Fight for Children founder passes away…Racial income gap huge in D.C., narrow in suburbs…Promise Neighborhood faces uncertain future [News, 12.8.11]

IN MEMORIAM | Joseph E. Robert Jr., founder of Fight for Children and its signature fundraiser, Fight Night, passed away last night at the age of 59 after a battle with brain cancer. Robert went from being a homeless college drop-out to a billionaire real estate mogul who dedicated his wealth and influence to philanthropy in our region, especially around children’s education and health. (WG Daily, 12/8)

REGIONAL EQUITY | New data show that the average income for white District residents is more than three-times that of black residents. That massive disparity is isolated in our region, however, as the racial income gaps in the suburbs “have become some of the nation’s narrowest.” (WaPo, 12/8)

PROMISE NEIGHBORHOODS | The D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative in Parkside-Kenilworth didn’t receive the $6 million federal grant it had hoped for. Now its organizers are facing an uncertain future, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy says that “private fund raising could make or break the quest to pepper the nation with Harlem-inspired efforts, given the pressure on Congress to slash federal spending.” (Chronicle, 12/5)

YOUTH | For the Community Foundation’s blog, Julia Irving of the Metropolitan Police Department talks about Giving D.C. Youth a Chance (CFNCR, 12/7)

GIVING | NPR’s Marketplace takes a look at how charities are using Groupon to raise money. (NPR, 12/7)

Related: Earlier this year, the Community Foundation partnered with Groupon to raise money for the Neighbors in Need Fund. (WG Daily, 4/25)

EDUCATION | DCPS cancels promised arts magnet middle school (GGW, 12/8)

HOUSING/ENVIRONMENT | D.C. Affordable Housing Complex Gets Solar Panels (WAMU, 12/8)

PEOPLE | The Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser will serve as the “volunteer chairman” of the U.S. arm of Prince Charles’ Prince of Wales Foundation. (WaPo, 12/8) Blimey! I wonder if he’ll raise money for the foundation in dollars or pounds?

Another big loss today. Musician Dobie Gray died from cancer at 69. Here’s his most famous song – a genuine classic.

DC Cultural Data Project launches…New report on Freddie and Fannie from 8 Neighbors…Lessons from Weast and Dale [News, 10.3.11]

ANNOUNCEMENT | Today, WRAG is excited to announce the launch of the DC Cultural Data Project (DC CDP). The CDP is an online management tool designed to strengthen the management capacity of the District’s arts and cultural sector.

The project, which is run by Pew Charitable Trusts, and was brought to the District through the leadership of the DC CDP Task Force, consisting of WRAG, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Meyer Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, and the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities, is an invaluable tool that will allow advocates for the arts to better demonstrate the vital role the sector plays in the economic life of the District. Read about it here. (WG Daily, 10/3)

GIVING | A new report from George Mason University and commissioned by the 8 Neighbors group – of which WRAG is a member – looks at the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s giving in the Greater Washington region and the need for new corporate philanthropic leadership. (WG Daily, 10/3)

PROMISE NEIGHBORHOODS | Copying the Harlem Children’s Zone in DC (The Root, 10/1)

- The Post’s Jay Matthews looks at recently retired Montgomery County schools chief Jerry Weast and soon-to-retire Fairfax County superintendent Jack Dale and asks, “What can we learn from comparing Dale and Weast?” (WaPo, 10/3)

- Low Test Scores At MoCo High Schools (WAMU, 10/3) “12 of 25 high schools in Montgomery County did not achieve adequate yearly progress on the NCLB High school assessments for reading and math.”

- Online textbooks moving into Washington area schools (WaPo, 10/3)

It’s tough to claim that I’m saying this without some degree of hyperbole, but I don’t think I am. So, in the category of “greatest news of all time,” it was announced yesterday that Arrested Development will be returning to television for one more season, followed by a movie. Oh happy day.


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