roots, settle down and raise children, create identities and mold their lives.

Today, Edgewood remains a community where families in Washington D.C. can grow and thrive together through life’s challenges and triumphs. Over the next 5 years, the Edgewood campus, a critical and long-standing affordable housing community in Ward 5, will be revitalized and transformed into an open, vibrant, and engaged community. As we approach the June 2015 celebration of this revitalization, we asked long-time Edgewood residents to share short stories of what their community means to them and the role Edgewood has played in their lives.

Here are their stories.

An Activist and Motivator: Cass Burnett

For more than two decades, Cass Burnett and her husband Tom, a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, have lived on the Edgewood campus. Ms. Cass, as she likes to be called, is originally from Georgia, but at a young age moved with her family north to Columbus, Ohio. At that time, it was better for African-Americans and their families to move north where, Ms. Cass says, she received a better education and more opportunity.

Ms. Cass describes hosting her own outspoken radio show in Connecticut—where she would encourage community members to share opinions and experiences about racial injustice—as one of the most exciting and bold times of her life. Today, serving as a facilitator for open dialogue and real progress is something Ms. Cass is still involved in at Edgewood.

As a former social and political activist, Ms. Cass recalls many stories and experiences that lead to her strong feeling of pride within the Edgewood community. As one of the most open and experienced community members, Ms. Cass’s infectious spirit, willingness to share her wisdom and constant encouraging of neighbors to become involved cannot be missed. On any given day, one can find Ms. Cass in building 601 chatting and smiling with other Edgewood residents or engaging in campus activities.


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