Tag: advocacy

These young artists are painting the US as they see it

– An art exhibit called “Total Tolerance”, which is located at the US Department of Education in DC, displays the artwork of youth who are dealing with racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and more inside and outside their schools. (WaPo, 6/3)

“I wanted to make the painting look pretty, but you can tell by the expression of the models in the painting that they are in fear,” said Solis, a 16-year-old junior from Miami who is gay. “They’re in fear of society telling them what they can’t wear or how they have to act. I want people to know that they have to be true to themselves, be who they are. Especially now.”

That sense of urgency, of the need to address these issues immediately, is expressed, too, by the other artists in the exhibit, which is presented by the Education Department in coordination with the National YoungArts Foundation, a Miami nonprofit organization.

– How Arena Stage contributed to the redevelopment of DC’s southwest community, including the Wharf. (WAMU, 6/4)

PHILANTHROPY & NONPROFITS | On June 21, WRAG, along with the Weissberg Foundation, GEO, NCRP, and United Philanthropy Forum, will sponsor a local “Get a BEER* and Undo Nonprofit Power Dynamics Day” happy hour. This informal event was created by nonprofit blogger Vu Le in an attempt to change the power dynamic between funders and their grantee partners (details here). Today on the blog, Amanda O’Meara of the Weissberg Foundation and Adventure Theatre’s Michael Bobbitt reflect on how they have broken down the power imbalance through their shared work on racial equity and why they hope their colleagues will attend this event. (Daily, 6/4)

ADVOCACY | David Biemesderfer, president & CEO of the United Philanthropy Forum, urges funders to use their voices to uplift the value of the nonprofit sector to our society. (Center for Effective Philanthropy, 5/29)

FOOD INSECURITYDC Ordered to Get Food-Stamp Program in Shape (Courthouse News Service, 6/1)

– A new report found that, in Washington, DC, African Americans are 2.2 times as likely to be denied a home mortgage loan compared to whites, and Latinx are 1.9 times as likely to be denied. (GGWash, 5/31)

– The Undesign the Redline exhibit, which explores the history of structural racism in housing in the US using redlining maps, has made its way back to DC. Check out the exhibit between June 4 – June 29.

Here’s something to make you smile on this Tuesday:


Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at allen@washingtongrantmakers.org.

– Kendra

New report maps the rise and fall of US prison population in 2017

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | A report from the Vera Institute of Justice found that in 2017, the US prison population fell by 19,400 to 1,486,000. Maryland, which recently passed two laws to reform its criminal justice system, was one of the states with the largest decrease in its prison population. (Citylab, 5/24)

The states with the biggest declines provide interesting case studies for criminal justice reform. Maryland is among the states with a lowincarceration rate, and it saw its prison population fall the most—by almost 10 percent. Likely, this was a consequence of a 2016 law that sought to reduce sentences for non-violent offenders and prioritize rehabilitation and other treatments over incarceration. In 2017, the state also reformed its bail system, reducing the number of defendants it incarcerated because they couldn’t afford to pay, which may have contributed to the overall decline in numbers.

ADVOCACY | The Wayfinder Foundation has announced the participants in the inaugural class for its Community Advocacy Fellowship program. The fellows will focus on issues, such as parent engagement, digital advocacy, immigration, and more. (Wayfinder Foundation, 5/29)

HEALTHCARE| Alicia Wilson, executive director of La Clínica del Pueblo, and Anna Jeide, development and communications coordinator at La Clínica del Pueblo, wrote about the important of the DC Alliance healthcare program and how the DC Council can help improve it. (DCFPI, 5/25)

PHILANTHROPY | Today, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy is hosting a webinar to discuss its new toolkit, Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice. Hanh Le, executive director of Weissberg Foundation and co-chair of WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group, will be one of the panelists. Learn more.

ARTS & CULTURE | The Phillips Collection has hired a chief diversity officer who is tasked with diversifying the staff and visitors of the museum. (WAMU, 5/29)

PUBLIC SAFETYNew facility will help sexual assault victims in Loudoun County (WJLA, 5/29)

Which fictional place would you rather visit?

