Pew poll finds racial equality still a dream for many Americans

– A Pew Research Center survey released yesterday found that fewer than a third of black Americans, and fewer than half of whites, believe that the country has made significant steps toward racial equality in the 50 years since the March on Washington. (NY Times, 8/22)

– On the Washington Area Women’s Foundation blog, Mariah Craven explains why the March on Washington is still relevant (WAWF, 8/22):

I’m simultaneously in awe of and distressed by the timelessness of [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s] speech. It encompasses feelings and aspirations that far exceed the boundaries of race. But so many of the challenges outlined in the speech are applicable today… I’m struck by the fact that if you replace the word “Negro” with words like “poor,” or “black,” or “Latino,” or “undocumented” in the text of the speech, it’s still so relevant.

EVENT: On September 26, WRAG’s final Brightest Minds speaker for 2013, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture, will be speaking to the region’s philanthropic and nonprofit community about how history shapes contemporary society and informs the work we do in the social sector. More information and registration.

Related: Even if you’re not on Twitter, check out NPR’s feed, Today in 1963. It’s powerful and fascinating.

COMMUNITY | The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, along with the Jewish Funders Network and six other foundations, have launched the Jewish Social Change Matching Fund, a national $1 million fund that aims to increase charitable gifts toward Jewish social change efforts. More information about the fund and how to apply available here.

REGION | Largo Town Center has been chosen as the future home of a major hospital development, which the county hopes will revitalize the area (WaPo, 8/23):

County officials said the vote for Largo, which has the backing of Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), was a significant step toward helping the county remedy two of its biggest struggles: providing quality health care to a population that suffers disproportionately from diabetes, hypertension and obesity, and attracting the kind of transit-oriented development that has long bypassed the county.

WRAG Members: Next month, WRAG is co-hosting a convening on the state of Prince George’s County. More details here.

ARTS | Americans for the Arts’ Bob Lynch explains how supporting and engaging with the arts can help CEOs address critical business challenges. His points seem relevant beyond business, however (AFTA, 8/22):

The arts are connectors. They help us connect to our own potential by igniting a creative, bold, and innovative mindset. They help us connect to others by encouraging engagement, empathy, and the understanding that there are many ways of seeing the same thing. The arts connect people to the communities in which they live, the businesses at which they work, and the people with whom they interact.

HEALTH | Seven Fairfax high schools to ban sugary sodas from vending machines (WaPo, 8/23)

If you’re in the mood for more history, I highly recommend checking out Slate’s blog, The Vault. It’s full of fascinating documents, letters, photos, and other primary sources. Be careful though: if you’re even the slightest bit nerdy, you could end up killing a lot of time looking at it. Like I just did.

– Rebekah