Tag: gender equity

Friday roundup – February 22 through 26, 2016

– Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and a member of the WRAG board, shared her experience of witnessing racial inequality growing up in North Carolina, and how she came to realize that society treated certain people differently. (Daily, 2/25)

– In light of Black History Month, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty discussed the connections between race and homelessness.

– New data from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that arts and cultural production contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013. This was  a 32.5 percent increase since 1998. (National Endowment for the Arts, 2/16)

 Audience Engagement Is All the Rage Among Arts Funders. But What Is It, Really? (Inside Philanthropy, 2/18)

– Opinion: How Society Pays When Women’s Work Is Underpaid (NYT, 2/22)

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Calendar won’t display? Click here.

Can you tell the difference between real wildlife and mechanical wildlife decoys used to stop illegal hunting from these photos?

– Ciara

A longer road to economic recovery for some

A new analysis hones in on state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity in the U.S. According to the study, while unemployment rates are down throughout most of the U.S., “only a handful of states have seen meaningful improvement in the labor market for African-American and Latino workers.” Virginia’s black unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation at 6.7 percent. (WSJ, 2/23)

Even in Virginia, the unemployment rate for black workers was twice as high as it was for white workers. The largest gaps in black and white unemployment were in the District of Columbia, where the black unemployment rate was 5.4 times that of white workers, and in Michigan, where the rate was 3.4 times higher, the report found. The smallest gap was in New Jersey, where the rate was 1.5 times higher.

– On Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27, the Reston Community Center, in association with the Equitable Growth Profile Advisory Group of Fairfax County, invites you to hear Professor john a. powelldirector of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and professor of law and African American Studies & Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor powell will present, “Racing To Justice:  Understanding Social Equity,” in two sessions that are open to the public and free of charge with pre-registration. Click here to learn more.

Related: Professor john a. powell kicked off WRAG’s, “Putting Racism on the Table”learning series last month, with a thoughtful discussion on structural racism.

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | Audience Engagement Is All the Rage Among Arts Funders. But What Is It, Really? (Inside Philanthropy, 2/18)

– In Fairfax County, officials are hopeful for the effectiveness of the Diversion First program that launched this year to emphasize treatment in lieu of jail time for low-level nonviolent offenders with mental illnesses. So far, 103 individuals have been diverted into treatment since the program took off on January 1. (Fairfax Times, 2/19)

– Arlington Has the Highest Earning Millennials in the U.S. (Arlington Now, 2/19)

– Opinion: How Society Pays When Women’s Work Is Underpaid (NYT, 2/22)

– An analysis of the best and worst metropolitan areas for women-owned businesses gives parts of the Greater Washington region high marks in certain categories, along with some disappointing marks in others. (WBJ, 2/23)

DISTRICT | In this neighborhood guide, Washingtonian sheds light on some of the major draws to Southeast D.C.’s Anacostia area – present and future. (Washingtonian, 2/19)

With the recent announcement of the D.C. streetcar’s service date, a quick guide on how to ride the streetcar was only right. 

– Ciara


Friday roundup – January 25 through 29, 2016

– David Biemesderfer, the new president and CEO of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, shared why he is excited to take the helm of the growing organization and to support the work of WRAG and our regional association colleagues in his new role. (Daily, 1/27)

– Exponent Philanthropy, the Fund for Shared Insight, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy presented a video series called Philanthropy Lessons in which funders share their experiences and what they’ve learned in their philanthropic careers. Check out the first two videos in the series and stay tuned for more through June.

– A task force recommended an overhaul of federal prisons to reduce the number of inmates by 60,000 people in the next 10 years. The federal task force also recommended that mandatory minimum sentences only be issued to the most violent offenders, citing drug crimes as a major reason for overcrowding in prisons. (NPR, 1/26)

A report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development found that, despite a narrowing racial gap in business ownership between 2007 and 2012, white-owned businesses continued to be much more successful than those of their black counterparts. The study also found disparities in the performance of  women-owned businesses versus male-owned businesses. (WSJ, 1/25)

– If You Want Clean Water, Don’t Be Black in America (City Lab, 1/26)

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Calendar won’t display? Click here.