– Kendra

This is how the social sector can defend new attacks to the Johnson Amendment

ADVOCACY | Today and tomorrow, WRAG members are participating in Foundations on the Hill to talk with their Congressional representatives about the issues that impact the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. In this interview, Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, advises nonprofits and philanthropic organizations on Congress’ renewed efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment. (NPQ, 3/9)

…there is great urgency for nonprofits and foundations to engage immediately. Here’s why: The well-funded forces trying to politicize the 501c3 community against our will learned last year—thanks to engaged advocacy by charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations—that they cannot jam their desires through the process as a free-standing bill. So now they are trying to avoid a straight up-down vote by attaching their anti-Johnson Amendment language to the upcoming spending bill. That bill must pass by March 23rd to keep the federal government from running out of money and shutting down for a third time this year.

RACIAL EQUITY | Hanh Le, co-chair of WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group and executive director of the Weissberg Foundation, and Jayne Park, executive director of IMPACT Silver Spring, report on the community conversation the Racial Equity Working Group and IMPACT Silver Spring held  in October 2017 to envision a racially equitable Montgomery County. (Daily, 3/13)

WORKFORCEDC launches effort to train workers for high-paying infrastructure jobs (WTOP, 3/12)

HEALTH CARE| Many states that were once against Medicaid expansion are now considering it because of reforms such as work requirements, but these new restrictions may lead to less coverage. (Atlantic, 3/13)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | The National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis have partnered to create a report on the cultural sector’s impact on the US economy. You can use this tool to explore your state’s data.

PUBLIC SAFETY | Column: The nation is focused on students and gun violence. But kids in urban schools want to know, where’s everybody been? (WaPo, 3/12)

NONPROFITS | The Lab @ DC is hosting its second Formapalooza, a public event to make DC government forms more user-friendly. You can nominate forms and learn more here.

Do you live in a bubble?

– Kendra

High school students in the Greater Washington region are learning advocacy strategies

ADVOCACY/ YOUTH | Last year saw many residents in the Greater Washington region becoming more involved in politics and considering their roles as citizens in this nation. Youth, especially high school students, were particularly involved in demonstrations, such as the walkout after the administration’s DACA decision. Now young people across the region have come together for a three-day summit to better understand their civil rights.

Students also heard from Claudia Quiñonez, who helped organize a group of undocumented students, parents and supporters into United We Dream, a reference to those who had gained legal status under the now eliminated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They watched a documentary on Joe Arpaio, the longtime Phoenix-area sheriff whose approach to jail and immigration issues attracted controversy, and a movie about Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who disclosed documents on government surveillance programs.

“Things that go on in our world . . . affect us, too, and I think it’s really cool that we get to have those types of conversations,” said Chloe Pine, a 15-year-old member of the ACLU club at the School Without Walls.

NONPROFITSPotomac Health Foundation has partnered with Prince William Public Library System and the Foundation Center to help Prince William County grantseekers by opening a Funding Information Network. (PWL, 1/11)

MARYLAND | Maryland’s House of Delegates have voted to enact paid sick leave in the state and ban the box on private and public college’s student applications. (WaPo, 1/11)

– The Manassas mobile home park that was in danger of being sold, and leaving 58 families homeless was officially bought by a nonprofit, Catholics for Housing. (InsideNOVA, 1/11)

 DC Mayor Bowser announces $2.5M loan that will preserve 49 affordable units in Fort Totten (Curbed DC, 1/11)

EDUCATION | America’s Schools Are ‘Profoundly Unequal,’ Says U.S. Civil Rights Commission (NPR, 1/11)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | ​DC was​ ​named​ ​the​ ​25th Any​ ​Given​ ​Child​ ​city​ ​by​ ​the​ ​John​ ​F.​ ​Kennedy​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Performing​ ​Arts. Any Given Child is a collective impact program that assists communities in expanding arts education in schools. Help the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative collect information about the city’s existing arts education programs for youth by completing this survey.

