Tag: community

Children in the District coping with “generational gun violence”

PUBLIC SAFETY/GUN VIOLENCE | Children in Southeast DC recently saw the death of a 15 year old friend and mentor. Approximately 160 people, including 13 minors, were killed last year, the majority in Southeast. The TraRon Center after-school community anti-gun violence program is working to help kids deal with trauma through art and therapy. (WAMU, 3/6)

Ryane Nickens launched the program [which is] modeled after her own experiences with gun violence, including the shooting deaths of two siblings. “It’s affirming … that love just doesn’t come from mom and dad or their family, but they have a community” Nickens said… Even before the shooting, the program incorporated art and group therapy to help the kids, mostly elementary and middle school-aged, deal with the trauma of what Nickens called “generational gun violence.”

United Philanthropy Forum members and colleagues share powerful stories of the role that racial equity plays in their personal lives in a newly released video.

– They were raised to be ‘colorblind’ — but now more white parents are learning to talk about race (WaPo, 2/27)

– An elementary school in Ashburn, Virginia has increased security after peaceful protesters entered the school’s office without authorization several days ago over an insensitive Black History Month exercise. (WTOP, 3/5)

– DC Council Votes To Approve A New Schools Chancellor (WAMU, 3/5)

– Many elite colleges have committed to enrolling more low-income students, but, a new book argues, their efforts at inclusivity still fall short. (NPR, 3/5)

POVERTY | The Greater DC Diaper Bank Gives Away Almost 2 Million Diapers Every Year (WAMU, 3/6)

A new bill in DC would fine landlords who don’t take housing vouchers (dcist, 3/5)

– Legislation to increase a popular tax break for homeowners in the District was stopped after critiques that the proposal would disproportionately help the wealthy and would be better spent on targeted tax relief for the poor and middle class or on programs addressing homelessness or economic inequality. (WaPo, 3/5)

HEALTHSenate panel warns of dangers of anti-vaccine movement (WaPo, 3/5)

COMMUNITY | The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum will soon close for seven months for renovations. (WAMU, 3/4)

Say it isn’t so – this year could be our last Preakness.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

DC Mayor Bowser sets a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025

– At the start of her second term in office, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to increase the production of new housing in order to meet the pressing need for housing affordability in the District. (WAMU, 1/8)

“Bowser has even set a goal for D.C.: 36,000 new housing units by 2025, the city’s portion of the estimated 235,000 housing units the Washington region will have to produce in that period to keep up with job growth. Currently, the region is expected to produce 170,000 housing units over the next six years. Housing analysts say the mayor’s goal is enthusiastic, though achievable.”

WRAG’s Vice President, Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say regarding the Mayor’s announcement:

“Housing affordability is an ever-growing issue throughout our region so it is exciting to see Mayor Bowser acknowledge the issue and pledge to make it her number one priority. As she says, we all have to “think big and differently” about how to produce more housing. The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington’s Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region would be a great place to start.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable homes in the past few decades. Is it really ‘radical’ to build more? (GGWash, 1/8)

ENVIRONMENT | In a new report, scientists say the health of the Chesapeake Bay deteriorated in 2018 after years of improvement. (WaPo, 1/8)

EQUITY/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, head of RespectAbility and the Mizrahi Family Charitable Trust, is powerfully pushing for philanthropy to focus on equality for people with disabilities. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending (WaPo, 1/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Lyft is offering low-cost rides to grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8. What’s a sustainable solution? (GGW, 1/7)

COMMUNITY | We were saddened to learn last month of the passing of Vicki Sant, a longtime philanthropic leader in the Greater Washington region, and the founder, along with her husband Roger Sant, of the Summit Foundation, as well as the Summit Fund. A memorial service will be held on January 16 at the Kennedy Center. Details can be found here.

NONPROFITS | The application for the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy is now open. Click here for details.

We are on day 19 of the government shutdown – from museum visits to tours, here’s some things you can still do.

– Buffy

Bringing community into the Daily WRAG

By Kendra Allen
Daily WRAG Editor

The Daily WRAG is excited to share a new program that we hope will provide another avenue for our audience to hear the authentic voices of community members.

