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March 24, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Congress wants Justice Department to investigate DC’s missing children of color

– The number of missing Black and Latinx children in the District has recently gained national news and social media coverage. This week, the police department and mayor denied that there was an increase in the number of missing young people, but this left some dissatisfied. Now Congress members want the Justice Department to investigate. (NBC4, 3/23)

The letter, dated Tuesday and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, was sent by Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress. They called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”

An email sent to the Justice Department seeking comment was not immediately answered Thursday. Richmond said he hopes to meet with Sessions and bring up the issue.

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched the Our Children Fund, which is devoted to supporting children in the Fairfax County foster care system. (CFNV, 3/20)

WRAG COMMUNITY | Congratulations again to WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland and Kelly Brinkley, chief operating officer of United Way of the National Capital Area for winning Washington Business Journal‘s Minority Business Leader award! (WBJ, 3/23)

– This is how the possible shutdown of the National Endowment for the Arts will impact the region’s theaters. (DC Theater Scene, 3/23)

– Although women lead 48% of art museums, a gender gap still persists in the leadership of large art museums. (NYT, 3/22)

HOUSING | The Coalition for Smarter Growth has released a new report recommending that DC apply a permanent affordability requirement to receive funding for affordable housing developments. (CSG, 3/20)

HEALTH | Is Economic Despair What’s Killing Middle-Aged White Americans? (Atlantic, 3/23)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Community Affairs Contractor – Engagement, Capital One Cafés | Capital One – NEW!
Executive Director | International Association for Volunteer Effort
Executive Director | Catalogue for Philanthropy
Part-time Accountant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Donor Services Associate, District of Columbia | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Associate Director, Policy & Communications | Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Administrative Associate
| Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Manager, Operations & Programming
| Walker’s Legacy Foundation
Senior Associate, Engagement – Mid-Atlantic and Retail and Direct Bank markets
| Capital One
Executive Director
| Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia

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.

Mean Girls is now a musical.

– Kendra

March 23, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

HIV prevention drug awareness in DC focuses on black women

HIV/AIDS | Addressing the HIV rate in the District, which is the nation’s highest, has long been a priority for the city. Now the city has partnered with local organizations to raise awareness and increase access to a new prevention drug for the community that are the second-highest demographic at risk for HIV: black women. But with this new awareness, they are still dealing with the barriers related to accessing the drug. (StreetSense, 3/22)

Low-income Black women or those who are homeless face systemic barriers to accessing PrEP when they are HIV-negative. If they are HIV-positive, they face significant stigma surrounding HIV in society and even within the medical community.

Since PrEP requires a prescription and follow-up appointments every three months, people with unstable housing face additional challenges in trying to obtain PrEP. Simply lacking a place to store the medication is a problem.

Dr. Monica Vohra, a primary care physician at Bread for the City, noted that transportation is a large problem for adherence to PrEP by patients experiencing homelessness. “How do you get to your provider to have these follow-up visits that are pretty much required for you to be able to take the medication?” Vohra asked. “PrEP is useful if it’s taken correctly. Its efficacy really reduces if it’s not taken on a consistent basis.”

Related: The Washington AIDS Partnership launched its PrEP for Women Initiative last year to increase knowledge and use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women of color in the District. Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership said this about the program,”We are proud to be managing one of the largest programs helping women of color.”

NONPROFITS/EVENT | Dr. Donney John, executive director of NOVA Scripts Central, reflects on his experience at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop in 2016 and shares why the workshop was valuable for his work with his clinic. (Daily, 3/23)

Related: Learn how to strengthen relationships with existing corporate funders and attract the attention of future corporate partners at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop. Register here

PHILANTHROPY | This week foundation leaders met with members of Congress during Foundations on the Hill, an annual event sponsored by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Alliance for Charitable Reform, and the Council on Foundations. The topics discussed included the Johnson Amendment and recent proposed budget cuts. (Chronicle, 3/22 – Subscription needed)

LGBTQ/AGINGAdvocates fear erasure of LGBTQ seniors from national elder survey (MetroWeekly, 3/20)

REGION | Both Loudoun County and DC saw the most population growth in our region. (WTOP, 3/23)

GENDER EQUITY | Women in the District and Maryland most likely will have equal pay by 2065, but nationally, women of color might have to wait about 200 more years according to new research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. (Citylab, 3/22)

MENTAL HEALTH | NPR explores how a ‘scarcity mindset‘ can make problems worse and how to deal with it. (WAMU, 3/23)

Related: Last year’s Brightest Minds speaker Eldar Shafir, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, discussed how scarcity impacted individuals living in poverty. Read about the session here.

Would you have guessed the right letter?

