Tag: social justice

Urgent care center to open east of the river in the District is a step forward for health equity

HEALTH/EQUITY | The first urgent care center is coming to Wards 7 and 8, which advocates say is long overdue and a major step forward in the fight for health equity. MBI Health Services will open the center, which will be a 24/7 site for any acute problem that doesn’t truly require a trip to the emergency room. (CP, 3/13)

MBI hopes to finish building out its center by November of this year. As far as their doctors are concerned, it couldn’t open soon enough. MBI CEO Marie Morilus-Black says that “at least once a week, sometimes more, we have to call an ambulance for one of our patients because their [blood] pressure is so high as to be at a stroke level.” She wants to send them to an urgent care rather than to the ER, but there aren’t any east of the river. So she decided to start her own.

– Citi has maintained top position as the largest affordable housing lender in the country. (Affordable Housing Finance, 3/4)

Our property tax system rewards neglect and punishes investment in struggling neighborhoods (GGW, 3/11)

– Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro and County Executive Marc Elrich stand united in the creation of a new racial equity and social justice policy.

– City planners need to talk about race. The lives of our residents depend on it (GGW, 3/12)

– A racial slur aimed at three black children on a DC schoolyard has moved a public elementary school with a mostly white, wealthy student body to examine school inclusivity and discipline policies. (WaPo, 3/12)

TRANSIT | More (rich) people are living near DC Metro stations, but fewer are riding. (WaPo, 3/11)

LGBTQIA+ | ‘Gender Neutral’ ID Bill Gains Traction in Annapolis (Bethesda Magazine, 3/11)

PHILANTHROPY | How Liberatory Philanthropy and Restorative Investing Can Remake the Economy (NPQ, 2/28)

Interesting – a history of DC’s Daylight Saving mishaps

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

– Buffy

DC’s top education leaders trained to merge business concepts with equity in public education

EDUCATION/EQUITY | DC’s top three educational leaders – state superintendent Hanseul Kang, deputy mayor of education Paul Kihn, and acting schools chancellor Lewis Ferebee – have all studied at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, an educational leadership program that promotes a business perspective in the management of urban public school districts that has a focus on equity. Those who support the training program say it offers a unique corporate-like training experience, while critics say the teachings encourage school leaders to undermine democratic control of public education. (WAMU, 2/19)

Ferebee says it’s possible to merge these business concepts with equity in public education. “When you are studying leadership and change theory, there is a lot that you can learn from the business sector, and we obviously take advantage of that. [But] it’s not limited to business principles. Maximizing resources is obviously a part of the business community. Often times it is how you impact your bottom line. Maximizing your resources is also one way to address equity, ensuring that you get the most out of the public dollars you have access to.”

CENSUS | Communities of color and immigrants are at particular risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census and the Virginia Legislature has recently stripped funds for Census outreach. (Commonwealth Institute, 2/14)

RACE | According to a just-released Goucher College poll, a majority of Maryland residents think race relations in the state have worsened in recent years. (WaPo, 2/18)

HEALTH | In honor of Presidents Day, the de Beaumont Foundation has released a quiz with interesting facts about US presidents and how their policy, advocacy, and private lives have influenced Americans’ health.

HOMELESSNESS | A challenge to Virginia’s ‘habitual drunkard’ law argues that it targets homeless people. (WaPo, 2/18)

WORKFORCE | A proposed bill currently being considered in Annapolis would phase out lower wages paid to tipped workers. (WAMU, 2/8)

ENVIRONMENT | If we don’t address climate change, DC weather will feel more like Mississippi in the next 60 years. (WAMU, 2/15)

NONPROFITS | Sometimes the best thing we donors can do to advance social justice is to just write the check and get out of the way (Nonprofit AF, 2/18)

Marylanders love our Old Bay – do you know what’s in it?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Friday this week!

– Buffy

The administration’s plan to erase transgender people

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | A recent memo reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to redefine gender as either male or female, “unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.” This definition would erase transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming individuals as well as impose a binary that people have been fighting against for decades. (Atlantic, 10/21)

…this is a federal agency proposing widespread genetic testing and keeping records of citizens’ genitals. This is a proposal by the government imposing an expectation that everyone look and act in one of two ways, and that everything in between is somehow not right—an aberration, an anomaly, a flaw, a problem, a disease—rather than a marvel of the natural world, a way that humans survive and thrive not despite but because of our complexity as a species.

Even those who believe a simplistic dichotomy does and should explain the world—regardless of the millions of people who exist as evidence to the contrary—should see reason to question the American-ness of government imposing such a rigid prescription on everyone.