The first time I thought about the impact of other people telling my story, it was my third year of high school. On the first day of school, I was introduced to my new English teacher and a reporter from the Washington Post. I didn’t think much of it at the time besides wondering why they would be interested in our school.  I had experienced local news covering my community and the neighborhoods where my family lived, almost always crime-related articles, but this was the first time they were discussing my education.

The article, published a few weeks later, featured three different high schools in DC, mine: Coolidge High School, and two others I can’t remember. When it first came out, I was only slightly annoyed at how they portrayed us, you know the usual stereotypes that people associate with schools with a large population of Black and brown students.

It wasn’t until I had decided to start applying to colleges that I thought about the impact of that news story on me and the rest of my classmates. DC Public Schools already had a bad reputation. What effect would that story have on a college admissions staff looking at my application? Would they think my standing in my class was unearned?

As a communications professional, I always keep this perspective in mind. When I began this job in 2016, one of my goals was to uplift the stories and experiences of those who are often unthought of but who most feel the brunt of the inequities that exist in this region. I’ve intentionally put in more stories on racial equity, immigration, returning citizens, LGBTQIA+ issues and others, but I know that I’m not being as representative as I would like to be.

A few months ago, I attended the Mission Partners’ Design Lab, where I was able to talk through an idea of having community members that philanthropic leaders may not necessarily hear from or interact with use this platform to tell their stories. The people that I had in mine were communities of color who are low-income in this region, as stories are frequently told about them, but the stories are rarely from their own perspectives.

I initially wanted to get the perspective of youth and adults in this population but we (at WRAG) thought it would make sense to start with youth first. So I have spent the last couple of months looking for organizations that work with youth of color who are interested in journalism or writing in general.

Three organizations will partner with us initially on this program: In Reach, Inc, Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts and Shout Mouse Press. I’m happy to announce that the WRAG Journalism Fellows, has officially launched!

The details of the program include:

  • Each organization will select one student this year and next year to write about their experience in their community
  • Once the blog is published, the student will be compensated for their work
  • The Daily WRAG Editor will be a resource to the students

The first blog will be published this month. Stay tuned!

Why the rising popularity of ugly produce is good news

FOOD WASTE | The consumption of imperfect or flawed fruits and vegetables is on the rise. While the produce has largely gone to food banks or to waste in the past, recently, some for-profit businesses have begun to sell them in an effort to stop food waste and to try to change our society’s views on food. (WCP, 5/17)

According to Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED), 63 million tons of food goes to waste every year. Ten million tons, or 16 percent, of that waste happens at the first stage of the supply chain—on the farm. One of the solutions ReFED recommends is accepting and integrating ugly produce into the food system.

That step alone would slow climate change by diverting 266,000 tons of waste away from landfills and on-farm losses, reducing greenhouse gases by 422,000 tons and saving 39 billion gallons of water every year, according to ReFED.

IMMIGRATION | The Montgomery County Council has approved $370,000 in funds to pay for legal representation for certain low-income immigrants who are facing deportation. (Bethesda Beat, 5/22)

TAX REFORM | Foundations and Nonprofits Split Over How to Respond to Tax Changes (Chronicle, 5/22 -Subscription needed)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | A Virginia court has ruled that school officials violated the constitutional rights of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia transgender teen who was prohibited from using the boys’ restroom in his high school in 2015. (WaPo, 5/22)

COMMUNITY | What do Prince George’s County residents think about the southern half of the county being labelled ‘ward 9’ of the District? This WAMU article asks community members. (WAMU, 5/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Column: ‘No relief in sight’: Hundreds of Virginia inmates languish in solitary confinement for years, groups find. (WaPo, 5/22)

Here’s another reason to sleep in on the weekend…

– Kendra

New report finds DC economy is leaving longtime black residents behind

– Georgetown University has released a report exploring the state of employment, population and housing for black DC residents. One of the most startling findings is that the average white household has a net worth of $284,000 and the average black household’s assets are $3,500. (WaPo, 10/12)

The Georgetown report traces the inequities in the District today to discriminatory practices that once kept black residents out of the economy. It also provides recommendations for the city to help strive for greater equality.

“One of the contributions of this report is how much it puts in one place both the history of the city and redlining and school segregation, and connecting it to how those impacts play out today,” said Ed Lazere, executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, whose work is extensively cited in the study. “That half of all black households in D.C. have assets of $3,500 or less — that’s virtually nothing, and it’s probably a reflection that housing discrimination years ago kept them from owning homes.”

