Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

As we enter our 15th year of service to the community, ERCPCP is pleased to announce some exciting recent changes within our organization. Many of you may know that our inaugural Executive Director, Reverend Donald Isaac, has gone on to serve the community in a different capacity, yet remains very much connected to our organization and the fulfillment of our mission. He joins our excitement as we announce the appointment of Reverend George C. Gilbert, Jr. to the position of acting Executive Director. Reverend Gilbert is a former board member who has been active with ERCPCP for many years. In that capacity, he has been involved with the operations and impact of ERCPCP in the community that we are charged with serving. Reverend Gilbert’s appointment allows us to remain true to our roots and our desire to elevate leaders who are young, leaders who are in ministry, and leaders who are products of and thus, truly connected to the community that we serve. George is truly the culmination of these things. His full biography follows.


Reverend George C. Gilbert, Jr. of Holy Trinity United Baptist Church, was born October 10, 1974, in Landover, Maryland. Born the son of two God-fearing parents, Pastor George C. Gilbert, Sr. and Raba A. Gilbert, Reverend Gilbert was trained to reverence God. He was saved at an early age and has been blessed with many gifts and talents. He is the proud parent of two boys and one girl – Xavier Domonique, De Marco Trevon, and Kennedie Raba.

In addition to serving as Executive Director of East of the River Clergy, Police, Community Partnership, Reverend Gilbert is presently serving as the Assistant to the Pastor and Director of the Music Ministry at Holy Trinity United Baptist Church; Board Member of the Ward 7 Safe and Drug Free Coalition; Director of DC Jobs or Else; Professor of Urban Ministries at the Washington Baptist Seminary; and the assistant Recording Secretary and Board Member of the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Washington, D.C and Vicinity.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Reverend Gilbert received his high school diploma from Eastern Senior High School. He further obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of the District of Columbia; and a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University School of Divinity in May 2005.

Prior to taking on the role of Executive Director, Reverend Gilbert worked as the Communications Manager for the Friendship Charter Schools. He believes that a prophetic voice must be sounded off. In this vein, he has served as the Special Assistant for Constituent Services and Religious Affairs for two former D.C. Councilmembers. Reverend Gilbert is always advocating and advising behind the scenes, fighting for Christ and His causes. He is one of the lead organizers and voices in the District of Columbia for justice and African-American mobility.

The Howard University Alumni honored Reverend Gilbert with the Community Activist Award in 2012. Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, New York proclaimed December 30, 2013, as Reverend George C. Gilbert, Jr. Day. In August 2013, Reverend Gilbert was a convention speaker for the Progressive National Baptist Convention.  The    Washington Post highlighted Pastor Gilbert, Reverend Gilbert and Xavier during Father’s Day weekend 2013 for their contributions to and representation in the community.

Although Reverend Gilbert heard the call of God at an early age, he finally accepted the call and preached his initial sermon in May 1999. Reverend Gilbert believes that we are saved to serve and that a minister must follow Jesus’ mandates. He further understands that only what he does for Christ will last. We are grateful to have Reverend Gilbert serving the organization in this capacity, and we look forward to his continued leadership.


ERCPCP’s own Executive Director, Rev. Donald Isaac, will be honored at the first annual Heroes of Faith Banquet given by the Faith 4 the City Community Development Corporation. Heroes of Faith honors four special people who have impacted lives in either the church, the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the city of Washington, D.C., or the nation. Please join us in honoring and celebrating this body of work by purchasing a ticket to the banquet.  For additional details or to RSVP, please contact Please note that the RSVP date has been moved back to October 11, 2013.  To purchase your ticket to the event, please click HERE.

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Girl Talk: Heart to Heart

Posted: March 27, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

A Candid Conversation on Womanhood  by Chase Dreams Not Boys

Some good ole fashioned “Girl Talk” with the ladies of Chase Dreams Not Boys! Be empowered – define yourself –believe in yourself – discover yourself – be inspired – love yourself – motivate yourself – overcome your troubles – be proud to be a woman – CHASE YOUR DREAMS!

To find out more about Chase Dreams Not Boys, visit them online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: The Importance of Safe Sex

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Safe Sex by Geneva Thomas (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R. Program)

safety first1Having safe sex is so important. When you don’t practice safer sex it’s like playing Russian roulette with your life. It only takes one wrong decision and one good feeling to become a victim of an STD, and or the incurable STDs known as the four H’s (HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes or Human papillomavirus) and so much more. To all my, “I got this” or “my partner good, which means I’m good” people, please stop and think that diseases don’t come with a name or face. If you are sexually active go get tested and encourage your partner to get tested as well. Just because you are having sex with one person, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Getting tested should be just as important as making good grades in school, paying a bill, or even getting fresh. When you are in a relationship it’s very important to have an open line of communication with each other. By having unprotected sex and not getting tested is not the smartest choice because you could contract an STD, have no symptoms and live with it not knowing you have it.

