Tag: food insecurity

New report links dollar stores to economic distress for people of color

RACE/POVERTY | New research from a nonprofit advocacy group links a lack of grocery stores to the presence of dollar stores in high-poverty neighborhoods with a higher percentage of residents of color. According to the report, there is growing evidence that these dollar stores are causing economic distress for the neighborhoods in which they reside. (WAMU, 2/19)

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) reports that dollar stores can be found in Northeast and Southeast DC and in Prince George’s County and are chipping away at the profitability of local grocers and retail outlets and then taking advantage of the void left by the departure of those stores.

“When you look at the maps of the share of residents who are African American, it just jumps right out,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of ILSR and the co-author of the report. It looked at the national impact of the discount chains and revealed that as the number of dollar stores increase, shoppers who frequent them continue to struggle financially.

– A program at Food & Friends is working to combat food insecurity and negative health outcomes for expectant mothers by providing healthy, hearty meals. (WTOP, 2/20)

– How often fruits and vegetables are depicted on billboards depends on who you are and where you live. (WaPo, 2/19)

ENVIRONMENT | Environmentalists are fighting a solar panel project that would help Georgetown University dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions because the development needed to do it would put tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay at risk. (WaPo, 2/17)

– The ACLU of Maryland is pushing for passage of a bill that would allow private schools to be sued over alleged discrimination, an option that now exists only for public schools under Maryland law. (WaPo, 2/18)

Study Explores Link Between Health, School Absenteeism (Prince George’s Sentinel, 2/13)

– Five pioneering black women philanthropists who paved the way for women today.  (PushBlack Now, 2/20)

 – Opinion: Trump’s Emergency Declaration Threatens Philanthropy’s Core Values (Chronicle, 2/18)

Yikes, are we really that bad? Stay off the roads and enjoy the snow today! 

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

– Buffy

A new tool aims to show the importance of investing in the arts

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Americans for the Arts has introduced a new online tool that shows how the arts integrate into other sectors and their impact on our overall well-being. They hope it will provide advocates and leaders with the information they need to encourage investment in the arts. (Americans for the Arts, 10/9)

The Explorer is designed as an entry point to the large and growing body of research, projects, and support organizations that exist at the intersection of the Arts and various parts of our community. It creates an experience that can scale from casual surfing to deep exploration of a topic—you can glean a starting set of information in five minutes, or can follow the embedded hyperlinks (up to 20 per subject area) to visit the websites of all the example projects, access the research referenced, and engage directly with the other partners doing this work around the country.

RACIAL EQUITY | David Biemesderfer, president & CEO of United Philanthropy Forum, discusses how WRAG and Leadership Greater Washington’s Civil Rights Learning Journey has inspired him to continue advancing racial equity in his personal and professional life. (United Philanthropy Forum, 10/5)

HOUSING | Opinion: DC’s mayor has introduced two legislative proposals that could escalate economic development and cause displacement in Anacostia and Brookland Manor. (DC Line, 10/9)

NONPROFITS | Venture Philanthropy Partners is co-hosting the 2018 Greater Washington Superstar Award with The Superstar Foundation. The Superstar Award will celebrate an individual who provides direct services to our region’s young people. For more information about the award, eligibility and the nomination process, click here. The deadline is Friday, October 19th. (VPP, 9/14)

FOOD INSECURITYHungry Harvest expands affordable produce concept to D.C., eyes other markets (WBJ, 10/9)

– Three Wilson High School graduates are opening up a cafe and creative space near Union Market. (Washingtonian, 10/9)

– How D.C. Restaurants Are Preparing Now That Political Protests Are On The Menu (WAMU, 10/9)

Today is World Mental Health Day! Here’s some tips on how to prioritize your mental health.

– Kendra

Seeing the loss of creative spaces, DC artists look towards Maryland

ARTS & CULTURE | Over the past year, artists in DC have seen the spaces they are able to create in and show their work dwindling, either from the increased cost of rent or the impact of the building being redeveloped. The loss has driven some to Maryland in search of better opportunities. (WCP, 9/6)

Where might area artists find it easier to keep their doors open while advancing a mission? It could be in Maryland. In nearby Prince George’s County, there are numerous business incentives and grant opportunities for arts organizations. While D.C. offers grants for individuals, nonprofits, and specific projects through the DC Commision on Arts and Humanities, Prince George’s County tends to have more support for facilities and businesses that aren’t 501(c)(3)s.