The fascinating history of highway signs and their fonts.

– Ciara

Weathering the winter months on a low income

POVERTY/HOUSING | For many lower-income residents in the region, the colder winter months are a struggle to navigate as poor-quality, deteriorating housing can be the only affordable option and paying utilities often comes after taking care of other basic needs. (WaPo, 1/23)

Living in poverty means constantly balancing competing necessities. Every month, rent is due. Then there are food costs and transportation expenses. The last item on that list is usually paying utilit[y] bills […].

10 Cities Where the Middle Class Can’t Afford Rent Anymore (Cheatsheet, 12/2015)

DISTRICT | The highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park is closer to becoming a reality. Residents and those involved with the project hope that once it is completed, the surrounding area will be an inclusive, equitable place to live and work. (Bridge Park, 1/22)

FOOD/PHILANTHROPY | The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $130 million initiative to tackle hunger by cutting global food waste. The plan ranges from reducing food waste from discarded crops to reducing food waste in people’s homes. (NYT, 1/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/GENDER EQUITY | A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development finds that, despite a narrowing racial gap in business ownership between 2007 and 2012, white-owned businesses continued to be much more successful than those of their counterparts. The study also found that there is nowhere in America where women-owned businesses outperform male-owned businesses. (WSJ, 1/25)

No one enjoyed the snow more than the animals at the National Zoo.

– Ciara


The next “great entrepreneurial city”

AOL co-founder Steve Case recently discussed what he predicts will be the “third wave” of the Internet, in which all areas of life will be more seamlessly connected, and how he thinks Greater Washington’s talent pool could shape the region into one of the great entrepreneurial hubs with better coordination between the business and tech communities. (WBJ, 1/12)

[…] the community must continue to build networks between the tech and business communities, drive more investment in big ideas and make sure to retain the talent that moves here, which Case described as “core issues.”

“If done right — and I think they can be done right — it really will position D.C. to rise as one of the great entrepreneurial cities in this next wave,” Case said.

– The Truth Initiative has long been a leader in the fight against teen smoking. The Chronicle of Philanthropy shares how they rebranded in order to further connect with youth and continue to crush the rates of teen smoking. (Chronicle, 1/7) – Subscription required

– Foundation Center president Brad Smith introduces a new online data dashboard, funding map, and report from Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy called Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy. The interactive dashboard offers a quick glimpse at disaster-related funding trends for 2015. (Philantopic, 1/12)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores the rigors of D.C. high school diploma and diploma equivalency programs in her latest blog post. (GGE, 1/12)

RACIAL EQUITY/GENDER EQUITY | There is a racial wealth gap in the U.S. that persists well into retirement for most black and Latino citizens. For black women especially, studies find, the disadvantages that contribute to this wealth gap stretch far beyond that of their peers. (Oregon Live, 1/11)

Just for fun, check out your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, according to this interactive simulator. Then, if the odds are in your favor, see what you could buy in the Greater Washington region with all that money.

– Ciara


How misdemeanors can lead to homelessness

Washington City Paper provides a firsthand account of the ways in which misdemeanors can often come back to haunt those convicted, particularly when it comes to obtaining necessities like housing. (WCP, 11/13)

[…] even minor brushes with the law leave ripple effects lasting far beyond when a fine was paid or sentence served, making it hard to get a job, housing, and other necessities. Public and assisted housing providers are allowed to screen applicants for their criminal histories, but […] it’s over-enforced and frequently far beyond the legal guidelines laid out in the Fair Housing Act.

