Sylvia Robinson

"Life is...about living in joy - waking up with purpose, feeling our creative energy, answering your calling." - Sylvia Robinson

Sylvia Robinson, a tireless community organizer and leader, was the founder and Executive Director of The Emergence Community Arts Collective (ECAC) in Washington DC.

This hub and performance space combine education, civic engagement, arts, social and spiritual services, and sustainable environmental practices. Sylvia envisioned it as a home where “there was a balance and synergy with the activities that people needed in order to sustain life.” 

She was also one of the founding members of the Georgia Avenue Community Development Taskforce, a neighborhood group that works on social justice and organizing in Northwest DC  to make sure the community has a voice in redevelopment and gentrification in the area. 

“We're asking for affordable housing. We're asking that the small businesses that have been here for a long time don't get wiped out by new retail. We're asking for green space and space for people to get together to socialize. We're asking for streetscape improvements—better roads and lighting in the corridor.” - Sylvia Robinson about the Taskforce

Prior to becoming an organizer and after receiving a degree in computer science, Sylvia worked in air traffic control systems for over a decade. She then moved into drug and alcohol counselling, becoming increasingly engaged in community work.

“It was my call to be involved in community.”  - Sylvia Robinson

Born in Washington D.C. on 14 August 1961, Sylvia passed away on 18 September 2017 after a battle with cancer.

“Sylvia's spirit and legacy will continue to inspire this community for many years to come.” - ECAC