As such, Hyattsville and the Gateway Arts District along Route 1 are dotted with commercial buildings and storage facilities that have been converted to artist studios and independent creative businesses.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Kevin Rashid Johnson, one of the organizers of the national prison strike that began on August 21, discusses why this action is necessary and the retaliation he has experienced from Virginia prison officials for participating in the strike. (Guardian, 8/23)

HISTORY | The Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project is researching sites that are of cultural significance to free and enslaved Black residents in Georgetown before they were pushed out. (Urban Turf, 9/5)

ENVIRONMENT | Opinion: Here’s Why Capitalism Can’t Fix Climate Change (YES! Magazine, 8/31)

FOOD INSECURITY | How proposed changes to the Farm Bill will diminish the US’s ability to fight hunger. (Atlantic, 9/6)

EDUCATION | Montgomery County, MD has a school system that is majority people of color. This year, it is intensifying efforts to ensure that schools are racially and economically equitable. (Bethesda Beat, 9/3)

WORKFORCEAutomation Is Coming To A Store Near You. How Could It Affect Washington’s Cashiers? (WAMU, 9/6)

Today is National Read a Book Day! I’m re-reading Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith. What are you reading?

– Kendra

Commuting time may disadvantage job applicants in DC, according to new study

– Researchers at the University of Notre Dame conducted a study in the District to discover if low-wage employers care about where employees live. They applied for jobs in what they call “DC’s core” with fictional resumes, and found that employees were more likely to respond to people who were living in nearby affluent neighborhoods. (Citylab, 8/30)

“You can imagine this world in which particular locations become self-perpetuating concentrations of poverty, because they have limited access to jobs, because it’s hard to physically move from one place to the other, and employers know that—so they look at the resumé and say, “Aah, Alabama Avenue, I’m not sure if that person can make it up here reliably, I think I’ll take the person who lives a little bit closer,” David C. Phillips [lead researcher] said. “So you can have a situation where the person moves to a low-income neighborhood because they’re poor, and they end up remaining in that situation because of where they live.”

– Northern Virginia leaders to Richmond: Give us back our road money (WaPo, 8/29)

EDUCATION | The Gates Foundation has announced that it will change the way it invests in public education. They will now seek to support educators doing work that already has shown progress. (Los Angeles Times, 8/28)

FOOD INSECURITY | Jennifer Montgomery, executive director of Loudoun Hunger Relief, and Trish McNeal, development director of Loudoun Hunger Relief, discuss how they increased their annual distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables over three years on Northern Virginia Health Foundation‘s blog. (NVHF Blog, 8/23)

PHILANTHROPY | Anand Giridharadas, author of the new book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, about elite philanthropists who “present themselves as society’s saviors yet fight the taxes, regulation, and government efforts that would fix the economy’s structural issues — and hurt their bank accounts,” discusses his book with the Chronicle of Philanthropy here. (Chronicle, 8/28)

– The average maximum daily wage for incarcerated individuals working non-industry jobs is $3.45, and those who were recently fighting a wildfire in California with firefighters were only paid $2 a day. This is how the US uses prison labor. (Citylab, 8/28)

– Discovery Communications To Lay Off More than 200 Employees in October (Bethesda Beat, 8/29)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Development Manager | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations– New!
Vice-President for Development and Communications | Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED)– New!
Development Manager | Leadership Greater Washington– New!
Senior Managing Director, Finance & Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Institutional Giving Associate | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Director, Institutional Giving | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Events Manager | Public Welfare Foundation
Major Gifts Officer | L’Arche Greater Washington D.C.
Manager of Program & Evaluation Services | BoardSource
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Grant Advisor | Hattie M. Strong Foundation
Grants Associate | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Executive Vice President, Development and Communications | Northern Virginia Family Service
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations | Northern Virginia Family Service
Adult Education Specialist | BoardSource
Senior Director, Evaluation and Learning | Flamboyan Foundation
Major Gifts Officer | Food & Friends
Associate, Resource Development | Flamboyan Foundation
Part-Time Program Administrator for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Membership Development Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Senior Manager of Policy | 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. Click here to view the community calendar.