– Kendra

March 23, 2017 / WRAG

Reflections on Fundamentals of CSR Workshop: Donney John

Dr. Donney John
Executive Director
NOVA Scripts Central

Why did you choose to participate in the workshop?
At the time of the workshop in 2015, I was still a relatively new executive director and I wanted to learn about new funding strategies. I knew that we needed to diversify our funding streams and that we could not rely solely on grants from foundations to sustain us. I chose to participate in the workshop because I wanted to learn how to engage businesses more effectively.

What was your favorite part of the workshop?
I enjoyed the breakout sessions, especially “Learning to make the CSR business case”. I particularly enjoyed this because I was able to learn how to develop a CSR engagement strategy that I could use at my organization. I listened to the pros and cons of approaches that where highlighted by the folks in the breakout session and took those ideas and learnings back to my organization.

How have you used the knowledge and/or the connections you gained at the workshop to improve your work?
After the workshop, we worked to develop a strategy for evaluating which corporate partners we should approach. We did a better job of researching potential corporate partners to make sure that there was mission-alignment before we approached or engaged with them. Prior to the workshop, we did not always identify the strategic partnership potential with corporations, focusing instead only on the financial benefit they could provide to our organization. Now the first thing we look for is strategic partnership opportunities.

What would you tell prospective participants about the workshop?
The workshop gives you great insight on how to engage with corporations and other potential partners. The information is applicable to every aspect of running a nonprofit successfully.

Do you have any tips for 2017 registrants on how to get the most out of their participation?
This workshop is very beneficial for executive directors, directors of operations and development coordinators. Do your homework regarding which companies will be present so you can have some background information about them before attending.

About Fundamentals of CSR
Join the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers for this informative, two-day workshop designed and taught by more than 20 corporate philanthropy and community involvement professionals from some of the region’s largest and most respected companies.

This workshop is designed specifically for individuals who want to better understand the field of corporate responsibility, corporate philanthropy, corporate volunteerism, and corporate community involvement for the purposes of developing new and deeper corporate relationships and more effective corporate fundraising strategies.

Click here for registration information and check out the draft agenda.

March 22, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The making of the District’s NoMa neighborhood

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | The area around New York Avenue has a tumultuous history in the District. Its recent history tells what happens when economic development leads to gentrification and what happens when some residents are left out. (Medium, 3/9)

NoMa BID was formed in 2007 and wasted little time ushering in development and breaking ground on new projects every few months. In the last nine years, NoMa BID helped attract notable tenants to the neighborhood, such as NPR, Google, and the Department of Homeland Security. Since the Metro station opened, the amount of office and retail space has doubled within NoMa BID’s borders. In addition to the 3,836 existing apartments, about 1,000 units — many of them luxury dwellings — are nearing completion.

Today, development continues at a fast clip, with gleaming high-rises towering over construction sites where eager developers scramble to break ground. But along certain borders of the BID, the development and economic activity abruptly halts — most notably along its North Capitol Street border with Truxton Circle.

– Polly Donaldson, director of DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development, discusses the state of affordable housing in the District. (Curbed, 3/21)

– Airbnbs’ rental practices could be driving up rent in DC (GGW, 3/21)

RACIAL EQUITY  | Why Black Families Struggle to Build Wealth (Atlantic, 3/20)

IMMIGRATIONMore Than 60 D.C. Area Congregations Launch Network to Protect Immigrants (WCP, 3/22)

– The DC Council has proposed a bill that would require employers who provide their employees with free or subsidized parking to give them an option of receiving the money instead. (WaPo, 3/17)

– Opinion: Employee-owned Businesses Can Boost Local Economies (NPQ, 3/21)

ECONOMY | Virginia Economic Department Partnership CEO shares his priorities for the state and how Loudoun County can help. (LoudounNow, 3/20)

The Funk Parade is almost here!

– Kendra

March 21, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

What happens to poor people if there is no affordable legal aid?

LEGAL AID | Low-income individuals are often unable to afford lawyers during civil proceedings. The Legal Services Corporation, created in 1971, provided this service to these communities and now the new administration would like to eliminate it. (CityLab, 3/20)

The services those organizations provide can be life-changing. Legal-aid lawyers in multiple states told me their offices help low-income Americans fight foreclosures and avoid evictions, protect domestic-violence survivors by filing restraining orders and navigating the family-court system, work with veterans and families to obtain public benefits, represent victims of consumer scams, and provide a variety of other services. Their assistance can range from educational programs to direct legal representation in state, federal, and tribal courts.