– In D.C., members of a homeless tent community face being pushed out after their 14-day notification period has ended. Some cite encampments as a preferred option to potential safety threats while staying in shelters. Officials and health specialists are working to provide them with supportive services and permanent housing. (WTOP, 11/16)

ECONOMY/REGION | In their biannual survey of small business owners in the Greater Washington Region, Bank of America found that the small business market is hiring faster than any other it surveyed, and that 81 percent expect to grow their businesses over the next five years – a positive outlook for the local economy. (WBJ, 11/17)

COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has announced that they will honor The Horning Family Fund with the 2016 Civic Spirit Award at their Annual Celebration of Philanthropy on March 14, 2016. Since 1990, the fund has helped to build communities where families thrive and children are nurtured to achieve their greatest potential. For more information about the event, contact Jenny Towns.

FOOD/VIRGINIA | In Loudoun County’s “transition area” (the area between suburban subdivisions and rural land) a 4,000-acre development is making the idea of farm-to-table a high priority for the community. (WaPo, 11/16)

– According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal, men’s weekly median earnings  have increased twice as much as women’s weekly median earnings in the first three-quarters of 2015. Researchers hope that trends from this year don’t point to an ever-widening gap. (Atlantic, 11/17)

For Women, Income Inequality Continues into Retirement (NPR, 11/17)

IMMIGRATION | The Brookings Institution recently explored whether or not the lives of Hispanic immigrants and their families are economically better off once settling in the U.S. The data reveal mixed results about the upward mobility of immigrants and their children. (Atlantic, 11/16)

Can you name these North American cities based solely on their night sky views?


It costs over $106,000 for a family of four to get by in D.C.

The Economic Policy Institute has released an updated version of their Family Budget Calculator – a tool that adds up the expenses necessary to secure a modest standard of living in a number of metro areas in the U.S. According to the data, a family of four (two adults, two children) can expect to pay $106,493 annually to live in D.C.; $82, 284 in the surrounding suburbs of Virginia; and $79, 330 in the surrounding suburbs of Maryland. (WCP, 8/26)

The tool accounts for seven types of costs: housing, food, childcare, transportation, healthcare, other necessities, and taxes. D.C. has replaced New York City as the most expensive place to raise a two-child family, EPI finds; annually, such a family can expect to pay $106,493 to live in D.C., and $98,722 in New York.

– DC Fiscal Policy Institute takes a look at the supports they feel will be necessary to strengthen the ability for families to remain afloat in response to the release of the updated Family Budget Calculator. (DCFPI, 8/26)

POVERTY/MARYLANDThe Washington Post explores how, for years, companies have preyed on victims of lead poisoning who have won structured settlement agreements, taking advantage of individuals desperately in need of immediate funds and with minimal experience navigating the legal system. (WaPo, 8/25)

MENTAL HEALTH | Rethinking The Relationship Between Mental Health and Police in Fairfax County (WAMU, 8/25)

PHILANTHROPY/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | The Council on Foundations held a Twitter chat today, exploring the ways in which philanthropy can take a leadership role in reforming the criminal justice system in America. You can follow the conversation by using the hashtag #CJreformChat.

SOCIAL PROFITS | It’s estimated that millennials will  make up half of the U.S. workforce in just 5 years. Social profit organizations, therefore, can’t afford to just say TTYL* to potential young supporters. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has assembled a helpful toolkit for social profits looking to build those relationships now. (Chronicle, 8/26) *I’m sorry.

GENDER EQUITY/REGION | A new ranking names Alexandria, VA and Rockville, MD among the best cities for women to start a business. (WBJ, 8/26)

Feeling a little sleepy this afternoon? Look at cats! Or consider other options. 

– Ciara

Annual report on American philanthropy estimates record giving

According to the newly released 2015 Giving USA: Annual Report on Philanthropy, charitable giving is estimated to have risen to a record $358.4 billion last year. The Chronicle of Philanthropy breaks down some of the report’s key findings (Chronicle, 6/16):

The figures show that donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations last year topped the record giving figure achieved in 2007, just before the recession started to affect donation figures. The recovery was the shortest on record after such a devastating and deep recession and was also far faster than experts had predicted. Some had said it would take a decade or more until giving bounced back.