The Daily will be back on Tuesday!

Can you spot the animal’s on New York City’s subway map?

– Kendra

New analysis finds racial disparities in arrests for marijuana in DC

RACIAL EQUITY | Although the District decriminalized recreational marijuana use, a WUSA9 analysis found that marijuana-related arrests were up 186% between 2015 to 2017 and 86% of those arrested were Black. (WUSA9, 8/7)

“The fact that 86 percent of those arrested are Black, in majority Black and brown areas of the city even though the level of marijuana use is the same among Blacks and whites in the District, only proves that MPD is continuing a racist policing strategy that I hope the mayor doesn’t consider to be ‘DC Values’,” said Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Lorenzo Green.

In 2017, 63 percent of all marijuana arrests in 2017 came in police Districts 5, 6 and 7, which encompass Wards 7 and 8. WUSA9 found in 2017, marijuana arrests were up 97 percent in those districts, while they have fallen nine percent in the rest of the city.

– A partnership between Georgetown University and the DC Jail is allowing incarcerated individuals and students to study music together. (DCist, 8/7)

– Get To Know ‘Hamilton’ Director Thomas Kail, A D.C.-Area Native (WAMU, 8/8)

CHILDREN | DC Council has recently approved a bill, “Birth-to-Three For All D.C.”, to expand a subsidy program to include more families, and to impose a cap on how much of a family’s income can go towards child care costs. (WAMU, 8/7)

FOOD INSECURITYAnother kind of food truck: Schools take a mobile approach to summer meals (WaPo, 8/7)

DEVELOPMENT | Residents from DC’s Ivy City neighborhood are calling on the developers involved in the renovation of the Crummell School to include green or recreational space for the community. (WaPo, 8/7)

Here’s some helpful tips for living.

– Kendra

A newly launched effort to urge Virginia business owners to pay a living wage

WORKFORCE | Two Virginia groups, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the Virginia Theological Seminary, have launched an effort to encourage Alexandria businesses to pay their workers a living wage instead of the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. (WaPo, 7/16)

Kim Bobo, the Richmond-based executive director of the interfaith center, said it’s nearly impossible for individuals paid $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage that is required in Virginia, to support themselves — much less a family — in the expensive Washington suburbs.

“Over time, we can help raise the floor in Richmond, Alexandria and hopefully other communities across the state,” Bobo said Monday morning at a kickoff event where three organizations in Alexandria — the seminary, yarn retailer Fibre Space and federal contractor Business Management Associates — were certified.

IMMIGRATION‘They are our neighbors’: Activists decry recent ICE arrests in Northwest D.C. (WaPo, 7/16)

– At the end of the month, DC residents receiving SNAP benefits may be unable to access local farmer’s markets due to the only USDA-authorized service with the capability to process mobile SNAP payments ending its service. (WAMU, 7/16)

– Opinion: Expanding SNAP Work Requirements is a Ticket to Poor Health (CivilEats, 7/16)

HOUSING | A new online platform, Imby Community, wants to more easily connect developers to the community their projects will impact. (BisNow, 7/16)

PUBLIC SAFETYResidents Say DC Water Didn’t Communicate Boil-Water Advisory Quickly Or Broadly Enough (DCist, 7/17)

A look at DC’s history of All-Star games.

– Kendra

Local businesses in Montgomery County partner to raise $500,000 to fight hunger

FOOD INSECURITY | Local businesses in Maryland are teaming up with the Community Foundation for Montgomery County to raise money to support the ‘Food is Medicine’ program, which helps diabetic patients receive fresh fruits and vegetables. (Bethesda Beat, 6/4)

The group launched its efforts Friday at an event in Rockville. The businesses plan to contribute the money to The Community Foundation of Montgomery County as a way to help the county meet the goals of its 2016 Food Security Plan.