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: Double Standards

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Girl Talk, Uncategorized, Youth Programs

Girlish Gab on Double Standards by D. McCrae (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R Program)

double standards1According to the dictionary, double standards can be defined as a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups. When it comes to double standards, females are kept from making healthy decisions when it comes to sex. For example, a male can carry condoms around in his wallet or pocket but if a female were to carry condoms on her, she is seen as “easy” or promiscuous. However, this is not true, females should want to keep themselves protected from HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancy. Males can talk about sex but if a female does, she is considered to be a “hoe”, when there is a possibility that she has never had sex. These double standards are why females are talked down on and why males are praised. Parents also have double standards when it comes to both girls and boys. Girls are told to wait until marriage but boys are given condoms and are told to be safe. Today, people should have the choice to have sex before marriage and everyone should always keep themselves safe from anything that will harm them and responsibilities they aren’t ready for. Double standards are very annoying and should be challenged when they come up. Ladies should be able to carry condoms and not be viewed as “easy” and promiscuous, but viewed as smart and wanting to protect themselves.

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: The Truth About STDs

Posted: March 19, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Uncategorized

Girlish Gab on STDs and STIs by Zoe Hoffman (Sasha Bruce P.O.W.E.R. Program)

get testedRecently, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) released numbers stating that there are an estimated 20 million new STD’s transmitted yearly. HPV (human papillomavirus) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, accounting for about 14 million of the 20 million new STD’s transmitted yearly. One of the more commonly known STD’s, HIV, affects less people but also accounts for 18,000 deaths in the USA per year. Not only are these STD’s causing severe health problems, they are also proving to be very costly. The cost of treating STD’s is estimated at 742$ million dollars annually!

This article also works to highlight the importance of treating one’s infection, “All STI’s are preventable. They’re all treatable, and many are curable. But if they’re left untreated, they can lead to pretty serious lifelong problems and even death…” according to Catherine Satterwhite, from the CDC.

The costs that these rising numbers of infections are creating are becoming too much. It’s important as women that we take matters in to our own hands to protect the health of our community. As a woman, I sometimes feel like the effects of STI’s are greater on my body. For example, HPV can make a woman become infertile, as well as cause cervical cancer. I feel that everybody should really come together and speak out on this issue because not enough people know about how wide spread this issue is becoming.

Remember, it’s always important to get tested!

To find out more about the Sasha Bruce Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education and Risk Reduction (P.O.W.E.R.) Program, visit them online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

A Diva Dialogue on Entrepreneurship by Melissa A. Matthews (Mamltdart)

I’m a 28 year old Artpreneur (artist and entrepreneur). I guess I always knew this is what I wanted.  As a child, I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I watched my parents toil in jobs they weren’t particularly fond of and I just knew that wasn’t for me (though in college and even after I worked my fair share of ridiculous…what-did-i-do-in-a-past-life-to-deserve-this type of gigs– enough for a lifetime).

mamltdartI have owned and operated my sole-proprietorship, Mamltdart (pronounced MAM-Limited-Art) since I was a sophomore in college (19). It started as a way to supplement my income. I was already working three jobs as a fulltime student and started making tee shirts with original art, because, well it made sense. I already spent an inordinate amount of time painting as it was my major. It soon snowballed into exhibiting and selling my fine art pieces and the business model has evolved somewhat organically as I have grown and changed both personally and professionally.

This doesn’t mean I’m on easy street, if you didn’t read it carefully I did say I’m an artist and entrepreneur, and let’s be real I’m a tenderoni. (Now if you don’t know what that urban colloquialism means… I’m a PYT –Pretty Young Thing!) And now that I have sufficiently dated myself, I shall move on. Every day is a new challenge, implementing new ideas, developing new product, finding my audience, and developing a LONGTERM relationship with them. I am at various levels in each part of the MAMLTDART brand with these principles.

As a mixed-media artist, curator, illustrator, accessory designer and when I’m really broke- a freelance graphic designer , my brand is a catch-all fine art and art services company. It is a struggle most days to keep all of my projects straight and have them all in the place I want them to be. However, I LOVE ( and I do mean whole-heartedly) love what I do. I am amazed that I get paid to paint and draw for a living — Who even does that? I’ll tell you who, ME! And that excitement pushes me through the bad days. If you don’t love what you do, I can only imagine that the bad days are worse and the light at the end of tunnel– just a little dimmer. Who wants to live like that? Not me!

