Tag: gender

D.C. expands outreach efforts to homeless adults

Washington City Paper explores the District’s efforts to conduct outreach to and provide services for homeless adult residents in the city who live in encampments as the temperatures fall. (WCP, 1/15)

As the weather turns dangerous for people sleeping on the streets or in makeshift shelters, the work of these outreach teams becomes even more urgent. But as encampment cleanups for the first time ever continue into hypothermia season—when homeless citizens have a right to shelter—advocates worry that people unwilling or unable to go inside will be left without lifesaving protections.

Ward 3 Without Cold-Weather Shelter For Men (WCP, 1/18)

PHILANTHROPY | The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy have partnered to release the Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a comprehensive resource to help philanthropy respond to future disasters.

EDUCATION/MARYLAND | Recommendations to close or consolidate a number of schools in Prince George’s County have brought members of the community together to oppose the possible changes. (WaPo, 1/17)

GENDER/INEQUALITY | How to Bridge That Stubborn Pay Gap (NYT, 1/15)

– A new report finds that the average age of first-time mothers continues to climb in the U.S. Researchers contribute the rise in the average age to a decline in the number of teenage pregnancies. (NPR, 1/14)

– According to data, there are correlations between several measures of economic development – such as income, education, and occupation –  and one’s level of fitness. (City Lab, 1/11)

The role of photography in the Civil Rights Movement.

– Ciara

How a disadvantaged start contributes to a growing gender gap

Social science researchers have been studying a growing gender gap across the U.S. in which boys (particularly minorities and those in poverty) have been lagging behind their female counterparts in education and in the workforce. Studies have found that young boys react more negatively to circumstances than young girls when they come from disadvantaged homes.  (NYT, 10/22)

New research from social scientists offers one explanation: Boys are more sensitive than girls to disadvantage. Any disadvantage, like growing up in poverty, in a bad neighborhood or without a father, takes more of a toll on boys than on their sisters. That realization could be a starting point for educators, parents and policy makers who are trying to figure out how to help boys – particularly those from black, Latino and immigrant families.

IMMIGRATION/YOUTH | School districts in the region, like Montgomery County, have experienced a recent influx of unaccompanied minors from South America. In Oakland, CA,  a school system once challenged by the number of incoming students has found effective ways to meet students’ needs. (NPR, 10/20)

AGING/HOUSING | When assisted living facilities and nursing homes suddenly close, many seniors are left with few options for affordable, supportive housing. (City Lab, 10/20)

– Closing The Loopholes On A Living Wage In Montgomery County (WAMU, 10/21)

– Many contracted workers at National Airport earn as little as $6.75 per hour and struggle to make ends meet in an expensive region. Workers recently rallied there for better benefits and higher wages. (WaPo, 10/21)

PHILANTHROPY | The Grants Managers Network is looking for your ideas, experiences, successes or research about ways to streamline any and all philanthropic processes to publish in their journal GMNsight. Submit article abstracts now through October 31.

There’s still time to get into some peak fall foliage in the Greater Washington region.

– Ciara

Mapping 40 years of concentrated poverty

A new series of maps looks at how poverty has increased or declined in census tracts within 10 miles of several major U.S. cities between 1970 and 2010. Many of the maps show the stronghold poverty has had on already poor neighborhoods over the last 40 years. (City Lab, 8/13)

Despite efforts to turn neighborhoods around in cities like Washington, D.C., the authors argue that any good effects of gentrification are actually quite limited when compared to the overall increase in the number of neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. In 1970, there were 5 million people living in more than 1,100 extremely poor neighborhoods across the country. Today, there are 3,100 of these neighborhoods, housing more than 10 million people combined.

– A new report by the Century Foundation examines the ways in which poverty can differ among poor African Americans and poor whites. The stark difference, the study found, is the way poverty is often much more highly concentrated and isolated in poor, majority African American neighborhoods. (WaPo, 8/12)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Affordable housing can sometimes be a controversial and divisive topic – particularly when it comes to semantics. Greater Greater Washington recently asked their contributors to sound off on some of the issues surrounding terminology. (GGW, 8/13)

HOMELESSNESS | A number of cities have enacted ordinances that prohibit the homeless from sleeping outdoors. The Department of Justice, however, recently filed a statement arguing that such laws are unconstitutional and only criminalize homelessness. (WaPo, 8/13)

ARTS/GENDER EQUALITY | Washington Stages More Plays by Women Than New York And Los Angeles (Washingtonian, 8/14)

JOBS | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is hiring a Director of Donor Relations and an Administrative Assistant.

