The Weekly WRAG

DC/21 Oct. 2020
WRAG members were involved in moving legislation for the Racial Equity Achieves Results (REAL) Act that passed its 1st of 2 readings unanimously. The REACH Act would create an office of racial equity within the mayor’s office to make sure all DC measures look at advancing racial equity.

Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie said: “The vote on this legislation is important because it sends a strong message to the public, to people of color in DC, and particularly to Black people in our city that the government is really going to focus our efforts on eliminating the persistent racial disparities that exist.

He continued and highlighted WRAG members: “This work and this bill wouldn’t be possible without individuals and organizations like…The Consumer Health Foundation, Tami Bennet, The Meyer Foundation…and those that testified and provided us with their insights and experiences.>Learn more

Philanthropic Leaders Call to Uphold American Democracy During Tense Election
America’s system of constitutional democracy has long been the envy of the world. Yet, this is an incredibly fragile time; each day seems to bring news that further divides and angers the American public. This election year has already been rocked by a global pandemic, continued instances of racial injustice, a Supreme Court nomination battle, and increasing threats of political violence. >Read More
An Open Letter In Support of Meaningful Conversation and Action to Address Systemic Racism in Government and all American Institutions
The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that systemic racism and racial discrimination are a major problem in this country. Even so, the Trump Administration wants to shut down America’s growing commitment toward ending racial injustice.
>Sign Letter



Heroes of the Crisis: A Fund That Helps Struggling Arts Groups
Tonia Wellons of the Greater Washington Community Foundation is just trying to keep up.

This article is part of Washingtonian‘s feature “Heroes of the Crisis.” From medical professionals to social-justice activists to culinary stars, here are some of the people who have helped get us through these most challenging of times. Read about the 15 people making a difference during the pandemic here.

Tonia Wellons
President and CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation

How she’s helping:
Wellons’s organization helps match donors with nonprofits, serving as a conduit for more than $1.3 billion in donations since it began in 1973. When the pandemic hit, the foundation launched the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, which is helping nonprofits navigate the crisis by providing investments to pandemic-specific areas of need, such as digital-learning gaps, housing instability, and mental health. In July, the group helped launch the Arts Forward Fund. The $1-million initiative, backed by the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and other groups, will provide grants to arts-and-culture organizations struggling during the pandemic. >Read More

Meyer Foundation’s Equitable and Just Recovery Grants
The COVID-19 pandemic is a racial justice issue that has worsened existing inequities and disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color. Rebuilding from COVID-19 must be rooted in equity, justice, and our shared humanity in ways that don’t just return to pre-pandemic policies and practices, but instead help build a more racially just society that works for everyone in our region.

To promote an equitable and just path forward in the Greater Washington region, the Meyer Foundation will award $500,000 in grants to organizations or projects focused on an equitable and just COVID-19 recovery.

The deadline to apply is Friday, October 23, 2020 by 5pm ET


COVID-19 Response and System Redesign: Recommendations for Philanthropy to Support Solutions to End Homelessness

Funders Together to End Homelessness just released a revised set of COVID-19 Response and System Redesign Recommendations for philanthropy. These recommendations (originally released in May) provide a framework in which philanthropy can be catalyst for racial and housing justice, not just in response to COVID-19, but in the long-term vision for systems change.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must remember that we are all better off when everyone, especially members of our community experiencing homelessness, are healthy. People experiencing homelessness are uniquely at risk of being exposed to and contracting COVID-19, and this pandemic has demonstrated the importance safe, stable housing as key to saving lives and keeping communities healthy. If we are thoughtful and intentional about how we act, we can end homelessness and keep communities safe.

The role of philanthropy during times of disaster and crisis cannot be overstated. Philanthropy should heed the calls to action to address systemic racism in grantmaking and public policy. We have an opportunity and obligation to be strategic in our philanthropic response and lean into philanthropy’s strengths to create new systems rooted in justice. These recommendations provide a framework in which philanthropy can be catalyst for racial and housing justice, not just in response to COVID-19, but in the long-term vision for systems change.
>Read More

Amazon donates $100,000 to Arlington’s racial equity initiative

Amazon purchased the Residence Inn by Marriott hotel at the corner of PenPlace and said it would demolish it to make way for a much larger second phase of its second headquarters project. What will come there won’t be known until 2021. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has donated $100,000 to
Arlington County’s antiracism initiative.

The company, which is setting up a headquarters in the Northern
Virginia county, made the donation Oct. 14 and the county board
will vote on whether or not to accept the funds on Tuesday.

The money will go to funding the county’s “Dialogues on Race
and Equity” initiative, which the county announced last week.
Amazon’s dollars will help pay for racial bias training for staff
during the current fiscal year and for a series of community
meetings, held online due to the pandemic, concerning racial
equality, according to a staff report.
>Read More

Also, learn about Amazon’s Greater Washington footprint!