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Washington Inner-City Self Help (WISH)

Identifier: 102

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the organizational records of Washington Inner-­City Self Help (WISH) from 1978 to 2005 and includes financial paperwork, correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, flyers, event brochures, photographs, video, and professional documents. Most of the materials are in English with a few materials in Spanish.


  • Creation: 1978 - 2005



No known restrictions.

Biographical Note

Washington Inner-­City Self Help (WISH) was a community organization founded in 1978 by an association of 40 churches of various denominations that advocated for the increasing number of poor and elderly people in the District of Columbia. Although the organization focused on affordable housing projects within Washington, D.C., over the course of more than three decades their projects included advocacy and organizing on a variety of social justice causes in the country and abroad. This organization helped form limited-equity cooperative properties in D.C., including the Nehemiah Cooperative and Capital View. It also initiated the foundation of and worked closely with the New Columbia Community Land Trust. WISH was known throughout the community for its mobilization of tenants, and its strong stances against gentrification and substandard living conditions in D.C. The organization ended in 2003, but its work continues through the projects it started, the work of Empower D.C. and other local social justice groups.


28 Linear feet

45 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series 1: Properties (1980-2003)
Series 2: Cooperative Housing (1981-2006)
Series 3: Housing General (1976-2005)
Series 4: Non-Housing Initiatives and Interests (1980-2005)
Series 5: WISH Publications and Events (1980-2003)
Series 6: Co-op Training (1985-2003)
Series 7: Capital View / Southern Homes and Gardens Co-op (1990-2006)
Series 8: Public Housing (1986-2005)
Series 9: Internal Documents (1979-2005)
Series 10: Photographs (1987-2004)
Series 11: Videos (ND)


There is no deed of gift for this collection, however, information in the donor file indicates that the collection was donated to the Library in or before 2010

Processing Procedure

Basic archival procedures were applied at the time of processing.

Washington Inner-City Self Help Collection
A guide to the Washington Inner-City Self Help Collection.
Compiled by Amanda Huron and Lauren Kanne.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001