Tag: equality

Eviction in DC: What is the Full Story?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

I’m still haunted by the August 9th Washington Post story, “Facing eviction over $25.” I just can’t get it out of my mind. How can a person be evicted for owing $25 in back rent, for walking a dog without a leash, or for the tragedy that her son used an unlicensed gun to commit suicide? The fact that they are all lease violations punishable by eviction still seems unfathomable and just plain wrong.

If you haven’t read the article, I would urge you to do so. It appeared to offer a powerful testimony to how structural racism plays out in the housing arena in the District of Columbia and, perhaps, across the country. Upon reading it, you might think that zoning commissions, wanting to increase property values, were allowing property owners to maximize profit by transitioning their property from low-income housing to housing that appeals to higher income residents, without sufficient consideration of how all people will be impacted. You might also think that court systems were allowing overly zealous landlords to utilize “the letter of the law” to evict tenants whose only true offense is that they’re poor. And, who do these actions most often affect in our region? Black and brown people.

But before you totally form your opinion on this particular situation, you must read the August 14th response from the owner of the property. He rebukes the primary focus of the article, by citing, very publicly, his company’s history vis-a-vis affordable housing and his company’s commitment to retaining affordable units in the future. Now what am I to think?

Some of the work that WRAG has done on structural racism has emphasized that far too often our public institutions legally, but, in my view, immorally, provide an advantage or disadvantage to one race of people over another. That occurred for decades with redlining, contributing to the wealth gap that persists today between black and white Americans. Is that the case in this situation?

What I have also learned from the hours of conversations and lectures about the dimensions of racism is that we all need to talk to each other more – really talk and really listen. And not only do we need to talk, we need to research to get to the bottom of situations. Assumptions and misunderstandings abound. Was that the case with aspects of the story about eviction at Brookland Manor in the District of Columbia? I don’t know.

What I do know is that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford. Every individual deserves to be treated humanely and fairly. The front page story and the subsequent rebuttal offer extraordinarily different views. The truth, I suspect, lies somewhere in there. We must be able to simultaneously recognize the devastation that eviction places on a family while acknowledging that a property owner does have the right to be paid. Stories like that of Brookland Manor are often the catalyst for reform. We must provide for affordable housing and we should improve areas that have long gone neglected in our region. I simply hope that those improvements can be guided by a moral compass while also grounded in financial reality.

Is that possible? It has to be.

Op-Ed: Philanthropy Must Understand Racism Is Not Dead

On Monday, Americans from all walks of life joined together to celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with volunteer projects and other commemorations reflecting his teachings. Today most Americans applaud Dr. King’s life and his legacy, but that, of course, was not always the case. In the past, the notion of celebrating his work with a national holiday was met with acrimony in many quarters.

That kind of reluctance to celebrate an African-American may seem part of America’s past. After all, this year a new National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open on the National Mall, fully recognizing black Americans’ struggles and accomplishments. Couple that with the King memorial that opened in Washington in 2011, not to mention the monumental election and re-election of President Obama, and it may seem to some that African-Americans have achieved Dr. King’s dream of being judged by the quality of our character, not by the color of our skin.

Most black Americans know that is not the case. There is no postracial America. The question is: does philanthropy know?

This question first arose for me five or six years ago when I heard a local philanthropist tell the late civil rights leader Julian Bond — who at the time was leading annual bus trips through the South, stopping at key landmarks of the movement — “Well, Julian, I guess you won’t have to do those civil rights tours anymore now that Mr. Obama is in the White House.”

Then, following the death of Trayvon Martin, several local philanthropists expressed surprise when I told them of my talks with my then-teenage son about walking-while-black, driving-while-black, shopping-while-black. “You still have to do that?” they said.

But the moment that really clinched it for me — that confirmed how unaware philanthropy is that we are nowhere near achieving a postracial America — came last fall, when I saw the puzzled looks on the faces of many white grant makers when they heard a presentation by David Williams, a professor of public health at Harvard University, at an event sponsored by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

Most of the black attendees nodded knowingly at the facts Mr. Williams shared, but many of the whites in the audience seemed shocked when he noted that it took African-Americans 40 more years than whites to reach an average life expectancy of 69.1 years. Or that for every $1 in median household income a white family earned in 2013, a black family only brought home 59 cents. When the professor said this income disparity was the same as it had been in 1978, the room went silent.