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Tracye Funn, manager of corporate contributions and supplier diversity at Washington Gas (and WRAG board member), for being honored in the Community Foundation for Prince George’s County‘s 2017 Civic Leadership Awards!

– The administration has announced it will stop reimbursing insurance companies for the discounts that they are required to offer low-income customers, which some expect will hurt middle-class families. (NPR, 10/13)

– Puerto Rico’s population’s health is at risk. Here’s why. (WaPo, 10/13)

TRANSIT | A recent study examining commute times between metro and Uber found that it may be quicker to travel with Uber inside the District. (WaPo, 10/11)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation – New!
Program Officer, Young Women’s Initiative | Washington Area Women’s Foundation – New!
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health – New!
Prevention Coordinator | Montgomery County Collaboration Council
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Director of Development | The Literacy Lab
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum
Program Associate, Portfolio Support, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Associate, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Officer, Public Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

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. Click the image below to access the calendar.

This is kind of like “Price is Right”. Can you guess the price? (Tip: There is actually a purse that costs $49,805 that seemingly only serves as a purse and not an alternative form of transportation or shelter.)

– Kendra

Creating art from darkness

– Without sight (or close to it), these DC-area artists are creating beautiful pieces of art. The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, with George Washington University, had its second art exhibit showcasing the work of visually impaired artists on Thursday. (WaPo, 4/5)

At the first one, in 2015, “Visitors on opening night were awestruck by the abilities of people with vision loss to create such masterpieces,” said Jocelyn Hunter, Columbia’s senior director of communications. “They did everything but come out and say, ‘I am shocked.’ Their faces said it all. I’ve had people ask me, ‘Well, how can the artists do it? How precise, how clean the lines are.’ ”

Some of the show’s participants have been practicing their art for decades. Chris Downey worked as an architect for 20 years before losing his sight in 2008; now he teaches architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, focusing on design and accessibility for people with vision loss.

– Here’s some advice for arts nonprofits as they continue normal operations during turbulent times for funding. (NPQ, 4/2)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Nonprofits and foundations can work together to ensure the needs of the communities they serve are met. (Chronicle, 4/6 – Subscription needed)

HOMELESSNESS| Bank of America and Calvary Women’s Services partner to empower women in the District. (Calvary Services, 3/31)

INCOME | Many Americans don’t have enough savings to deal with unexpected expenses. (Atlantic, 4/5)

WORKFORCE | Kaiser Permanente planning huge expansion in Prince George’s (WBJ, 4/6)

COMMUNITY | The United Way of the National Capital Area is seeking individuals to review proposals for its School Year 2017-2018 Out-of-School Time Grant Competition. Click here for more information. Perspective reviewers must submit resumes by Monday, April 10, 2017 at 5pm.

Social Sector Job Openings 

Market Coordinator, Community Affairs Mid-Atlantic | Capital One– New!
Director of Community Engagement | Association of American Medical Colleges– New!
Director of Data Services | GuideStar USA, Inc.
Community Affairs Contractor – Engagement, Capital One Cafés | Capital One
Executive Director | International Association for Volunteer Effort
Executive Director | Catalogue for Philanthropy
Associate Director, Policy & Communications | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Administrative Associate
| Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 

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. Click here to view the community calendar.

Theater lovers! DC will be the first U.S. audience to hear In the Heights in Spanish.

– Kendra

Schools in VA are becoming more economically and racially divided

EDUCATION | During the past decade, schools in Virginia have grown more racially and economically segregated. According to a new report, the number of students who attend schools that are considered racially and economically isolated has doubled in the last ten years. (WaPo, 11/14)

The number of Virginia schools isolated by race and poverty has grown from 82 in 2003 to 136 in 2014, according to the Commonwealth Institute, a left-leaning think tank based in Richmond. The number of students in those schools has grown from about 36,000 to more than 74,000, according to the report, published this month.

The report defined an isolated school as one where more than 75 percent of the students are black or Hispanic and more than 75 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, an indicator of poverty.