Social Sector Job Openings 

Executive Director, Rock Creek Conservancy | Rock Creek Conservancy
Finance and Operations Associate | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Development Manager | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Development Associate | New Endeavors by Women
Executive Director | My Sister’s Place
Philanthropy Officer | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
TIAA Nonprofit Leadership Fellows | University of Maryland & Do Good Institute
Director of Membership and Programs | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Director of Policy and Communication | Consumer Health Foundation
Development and Marketing Associate | Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc.
Director of Grants Management | Democracy Fund
Officer, Communications | The Pew Charitable Trusts
Events Assistant | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Member Engagement Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Vice President, Program and Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Washington, DC Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Virginia Community | Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. 

The Daily will be back on Tuesday.

Here’s some Michael Jackson to start off your Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

– Kendra

A measure to end tipped wages was rejected in the District

– Yesterday the DC Board of Elections rejected a ballot measure that would have required bar and restaurant workers to receive the same minimum wage that other workers are entitled. The District approved a bill raising the minimum wage for tipped worker to $5 by 2020 last year. (WAMU, 5/3)

Proponents submitted some 40,000 signatures, more than the threshold — five percent of registered voters — that’s required to put an initiative on the ballot. The Board of Elections rejected more than 16,000 of those signatures on technicalities. While that still left enough valid signatures from voters across the city to qualify for the ballot, the Board of Elections ruled Wednesday that proponents of the measure had fallen short on a separate requirement that they get signatures from five percent of voters in at least five of the city’s eight wards. The shortfall ranged from 19 signatures in Ward 7 to 947 in Ward 3.

Supporters of paid sick leave call on Maryland governor to sign bill (Baltimore Sun, 5/3)

– An executive order is expected to be announced today that would begin to chip away at some of the Johnson Amendment‘s power. (NYT, 5/3)

Related: Gretchen Greiner-Lott, vice president of WRAG, recently discussed why WRAG, along with thousands of social sector organizations across the country, support the Johnson Amendment. Proposals to repeal the Johnson Amendment continue to be floated on Capitol Hill. Earlier today WRAG urged its ceo members to contact our region’s members of the House Oversight Committee to urge them to support the amendment. The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers is a good source of information on this issue.

– A guide to influencing systems change for nonprofits during this moment. (NPQ, 5/3)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | The District has proposed several initiatives to aid families as the District experiences a child care shortage. (WJLA, 5/3)

– The House of Representatives will vote on the American Heath Care Act today. (NBC News, 5/4)

– Virginia redesigned its Medicaid waiver program to expand disability services but the move could cost Fairfax County. (WaPo, 5/3)

ARTS & HUMANITIESThis National Gallery of Art program helps people with memory loss ‘connect with who they were’ (WaPo, 5/4)

TRANSIT | More funding for the DC Streetcar extensions to Benning Road metro station and Georgetown. (WTOP, 5/4)

What kind of penguin are you?

– Kendra

Teaching empathy and social justice in the nation’s capital

– Students at Gonzaga College High School in the District have a community service requirement, but unlike other schools, they have to complete work that “directly supports the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.” This isn’t too difficult as they have a homeless shelter on their campus. This school has a long history of educating students on how they should navigate an unjust world. (WaPo, 4/6)

In teacher Katie Murphy’s social justice classroom, signs read, “Let’s Combat Terror With Love” and “We Stand With Immigrants.” Sounds of buses, sirens and braking cars remind you that you’re downtown. A group of seniors has gathered to talk about their experiences with service and with the class, through which they participate in projects that fulfill 20 hours of their obligation.

“In classes like ethics and social justice you get all these stats thrown at you about homelessness or people who are without proper nutrition and all these numbers,” says Thomas Pollack, [a student] who lives in Alexandria, “but it’s hard to put a face to it. But once you start doing the service, that firsthand experience of helping give food to the homeless, or just talking to them, acknowledging they are there, you sort of put faces with those numbers, and you really humanize the issue instead of just thinking, Oh, man, that number’s bad.”