HIV/AIDS | Executive director Channing Wickham and senior program officer Jennifer Jue of the Washington AIDS Partnership discuss the Mobile Outreach Retention and Engagement initiative (MORE). MORE was created to help people living with HIV to access and stay in care when traditional medical services have not worked for them. (Daily, 10/22)

SOCIAL JUSTICE | Opinion: Philanthropy Won’t Change the World Unless It Takes More Risks. Here’s How. (Chronicle, 10/17 – Subscription needed)

– Virginia will begin accepting applications from low-income adults who are newly eligible for health coverage under Medicaid on November 1. (WAMU, 10/18)

– What to know about acute flaccid myelitis, the polio-like illness that’s affecting children (Baltimore Sun, 10/17)

EDUCATION | The American Civil Liberties Union has partnered with four Prince George’s County students who are challenging the school system’s summer school tuition policy, which makes families pay for the student to attend summer school. (WaPo, 10/21)

TRANSITIs Uber the Enemy or Ally of Public Transit? (Citylab, 10/19)

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.

A tool created to lessen racial disparities in the justice system may be doing the opposite

– A new tool that was meant to make it easier for states to reform the bail system has advocates worried that it can also lead to racial disparities in the justice system. The tool uses an algorithm to predict if an individual is a flight risk and how likely they are to commit another crime after they are arrested. (Atlantic, 9/21)

Activists argue that the algorithms are fundamentally flawed, because the data they use to predict a person’s risk could be influenced by structural racism: The number of times someone has been convicted of a crime, for example, or their failure to appear in court could both be affected by racial bias. As a result, they say, any bias that’s baked into the data is replicated by the algorithms, but with the veneer of scientific objectivity.

“My concern [about using the tools] is that what you could have is essentially racial profiling 2.0,” said Vincent Southerland, the executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at the New York University Law School… “We’re forecasting what some individuals may do based on what groups they’re associated with have done in the past.”

– Marshal Law: D.C. Is A Sanctuary City, But That Status Stops At The Courthouse Door (WAMU, 9/20)

PUERTO RICO | How the Puerto Rican community in the DC region is using its power to advocate for more federal support to help residents rebuild. (WAMU, 9/20)

SOCIAL JUSTICE | Opinion: We Need Corporate America in the Fight for Justice (Chronicle, 9/5 – Subscription needed)

EDUCATION | Why we should rethink the school day to help working parents and students. (Citylab, 9/19)

HEALTHSTDs such as syphilis and gonorrhea rising rapidly in Maryland (WaPo, 9/20)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Program Officer | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation– New!
Community Investment Fellow | Greater Washington Community Foundation– New!
Digital Marketing Manager | Greater Washington Community Foundation– New!
Philanthropic Relations Specialist | Guidestar USA– New!
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation– New!
Communications Associate, Design and Web | Flamboyan Foundation– New!
Communications Manager, Content and Digital | Flamboyan Foundation– New!
Grants Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS)– New!
Chief Development Officer | EveryMind– New!
Director of Development | DC Bar Foundation– New!
Institutional Fundraising Coordinator | Shakespeare Theatre Company
Development Manager | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Vice-President for Development and Communications | Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED)
Development Manager | Leadership Greater Washington
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
Major Gifts Officer | L’Arche Greater Washington D.C.
Manager of Program & Evaluation Services | BoardSource
Programs Officer | DC Bar 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

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.

Today, parking spaces across the region will transform into tiny parks.

– Kendra

The administration has proposed an overhaul of SNAP benefits

FOOD INSECURITY | Instead of giving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants their cash benefits and allowing them the autonomy to use that money to buy the foods they know will sustain their household, the administration has proposed the government pick the food it believes these families should be eating and send them a “Harvest Box”. (NYT, 2/13)

The proposal seemed like a radical overhaul of the country’s core food assistance program — once called food stamps but now commonly known as SNAP. The idea was to shave about $21 billion a year from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. But the reaction was immediate, and largely negative.

Democrats claimed the plan shackled the poor while business groups, led by big food retailers, would stand to lose billions of dollars in lost SNAP business. The head of one trade association typically supportive of President Trump’s economic policies accused the administration of reneging on its pledge to cut “red tape and regulations.”