Mr. Williams attributed these disparities to racism. He did not say “inequality” or “lack of diversity” — frequent buzzwords of philanthropy — but racism.

Perhaps most powerfully, he quoted a colleague, a Harvard economist, who said that if we could statistically eliminate the effects of racial segregation, we could eliminate the black-white difference in earnings, high school graduation rates, and unemployment. Shocking.

Philanthropy has worked for decades to help the disadvantaged. The Carnegie libraries emerged from Andrew Carnegie’s desire to provide free access to books to men, women, and children — like those who worked in his steel mills — who couldn’t afford their local libraries’ subscription fee. The Rosenwald schools, supported by the philanthropy of Julius Rosenwald, a longtime head of Sears, Roebuck and Company, provided educational opportunities to blacks in the rural South. In the early 1900s, Rockefeller philanthropy supported public health efforts in the South that helped to eradicate hookworm, a condition especially prevalent among the region’s poorest citizens.

And philanthropy’s commitment to aiding the poor continues today, through efforts to improve access to quality education, health care, and housing. Many donors and foundations consider work on such programs vital to attacking the root causes of inequity in America. They believe that if we keep focusing on financing ideas we know work, soon we will reduce the problems for both blacks and whites and eliminate all disparities.

But a growing number of grant makers in Washington have decided it’s important to challenge this notion, to recognize that the distinct, negative treatment of a group of people based solely on race is a major contributor to poverty and inequality in America. We believe that racism is rarely acknowledged or discussed by members of the public or within philanthropy. And we believe that until that silence ends, our region, and our country, won’t be able to take the steps needed to end racial inequities.

That’s why this month the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, which I head, is launching “Putting Racism on the Table,” a six-month lecture series for philanthropic leaders and foundation trustees on topics such as structural racism, unconscious bias, and white privilege.

Each month, nationally renowned thinkers and researchers will offer a one-hour lecture, followed by a two-hour discussion among attending grant makers about what they learned and its implications.

What’s most important about this approach is that we are going to gather the facts before we consider what philanthropy needs to do next. The format was inspired in part by the words of John Gardner, a founder of Common Cause and Independent Sector, who wrote, “The first step of leadership is not action: it is understanding.”

We hope these sessions will prompt grant makers to recognize the immense value of this kind of discussion and to support efforts to bring together others in our region — business leaders, government officials — for similar conversations.

Perhaps this work could lead foundations to reshape how they carry out their missions, and to make racial justice a key frame for their grant making, whatever their overall focus. For example, some might revise their grant process to ask whether and how applicants consider racial justice as they choose projects and approaches. Some might challenge organizations that believe they’re curbing racism solely because their target audience is largely black. They might finance tools to help their grantees better understand how committed their organizations truly are to racial justice.

When the lecture series is done, grant makers will likely have even more varied responses. But first, people who work in philanthropy must believe they need to act.

At the height of the civil rights movement, racism was reflected in concrete images: a water cannon pointed at peaceful demonstrators, or police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Today’s racism is far less overt and more unconscious, but it is no less real.

Philanthropists must recognize that no matter how laudable many of their grants, they will not reduce disparities in employment or wealth if they do not grapple with the unconscious, culturally ingrained, bias and racism that undergirds our society.

Until philanthropy commits to learning about the injustices that plague our nation, it can’t play the role our citizens demand. Let’s all make 2016 the year we take the blinders off in philanthropy and grapple with the reality that racism is still one of America’s most urgent scourges.

Arthur Espinoza Jr. announced as new D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities executive director

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities has named Arthur Espinoza Jr. as their new executive director. Previously, Espinoza served as managing director of the Washington Ballet. (WCP, 10/30)

Arthur Espinoza Jr., managing director of the Washington Ballet, has been named the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He takes over for Lisa Richards Toney, who has served as the commission’s interim executive director since March.

