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August 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Where should the District build affordable housing?

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute has created a new interactive tool that lets users explore the best places to build affordable housing in the District. The tool utilizes indicators such as neighborhood poverty, violent crime, job proximity, racial diversity, and residential land cost to determine if a neighborhood is suitable. (DCFPI Blog, 8/10)

The tool allows users to choose their level of priority for each of the four opportunity-related indicators and the land cost index, which then creates an “affordable housing priority score” for each neighborhood based on the selected priorities. You could use the tool, for example, to focus only on land costs, or access to jobs, or on a mix of factors. Adding, removing, or changing the weight of an index changes a neighborhood’s priority score. Whatever you choose, the higher a neighborhood’s score indicates the higher priority the District should place on creating affordable housing there according to your criteria.

INSTITUTE FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Bailey Jacobs, director of communications and marketing at U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, gives five reasons why CSR professionals should register for the Institute for CSR. (Daily, 8/16)

EDUCATION | A new analysis shows improved test scores for Northern Virginia students, especially English learners. (WaPo, 8/15)

TRANSPORTATION | There’s a new Capital Bikeshare mobile app that allows riders to check ride history and find stations and bikes. (DCist, 8/15)

HEALTH | Here are some of the “critical errors” that led to DC regulators ordering the shutdown of United Medical Center’s obstetrics ward for ninety days. (WBJ, 8/15)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Maryland’s governor has called for the removal of a statue of Roger B. Taney, a US Supreme Court justice and slavery defender, from the State House grounds. (WaPo, 8/15)

The Daily will be back on August 21!

Just a reminder of the beauty of polar regions…

– Kendra

August 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Five Reasons to Register for the Institute for CSR

By Bailey Jacobs
Director of Communications and Marketing
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dynamic space—businesses of all sizes are constantly innovating and finding new ways to make an even greater impact in the communities where they operate. For CSR professionals, keeping up on these trends and best practices are crucial to both your professional growth and your ability to make a sustained impact through your work.

As you consider your priorities for 2018—I encourage you to put your professional development at the top of that list.

Now in its fifth year, the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility was designed by and for those working in the field. It’s helped practitioners at companies of all sizes refine their strategy, find new inspiration, and build new partnerships. Here are four reasons why you need to join us at Institute for CSR next year—as well as one reason why you need to get your application in before September 30!

1. Build your Peer Network

CSR is a unique space in the business world—balancing community impact, grants, creating shared value, and more. This balancing act makes it even more important to connect with those that understand your priorities and challenges.

Institute for CSR was designed with this in mind—during the four sessions you’ll connect as well as learn from your fellow participants. And since the Institute is limited to the first 25 accepted applicants, it fosters an intimate setting to make these invaluable professional connections.

2. Learn from the Best

The Institute for CSR faculty includes some of the nation’s leading CSR practitioners, thinkers, and authors, including top executives from companies such as American Express, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PwC, and, Walmart. Each of these leaders dedicates their time to build a robust and challenging course for each Institute session—ensuring participants are exposed to some of the most exciting thinking and promising practices from the field.

3. Interactive Learning Experience

Designed by and for CSR professionals, the Institute’s curriculum is highly interactive, steeped in practice, and based on real-life case studies and current trends. The face-to-face learning experience will provide you with a trusted forum for robust discussions, debates, and exploration of unique challenges faced by participants, their companies, and the field at large.

4. Content Designed for You

The Institute for CSR was designed for the busy CSR business professional—and that is reflected in everything from the topics covered to the guest speakers featured. Ranging from ethics to sustainability, from measurement to communications—the Institute for CSR is designed to expose you to a comprehensive overview of CSR best practices.

And one reason for why you should submit your application ASAP?

Best Pricing on 2018 – Now until September 30

The time to register for the 2018 Institute is now! Prices will increase as we get closer to the start of the 2018 season. The Institute will help you be better and more impactful in your job. Make the commitment to your company and your professional development by submitting an application for the Institute today!

August 15, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Preserving black culture east of the river

ARTS & HUMANITIES | It’s no secret that the next frontier for gentrification in the District is in wards 7 and 8. In anticipation of the change, this local artist and cultural activist wants to preserve the black history and culture of his community. (WaPo, 8/14)

Vernard Gray [the local artist) has picked a pivotal time to start his project. In the face of rapidly encroaching gentrification in Southeast — and with it, the threat of massive change and displacement — he is hoping that Made East River will help the area take charge of its culture and history and preserve a narrative directed by African American residents.