– A Virginia farm with a history of displaying signs with social justice messages is responding to the backlash they recently received from a “resist white supremacy” message. (WaPo, 2/14)

Howard University Joins Digital Effort To Celebrate Frederick Douglass Bicentennial (WAMU, 2/14)

HEALTH | New research suggests that the rise of the opioid epidemic is not primarily caused by economic distress. The study’s author argues that the increase in access to illegal opiods is the biggest contributor. (Citylab, 2/14)

IMMIGRATIONWhat a Question About Citizenship on the U.S. Census Could Mean (Yes! Magazine, 2/12)

PHILANTHROPY |  Rick Moyers, former vice president for programs and communications at Meyer Foundation, argues that we need both strategic and checkbook philanthropy to support the nonprofits and communities we are seeking to help. (CEP, 2/13)

ECONOMYReport: Data centers worth $10.2 billion to Virginia economy (InsideNOVA, 2/14)

A Wakanda-themed pop-up bar is coming to U Street this weekend to celebrate the opening of the Black Panther movie.

– Kendra

LGBTQ funding has slowed, according to new report

LGBTQ | Funders for LGBTQ Issues has released its 2015 Tracking Report, which examines foundation giving for LGBTQ issues in 2015. The report found an increase in funding for transgender communities, grantmaking to address criminalization and criminal justice reform, and support for LGBTQ communities in the South. (Funders for LGBTQ Issues, 5/15)

The 2015 total of $160.7 million constitutes a 4.8 percent increase over the $153.2 million in LGBTQ funding awarded by foundations in 2014. While we are pleased to see the continued rise in LGBTQ funding, the rate of growth has slowed considerably compared to the prior year, when LGBTQ funding increased by 19 percent. The year 2015 saw an expansion of the number of funders supporting LGBTQ issues, but this expansion was partially offset by a handful of leading funders cutting back on their investments in LGBTQ communities, resulting in much more modest growth.

For the second time, we reviewed the grantmaking of 100 of the largest foundations, and found that only 41 of them had awarded even a single grant focused on LGBTQ issues.

SOCIAL JUSTICE | Congratulations to Mary E. McClymont, president and CEO of Public Welfare Foundation (and secretary of WRAG’s board of directors), for being recognized as a “Champion of Justice” by the Alliance for Justice! (PWF, 5/18)

– Truth Initiative’s CEO Robin Koval discusses the mission of her organization and its efforts to eradicate youth smoking. (Chronicle, 5/19)

– Maryland has awarded its first license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. (WaPo, 5/17)

EDUCATION | Some District schools are facing funding cuts in the upcoming fiscal year. (WaPo, 5/18)

– The DC Council is considering two bills to increase affordable housing in the city. (Washington Times, 5/17)

Related: One of the programs mentioned in the article is WRAG’s partnership with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Our Region, Your Investment, which to date has raised over $11 in impact investments for affordable housing in the region.

– Arlington County banned townhouses in 1938 and residents are still dealing with its impact today. (GGWash, 5/17)

BUDGETTax increase for vital projects in Manassas, but will even more taxes be needed? (InsideNOVA, 5/19)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Democracy Program Manager | Funder’s Committee for Civic Participation – New!
Program Assistant | Public Welfare Foundation
Communications Manager | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Director of Communications | de Beaumont Foundation
Program Coordinator, Grants and Selection | Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Director of Programmatic Initiatives | Fight For Children
Major Gift Officer–DC | Urban Teachers
Program Analyst | Clark Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Market Coordinator, Community Affairs Mid-Atlantic | Capital One
Director of Community Engagement | Association of American Medical Colleges
Director of Data Services | GuideStar USA, Inc.

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click the image below to access the calendar.

What’s your American Dream?

– Kendra

A new tool maps America’s homelessness problem

HOMELESSNESS | A new project, Understanding Homelessness, wants to make it easier for us to understand the cause of homelessness in the U.S. and strategies to alleviate it. The project includes an interactive tool that maps homelessness across the nation, along with homeless population demographics, government spending in the jurisdictions and other statistics. (Citylab, 4/7)

The first section of [Urban Planner Gretchen] Keillor’s project presents the fundamentals of the issue. It gives a brief historical snapshot of homelessness in America, and contains answers to basic questions (who qualifies as a homeless person?) as well as more complex ones (what causes someone to become homeless?). By laying out this information in short lists and catchy infographics, Keillor hopes that concerned citizens, planners, and policymakers can dispel some common myths.

“Homeless people aren’t this other demographic—they’re just people,” Keillor says. Contrary to what some may think, for example, it’s not laziness and lack of motivation that puts these people on the street, but usually a combination of systemic issues and bad luck. In fact, one of the biggest factors behind the phenomenon is the lack of affordable housing.