This winter, the District is taking a slightly different approach to housing homeless families by placing them in shelter further ahead of the freezing temperatures that bring on a more urgent need for assistance. Despite the new approach, the city will still face a number of challenges as demand for shelter surges. (WaPo, 10/31)

PUBLIC HEALTH | Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation shares four surprising things about the governmental public health workforce in his latest blog post. (HuffPo, 10/29)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The Rainmakers Giving Circle, affiliated with the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, is requesting proposals for its 2015-16 grant-making cycle from social profit organizations serving economically disadvantaged girls and young women living in D.C. Find out  more about the request for proposals and the Rainmakers Giving Circle.

PHILANTHROPY | Newer Foundations Focused on Regional Giving (Chronicle, 11/2)

JOBS | Northrop Grumman is seeking a Corporate Citizenship Specialist. Click here to find out more about the position.

ARTS & HUMANITIES/EQUALITY | Push for Diversity in Ballet Turns to Training the Next Generation (NYT, 10/30)

A brief history of the school backpack. Which one did you carry?

– Ciara

The ups and downs of D.C. arts funding

A new study examines data from arts and cultural social profit organizations in several cities, including the District. According to the study, individual giving to the arts in D.C. is up, as government and foundation funding to the arts is down (DCist, 10/28):

D.C. was one of three cities, along with Boston and Cleveland, that actually saw an increase in individual giving during the timespan, boasting a 42 percent change in revenue. Along with Boston, the District is the only area that coupled that bump with an increase in Board giving.

A less positive bucking of the trend was the change in foundation funding. While most cities saw a boost, D.C. dealt with the second-largest decline—a nearly 48 percent decrease.

| Patricia N. Mathews, WRAG board chair and president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, was recently honored by NOVA ScriptsCentral with the Inspire Award, presented to an individual or organization that helps those in the community make a difference in the lives of those impacted by health inequality. Congratulations!



EDUCATION/EQUALITY | Most advocates for education reform likely agree that greater education access can lessen inequality in the U.S. Historically, however, increased educational opportunities have been slow to bring about true equality. (Atlantic, 10/29)

HOUSING38-Percent of DC One-Bedrooms Rent for Above $2,000 (Urban Turf, 10/28)

– New data from the American Cancer Society show a sharp rise in the incidence of breast cancer among African American women. Researchers remain concerned about persistent disparities in health and access to quality care for African American women as survival rates for white women have improved over the last few years. (NYT, 10/29)

Community Health Workers Can Reach Some Patients That Doctors Can’t (NPR, 10/29)

JOBS | Fauquier Health Foundation is hiring for a Program Officer. To learn more about the position, click here.

Finally…research that puts sibling rivalries to rest once and for all.

– Ciara

In Virginia, disappearing jobs in the middle

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis takes a close look at the disappearance of middle-wage jobs in the state of Virginia, and the effect on residents. While the number of available middle wage-jobs has dropped, the number of low- and high-paying jobs has grown since the recession, creating a situation that makes it difficult to climb the career ladder (The Half Sheet, 5/29):

In May 2014, the latest year for which data are available, there were 27,400 fewer jobs in mid-wage occupations – those paying on average $15.33 to $23.13 an hour – than there were in May 2013.

That’s on top of the loss of nearly 70,000 jobs in that wage range between 2007 and 2010. There’s been some ups and downs since then. But the plunge in the last year means that today Virginia has even fewer jobs in mid-wage occupations than during the depths of the recession.

Meanwhile, the number of jobs with median wages below $15.33 an hour grew by 26,100 when comparing May 2013 and 2014. This involves work like retail sales, grounds maintenance, and record clerks. On average, such jobs pay just $12.45 an hour. That’s under $25,000 a year for a full-time, year-round worker.

At the top, Virginia is seeing continued growth in occupations that typically pay above $24 an hour: jobs like office supervisors, sales reps for services, nurses and doctors, and lawyers. These are great jobs to have, but it’s really hard get there directly from the bottom. You need those middle rungs to climb all the way up.

– The Public Welfare Foundation is hiring a Criminal Justice Program Officer. You can check out the position description here, and be sure to share!

United Way of the National Capital Area‘s Do More 24 is just two days away! Do More 24, which takes place on June 4, is a local movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies, and people committed to making a difference through a day of focused, online giving.

