DC Fray superstar Cedric Brown on softball and connection.
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District Fray: Are you from the D.C. area? If not, what brought you here?
Cedric Brown: I’ve been in the D.C. area for over six years. After taking grad school classes for public relations at Syracuse University, I networked my way into a three-month contract gig with a civil rights communications firm in the fall of 2016. The contract wasn’t extended, but I found another opportunity three weeks later and stayed with another firm for two and a half years. Jobs have changed a couple of times since then, but I’ve managed to hang around.
How would you describe your job or career?
I’m currently on the job market, but most of my career has been in PR. My specific skillset is in social media and digital strategies for social justice organizations. What I enjoy most about it is digging into analytics and metrics to find insights that help organizations refine their strategy over time. Using digital to create a compelling story can be more effective than traditional media pitching because it allows you to control your own narrative without relying on gatekeepers to help amplify it for you. And to do this for organizations that address the most pivotal issues of our time is rewarding.
What other hobbies or activities are you involved in?
Softball takes up half of my free time. I’m usually on two or three teams at a time throughout the year. I played high school baseball, but it wasn’t a great experience. There are adult baseball leagues here, but my playing days are over. Slowpitch softball lets me have the fun I didn’t have in high school while offering a different set of challenges. Aside from that, you can also find me at game-watch parties, happy hours, live events and the Dodgers’ annual trip to Nats Park.
What’s your favorite thing about living in the D.C. area?
D.C. offers many things to do for young and young-ish professionals. Sure, the area (rightfully) gets knocked for being a haven of career-oriented, status-driven workaholics. But when you break free from the grind, you can find various communities and activities based on your interests. A lot of my friends have come from playing ball. But I’ve also enjoyed taking in hip-hop culture, connecting with Syracuse alums, and linking up with other Detroit natives — shoutout to Imported from Detroit! Basically, with time, you can find your people.
What’s one important thing most people don’t know?
Something I do admire about D.C. is how the locals find ways to make their presence felt in a city that’s been pushing them out. For instance, you can walk down 14th Street in Columbia Heights, where you’ll see local vendors just outside of the big box retail stores. At the same time, the interactions between locals and transients – people who take up space for the sake of their careers – can also be problematic. I think we’d all do well to respect the locals who’ve seen the city change over the years, often to their detriment. When you think about it, we’re the guests here.
Your neighborhood: Arlandria. Favorite museum: Blacksonian (National Museum of African American History and Culture). Go-to cuisine: Detroit foods. 2023 goal: Clarity.