Majority-black Southeast is too often treated “like the backwater of the city,” Gray said. “Gentrification is happening. There’s no way of stopping it. But when they show up, they’ll think, ‘Okay, there’s something happening here.’ And they’ve got to honor that.”

IMPACT INVESTING | Nancie Suzuki, executive director of Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, discusses why her foundation made the decision to invest in Our Region, Your Investment initiative twice. (Daily, 8/15)

Related: Interested in learning about how you or your organization can invest in affordable housing? Read more about Our Region, Your Investment here

PHILANTHROPY | This is how foundations have responded to the rhetoric and actions of the new administration. (Chronicle, 8/14 – Subscription needed)

– The District is dealing with a shortage of beds for inmates that need mental health services since St. Elizabeths Hospital is full. (NBC4, 8/14)

– What You Need to Know about Opioid Use in DC (DCFPI, 8/11)

BUSINESS | A new analysis by the DC Policy Center suggests the District’s restaurant and entertainment industry boom may be ending. (DCist, 8/14)

ENVIRONMENT | According to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, discolored water coming from the tap in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, MD is okay to drink but don’t wash your clothes with it. (WaPo, 8/15)

The DC Black Film Festival kicks off this Thursday!

– Kendra

August 15, 2017 / WRAG

Making a Direct Social Impact in the Community

The Our Region, Your Investment initiative is going strong. Within its first seven months, it surpassed the original goal of $5 million in investments. Since January of 2016, almost $12 million has been invested in the initiative by foundations, banks, nonprofits, and individuals. And all of these investment dollars have been deployed in projects around the region.

Recently, the initiative hit a different milestone – its first ever return investor. So we asked Nancie Suzuki, executive director of the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, to tell us why the Foundation initially decided to invest and what brought them back to the table – with more resources – to support Our Region, Your Investment a second time.
– Gretchen Greiner-Lott, Vice President of WRAG

Prof Pic SmallBy: Nancie Suzuki
Executive Director
Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation

The Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation made our first investment with WRAG’s Our Region, Your Investment initiative about one year ago when our board agreed to start moving a portion of the investment portfolio into the impact investing space. We came across the opportunity after spending about a year researching possible investments and finding that there were not a lot of options in the D.C. region. The journey was a difficult one, and we wanted to find something that would have direct social impact in our community.

It took us a year to change our investment policy and then to invest in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) funds. However, to make deep impact, the Foundation wanted to invest in options that were local and in line with our mission. Furthermore, as a small staff, it was a challenge for us to do the due diligence to find a trustworthy investment.

The Foundation’s mission is to help uplift communities, and we believe that affordable housing is an important part of that mission. Our Region, Your Investment was a great fit for our first direct impact investment. Although we trust WRAG, we started out small with a $100,000 investment to ensure we were being fiscally responsible (since we invested it as a mission related investment). A year later, the investment met its financial obligations and exceeded our expectations in social impact. The number of affordable homes saved in the D.C. region since our investment is over 450, but there is still so much need. Therefore, we recently invested an additional $750,000. This is the kind of opportunity that allows foundations like ours – with small staffs and limited resources – to have a direct impact in our community.

Join us on October 24th at 12 pm for WRAG’s Impact Investor Network (WIIN). This session, hosted at WRAG, will be the first in a series of informal brown bag lunch gatherings that will provide an opportunity to learn and share with your colleagues about local impact investing opportunities, challenges, best practices and available resources. At this first meeting, Nancie Suzuki will be on hand to share more with us about the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation’s journey to identify the right local impact investment opportunity.  

August 14, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Charlottesville, VA reacts to the violence that erupted at a white supremacist rally this weekend

RACISM | One person is dead and nineteen others are injured after a car plowed into a group of anti-racist protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. The rally began with participants marching through the University of Virginia’s campus with tiki torches early Saturday morning. (Richmond Times, 8/12)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe addressed the white supremacists and nationalists who attended the rally directly in a brief statement.

“You came here today to hurt people, and you did hurt people,” McAuliffe said. “My message is clear: We are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here. There is no place for you in America.”