“Giving USA” says now that the 2009-to-2014 recovery is the fastest on record in the past 40 years. The report, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is considered the most comprehensive source of data on patterns on Americans’ charitable giving.


As the economy grew, philanthropy grew even faster. Giving reached 2.1 percent of GDP of last year — up from 2.0 percent in 2013 and the highest it’s been since 2003. That growth may seem insignificant, but each 0.1 percentage point results in an increase of $17 billion.

– Foundation Center president Brad Smith discusses the difficulty foundations often face in embracing the term “inequality.” (Philantopic, 6/16)

ENVIRONMENT/EDUCATION | A new study finds that exposure to green spaces can bolster cognitive outcomes in children. Researchers found students with more vegetation surrounding their schools showed more progress in working memory and attention over the span of a year. (Atlantic, 6/16)

YOUTH | Teenagers Are Losing Confidence in the American Dream (Atlantic, 6/15)

HEALTH/GENDER EQUITY | Insurance Still Doesn’t Cover Childbirth For Some Young Women (NPR, 6/16)

If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all…especially in Arlington County,VA; Fairfax County,VA; and Rockville, MD.

– Ciara

The closing of Arlington County’s Artisphere signals much more

Despite quality programming and growing support, Arlington County’s arts center, Artisphere, is set to close its doors this summer. The closure is considered a significant blow to the local arts community and the surrounding economy. (WCP, 5/7)

What went wrong? If Artisphere had been judged on the quality of its programming, the enthusiasm of its attending audiences, and its steadily growing numbers, it would be here to stay. But in her closure announcement, [Arlington County Manager Barbara] Donnellan focused on Artisphere’s current and future dependence on taxpayer support. “In the current fiscal environment,” she said, “I cannot advise we continue.” Artisphere had not met the county’s financial or attendance goals, and that came with a consequence: the withdrawal of the funds taxpayers contribute to the venue’s operation. Donnellan did not plead poverty or say that Arlington was unable to fund Artisphere; instead, she emphasized that the venue was “money-losing.”

It’s not uncommon for a public cultural center, if it has become too much a financial burden for the local economy to bear, to be deemed an extraneous service and shut down. Still, Artisphere’s success was not measured by the visual and performing arts programming it has provided but by quantitative outcomes weighed against faulty and unrealistic projections. A publicly funded cultural center tasked with servicing the community should not be evaluated according to its revenue-generating abilities. Arlington County is treating Artisphere like an amusement park or corporate movie theater rather than the only accessible, common space of cultural identity in a large, diverse, resource-rich county.

PHILANTHROPY/RACIAL EQUITY | Racial inequality has been at the forefront of the news recently, presenting an urgent challenge for foundations to help tackle systemic issues. Many philanthropic organizations are taking a broad approach to reach a lasting solution. (Chronicle, 5/7)

COMMUNITY | Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit health organization that partners with the Washington AIDS Partnership, will relocate to a new, modern healthcare facility this spring. (WCP, 5/7)

GENDER EQUITY/MARYLAND | According to a new annual report, the number of companies in Maryland with no women in executive positions or on boards increased for the first time in three years. The number of women in leadership positions throughout the state also falls behind the national average. (WaPo, 5/6)

HOMELESSNESS | Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness (WaPo, 5/6)

– In an effort to learn more about the needs of D.C.’s young adult residents, and to prevent the unrest that has recently played out in a number of American cities, Mayor Bowser plans to hold a Youth Engagement Forum. (WaPo, 5/7)

Is Ward 8 “underserved” or undervalued? (CHOTR, 5/6)

AGING | How to build livable communities for older people: report (WaPo, 5/6)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Tuition free or not, are the nation’s community colleges well-equipped enough to be able to provide a viable solution to growing inequality? (WaPo, 5/6)

In the 1980s and 1990s, talking dolls were all the rage. But a century prior, they were just about the creepiest thing you’ve ever heard.

– Ciara