FOOD INSECURITYFood Security Plan Aims To Tackle Hunger in Montgomery County (Bethesda Beat, 4/7)

– A new study found that having just one Black teacher reduced low-income Black male students’ probability of dropping out of high school. (NPR, 4/10)

– States are debating tuition break for undocumented students. (WTOP, 4/10)

– Inova Health System is partnering with a local university to train its future health care workforce. (WBJ, 4/10)

– Opinion: A new hospital at St. Elizabeths could be a shot in the arm, but it won’t be a panacea (GGWash, 4/7)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Fairfax County supervisors have voted to lower the percentage of affordable housing units required of developers building condos in the county. (INSIDENOVA, 4/10)

SOCIAL JUSTICE | The local Jewish community will celebrate Passover with a focus on social justice. (WAMU, 4/10)

DC has a new day spa for your cat

– Kendra

Region tops areas for entrepreneurship

According to a new report, Washington, D.C. takes the top spot in the country for entrepreneurial cities. Maryland and Virginia ranked high at the state level (DC Inno, 6/3):

This is actually the second year in a row that the D.C. area has been top ranked in entrepreneurship, but the overall growth of entrepreneurship in the U.S. is notable, with only four cities earning a lower score than last year, and some cities dropping in rank despite higher scores only because others jumped ahead. And while D.C. was the center of entrepreneurship in terms of city rankings, Virginia and Maryland were numbers one and two respectively when it came to comparisons by state, no doubt aided by the gravitational pull of the D.C. metro area, along with some impressive numbers out of Baltimore.

CHILDREN/POVERTYThe Families That Can’t Afford Summer (NYT, 6/4)

SOCIAL JUSTICE/MASS INCARCERATION | Despite research showing that employment leads to lower rates of recidivism, many returning citizens are met with endless barriers to joining the workforce. (Atlantic, 5/31)

Related: Following the Putting Racism on the Table session on mass incarceration, Graham McLaughlin of the Advisory Board Company and returning citizen and business owner Anthony Pleasant discussed their personal insights into the justice system and the many challenges facing returning citizens. (Daily, 4/25)

– MacArthur to Give $100 Million to 1 Group to Solve 1 Big Problem (Chronicle, 6/2)

– Could the future of philanthropic giving lie within a mobile app? (Co.Exist, 6/3)

ENVIRONMENT/RACISM | For some African Americans, a long history of racial discrimination has prevented them from feeling as though they can fully embrace the U.S. park system. (City Lab, 6/2)

– WAMU takes a look at how Metro’s SafeTrack plan will impact the District’s 8,500+ public school students throughout the summer and early fall. (WAMU, 6/6)

–  Metro’s SafeTrack Is Underway: Here Are Your Transportation Alternatives (WCP, 6/3)

Dear middle school pen pal from Turkey whose letter I never got around to responding to – I failed you miserably.

– Ciara

Six-figure salary needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment

Yet another study confirms the significant housing burden placed on families in the District, projecting that a household would need to bring in more than $119,000 in order to rent a two-bedroom apartment. (DCist, 5/17)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that households spend 30 percent or less of their income on rent. To meet that requirement, families must earn an annual income of $119,271 to afford a two-bedroom apartment here, according to a study from SmartAsset.

The median household income in the city was $71,648 in 2014 (numbers for 2015 won’t be released until September).

– Caitlyn Duffy, project associate for Philamplify at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, discusses why she is challenging philanthropy and other sectoral organizations to talk more explicitly about structural racism, citing WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series as one such example of how that is currently taking place (NCRP, 5/18):

[..] there are a number of affinity groups that have chosen to address race explicitly – going beyond coded language such as “inequality” or “lack of diversity.” For example, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is hosting Putting Racism on the Table, a learning series that I have attended on behalf of the Diverse City Fund. WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, recently shared why Nonprofits Need to Talk About Race, Not Just Diversity in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

– With their Patient-Centered Medical Home program, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is working to help improve care coordination among primary care providers and specialists in order to reign in health costs. (WBJ, 5/17)

Video: Children’s Health Care Expands in Southeast DC (WUSA, 5/16)

More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage (NPR, 5/13)

EDUCATION/POVERTY | VideoNine facts about attending college when you are poor (WaPo, 5/17)

FOOD | As part of the Feed the 5,000 campaign – an initiative to shed light on the issue of global food waste – 5,000 people in the District can receive free meals today, featuring recovered produce that would have otherwise been discarded. (WaPo, 5/16)

WORKFORCEMillions To Be Eligible For Overtime Under New Obama Administration Rule (NPR, 5/17)

HOMELESSNESS | In San Francisco, a number of media outlets have pledged to unite and dedicate coverage to homelessness in the city on June 29. Participants hope the project will not only turn more attention to the issue, but also inspire government agencies to set aside their own differences around the matter. (GOOD, 5/17)

A growing number of new parents are naming their babies after a major sports channel…and it actually does have a nice ring to it!

– Ciara