– A new report, by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, explores the practices and operations of limited life foundations. (CEP, 3/21)

– Foundations Take a Stand — or Not — on the GOP Health Plan (Chronicle, 3/20 – Subscription needed)

AGING | The aging population and the nonprofits that serve them are at risk due to possible changes to the health care bill. How can philanthropy support them? (NPQ, 3/20)

WORKFORCE | Report: D.C.’s minimum wage hike could have some unintended effects (WBJ, 3/17 – Subscription needed)

HOUSING | Montgomery County, MD mall owners would like to create multi-family housing on land connected to their mall. (Bethesda Beat, 3/17)

PUBLIC SAFETY | District leaders sent a list of recommendations on the Metropolitan Police Department’s use of force policy and they’ve responded to them. (WJLA, 3/20)

Washington City Paper will keep the Peeps diorama contest alive! 

– Kendra

March 20, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Maryland advocates want to re-open recovery school for teens

– As the opioid epidemic sweeps the nation and Maryland’s governor has declared a state of emergency due to the crisis, advocates are looking at reopening a school for teenagers dealing with addiction. Drug-related emergency room visits are up for teenagers in Montgomery County, MD, which is prompting this effort. (WaPo, 3/19)

Former students recall the importance of the school’s recovery-minded community, apart from their old friends and bad habits. At Phoenix, other teenagers were trying to stay clean; they often remained at Phoenix a year or two, then returned to their high schools or graduated.

Henry Bockman, 48, who attended in the mid-1980s and is now a business owner in the county, says he recalls team-building during outdoor trips — rock climbing, caving, rafting — Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, support from other teenagers and teachers who took the time to really know students.

– Study: Half or more of community college students struggle to afford food, housing (Hechinger Report, 3/15)

ADVOCACY | Last week, WRAG’s Board of Directors voted to sign on as a supporter of the New Social Compact, a statement of values, practices, and actions produced by professor john a. powell of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley. Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, discusses why WRAG signed on to the compact, and how we use our voice on issues that matter. (Daily, 3/20)

HEALTH | A new state analysis found that under the proposed healthcare bill, Virginia’s Medicaid program could lose $1.8 billion over a six-year span. (WTOP, 3/17)

REGION/ECONOMY | The administration’s new budget would severely impact social spending in the DC region. (WaPo, 3/18)

WRAG/EVENTS | On March 30th, the 2030 Group, a regional group of Washington Metropolitan area business leaders who are focused on strengthening the region’s economy, will hold “The Roadmap for Washington Region’s Economic Future: Where Are We Now?” event. Register here.

HOUSING | Opinion: The D.C. region needs a housing corporation to help make home prices affordable (WaPo, 3/17)

ENVIRONMENT | Why racial equity and diversity have to matter in the environmental sector and how to address it. (Center for Effective Philanthropy, 3/16)

An office MacGyver with the steaks

– Kendra

March 20, 2017 / WRAG

Using WRAG’s Voice on Issues That Matter

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

On March 14, 2017, the WRAG Board of Directors voted to sign on as a supporter of the New Social Compact, a statement of values, practices, and actions being promulgated by professor john a. powell of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley and the first speaker in WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” lecture series. The preface to the document states,

There are certain times in which we are called upon to rethink, reclaim, and boldly articulate what we stand for, and to act, and we believe we are in one of those times today.

By signing on to this document, WRAG as an organization is stating our commitment to the following core values:

  • A belief in the dignity and humanity of all people.
  • A recognition that all people are connected to each other and to our living planet.
  • A belief in the rights of all people to fairly and freely participate in the democratic governing structures that impact their lives.
  • A belief in the responsibility of government, markets, and a civil society that work to serve the wellbeing of people, including the right to health care, education, food and shelter.
  • A belief that it is untenable to enact policies that suppress opportunity.
  • A belief in the rights of free expression under the protection of the government.

The public expression of an organizational commitment to such values is not something that WRAG often does.

Under the leadership of Yanique Redwood, head of the Consumer Health Foundation and vice chair of the WRAG Board, WRAG’s Program and Policy Committee has been considering how WRAG might have more of a voice. WRAG’s strategic plan lifts up our role as a voice for philanthropy as part of our lasting value. The Committee, comprised of representatives of the convening groups under WRAG as well as members at large, believes that as an association of funders, WRAG is uniquely positioned to influence public discourse, public policy and to alert public officials to policy alternatives. With the guidance of this committee, WRAG will seek to:

  • Advocate for policies that benefit the social profit sector;
  • Utilize the expertise of the working groups, in particular, to promote issue-based polices that foster equity in the region; and,
  • Educate WRAG members about their own ability to engage in and fund policy advocacy.

WRAG shares the belief of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We believe that in the past we have not used our voice as powerfully as we could have. Look to WRAG to use our platform to speak out on many more issues that matter.