Mapping Georgetown: Putting His Faith into Action


Born to serve? Fortunately, in our Washington D.C. community, we see so many stories of public service. But not all of them are as well known as they should be. Sometimes the little-recognized stories are the most endearing…

Graham McClaughlin’s Mapping Georgetown Story

I was thrilled to land an internship with a consulting firm in DC, and even had night jobs at a restaurant on M St + fundraising calls for Georgetown. I caught a ride up to DC from UNC Chapel Hill, knowing no one and having little clue as to what life would hold that summer, other than knowing I had a room in a group house on Tunlaw Road. I don’t remember my revolving housemates’ names, but I do remember the $400 rent (ogh for those days again) and the confusing intersection outside my window I always worried would cause an accident.

Most vividly though, I remember exploring all over DC and knowing it would be my long-term home. Georgetown + Glover Park were amazing neighborhoods, and with a walk that started with a Thomas Sweets ice cream I was powered to go anywhere.

20 years later, I’m still exploring, and this time with a new adventure -> running for DC Council at Large in November.

My summer in Georgetown and Glover Park inspired my love for this city and the 20 years I have now called it home.

Graham McClaughlin’s map-story for the Mapping Georgetown Project. Courtesy Mapping Georgetown.

According to The Washington Post, “McLaughlin, 40, lives in the Hill East neighborhood, between two institutions that have shaped his life in the District: to the north is Mount Moriah Baptist Church, a predominantly Black church where McLaughlin, a White man from North Carolina, got serious about his religion, and a few blocks to the south is the D.C. jail, where he found a way to put that faith in action…. For eight years, he rented rooms in his house to men just out of the jail or federal prison. That led McLaughlin — who has worked for several large companies overseeing their corporate volunteering and philanthropy efforts — to co-found the nonprofit Changing Perceptions, which supports former inmates in the District. He also got in the habit of hosting events at his home: Sunday suppers for talking about faith; Thursday dinners for teaching ex-convicts about business; and Pancake Saturdays for former felons working to get their lives on track as well as anyone else hungry for brunch and conversation.”

Graham McLaughlin is running for an at-Large seat on the D.C. Council. Courtesy Graham McLaughlin.

Thank you, Graham, for dedicating your time and talent to the world, starting right here, in our neighborhood and with the Mapping Georgetown community project! We admire, appreciate and are inspired by you and countless like you. Best of luck to you in your run for the at-Large D.C. Council seat this November. We are very fortunate to have you!

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To learn more about the Mapping Georgetown project see https://georgetowner.com/articles/2021/07/19/marilyn-butlers-vision-for-mapping-georgetown/.

To submit your Georgetown recollections to Mapping Georgetown go to www.mappinggeorgetown.com  or visit the Georgetown Public Library to pick up a physical map-story form to fill out.

Marilyn Butler can be reached at: marilyn.butler@gmail.com.

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