“Many of the plan’s recommendations remain underfunded, and limited grant funds leave little room for pilot programs that have potential to make an impact,” Shondra Jenkins, co-founder of Business Leaders Fighting Hunger and executive director of Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, said in a statement. “Hunger is a problem too big for one organization to solve alone. Business Leaders Fighting Hunger will help close this funding by infusing much needed new dollars into Montgomery County’s neediest communities.”

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | This infographic shows why the US government is better at subsidizing housing for wealthy people at the expense of low-income communities. (Yes! Magazine, 6/4)

NONPROFITS | A recent study found that when founders leave their organizations, extending the founder’s role in the transition can lead to more success for the new CEO. (Chronicle, 6/5 – Subscription needed)

– The Opportunity Agenda and Unidos US have compiled research to identify narratives about communities of color that are fear-based in order to develop counter messages that can persuade people to embrace diversity as a foundational value. (Opportunity Agenda, 8/17)

– Juneteenth is 14 days away. Will you be joining WRAG in acknowledging this important day in American history? (Daily, 5/21)

ENVIRONMENT“Green Streets” keep streams and rivers safe. So why are some communities rejecting them? (GGWash, 6/1)

PUBLIC SAFETY | DC officials have recently talked more about how to address gun violence in the city, but activists say that fully funding the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act (which was passed two years ago) is the first step. (The Hill, 6/4)

HEALTHCAREHow a reshaped Virginia legislature learned to love Medicaid expansion (WaPo, 6/4)

The tale of a missing bunny in Arlington…

– Kendra

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

Is the Greater Washington region prepared for Amazon’s new headquarters?

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Officials in the Greater Washington region are excited that we are the only region listed as a possible place for Amazon to locate its newest headquarters, but residents are concerned about the potential impact on traffic, an already stressed housing market and others. (WaPo, 5/12)

…many residents fear that winning the prize would actually exacerbate all the things they hate about living in the region: horrendous traffic, expensive housing, crowded schools and gentrification. The area consistently ranks near the top in surveys of the nation’s worst traffic congestion. It has failed to keep up with demand for low- and moderate-priced housing — a challenge that also concerns Amazon, according to local development officials who have spoken with the company’s representatives.

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Senior positions in museums that are normally filled by white males are now going to women, but these institutions are still struggling with racial and ethnic diversity. (Guardian, 5/7)

FOOD INSECURITY | Schools and organizations in Northern Virginia are working to help feed students that are experiencing food insecurity. (WaPo, 5/13)

HOUSINGPrivate-Sector Solution to Affordable Housing Gets Off the Ground (WSJ, 4/26 – Subscription needed)

– A police panel has ruled that the DC police officer who fatally shot a Black motorist should be fired. (WTOP, 5/11)

– This Virginia organization helps returning citizens transition into society after they are released. (WTOP, 5/13)

TRANSPORTATION | Fairfax County is switching from diesel-powered school buses to electric, battery-powered ones to improve the health of students and the environment. (WAMU, 5/14)

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


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

Virginia to study high rates of evictions in the state

HOUSING | After a recent study found that five Virginia cities had eviction rates among the highest in the country, the state has decided to convene a work group to study the problem. (Richmond Times, 5/7)

A separate Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis of eviction records found that Richmond’s public housing authority initiated more evictions than any other landlord in the state, while some private landlords were even more aggressive about using the courts to force tenants to pay rent or leave.

Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, pointed out several examples of ways in which the legal system is “unfriendly” to tenants by giving them little legal recourse in disputes with landlords unless their debts are fully paid.

– Richard E. Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, announced that his foundation will no longer recognize sports teams that denigrate Native Americans with its RWJF Sports Award. (USA Today, 5/7)

– In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the National Women’s Law Center will be sharing overlooked histories, stories and research about this community. Learn more here. (NWLC, 5/1)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT‘We’re In This Together:’ Northern Virginia Faith Leaders Discuss Their Role In #MeToo Movement (WAMU, 5/7)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, discusses how CSR professionals can use new power ideas without sacrificing the old.(American Express, 5/7) We’re excited to see Tim for the second session of the 2018 Institute for CSR later this week!

LGBTQIA RIGHTS |Opinion: The Federal Farm Bill Will Take Food Out of the Mouths of LGBT Seniors (Advocate, 5/2)

Here are some cool photos of tulips in the Netherlands.

– Kendra