There are a few types of people in this world: those who use haha, hehe, lol, or the classic :) when e-laughing. Which one are you? 

– 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

D.C., Maryland come out strong in study of the best states for women

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) recently released the last of a series of reports exploring the state of women across the United States. D.C. and Maryland emerged among the top places for women in a few different areas (WaPo, 5/20):

The best state for women to rise above poverty:
Women fighting to move out of poverty are better off in Maryland than their peers in any other state, according to IWPR’s analysis of poverty and economic opportunity. The report looked at the share of women who: live above the poverty line; own a business; have health insurance; and earned a bachelor’s degree.

The best state for employment and earnings:
The first report in the series examined how women fared in each state’s labor force, relying on a series of data to arrive at its conclusion: that women in Maryland are best off when it comes to employment and earnings.

Maryland and Massachusetts each earned a B+ on IWPR’s scorecard (The District of Columbia earned an A), though women are far from equal in either state. In Maryland, women earn 87.4 cents for every dollar earned by men, who are also 1.9 times more likely to work in high-paying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) jobs.

Also worth noting, only 10 states and D.C. improved their scores for women’s health and well-being from 2004-2015.

Black women’s lives matter, too, say the women behind the iconic hashtag (WaPo, 5/19)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, with support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., one needs to make $28.04 per hour to be able to afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment in the District. In D.C., the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom unit is currently at $1,458, excluding utilities. (DCist, 5/19)

– The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released their new report entitled. “Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations.” The report analyzes responses from CEOs of large private foundations on their current state of operations. (CECP, 5/20)

– Taking a page out of the nonprofit playbook, corporations like Unilever, Starbucks and others have all recently implemented social impact strategies. Not to be confused with cause marking or corporate philanthropy, these strategies are concrete and measurable plans that have quantifiable business outcomes and definitive societal impacts. (Entrepreneur, 3/10)

RELATED: On June 3, WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group is hosting “Shared Value: Exploring Opportunities to Simultaneously Increase Your Company’s Profitability and Social Impact.” Join fellow CSR professionals to learn how to put societal issues at the core of your company’s business strategy and operations.

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s giving circle of young professionals, the Future Fund, recently raised $40,000 to support 2016 grantmaking in Northern Virginia at their annual Future Fund Awards Gala. Two grant-winning organizations – Access Hope and Youth for Tomorrow – received grants of $20,000 to support individuals and families with limited access to mental health care. Find out more here.

ENVIRONMENT | A century of buried toxins in the Anacostia are coming to the surface (WaPo, 5/19)

HEALTH/MARYLAND | A new report shows that the state of Maryland had a significant increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses in 2014. Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties were among the areas with the highest rates of deaths caused by an overdose. (WaPo, 5/19)

EDUCATION | Poverty, family stress are thwarting student success, top teachers say (WaPo, 5/19)

Do you call it the Metro, WMATA, or the subway? Take this poll to see how other people in the region refer to some of the things we come across everyday.

– 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

The impact of the gender wage gap in the region

Today is Equal Pay Day – a day dedicated to drawing attention to the gender pay gap. The Washington Area Women’s Foundation breaks down the wage gap and it’s effect on women in our region with a new fact sheet. You can also join in on the conversation about the issue on social media using the hashtags #EqualPayDay and #EqualPayNow.

More than ever, families rely on women’s earnings to make ends meet. In the Washington region, 72 percent of mothers with young children participate in the workforce and, nationwide, 40 percent of mothers are either the sole or primary breadwinner in their households. Equal pay would reduce poverty levels among women, and would increase every woman’s ability to provide for herself and her family.


In jurisdictions where earnings are low across the board, such as in Prince George’s County, the gender gap narrows or even disappears. However, in jurisdictions with a higher concentration of high-paying occupations, such as in the city of Alexandria, the gap widens. Men are more likely to take these jobs, and women – with highly-paid partners – are more likely to take jobs that offer more flexibility in lieu of higher earnings, skewing the gap.

