Calvert Foundation’s Lisa Hall talks impact investing with Forbes [News, 10.21.11]

PEOPLE | In a recent interview with Forbes (10/20), Lisa Hall, President and CEO of the Calvert Foundation, and member of the Finance Committee of WRAG’s Board of Directors, discussed the importance of impact investing in addressing the widening economic inequality in our society:

Impact investment creates a virtuous circle of empowerment, opportunity, and engagement by connecting investors, underprivileged individuals, and communities. We need more people to get involved in impact investing because it is a critical part of the solution to closing the wealth gap…We need to act. And growing awareness about the possibilities is the best way to get investors to rethink their portfolios. Once people understand the concept, they get on board – some trying it out at the $20 level and others committing to more, investing millions.

EDUCATION | In an effort to address inequality in teacher quality across the city, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has put forth a proposal to waive the IMPACT teacher evaluations for teachers willing to work at high-poverty schools.  (Examiner, 10/20)

POVERTY | A food pantry in Prince William County that serves over 1,000 people is shutting down until November 1, due to a lack of food and cash donations. (WAMU, 10/20)

– D.C. Councilmember Catania introduced legislation earlier this week to address the lack of information available to seniors on HIV/AIDS. Among other initiatives, the legislation calls for the recruitment and training of older adults to serve as peer educators.

– A new report from the Institute of Medicine calls for the FDA to put simple labels on the front of food products to advertise their relative healthfulness. The labels would allow consumers to make healthier decisions when purchasing food without having to analyze the nutrition facts themselves. (WaPo, 10/20)

WEALTH | Reports on census data showing that the Washington region is the wealthiest in the nation got a lot of play this week, but here’s an important reminder from Richard Florida that household income is not the same as wages. On that critical measure, we only rank 57th. (Atlantic Cities, 10/20)

GIVING | Here’s a close look at the philanthropic habits of the current crop of presidential contenders. (Huffington Post, 10/21)

ENVIRONMENT | A new report rates Maryland 10th in the country for energy savings, partially due to 2008 legislation that requires utility companies to help customers save energy. (WAMU, 10/20)

NONPROFITS | Create your own Twibbon for Give to the Max Day (and don’t forget – it’s coming up on November 9)!

I don’t know very much about astronomy/cosmology/geology/science so reading about things like this pretty much blows my mind: “Life-giving H2O was almost certainly delivered to Earth via comets and asteroids known to originate in these cold but water-filled zones [175 light-years away], which were assumed to also be present when our solar system was forming.” Whoa.

 – Rebekah