From a press release:
“On the two year anniversary of the unsolved murder of 27-year old local journalist Charnice Avia Milton her life and name will be honored with a memorial cookout kicking off the Charnice A. Milton Community Bookstore. The cookout will be will be held Saturday, May 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at We Act Radio, 1918 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE. Remarks from friends, family and community activists will be followed by a performance of Experience Unlimited with Sugar Bear in the We Act Radio Community Garden at 4 p.m.
The community cook-out is free to attend with the donation of a book or a food dish. Book donations will be accepted throughout the event. Adult admission is $10, school-aged children and seniors free.
The kick-off will launch a two-month long crowd-sourced online funding drive to raise funds to renovate the basement space at We Act Radio, where the bookstore will open. All proceeds from the kick-off and the fundraising campaign will go towards costs of repairing and retrofitting the basement of We Act Radio, currently used for storage. Estimated costs to open the bookstore will be around $150,000.
Kenneth McClenton, Open Heart Close Case, Inc. Chairman and Milton’s stepfather says, “This is a tremendous recognition of a great young woman’s life whose commitment to God and community rises above even the most hostile acts of mankind. This is a sincerely special way to offer her name as a testament to the power of reading and the hope of reviving a community.”
“Every neighborhood deserves a bookstore,” activist and co-owner of We Act Radio Kymone Freeman proclaims, borrowing a sentiment shared by Paul Ruppert, owner of Upshur Street Books and a member of the community bookstores’ advisory council. If all goes according to plan, by the end of the year The Charnice A. Milton Community Bookstore will open. Book donations will continue to be accepted throughout the year on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at We Act Radio’s studios at 1918 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE.
Special thanks goes to &pizza for donating food and refreshments for the community cookout. With the donation of a book, adults over 21 will receive a complimentary glass of wine courtesy of Project Create!, a non-profit up the street from We Act Radio offering arts education to children.
Charnice A. Milton was born June 19, 1987 at George Washington University Hospital to Francine Milton and the late Charles Gross. She entered into eternal slumber on May 27, 2015.
At age eight, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized at Covenant Baptist Church in Southeast, Washington, D.C. In 2000 Charnice joined the Living Word Church of Southwest DC. She served as a songstress and faithful choir member and a diligent prayer warrior and youth leader.
She graduated with honors from St. Thomas More Catholic School and Bishop McNamara High School. She received her Bachelors of Science degree with distinction and honors from Ball State University. In 2011 Charnice received her Master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She was passionate in her craft and chose to remain in the city where she was born to give back by reporting local news.
She joined the staff of Capital Community News, headquartered on Capitol Hill for more than forty years, in 2012. Charnice was a diligent and consistent correspondent for East of the River, a monthly print publication focusing on Wards 7 and 8, and the Hill Rag, a monthly print publication focusing on the greater Capitol Hill neighborhood. In her three years of writing for Capital Community News, Charnice filed hundreds of stories covering crime, education, small business, arts, development, parks, non-profit organizations, personal profiles and neighborhood news.
Charnice is survived by her mother, Francine Milton her step-father Kenneth McClenton, step-sister Jasmine McClenton; grandmother Margaret Gross; step-grandparents Willie and Marva McClenton; God-Mother Jean Shamberger and a host of aunts; uncles; cousins and relatives.”