– Virginia’s governor has announced that a new proposal on how the three jurisdictions could fund Metro will be coming soon. (WTOP, 8/13)

– With No Place To Charge, D.C.’s Electric Cab Drivers Ask For Help (WAMU, 8/14)

EDUCATION | The District has proposed a new contract for its teachers, which includes a 9% salary increase over three years and other benefits. (WaPo, 8/14)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A new campaign in the District helps teens cope with violence. (AFRO, 8/13)

IMPACT INVESTING | The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance has announced the creation of two new advisory councils that will push for more advancements in impact investing, including the development of metrics to ensure impact. (Chronicle, 8/11 – Subscription needed)

LGBTQ | The District has received a grant to identify historic LGBTQ landmarks in the city. Can you think of any? (WAMU, 8/11)

Watch these stars sprint across the night sky.

– Kendra

August 11, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Bringing District inmates closer to home

– A 1997 bill, intended to address the District’s financial crisis, took some responsibilities from the city, including management of its prison population. Since then, residents with long-term sentences are forced to go to prisons far from home. Advocates and returning citizens want to change this practice. (WAMU, 8/10)

Advocacy groups, former prisoners and some families say that arrangement, born of financial necessity and political compromise two decades ago during D.C.’s fiscal crisis, needs to be revisited. When D.C. prisoners are held in facilities hundreds of miles from home, they say, rehabilitation and re-entry become more challenging, only fueling the recidivism that ensures that many of those prisoners will simply end up back in federal custody.

“We do not have any kind of direct control or input over our own fellow residents,” says Tara Libert, founder of the Free Minds Book Club, a group that works with D.C. residents in and out of prison. “And that, to me, is not democracy.”

– The growing trend of replacing in-person visits to prisons with video technology may be harmful to poor families who can’t pay for the service. (Atlantic, 8/10)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | A local nonprofit discusses how communities of color are still being disrupted at the benefit of local governments. (HAT Blog, 8/8)

VIRGINIA | White supremacists and nationalists are rallying in Charlottesville, for a second time, this weekend to protest the removal of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue. (WaPo, 8/10)

PHILANTHROPY| Friendship Place, a District nonprofit that fights homelessness, is getting a major donation from Amazon at the end of the year. (WBJ, 8/10 – Subscription needed)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Community Affairs Associate (Community Relations Associate Consultant) | Wells Fargo – New!
Business Development Director | Center for Disaster Philanthropy – New!
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Membership & Marketing Associate | Exponent Philanthropy
Membership Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Management Associate | Public Welfare Foundation
Executive Director | Agua Fund
Database Assistant | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Senior Administrative Assistant/Foundation Coordinator | The Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, the Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation and the Marriott Daughters Foundation
Program Officer | The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation
Development Coordinator | Girls on the Run – DC

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.

Happy birthday Hip Hop! Celebrate with Google’s cool doodle or listen to the voice that made me fall in love with the music.

– Kendra

August 10, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Supporting foster children that have aged out of the system

YOUTH/ HOUSING | According to a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report on foster care, almost 250 youth aged out of the system in DC last year. While the region and government are working to provide support beyond stable housing for youth in this position, this District nonprofit is helping young mothers transitioning out of foster care. (WAMU, 8/9)

“Without permanent support, you’re more likely to see adverse outcomes like early parenting, challenges with supportive housing, involvement with the criminal justice system, and mental health issues,” said Surina Amin, child welfare program manager at the Council of Governments.

She noted that foster children are especially at risk in an era when high housing costs have created a “boomerang generation.”

“We’re seeing a prolonged transition into adulthood. We’re seeing more youth coming back and living with their parents, and financially and economically relying on family members,” she said.

– On the anniversary of the deadly Silver Spring, MD apartment fire, survivors are still dealing with the fallout. (WaPo, 8/9)

– D.C. police officer will not face criminal charges in 2016 fatal shooting of unarmed motorcyclist (WaPo, 8/9)

HIV/AIDS | Congress has revamped a federal program that provides housing assistance for people living with HIV. This has left a few states, and the District with less funding. (KHN, 8/7)

Channing Wickam, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership, said, “Stable and affordable housing is an essential element when it comes to managing HIV. The right approach is sufficient funding for all impacted jurisdictions, not cutting some in favor of others.”

HEALTH | There’s a growing movement to increase access to menstrual products for women, especially those in prison or experiencing homelessness. (Richmond Times, 8/7)

PHILANTHROPY | Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, discusses the importance of boundaries when grant makers partner with businesses. (Chronicle, 8/9 – Subscription needed)

BUSINESSHair Salons Are Still Segregated. This DC Woman Opened a Salon and Beauty Bar to Change That (Washingtonian, 8/9)

This dinosaur species was the largest animal to walk the Earth…

– Kendra