EDUCATION | For the Poor, the Graduation Gap Is Even Wider Than The Enrollment Gap (NYT, 6/2)

POVERTY | According to a newly released study by the Federal Reserve Board on the economic well being of American households, in 2014, 47 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would not be able to cover an emergency expense totaling $400 – or that they would need to borrow or sell something in order to take care of it. Additionally, a study by the Urban Institute found that more families are relying on alternative financial services (like predatory loans). (City Lab, 5/29)

IMMIGRATION | The secret to being rich is surprisingly simple (WaPo, 6/1)

Take a look at where the nation’s unclaimed baggage goes to live out the rest of its days. Looks like a cool place to go!

– Ciara

A deeper look into the District’s 2016 budget

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) has released a Budget Toolkit full of resources that provide an in-depth analysis of the 2016 budget proposed by Mayor Bowser. You can access the toolkit here. (DCFPI, 4/21)

While the budget provides a record level to build affordable housing, it offers a much more modest increase to help families pay rent, yet rental assistance is key to making housing affordable to very low-income families. In addition, a one-year plan to keep families from being cut off the TANF welfare-to-work program gives the new mayor time to repair a flawed system, but leaves vulnerable families with too little to make ends meet, about $156 a month for a family of three. And the budget reduces some key programs, such as job training for adults. These programs face administrative and implementation problems that have kept them from fully spending available funds – and thus the reductions may make sense – but this highlights the urgency of strengthening programs critical to helping all residents thrive. These challenges could be addressed by the DC Council as it takes up the budget, or they will need to be addressed in future years.

The mayor’s budget shows that building a city where everyone can succeed requires substantial new commitments to housing, jobs, and other needs. In that light, the proposed revenue increases – which equal less than half of one percent of the budget – stand out as modest. Moreover, the revenue increases will fall on all residents instead of asking well-off residents to contribute more to building a stronger city. Given DC’s substantial income inequality – and the fact that taxes on DC residents are the lowest in region – raising additional revenues from residents most able to pay is a key to expanding economic opportunity to all residents.

Related: Last week, Ed Lazere of DCFPI clued us in to what funders should know about the District’s 2016 budget here. (Daily, 4/15)

– The Washington Area Women’s Foundation has released a new issue brief on the economic security of girls within the Washington region. Exploring demographic trends, the issue brief examines the challenges and opportunities girls in the region face as they move toward economic security as adults. The full issue brief can be found here. (WAWF, 4/21)

The New York Times takes a look at the “Missing Black Men” phenomenon in America, in which 1.5 million African American men are “missing,” due to early death or incarceration. (NYT, 4/20)

Opinion: What’s one good way to expand the tax base in Prince George’s County in order to boost the economy and fund public schools? Some say developing the underdeveloped areas surrounding the Metro stations in the area is a great place to start. (GGW, 4/21)

– The Washington region is the world’s 77th largest urban area (GGW, 4/20)

What’s it take to be wealthy in D.C.? Apparently a net worth of $1.25 million. (WaPo, 4/21)

Have you ever come across another person who looks a lot like you? Some people are taking to social media to find their doppelganger

– Ciara 


New report on the region’s systems released today

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released their new State of the Region: Infrastructure Report, which closely examines the region’s systems and provides recommendations for how to decrease vulnerabilities over the next 15 years. The report specifically looks at opportunities for greater development, operations and management within the areas of energy, public buildings, public safety communications, transportation and water. The report comes at a particularly important time when the region’s transit system has been shown to be in need of some significant improvements. (WaPo, 1/13 and WBJ, 1/13)

“We want transportation to run smoothly, electricity and natural gas to turn on when we flip the switch, water to flow when we turn on the tap, clear communications in an emergency, and first-class public buildings,” said Phil Mendelson, board chairman of the Council of Governments as well as the D.C. Council chairman, in the preface to the draft report. “However, maintenance and replacement costs in critical sectors have been deferred as leaders have been faced with competing priorities, and the need for investing in new systems to support growth and maintaining a state of good repair totals in the billions.”

