East of the River Advocate and Education Champion Named ElectED DC’s First Executive Director

Washington, DC – Today, ElectED DC, a community organization dedicated to empowering students, residents, and communities east of the Anacostia River, named Erika Harrell, a Ward 7 resident, advocate and champion for public education, as its inaugural Executive Director.  

In the role, Harrell will look to further the organization’s mission to engage community members East of the River to build political power, increase representation of historically marginalized communities at all levels, and advocate for the policy conditions that will enable every DC student to thrive.

“Our communities are filled with leaders of diverse backgrounds who have the courage to share bold ideas to improve our education options East of the River,” said Harrell. “We just need the barriers removed. I am honored to work in the service of my neighbors to elevate the priorities and aspirations of our residents and build meaningful improvements in their lives. From economic development and educational improvement to public safety and housing security, I look forward to working hand-in-hand with my fellow leaders East of the River to elevate the perspectives of our fellow residents.”

ElectED DC founder and board chair Rev. Kendrick E. Curry, Ph.D. called Harrell an inspired choice for the future of the organization and the effort to build power East of the River.  Rev. Curry, pastor of Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, has long advocated for the people of Wards 7 and 8, and communities across the District.  

“Erika has dedicated herself to fighting for equity and justice in Wards 7 and 8, East of the River, and across the city,” said Curry.  “She is the ideal leader at this overwhelmingly important moment for our neighborhoods and residents. She has the vision and the understanding of our communities that ElectED needs in its leader.”

Harrell, a Hillbrook resident, is the first Executive Director for the organization since its public launch last year. Harrell has made significant contributions to the fields of education and politics, within the Washington D.C. landscape. A proud resident of Ward 7 and mother, Erika understands the importance of creating a brighter future for the next generation, driving her dedication to educational and political excellence.  You can read more about Harrell’s background and bio as well as ElectED’s work here.