Skip to content
November 17, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How pollution is killing the communities living closest to industrial facilities

ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM | A new report from the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force found that black people are 75% more likely to live in communities near industrial facilities, which puts them at higher risk for diseases such as asthma and cancer. (Citylab, 11/15)

According to Fumes Across the Fence-Line, a report from the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force—an advocacy group dedicated to reducing air pollution—black people are 75 percent more likely to live in so-called “fence-line” communities that are next to industrial facilities. These facilities release a toxic stew of pollutants—including formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer, and benzene, which has been linked to brain damage, birth defects, and cancer. Using the data on how many Americans are affected by toxic air pollution that CATF compiled for their Fossil Fumes and Gasping for Breath reports, the new study focuses on the specific impact of pollutants in the air on black Americans.

Most fence-line community residents are low-income and predominantly of color. The study reports that more than 1 million black people live within just half a mile of an oil or gas facility and face serious health risks such as cancer, asthma, and other respiratory diseases as well.

PHILANTHROPY | Jeanné Isler, vice president and chief engagement officer of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, lists the ways funders can truly support their grantee partners. (NCRP, 11/15)

FOOD INSECURITY | Some District officials are expressing concern over a proposed bill to offer free lunch to students in the city’s public, public charter and some private schools. (WTOP, 11/17)

WORKFORCE | The Durfee Foundation has released a report analyzing 20 years of its sabbatical program. The evaluation found that taking a sabbatical has many benefits, including shifting a nonprofit leader’s perspective from daily management to distributed leadership and generative thinking and activity. (Durfee Foundation, 9/17)

Related: Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, wrote about the value of sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders earlier this year.

TRANSPORTATION | A University of Maryland researcher will study whether the Purple Line will make Prince George’s County residents healthier. (WaPo, 11/16)

ARTS & HUMANITIESWhat’s Inside D.C.’s New Museum Of The Bible — And What Isn’t (WAMU, 11/15)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Receptionist (part-time) | Greater Washington Community Foundation – New!
Director of Development | Open Society Institute – Baltimore – New!
President & CEO | ACT for Alexandria – a community foundation – New!
Program Manager | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Assistant Director of Digital Marketing & Communications | The Children’s Inn at NIH
Program Director, Washington, DC Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director, Virginia Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Senior Director, Strategy and Racial Equity | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Vice President, Program and Community | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Communications Coordinator | Calvary Women’s Services
Controller | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Sr. Manager, Corporate Relations | Exelon
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Content Manager | Exponent Philanthropy
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

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.


Here’s some food art for your Friday afternoon.

– Kendra

November 16, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Our Region, Your Investment is making a real impact in the region: Here’s an update

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Last year, Enterprise Community Loan Fund and WRAG created a local impact investing initiative, Our Region, Your Investment, to protect and produce affordable homes in the Greater Washington region. Today Enterprise released a report on Clarendon Court, an affordable housing development in Arlington County, VA, which was financed through Our Region, Your Investment.

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG’s vice president, said, “The Washington Regional
Association of Grantmakers is pleased to work with Enterprise Community
Loan Fund on the Our Region, Your Investment initiative. Through this initiative,
we have brought additional attention to the housing crisis in the greater
Washington, D.C., region and raised new capital to address the issue.
We know that Clarendon Court and the other projects supported by these
investments—from foundations, individuals, nonprofits and businesses—are
making a positive difference for individuals, families, neighborhoods and our
region as a whole.”

Read the stories of the Clarendon Court residents here.

Join the Live Online Event on December 7th, at 2 pm to learn more about the report, the impact measurement methodology, and how Enterprise Community Loan Fund engages investors to strengthen communities.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Sunday Kubba Hassan, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, discusses why he traveled almost 6,000 miles to attend the Institute for CSR and how he’s applying the lessons he learned to his work. (Daily, 11/16)

Related: Registration for the 2018 Institute for CSR is open! Download an application and learn more about the 2017 faculty and curriculum here.

HOMELESSNESS/CHILDREN & FAMILIES
– A local woman experiencing homelessness discusses her interactions with District shelters and how they can improve their treatment of families. (Street Sense, 11/15)

– This local organization prepares young children from homeless families for elementary school and also offers parenting classes. (WaPo, 11/15)

PUBLIC SAFETY
– Mildred Muhammad, author and ex-wife of John Muhammad (the DC sniper), discusses the link between domestic abuse and mass shootings. (WaPo, 11/16)

– What If We Treated Gun Violence Like A Public Health Crisis? (NPR, 11/15)


This map flashes every time a baby is born.

