|Image from Washington Post|
The article focused on his work teaching shoe repair, but this Destiny-Pride, Inc. interview examines his contributions to DC more broadly. As I discussed before, here are some items particularly relevant to this blog:
- Mr. Matthews is a fifth generation DC resident, an alumnus of Tyler Elementary School, and a great community organizer.
- Mr. Matthews has a degree in sociology and anthropology from Federal City College, which opened its doors in 1968 and later became part of UDC.
- Mr. Matthews worked alongside his college friend Carroll "Skeezie" Payne helping kids at Potomac Gardens and at Tyler. As part of the Roving Leaders Program, they sought to engage at-risk youth in constructive activities. This 1989 Post article talks about Potomac Gardens children spending "large chunks of their time visiting with Carroll (Skeezie) Payne, a city housing worker who has become an ex-officio grandfather to many of the youngsters in the project." Mr. Matthews did a lot of work organizing residents of Potomac Gardens, Arthur Capper, and other public housing in Ward 6.
- Mr. Matthews nearly founded a shoe manufacturing company for Timberland in the area, which only required matching funds that the DC government failed to provide. The failure of this project "was one of the tragedies of the dream that we thought we were going to fulfill."