Here are few things I have learned along the way:

  • Know who you are: You may not yet know what you want to be but you definitely know who you are culturally, mentally, physically and hopefully spiritually- a strong sense of self will keep you grounded while you explore or try to find out what your talents are and what your career path should be.
  • A huge part of entrepreneurship and life in general is understanding, embracing, and learning from failure. It is almost better to fail a few times before you find your stride because:

1.when that inevitable failure comes your way, you won’t fall apart (resilience)

2.It teaches you the important lessons of professionalism: being prepared, having a contingency plan, and regrouping

3.if you know how to fail graciously, you will know how win graciously – your success will have a bitter taste if its accomplished while burning bridges and stepping on other people (you don’t want to be that woman)

  • Money is a secondary goal: Wealth is better defined as “Joy” – being content where you are and enjoying the journey. Money can be a tangible outgrowth of a journey well-traveled balanced with happiness. Balance; THAT IS TRUE SUCCESS!

To find out more about Melissa Matthews, visit her online at or



Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

Girl Talk: He Has No Clue

Posted: March 14, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Uncategorized

A Sister Chat on Domestic Violence by Queen Afi Gaston (Founder, Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags)

The “He Has No Clue” Campaign is in remembrance of LaShawndia Humphries and April Hamlette, and like so many women & teenage girls they were told by me (Queen Afi) to “JUST LEAVE.” Many victims tell the abuser they are leaving and many are dead today. As you will find in reading this information telling victims “JUST LEAVE” can be deadly.

LaShawndia Humphries and I were very close, I knew she was scared of her baby daddy and he was threatening her life. At the time I was about 16 & she was about 15. She would call and tell me that her baby daddy said things like “if he can’t have her nobody will” and he told her, “I will kill you.” Well, me being young and trying to help my Sister/Best Friend, I told her “Just Leave” as so many of us do; she left and was killed about 15 years ago.

April Hamlett’s case was somewhat different because her boyfriend was controlling and manipulative mentally, he could get her to do things out of the ordinary, and on this particular night he manipulated her to drive him to an alley in Deanwood NE, Washington DC, it was a drug deal gone wrong because she was shot in the head and burned up in her vehicle at approximately seven months pregnant, and he was killed (outside the vehicle). I spoke with my little cousin a couple of months prior to her being killed and I told her “Just Leave.”

God spoke to my spirit and said this is why so many women & teenage girls are being killed because of the classic “Just Leave.” The campaign is designed to educate women & teenage girls as well as family and friends all across this world on how to leave and how to advise someone in an abusive relationship without them being killed.

Women & teenage girls cannot “Just Leave” because it is dangerous to break the control of the abuser:

3 Reason Why Breaking the Control of the Abuser is deadly:

1. The abuser is a good manipulator: If the abuser has gotten away with verbal abuse in the beginning (because in most cases it starts off verbal and leads to physical) and you stayed in the relationship, the control starts. That’s an icebreaker for the abuser to extend the abuse from verbal to physical.

2. The abuser only sees one perspective: The victim has no say. The abuser always has the beginning and final say. The victims have a schedule that they must follow, and anything outside that schedule is defiance from the abuser’s perspective.

3. The abuser leads with an ego: “I will kill you.” His ego but low self-esteem causes him to threaten the victims. Most times the abuser is only doing what he saw or what was done to him. The victims are scared of the ego; they don’t see the low self-esteem. The victims go along with whatever the abuser says because they are scared and they can’t “JUST LEAVE”, why? Breaking the abuser’s ego/control can absolutely be deadly.


  • Devise A Safety Plan: 
  • Three Steps to Leave Safely:
  1. Develop a plan
  2. Get Out
  3. Seek Help from Professionals
  • Step 1. Developing a plan- The victim knows they are being abused, they understand they are not responsible for it, and the victim realizes it must STOP. Victims once you realize this step start planning exactly how you can safely get out of your home.
  • A. develop a plan to call for help outside the home (teach your children how to call for help). Make arrangements upfront where you will go and leave the getaway bag with them, but keep this in mind for an escape kit (get an extra set of keys made, cash for a cab and or hotel, pack driver’s license, social security cards and birth certificates for you and the children, extra set of clothing, etc)
  • Step 2. Get Out- Once you have devised your safety plan take your children and leave. The children are being hurt & taught to abuse if you stay. It is a scary step but an act of courage, and encouragement for your children that abuse is unacceptable.
  • Step 3. Seek Professional Help- Many of us don’t realize it but you need professional help after any type of abuse and your children need professional help. Don’t sweep it under the rug, by facing the truth about abuse it teaches our children what to do in cases of abuse weather verbal, mental, emotional, physical, and it breaks the cycle of abuse from continuing in your household
  • Queen Afi’s Tip:  Of the total domestic violence homicides, about 75% of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the relationship had ended. This is why the safety plan is so important because if the abuser knows the victim is leaving or shows any sign of leaving they can be killed. Victims be sure to never tell the abuser that you are leaving the relationship. Victims be sure to plan (step # 1 suggested) when you know the abuser is some place where it would take hours for him to reach you.