The report advocates the creation of a regional “infrastructure exchange” group that would study and prioritize projects and ways of funding them. It also calls for a sustained public education campaign to raise awareness of the region’s infrastructure needs and a series of workshops bringing together experts to “brainstorm out-of-the-box funding mechanisms” to pay for them.

– The U.S. Census Bureau has released a series of maps that look at the age of the population of residents in the region. Overall, the region is getting older, as Millennials (those between the ages of 18-34) are clustering in more urban areas. (GGW,1/13)

MARYLANDMaryland General Assembly to open with one of largest freshmen classes in decades (WaPo, 1/13)

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Rosie Allen-Herring (United Way of the National Capital Area), Terri Copeland (PNC Bank), and Debbi Jarvis (Pepco Holdings, Inc.) for being honorees of the Washington Business Journal’s class of 2015 Minority Business Leader Awards! (WBJ, 1/14)

POVERTY | More and more churches are assisting their members with securing manageable loans as a welcome alternative to the high-interest payday loans that often keep those in need buried in debt. (WaPo, 1/9)

HEALTH | Studies have shown that while high rates of smoking persist among low-income Americans, high-income families have been smoking significantly less than they once did. Low-income individuals are also found to have a much harder time trying to kick the habit. (WaPo, 1/14)

Kennedy Center, Washington Performing Arts to collaborate on new orchestral festival in 2017 (WaPo. 1/13)

– Previously, we learned that a group of arts organizations had signed a lease to occupy the abandoned streetcar tunnels under Dupont Circle. Now, you can get a glimpse of what that space looks like. (GGW, 1/13)

NONPROFITS | Applications to the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington are now open. Nonprofits can apply to become a part of the network by submitting an application by midnight on Friday, February 27th.

EQUALITY | New Report: America may be ready for a female president, but female CEOs? Not so much (WaPo, 1/14)

CORRECTION | In yesterday’s post, A Letter to Foundation Trustees and Execs Considering Closing a Foundation, The Summit Fund of Washington was incorrectly listed as The Summit Foundation.

What would you do if she sat next to you on the bus?

– Ciara

Three major new reports on arts participation and impact in America

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has released three new reports (and some fun infographics) on the impact of arts and cultural industries on U.S. GDP, as well as how and why Americans participate (or don’t participate) in certain arts activities. (NEA, 1/12)

The new information will help arts providers and others more effectively understand and develop strategies to engage individuals and communities in the arts.

“The implications from this research are significant,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The findings show that there is great diversity in how people engage in the arts, and this gives us a framework to use our creativity to innovate new ways to reach these audiences.”

Related: Next month, arts funders are invited to the next meeting of the Arts & Humanities Working Group for a discussion with Americans for the Arts about advancing diversity and equity in the Greater Washington region’s cultural sector. More information is available here.

Proposal would bring museum, performing arts center and condos to U street area (WaPo, 1/13)

PHILANTHROPY | WRAG president, Tamara Copeland, speaks out to executives and trustees who may be considering closing a foundation. In her open letter, she highlights two examples of how it’s been done right. (Daily, 1/13)

POVERTY | Reforms that Will Make it Easier to Apply for Public Benefits (DCFPI, 1/13)

EQUALITY | Even the most unprejudiced minds among us can give way to biased thoughts – particularly when it comes to matters of race. Read what a team of Stanford psychologists learned about the social stereotypes many Americans grow up with, without even realizing it. (NPR, 1/9)

VETERANS | VA Data Show Disparities in Veteran Benefits Spending (WAMU,1/12)

– 3-D printed cars aren’t just something imagined for the future. A car maker that produces the unique vehicle designs is headed for National Harbor and is bringing around 100 jobs with them. (WBJ, 1/12)

– Using factors like affordability, job availability, and workforce growth, financial website NerdWallet ranked D.C. as number 17 on a list of Best Cities for Job Seekers.(DCist, 1/12)

What do the economy and the facial features of America’s favorite celebrities of the moment have to do with each other? More than we probably thought!


Is D.C. really prepared for winter?