– A report estimates which year women may see equal pay with their male counterparts across the country and within each state. Nationally, it may not be until 2058. Locally, Maryland leads the way with estimated equal pay by the year 2042. (WaPo, 3/16)

BUDGETS/VIRGINIA | This week, we’re bringing you commentary from fiscal policy experts on the recently-released FY 2016 federal and state budgets for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Today we have Michael Cassidy, president of the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Policy Analysis, with his take on how the 2016 federal budget may affect Virginia’s. (Daily, 4/14)

IMMIGRATION | D.C. Area’s Safety Net For Immigrant Children Is Stretched Thin, Report Says (WAMU, 4/14)

RACIAL EQUITY | A new report released by Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement reveals a trend toward increased U.S. foundation funding for organizations and programs focused on improving the life outcomes of black males. The report, Quantifying Hope: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, also shows the share of support certain issue areas receive.

YOUTH/MENTAL HEALTH | The Children’s Law Center has released a new report on the District’s progress in meeting the needs of the estimated 13,000-20,000 children in the city with depression, trauma, schizophrenia, or other mental health concerns. The report finds that the city has made some strides in treating more youth, but shows great need for improvement in a number of other areas. (WaPo, 4/13) You can access the full report here.

Montgomery County’s Office of Economic Development has teamed up with D.C. tech incubator 1776 to develop startup technology for public projects based on the county’s needs. (WBJ, 4/13)

Arlington Confident Despite Dubious Economic Indicators (ARLnow, 4/14)

This is worthy of one big, collective eye roll.

– Ciara

The U.S. spends more, gets less

There’s lots of news to share, so here’s your regular Daily WRAG edition instead of the Friday roundup. Happy Friday!

Government programs that support the poor are often subject to heavy criticism and are considered a wasteful burden. A new study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics , however, points to tax breaks as the real culprit of wasteful spending in the American system (WaPo, 4/9):

Witness the recent outrage over welfare recipients eating steak, visiting swimming pools, and driving a Mercedes while receiving public funds. But a new study argues that the real waste in the American system comes not from welfare programs like food stamps, but from widespread tax breaks that subsidize spending on things like health care and housing.

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Peterson Institute for International Economics, argues in a new report that once you take these kinds of tax breaks into account, the U.S. actually devotes far more resources than many other countries to “social spending” — spending on pensions, health care, family support, unemployment, housing assistance, and similar benefits meant to help people out in hard times. And, compared with most advanced countries, the U.S. gets far less bang for its buck in terms of health outcomes and equality.

HEALTH | Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to launch a new health and fitness initiative for District residents that will link them to nutrition and physical fitness resources in an effort to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce chronic diseases. (DCist, 4/9)

RACIAL EQUITY | The Atlantic takes a close look at America’s cities with high rates of racially concentrated areas of affluence (RCAAs), and the problematic way public policy has worked to address poverty. (Atlantic, 4/10)

GENDER EQUITY | Opinion: In the fight for gender equality, many have called for more support from men to further push for change. Four male Maryland legislators have become pioneers by becoming the first men to join the Women Legislators of Maryland – something that has never been done anywhere else in the country. (WaPo, 4/9)

ENVIRONMENT | The Troublesome Connection Between City Trees and Income Inequality (CityLab, 4/9)

FOOD | Schools becoming the ‘last frontier’ for hungry kids (USA Today, 4/5)

INEQUALITY | Opinion: According to the Social Progress Index for 2015, the United States ranks 16th overall. But in a country that constantly touts itself as “number 1,” have we become far too complacent to earn that distinction? (NYT, 4/9)

How well do you know the District’s systems? Take this quiz and find out.

– Ciara


The Business of Philanthropy featured on Washington Business Report

In case you missed it, here is a link to the video from the Washington Business Report edition that featured WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland, Pat Mathews of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, and David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners as they discussed the business of philanthropy. (WJLA, 7/7)

Enterprise Community Partners wasn’t only featured yesterday morning on the Washington Business Report. It was also honored as part of CASA de Maryland’s Justice Awards Night last week, along with Citi Community Development:

Citi Community Development was awarded for their ground-breaking work addressing the cost barriers to citizenship by establishing a first of its type citizenship small loan program:

Citi shares CASA’s commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. “Over the years, we have worked together to develop groundbreaking programs like Citizenship Maryland, which has helped hundreds of low-income legal permanent residents obtain U.S. citizenship and enjoy the full range of opportunities our country offers. The Citizenship Maryland initiative has become a national model, and it is being replicated in cities across the country, including in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Enterprise Community Partners was recognized for its commitment to preserving the Langley Park community as a diverse community where families can thrive:

Enterprise is honored to receive recognition from CASA de Maryland. We look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of families living along the Purple Line corridor.” said David Bowers Enterprise Vice President and Market Leader.