– Last week, the WRAG staff and board recognized Tamara Copeland’s 10th anniversary as president of WRAG with a surprise celebration at our annual VIP reception. Tamara’s incredible leadership was honored by our current board chair, Lynn Tadlock (Claude Moore Charitable Foundation), as well as five former board chairs: Patricia N. Mathews (Northern Virginia Health Foundation), Rose Ann Cleveland (The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation), and Viki Betancourt (formerly of the World Bank Group), and special messages from Maxine Baker (formerly of the Freddie Mac Foundation) and Terri Freeman (formerly of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region). Patricia Mathews even read an original poem marking the occasion. We hope you will join us in congratulating Tamara on her 10 years at WRAG!

– And, at tonight’s Association of Fundraising Professionals DC’s National Capital Philanthropy Day event, Tamara will be honored with an award for Outstanding Diversity Leader. WRAG member The Advisory Board Company is also being honored with an award for Outstanding Institutional Partner.

PHILANTHROPY | In the latest edition of WRAG’s Our Region, Our Giving report, we take a look at trends in WRAG member philanthropy in the Greater Washington region in 2015. The report represents nearly $186 million in giving to nonprofit organizations that serve the region, and over $3.3 billion in assets. (Daily, 11/15)

IMMIGRATION | Thousands of immigrants in the D.C. region now face an uncertain future after the presidential election (WAMU, 11/17)

HOUSING150 rentals for low- and moderate-income tenants planned for D.C.’s Deanwood (WaPo, 11/15)

RACE | The List Of Hate Crimes And Racist Incidents Around D.C. Is Growing (dcist, 11/14)

Awww, c’mon – if it’s going to be a colder winter, we should at least have some snow to go with it!

It’s been a fantastic three months editing the Daily! I have truly enjoyed working with my WRAG colleagues and the DC-area funding community. Although my contract has ended, I look forward to continuing to write about philanthropy and highlighting issues that are important to the sector. Let’s keep in touch! – Buffy

Although Latino political power is rising around the country, in D.C. it remains the same

RACE | The rising tide of political power among the Latino community is reshaping our country’s political landscape and delivering a wave of support for Hillary Clinton in the final days of the presidential campaign. In the nation’s capital however, their voice is barely heard. (WaPo, 11/6)

As residents head to the polls this week, they will once again be electing a D.C. Council without a single Latino representative — despite a growing Hispanic population that now stands at about 10 percent.

The reasons for that absence are rooted both in demographic realities that have hampered Latinos’ influence at the ballot box throughout the country and in the idiosyncrasies of D.C. politics.

ARTS | Opinion: Community conversations about the new DC Cultural Plan, led in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, are bringing people together to discuss how to build community through the arts. (East City Art, 10/31)

– Last week the Community Foundation in Montgomery County hosted their 20th anniversary Celebration of Giving event, honoring Clifford & Camille Kendall and Sally Rudney.

 – Channing Wickham, executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership, has been named chair of the board of Funders Concerned About AIDS.

– A new report on the affordable housing crisis details the challenges in stopping lower-income families from being displaced. (CityLab, 11/3)

The rent is too darn high for nonprofits, too (WaPo, 11/4)

TRANSPORTATIONCould a gondola from Georgetown to Rosslyn work? A study says yes. (GGW, 11/3)

 – Numb to Second-Class Citizenship, D.C. Tries to Awaken a Statehood Movement (CP, 11/3)

– Ever wonder if your neighbors vote? This new map lets you view what percentage of your community votes. (GGW, 11/3)

DISTRICT Council Hears Seven Hours Of Testimony About The State Of D.C. Police (dcist, 11/4)

Oooh, these are some great tips on choosing a paint color  for specific things – like sleeping, showing artwork, and decluttering a room – Buffy

New report highlights racial wealth gap in D.C.

–  A new report illustrates that discrimination and systemic racism contribute to the wealth gap in Washington, D.C., and that white households have a net worth 81 times greater than black ones. (City Paper, 11/1)

The analysis looks at disparities in financial power between the D.C. metropolitan area’s black and white residents, including before the Great Recession, which devastated communities of color. Researchers from the Urban Institute, Duke University, The New School, and the Insight Center for Economic Development conducted a survey in this region and four others in 2014, collecting information on household assets, liabilities, savings, and investments, and on homeownership, foreclosures, use of payday lenders, and demographics. Six hundred surveys were registered for the D.C. area.

