Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Lauranett Lee. The African-American history coordinator of the Virginia Historical Society has an exciting new project on her plate, one that will bridge the gap between past and present. The group has just won a big grant to create a database of names and personal information about people who were held as slaves in Virginia, drawing on the manuscripts in the society’s collections. In doing so, the society will give a lot of people more information about their family history.

• DeMaurice Smith. The National Football League Players Association executive, whom The Washingtonian profiled in January, is working on down-to-the-wire negotiations with the NFL and owners to try to make sure there’ll be a football season in 2011. The players and owners are sharply divided over how to share the league’s revenue and an owner-backed plan to extend the football season at a time when the news is full of stories about traumatic brain injuries in the sport.

• Johnny Barnes. The director of the DC chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is teaming up with his counterparts in Maryland and Virginia to sue Metro to stop random searches of riders’ bags. We’d love to hear their thoughts on alternate plans to keep riders’ bodies and belongings—as well as their civil liberties—safe.

• Paul Reed. One of the last living members of the Washington Color School—probably the area’s most influential art movement—is still painting. He credits changes in materials with inspiring the group of artists who briefly galvanized the art world. We’d love to know if there are ways the region could help support such a movement again—and what artists Reed thinks are worth keeping an eye on.

• Llewellyn Lew. Lots of recent development news has centered on the future of the corner of 14th and U streets in Northwest DC. Turns out the head of Living City Block, a Denver nonprofit, is going to transform the area surrounding the corner into a model of sustainability in collaboration with American University, Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia. We’ll be curious to see what that means for one of Washington’s most revitalized intersections.

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