‘Standing strong’ to elevate the immigration crisis

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG vice president, recently had the opportunity to attend a special White House briefing on the topic of immigration. Gretchen had this to say about her key takeaways and how the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers plans to take further action on this urgent matter:

On Monday, I attended a White House briefing on immigration. The audience was exclusively the leaders of Regional Associations of Grantmakers from around the country. Given the high level of immigration to our region, WRAG knew how important it was to be represented at this gathering. We heard from a number of speakers, including, Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy; Leon Rodriquez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Co-Chair, Task Force on New Americans, and other experts in immigration policy and philanthropy.

The key takeaways were that immigrants and their children make up 25 percent of the U.S. population. Currently, there are 13.3 million legal permanent residents in the U.S., and almost 9 million of them are eligible to become citizens. Because there are so many benefits to citizenship – such as higher wages and work benefits, health coverage, and access to college education – the Obama Administration has just launched the “Stand Stronger” Citizenship Awareness Campaign to encourage eligible immigrants to commit to citizenship. The Administration wants to engage funders at the local level on the main parts of the campaign: strengthening pathways to  citizenship; building welcoming communities; supporting skill development, fostering entrepreneurship, and safeguarding workers; and expanding language integration and education.

Based on this meeting, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers will work with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees to elevate this topic for funders. Specific information such as state/regional data reports and speaker suggestions will be provided to regional associations to distribute to their members. WRAG will keep our members posted on these resources.

Event: WRAG’s colleague organization, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, has generously invited WRAG member funders to participate in an upcoming program called, Vulnerable Immigrants in Maryland: Responding to Unaccompanied Children and Undocumented Adults on Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00 pm. Click here for details on how to attend in person or register to join remotely.

COMMUNITY/WRAG | WRAG president Tamara Copeland presents her third quarter report to the community where she discusses how WRAG continues to work to stay true to its mission. (Daily, 9/30)

DISTRICT | The 11th Street Bridge Park project, which aims to create a more connected District, has received its first seven-figure donation from the Kresge Foundation. The donation brings the total capital campaign funds to more than $11 million of the project’s $45 million goal. (WBJ, 9/29)

YOUTHCould Paying At-Risk Youth Help Curb Violence? D.C. Lawmaker is Willing to Try (WAMU, 9/29)

ENVIRONMENT | Scientists are finding evidence that climate change is affecting more than just those who currently live in the world. Research is mounting that it also contributes to low-birth weights in babies, leading to a host of other problems down the road. (City Lab, 9/30)

GENDER EQUALITY/WORKFORCE | The Wall Street Journal has a special report on women in the workplace including some interesting data on how career trajectories for men and women tend to diverge over time. (WSJ, 9/30)

How much do you love your pet? A lot, I’m sure. But do you love him/her this much?

– Ciara