– On Tuesday, August 12th, Nonprofit Roundtable Montgomery will host, Putting the Challenges of Working and Living in Montgomery County in a Regional Context, the first local conversation with the authors of the recent Bursting the Bubble study. Members of Nonprofit Roundtable Montgomery and stakeholders in Montgomery Moving Forward are invited to join the discussion and explore the data to consider what is being done or planned in the county related to jobs and workforce development in a more regional context. More information can be found here.

Related: The study, Bursting the Bubble: The Challenges of Working and Living in the National Capitol Region, was released in late June and is a joint project of The Commonwealth Institute, The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and The Maryland Center on Economic Policy, with support from the Moriah Fund and the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, an initiative of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

EDUCATION │ D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is calling for greater coordination among charter and public schools amid news that a science-themed charter school has plans to open across the street from a similarly-themed public school in the fall. (WaPo, 7/5)

Henderson said that she envisions a process that would allow city and charter board officials to identify which neighborhoods most need new, good schools and which neighborhoods would benefit from specialty programs. The charter board would then use those priorities in determining which new schools should be approved, she said.

GENDER NORMS │ In this guest blog post exclusive for The Daily WRAG, Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of TrueChild, explores the topic of gender norms and young black girls. (Daily, 7/7)

ARTS │ A photography exhibit, shown at the Blind Whino Art House, focused on the families of those incarcerated in the prison system. The subjects of the photos are D.C. residents whose loved ones are serving lengthy sentences – many of which are life sentences. (WaPo, 7/6)

PHILANTHROPY Giving Circles Popular with Minorities and Younger Donors, Says Study (Chronicle, 7/2)

Perhaps you’ve noticed a few more animals around Capitol Hill lately?


On Gender Norms and Young Black Girls

By Riki Wilchins

Riki Wilchins is the Executive Director at TrueChild, an organization that aids donors, policy-makers and practitioners in reconnecting race, class and gender through “gender transformative” approaches challenging rigid gender norms and inequities. Wilchins has authored three books on gender theory and has appeared in a number of anthologies and publications on the subject. Her work has led her to be profiled by The New York Times, and she was once selected as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Civic Innovators for the 21st Century.” Here, Wilchins discusses what we can do to correct the effects of gender norms on young, black girls.

Decades of research has found that challenging harmful gender norms are a key to improving life outcomes for at-risk communities.

For instance, young women who internalize narrow feminine ideals that prioritize motherhood, dependence, vulnerability and appearance have lower life outcomes in reproductive health, education and economic empowerment.

Major international donor agencies like PEPFAR, USAID, UNAIDs, and WHO have all implemented “gender transformative” initiatives that challenge traditional gender norms, and found them effective (an introductory paper is here).

Gender impacts every issue funders address; yet donors and grantees are seldom challenged to do innovative work around gender.

As a senior program officer put it, “My staff and grantees get race and class, but where’s the gender analysis? What I want to know is—what happened to gender?”

Part of the answer to her question may lie in new report on young Black girls we conducted for the Heinz Endowments.

We found that Black adolescent girls and young women face special barriers related to both race and gender which have immense effects on their health, achievement and life outcomes. And this was especially true for low-income Black girls, who also have challenges associated with poverty.

First, Black girls’ unique race and gendered experiences of discrimination result in multiple stresses that – over time – impair their immune systems.

Also, they must navigate social hostilities based on race as well as pressures to conform to traditional feminine ideals and those specific to Black communities.

Moreover, feminine norms in the Black community often prioritize caretaking and self-sacrifice. Black girls may be silently encouraged to focus on others’ health while ignoring signals of pain and illness until their own bodies are in crisis.

The additive impact of these stresses can produce a “weathering effect,” in which Black women’s bodies become physically and biologically vulnerable, resulting in high rates of chronic disorders, reproductive health problems, infant mortality and obesity.

A new exhaustive study by the World Bank of thousands of women and girls of color in dozens of countries found that the main barrier to improving life and health outcomes wasn’t more money or expanded programs – it was challenging cultural gender norms.

As one Bank manager explained, “We’re not doing this because it’s politically correct – we’re data-driven economists – we’re doing it because the data shows it works better.”

That’s just what our study of young Black women and girls found. Isn’t it time US donors started reconnecting race, class and gender in our philanthropy as well?