– DC General is back on track to be closed after the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the final ward shelters. (DCist, 4/5)

– Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG’s vice president, provides an update on the social sector’s action to support the Johnson Amendment. (Daily, 4/6)

– Independent Sector Calls for Universal Charitable Deduction (Chronicle, 4/5 – Subscription needed)

PHILANTHROPY | Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, announced that the foundation would invest up to $1 billion of its endowment, phased in over ten years, in mission-related investments (MRIs). (Equal Changes Blog, 4/5)

WORKFORCEMaryland passes sick-leave bill with enough votes to override likely Hogan veto (WaPo, 4/5)

– This Loudoun County artist wants to help women and children who have experienced domestic violence heal through art. (Loudoun Now, 4/5)

– Last week, Ward 8 community members celebrated the re-opening of the Congress Heights Arts & Culture Center. (AFRO, 4/5)

IMMIGRATIONICE arrests 82 people during 5-day operation in Virginia and DC (WJLA, 4/5)

This could be useful for a zombie apocalypse or a cool project around the house with your kids. Take your pick.

– Kendra

New County Health Rankings reports on the health of the region

HEALTH | The 2017 County Health Rankings, a collaboration between Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, has been released. According to the data, Virginia’s healthiest county is Loudoun County and Montgomery County is the healthiest in Maryland. Read more about our region’s rankings here.

Now in its eighth year, the County Health Rankings continue to bring revealing data to communities across the nation.

  • More Americans are dying prematurely, notably among our younger generations (page 4)
    • Premature death rates rose across urban and rural community types and racial/ethnic groups in 2015. Premature death has consistently been highest in rural counties and among American Indian/Alaskan Native and black populations.
    • In recent years, premature death increased most among those ages 15–44.

– Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will continue his push to expand Medicaid in Virginia. (WaPo, 3/27)

ADVOCACY | Gretchen Greiner-Lott, vice president of WRAG, discusses her experience at Foundations on the Hill, where the possible repeal of the Johnson Amendment was a key issue. She also shares how WRAG has used its voice to support the amendment. (Daily, 3/29)

IMMIGRATIONDeportation Fears Prompt Immigrants To Cancel Food Stamps (NPR, 3/28)

CHILDREN/YOUTH | Advocates say that child trafficking is a real problem in the District. (WAMU, 3/29)

– The District’s technology sector has one of the smallest gender gaps in the country. (WBJ, 3/28)

– Overcoming Trust Gap Is Key to Supporting Black-Owned Businesses (NEXTCITY, 3/28)

These great photos are winners of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards.

– Kendra

Maryland advocates want to re-open recovery school for teens

– As the opioid epidemic sweeps the nation and Maryland’s governor has declared a state of emergency due to the crisis, advocates are looking at reopening a school for teenagers dealing with addiction. Drug-related emergency room visits are up for teenagers in Montgomery County, MD, which is prompting this effort. (WaPo, 3/19)

Former students recall the importance of the school’s recovery-minded community, apart from their old friends and bad habits. At Phoenix, other teenagers were trying to stay clean; they often remained at Phoenix a year or two, then returned to their high schools or graduated.

Henry Bockman, 48, who attended in the mid-1980s and is now a business owner in the county, says he recalls team-building during outdoor trips — rock climbing, caving, rafting — Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, support from other teenagers and teachers who took the time to really know students.

– Study: Half or more of community college students struggle to afford food, housing (Hechinger Report, 3/15)

ADVOCACY | Last week, WRAG’s Board of Directors voted to sign on as a supporter of the New Social Compact, a statement of values, practices, and actions produced by professor john a. powell of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley. Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, discusses why WRAG signed on to the compact, and how we use our voice on issues that matter. (Daily, 3/20)

HEALTH | A new state analysis found that under the proposed healthcare bill, Virginia’s Medicaid program could lose $1.8 billion over a six-year span. (WTOP, 3/17)

REGION/ECONOMY | The administration’s new budget would severely impact social spending in the DC region. (WaPo, 3/18)

WRAG/EVENTS | On March 30th, the 2030 Group, a regional group of Washington Metropolitan area business leaders who are focused on strengthening the region’s economy, will hold “The Roadmap for Washington Region’s Economic Future: Where Are We Now?” event. Register here.

HOUSING | Opinion: The D.C. region needs a housing corporation to help make home prices affordable (WaPo, 3/17)

ENVIRONMENT | Why racial equity and diversity have to matter in the environmental sector and how to address it. (Center for Effective Philanthropy, 3/16)

An office MacGyver with the steaks

– Kendra