– Kendra

November 16, 2017 / WRAG

Why I traveled almost 6,000 miles to attend the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility

We recently celebrated the graduation of our fourth class from the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Since the launch of the Institute in 2014, the program has attracted CSR professionals from around the region and across the country. Recently, we have seen interest from the international community. Sunday Kubba Hassan with Central Bank of Nigeria is the first international graduate from the Institute. Below, Sunday reflects on why his company decided to send him to the Institute and how he has used the knowledge he gained since graduating in 2016.


By Sunday Kubba Hassan
Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility Class of 2016
Central Bank of Nigeria

In 2015, the Central Bank of Nigeria was looking to build a robust CSR unit that would have a positive impact on society through its programs. In order to achieve this vision, I began looking for professional development opportunities that would help bridge the gap between CSR theory and practice and help us to identify and apply CSR principles that best suit our organization and country.

In my search, I stumbled upon the Institute for CSR at Johns Hopkins University. Even though this program required me to travel from Nigeria to Washington, DC four times over the course of six months, my organization’s leadership team and I determined that the time commitment and travel costs were worth the investment. Over the course of the Institute curriculum, I learned from and networked with some of the top CSR leaders from major companies across the United States, including faculty members from American Express, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart.

Today, one year after graduation, our CSR unit has implemented country and organization specific programs around employee engagement. We have also utilized many of the best practices and problem solving approaches that I learned during our brainstorming sessions.

“If you’re looking for inspiration and new ideas to take your CSR program to the next level, the Institute for CSR is for you!”


The Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility offers CSR practitioners the opportunity to earn a Professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Johns Hopkins in just six months. This non-credit professional certificate program is an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakersand is offered in partnership with  Advanced Academic Programs at Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. Registration for 2018 is now open! Download an application and learn more about the 2017 faculty and curriculum here.

November 15, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

What does philanthropy look like in the Greater Washington region?

NONPROFITS | As foundations and other grantmaking institutions in the Greater Washington region become more strategic with their funding, area nonprofits are forced to adapt to a new, more competitive normal. Members of the WRAG community, including WRAG’s president Tamara Lucas Copeland, the Greater Washington Community Foundation‘s president and CEO Bruce McNamer, and the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation‘s president and CEO Nicky Goren, commented on the changing field in this article. (WBJ, 11/14)

“When the recession hit, the philanthropic community was very mindful of their resources and how to target their resources more effectively,” says Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

Copeland, whose association works with more than 100 Greater Washington foundations and corporate giving programs, says she heard many conversations within the WRAG community about who was funding which organization, and which organizations needed the most support.

“At that time, there was a lessening of support to new organizations and more of a laser focus,” Copeland says.

Related: WRAG recently released Our Giving, Our Region 2017, which dives into our members’ 2016 giving in the region. Read the report here.

Related:  Taratibu Youth Association, a resident arts organization at Joe’s Movement Emporium (mentioned in the article), was featured at WRAG’s 2017 annual meeting.

FOSTER CARE | A national study has found that many states fail to offer services that support youth who are aging out of foster care. (Richmond Times, 11/14)

PHILANTHROPYFor Big Philanthropists, Advice From Family and Peers Is Still Key to Giving, Study Finds (Chronicle, 11/14 – Subscription needed)

WORKFORCE
– The District has announced that it will help green-card holders who work for the city government to become citizens. (WaPo, 11/14)

– How NOVA, Prince William County Landfill are working together to create a pipeline of new construction workers for the region (Potomac Local, 11/13)

HEALTH | The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have updated the blood pressure guidelines, which may cause more people to be labeled as having hypertension. (NPR, 11/14)

REGION | The Greater Washington Board of Trade has named its new CEO. (WBJ, 11/14)


Today is National Philanthropy Day! Will you celebrate?

– Kendra

November 14, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

The tax cut bill could hurt some District families

TAX REFORM
– Yesterday DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and DC’s nonvoting Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton responded to Congress’s tax cut bill. They said the bill will increase taxes for some families living in the city and it will hurt the city’s efforts to create and preserve affordable housing. (WaPo, 11/13)

At a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said the proposal to eliminate the deduction for state and local income and property taxes could lead to sharp hikes in the overall tax bill for some District families. The increase could be more than 10 percent in some parts of the city.

Bowser and Norton said the House bill’s effects are particularly jarring in the District, which already has the highest per capita federal tax rate in the nation despite lacking voting representatives in Congress.

– Senate’s Tax Bill Provisions Could Hurt Charities, Nonprofits Say (Chronicle, 11/10)

Related: The Johnson Amendment, which was under threat of being repealed, remains untouched in this version of the bill. Earlier this year, WRAG signed on to the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, an initiative of 10 national nonprofit and philanthropy serving organizations, in support of maintaining the amendment.

