Please take a moment to meet an amazing WIN core team leader, Celeste Bryant of Metropolitan AME Church.
Celeste invests time in WIN because it offers an opportunity to put her values and faith into action. She has been blessed in her life and has witnessed struggle, particularly when she worked as a social worker with children and families in Philadelphia and in Wards 7 and 8 in DC. Bandaids on problems is one thing and systemic redress is another. Both have to be done but major restructuring of how American institutions perpetuate the conditions of poverty and marginalization of groups of people is critical. African Americans have always been at the forefront of the fight to make this country live up to its purported ideals. She will be a part of the legacy of that struggle until she takes her dying breath. She does believe she can help make change. That is fundamental.
Celeste has found meaning in much of the work she's done through WIN. She has greatly enjoyed getting to know her Pastor and the congregants at Metropolitan AMEC better and connecting with them on the important life changing work they can do by aligning with WIN. Moreover, she has reaped intrinsic rewards she can't begin to recount from building relationships and partnerships to create change with the greater DC community, particularly people who live with and among those most in need of help. Through WIN, she has had the opportunity to meet and build strong working relationships and friendships with the leaders in public housing such as Judiciary House and Langston Terrace. With their guidance and insight and the groundwork they lay,she has been able to marshal the people at Metropolitan AMEC and the greater interfaith community at WIN to address concerns such as dilapidated housing. Because of relationships she has built at Metropolitan, WIN and even in the DC Housing authority, people have gone from living with mold and leaking roofs and cracked walls and vermin infestation, to being moved to new apartments or having old ones rehabilitated. When that type of change happens and you can see lives can be changed it is motivating to do more.