As temperatures continue to plummet and a new administration takes over, advocates in the District are looking closely to see how the response to sheltering homeless individuals and families may change. An expected increase in the need for shelter at the end of the month, lower exit rates, and lengthy processes for entering the shelter system are raising concerns as to whether or not the city is truly prepared. (WaPo, 1/7)

Nonetheless, local advocates fear that those extra units might not be adequate to deal with an influx expected by month’s end. The city’s “exit rate” — it’s ability to move families out of shelters and into housing voucher program, so other families can move into shelters — has begun to slip, raising concern again that the city might run out of space.

In its final months, the Vincent C. Gray administration — after being hammered by many, including Bowser, for not doing enough to address the homeless crisis — increased its efforts. City officials focused more on prevention services and speeding up the rate at which they placed homeless families into more stable housing. The exit rate jumped from about 40 to 64 per month, inching toward the optimal rate of 100 per month.


Meanwhile, legal advocates are concerned that the city’s attempts to keep numbers low have resulted in families unfairly being denied shelter. Case managers have been trained to exhaust all options before placing families into the shelter system, often encouraging them to seek the help of friends and relatives.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Citing continuously lower-than-anticipated tax revenues, Montgomery County officials are finding it difficult to make good on a promise to reserve 2.5 percent of property tax revenue for affordable housing. County Executive, Isaiah Leggett, plans to submit his proposed spending plan to the Montgomery County Council in mid-March. The county is already experiencing a great need for affordable housing. (WaPo, 1/6)

Montgomery has long required developers to reserve at least 12.5 percent of units in new construction for low- and moderate-income residents. But studies show that the county, like many jurisdictions, needs far more units than are available. Montgomery will need an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 additional units of affordable and workforce housing over the next 20 years.

– Opinion: The District began the year with three women in the city’s top positions – mayor, police chief, and schools chancellor. While there are a number of countries where women have occupied multiple high-profile positions for years, will the rest of the U.S. soon take note? (WaPo, 1/5)

– What would the world look like if it were made up of just 100 people? An infographic designer crunched the global data and created a visualization to help us find out. (WaPo, 1/6)

The Connection Between Successful Cities and Inequality (CityLab, 1/6)

PHILANTHROPY/NONPROFITS | Rick Cohen’s 10 Predictions for Nonprofits and Foundations in 2015 (NPQ, 1/6)

REGION | Following in the footsteps of their neighbors in Takoma Park, MD, Hyattsville has now become the second municipality to lower its voting age to 16 for city elections. (WaPo, 1/7)

CSR | Take a look at what 2015 may have in store for the world of corporate social responsibility with these five predictions. (CSRWire, 1/6)

FOOD | IRS: Nonprofit hospitals can claim nutrition access aid to avoid taxes (The Hagstrom Report, 1/6)

A writer spent three weeks trying to improve his life through apps. Check out his harrowing tale.

– Ciara 

The District is looking for more flexibility in the ways students are able to earn high school credit and graduate. Officials hope that less stringent policies, including moving away from “seat time” in a classroom, will improve graduation rates in 2015. (WaPo, 12/14)

The proposed regulations by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) would remove the standard “Carnegie unit” — 120 hours of instruction, representing an hour a day, five days a week, for 24 weeks — upon which high school credit is based.

Instead, starting next school year, students would have multiple ways to earn credit, including passing a state-approved test or participating in a “course equivalent,” such as an internship, community-service project, portfolio or performance that can be tied to the academic standards. Another proposal would create a “state diploma” that would go to students who pass the GED any time after January 2014.

– A new study of school divisions in Virginia reveals that state education funding declines were three times greater in the poorest school divisions than in the wealthiest school divisions. (WaPo, 12/12)

– A new analysis from the Pew Research Center shows how wide wealth inequities have become between white and minority households as a result of the recession. (CityLab, 12/12)

How The Gender Pay Gap Has Changed (And How It Hasn’t) (NPR, 12/15)

– A number of longtime residents of the H Street corridor gathered at a recent community meeting to voice concerns that racial profiling has risen in the area since redevelopment has taken place and newcomers have moved in. (HillNow, 12/12)

For E.L. Haynes Seniors, Gentrification Is Part Of The Curriculum (DCist, 12/12)

And now, the ugly holiday sweaters we love to wear so much.

– Ciara