TRANSPORTATION | A newly released study of Metro, commissioned by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, includes recommendations to replace Metro’s 16-member board with a five-member board for three years and a bus fare increase to $2.10. (WaPo, 11/12)

AGING | AARP Foundation‘s legal department is suing a nursing home to stop them from illegally evicting residents. (NPR, 11/13)

EDUCATION | Two DC young people advocate for the 2014 Special Education Reforms, which will allow DC students with disabilities to plan for life after high school at 14 instead of 16, on DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s blog. (DCFPI, 10/25)

ELECTIONNAACP legal fund files lawsuit over voter instructions in key Va. House race (WaPo, 11/14)


Can you predict how much snow will fall in our area this winter?

– Kendra

November 13, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Local community health center is bringing the doctor’s office to patients

HEALTH CARE | Mary’s Center, a community health center with locations in DC and Maryland, is ensuring its Medicaid patients can access its services by offering telemedicine options. The center has a new pilot program where medical assistants will go to a patient’s house for their doctor’s appointment and the doctor will talk to the patient through a webcam. (WAMU, 11/13)

Dennis Lebron Dolman is one of those patients. He went to a health screening fair over the summer, where Mary’s Center Medical Assistant Grace Kelly took his blood pressure. It was dangerously high: 180 over 100 — stroke-level high.

He hated doctor’s offices and didn’t want to go in to get treatment. So Kelly talked him into an alternative: she would come to him, with a clinic in a suitcase (a scale, blood pressure monitor, virtual stethoscope), and a laptop to connect virtually with a doctor across town.

RACIAL EQUITY | WRAG and a coalition of other organizations have partnered with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to begin a deliberately focused conversation with government officials in our region about racial equity. Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG president, discusses why government officials should come to the meeting on December 1, 2017. (Daily, 11/13)

PHILANTHROPYOpinion: Deepak Bhargava, president of the Center for Community Change, encourages philanthropy to stand in solidarity with grantee partners as many social justice organizations face threats and attacks. (Chronicle, 10/8 – Subscription needed)

Related: This year, WRAG, through our Program & Policy Committee, has examined how we can have more of a voice on the issues that matter in the region. In the 2017 edition of Our Region, Our Giving, released last week, we look at how WRAG members are using their dollars, as well as their voices, to support advocacy efforts in the region — work that has become even more important over the past year.

IMMIGRATION
– Prince George’s County, MD has joined a growing list of cities and counties that are investing public money toward defending immigrants against deportation. (NPR, 11/12)

– DC High School Students Take Over Senate Office Building for DACA Protest (Washingtonian, 11/9)

TRANSIT | The DC Council is considering decriminalizing fare evasion on the Metro rail and bus service. (WaPo, 11/12)

VETERANS/EDUCATION | The University of Maryland College Park has announced that it will waive application fees for veterans and current service members. (WTOP, 11/10)


FotoWeek DC has started. Check out some of the featured photographers.

– Kendra

November 13, 2017 / WRAG

Why government needs to put racism on the table

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers 

Somewhere in elementary school, we all learned how a bill becomes a law. What we didn’t learn was how bias, perhaps unconscious, affects the decisions of lawmakers or how structural racism has been essentially hardwired into so many of the public policies that shape our lives.

Without stepping back to understand history, as Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, reminded a WRAG audience last week, we continue to perpetuate inequities while falsely believing that certain realities are created by happenstance or natural preferences. In reality, it is with intentionality that, throughout history, the federal government has played a powerful role in ensuring or preventing racial equity. Examples include presidential actions like the Emancipation Proclamation and Executive Order 9981 that desegregated the armed forces; Supreme Court decisions such as Dred Scott v. Sandford or Brown v. Board of Education; and, Congressional decisions like the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1964 to name just a few.

The governmental role is not limited to the federal government. State actions related to criminalization of offenses have been shown to have a disparate impact on people of color and even local level policies and regulations, particularly zoning regulations, have had a negative impact on communities of color. Efforts to address racial inequity will only succeed with the active engagement of government officials, both elected and appointed.

Toward that end, WRAG is pleased to partner with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to begin a deliberately focused conversation with government officials in our region on this important topic. On December 1, 2017, WRAG and a larger coalition, is bringing GARE trainers to our region.

Our challenge is to get government officials to attend. The default response often is “I already know that. I know about redlining. I know about school segregation. I know. I know. I know.” The reality, however, is that without a structured examination, few of us really know what contributed to these realities, what the impact has been, and the imperative that must be expressed and acted upon to consciously make a change.

Government responds to the will of the people. We hope that you will use your voice to encourage your elected and appointed officials to demonstrate their commitment to racial equity by participating in this important training.

Last year, funders began their Putting Racism on the Table learning journey based on the insight of John Gardner: “The first step of leadership is not action; it’s understanding.” It’s time for government to begin this journey.