The researchers found that—as of a couple of years ago—white households in the region had a median net worth of $284,000 compared with $3,500 among black households, or 81 times more. (Net worth refers to assets minus debts.) Accounting for age also revealed stark differences. Among 31- to 51-year-olds, black households reported a median net worth of zero, versus $221,000 for their white peers. Meanwhile, among 51- to 65-year-olds, black households showed $4,000 in median net worth, versus $516,000 for white households—or 120 times more. In other words, wealth disparities associated with race rose with age.

Related: It’s stories like this that make working toward building a more racially equitable region so urgently important – and why WRAG launched the Putting Racism on the Table series this year. Get caught up on the learning series and check out the latest release, “Structural Racism Theater.”

– Uber and Lyft Are Failing Black Riders (Atlantic, 10/31)

HIV/AIDS | In a special guest post for the Daily, Caterina Gironda of Funders Concerned About AIDS discusses the Washington AIDS Partnership’s new PrEP for Women Initiative. The model program addresses the growing rate HIV infections among African American women in DC by increasing knowledge of and access to PrEP, a drug that when taken regularly can prevent HIV infection if exposed to the virus. (Daily, 11/1)

TRANSIT |  “Reality Check” is the name that Metro’s general manager has given his 2018 “unprecedented” budget plan. (dcist, 10/31)

COMMUNITY | When Mickey Came to Town is a new film produced by Prince Charitable Trusts and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University that will have its national broadcast premiere on Thursday, November 10 via Link TV. The film explores how, in the 1990’s, The Walt Disney Company unveiled plans for a new theme park in Haymarket, Virginia, near some of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War. But in the face of mounting opposition, Disney withdrew its plans a year later. Check it out!

HOMELESSNESS | Hagerstown, MD officials are looking into whether housing for those who are homeless is inspected at the same standards as conventional rental housing. (WTOP, 11/1)

I know how much Halloween candy to let my kids have – the question is how much candy should my husband and I have!? – Buffy

Growing numbers of Central American asylum seekers coming to DC area

The number of undocumented Central Americans entering the U.S. is rising due to violence and poverty in that region, a growing influx that may constitute a refugee crisis. This year, an estimated 4,000 unaccompanied Central American children alone have settled in the metro D.C. region. (WAMU, 9/28)

The U.S. Border Patrol categorizes apprehensions into two groups: “Family units,” which mean an adult and at least one minor, and “unaccompanied children.” In fiscal 2014, there were 66,144 family units and 66,115 unaccompanied children apprehended at the Southwestern border. Those numbers shrank to 34,565 and 35,485, respectively, after enforcement ramped up in fiscal 2015. The flow has returned in fiscal 2016, with 68,080 family units and 54,052 unaccompanied children apprehended at the border through August.

– There may be another impending government shut down – what happens to D.C. if it does? (Washingtonian, 9/27)

– The D.C. statehood conversation continues at an upcoming public hearing a few weeks in advance of voters being asked to approve a referendum calling for D.C. to become the 51st state. (WaPo, 9/27)

 – D.C. Universities And Businesses Propose Bill Requiring 8 Weeks Of Paid Leave (WAMU, 9/27)

– School adopts gender-neutral homecoming court, so there might be no ‘king’ or ‘queen’ (WaPo, 9/27)

– Racial bias among preschool teachers is the focus of a new Yale study. (WaPo, 9/27)

Students in Md. counties underperform in test for college readiness (WTOP, 9/28)

HEALTH | A new, larger Planned Parenthood office location opens in Northeast Washington. (WJLA, 9/28)

– Grantmakers in the Arts continues to update their focus on Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy with new definitions, recommendations, and resources to support funders in this work. The materials and efforts on collective action toward racial equity are directed toward arts funders, but appropriate for the entire philanthropic sector.

– The Washington Business Journal is seeking nominations for their Corporate Philanthropy Awards, which honor partnerships between local businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate positive outcomes for both organizations. Nominations are due this Friday, September 30th.

– After 25 Years of Grant Making, I Worry We Have Lost Sight of Nonprofit Struggles (CP, 9/6)

HOUSINGRent in our region is expensive. Does that mean it’s unaffordable? (GGW, 9/27)

TRANSPORTATION | Va. budget shortfall to have some impact on transportation side (WTOP, 9/28)

Pumpkins aren’t the only game in town this fall! Brussel sprouts are my favorite – Buffy