Family & Friends Tips:

  • 3 Important tips for Family & Friends
  • 1st Don’t advise the victim to “Just Leave” instead be a support system and encourage them with resources, because breaking the control of the abuser can be deadly.
  • 2nd  Advise them to never tell the abuser they are leaving and to hide any material that’s an indication they are leaving, because breaking the control of the abuser can be deadly.
  • 3rd Sneak the victim numbers such as DVWMTS and or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1−800−799−SAFE (7233), because breaking the control of the abuser can be deadly.
  • 4th Never critize, judge, or blame the victim, let me advise you, they aren’t dumb, they aren’t stupid. The victim is being controlled and manipulated to believe the abusers perspective.


  1. Support her telling her story again and again. Acknowledge the courage in telling.
  2. Find her strengths and point them out to her.
  3. Build upon her hopes, dreams, and plans for the future.
  4. Rebuild her social-support network or create an alternative network that is trustworthy.
  5. Stick with her, even when you get frustrated.
  6. Build her knowledge of options and advocate for her.
  7. Take an active concern and help her plan for her safety.
  8. Respect her choices. Only she lives with the consequences. Let her maintain control.
  9. Collaborate with other services that can help her. Work actively with them.

Thank you all for taking part in spreading the word about the “He Has No Clue” Campaign. We want to reach millions of women & teenage girls; family/friends. Control & manipulation is what the abuser lives by and it can be broken by educating women & teenage girls and family/friends.

One in three teenage girls has suffered sexual abuse from a boyfriend and one in four has experienced violence in a relationship, according to NSPCC and Bristol University. Every 9 seconds, a woman is battered in the U.S. Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1994.

If you want to see this campaign reach millions of women & teenage girls please visit FaceBook@DomesticViolenceWearsManyTags also



  • Queen Afi, Founder & Executive Director of Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags (202) 821-8933 E-mail:  Facebook@DomesticViolenceWearsManyTags
  • D.C. :202-223-0020 Hotline/Crisis: 202-223-2255
  • House of Ruth – 202-347-0737 Hotline/Crisis: 202-347-2777
  • My Sister’s Place -202-986-1476 Hotline/Crisis: 202-529-5991


  • Montgomery County Abused Persons Program-240-777-4673
  • Prince George’s County Family Crisis Center-301-731-1203


  • Virginia Crime Victim Assistance Line-800-838-VADV
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline1−800−799−SAFE(7233)

To learn more about Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags, visit them online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

A Fireside Sister Chat on Sisterhood led by Sade Nicholson (Host, The Selah Moments)

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…  -Hebrews 10:24

Sisterhood noun 1. The relationship between sisters. 2. The feeling of kinship with and closeness to a group of women or all women. 3. A bond between two or more girls, not always related by blood. They always tell the truth, honor each other, and love each other like sisters.

This panel explores the importance and beauty of sisterhood by sharing personal examples and discussing the impact these experiences have had on them.  So grab a cup of tea, call up your girlfriends and enjoy!


Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

A Sister Chat on Healthy Relationships by Jamedra Aikens (Founder, Royal Proteges)

For as long as I can remember my mother would say “It is better for people to respect you than to like you.” She said it all the time and everywhere.  As a child I didn’t really understand it, but looking back I can say that things my peers threatened such as “I’m not going to be your friend anymore”, “I’m going to take my bike and go in the house”, and my personal favorite “I’m going to tell everyone you…..” were not effective.

Now as a “military brat” who has attended four high schools and I’ve lost count of how many schools total, I have had PLENTY of experience with peer pressure, threats, taunting, and attempted bullying. I can’t honestly say that I followed this advice every time.  Nor can I say that every time I followed this wisdom it had a pleasant outcome. But I can say that every time I follow this advice I feel good about myself, and I know that I am a leader, even if the only person I’m leading is myself.

Let’s look at this word “respect” and its definition as a verb. Respect: to avoid violation of or interference with: to treat with regard, value or esteem.  Now, let’s take this a step further and really break this down. It comes from the Latin “respectus” – literally “to look back at one” and “re” which means “again”. Literally, to look again. So when we think about the true meaning of respect, we should be willing to look at someone, I mean really look at them and VALUE that person.

How does this apply to you?  First, as you go about your day and throughout your life you will come into contact with many different people and you don’t have to like them, or agree with what they say or do;, but let’s take a look at one another and value what we see.  The same is true for what you should expect. If someone claims to be your friend, or says they care for you, their words and actions will make you feel valued.  Any time you are not sure about how to judge someone’s treatment of you or relationship with you, try this; imagine someone said or did ______ to your best friend. How would you feel? Well, be your own best friend. And, in case no one has told you today, you are wonderful!

Visit Royal Proteges online at

Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.