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October 12, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Tenants fight for affordable housing from church in DC

HOUSING | A DC resident recently passed away, leaving about 6 occupied four-unit apartment buildings located in northeast DC to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Now the tenants, along with affordable housing advocates, are trying to work with the church to stay in their homes. (WCP, 10/11)

On Feb. 20, the executor of Doyle’s estate transferred the deeds of these properties to the basilica for a sum of zero dollars. The tenants found themselves in an unusual bind, caught in legal limbo by both District rental laws and those applying to religious institutions. Though D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act gives tenants a first right of refusal to purchase their buildings when they go up for sale, TOPA doesn’t apply when the building changes hands through a deed transfer from a decedent to a charity.

And as the Roman Catholic Church, the basilica “is not permitted to manage or own rental properties as a trade or business,” according to a letter that Kevin Kavanaugh, treasurer of basilica subsidiary BNSIC Title Holding Corporation, sent to 636 Girard Street NE resident Heather Benno this summer. Kavanaugh is also the comptroller of the basilica.

LGBTQIA RIGHTS‘Proud And Relieved’: Matthew Shepard’s Remains To Be Interred At National Cathedral (NPR, 10/11)

PHILANTHROPY | The Chronicle of Philanthropy explores why immigrant philanthropists are often overlooked. (Chronicle, 10/2)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Hurricane Michael is gone, but it left five deaths in Virginia. (WaPo, 10/12)

HOMELESSNESS | As the city continues the demolition of DC General, thirty-four families still remain at the shelter. (DCist, 10/11)

RACIAL EQUITYOf Protest And Patriotism: A 1968 Gold Medalist Remembers The Games (NPR, 10/12)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Administrator | Healthcare Initiative Foundation– New!
Executive Assistant | Virginia Hospital Medical Brigade– New!
Vice President of Programs | Gill Foundation
Program Director for Criminal Justice | Public Welfare Foundation
Director of HR/Talent | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Senior Program Associate | Exponent Philanthropy
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Director, Corporate Partnerships | Exponent Philanthropy
Program Officer | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Community Investment Fellow | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Digital Marketing Manager | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Communications Associate, Design and Web | Flamboyan Foundation
Communications Manager, Content and Digital | Flamboyan Foundation
Grants Manager | Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS)
Chief Development Officer | EveryMind
Director of Development | DC Bar Foundation
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

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.

Another quiz for Disney fans – this time with song lyrics.

– Kendra

October 10, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

A new tool aims to show the importance of investing in the arts

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Americans for the Arts has introduced a new online tool that shows how the arts integrate into other sectors and their impact on our overall well-being. They hope it will provide advocates and leaders with the information they need to encourage investment in the arts. (Americans for the Arts, 10/9)

The Explorer is designed as an entry point to the large and growing body of research, projects, and support organizations that exist at the intersection of the Arts and various parts of our community. It creates an experience that can scale from casual surfing to deep exploration of a topic—you can glean a starting set of information in five minutes, or can follow the embedded hyperlinks (up to 20 per subject area) to visit the websites of all the example projects, access the research referenced, and engage directly with the other partners doing this work around the country.

RACIAL EQUITY | David Biemesderfer, president & CEO of United Philanthropy Forum, discusses how WRAG and Leadership Greater Washington’s Civil Rights Learning Journey has inspired him to continue advancing racial equity in his personal and professional life. (United Philanthropy Forum, 10/5)

HOUSING | Opinion: DC’s mayor has introduced two legislative proposals that could escalate economic development and cause displacement in Anacostia and Brookland Manor. (DC Line, 10/9)

NONPROFITS | Venture Philanthropy Partners is co-hosting the 2018 Greater Washington Superstar Award with The Superstar Foundation. The Superstar Award will celebrate an individual who provides direct services to our region’s young people. For more information about the award, eligibility and the nomination process, click here. The deadline is Friday, October 19th. (VPP, 9/14)

FOOD INSECURITYHungry Harvest expands affordable produce concept to D.C., eyes other markets (WBJ, 10/9)

– Three Wilson High School graduates are opening up a cafe and creative space near Union Market. (Washingtonian, 10/9)

– How D.C. Restaurants Are Preparing Now That Political Protests Are On The Menu (WAMU, 10/9)

Today is World Mental Health Day! Here’s some tips on how to prioritize your mental health.

– Kendra

October 9, 2018 / WRAG

Re-examining a history I thought I knew

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in WRAG and Leadership Greater Washington’s Civil Rights Learning Journey, visiting sites in Memphis, the Mississippi Delta, and Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama. For me, the trip was an opportunity to get a better understanding of the history of the Movement and of a part of the country that I had never visited. What I wasn’t expecting was the feeling of experiencing a historical narrative that is still being contested and shaped, and of a story that is very much not over.


Bryant’s Grocery is barely discernable behind the vegetation.

Traveling through the Delta, we heard from individuals who are committed to preserving this history from those who seem equally committed to erasing it. If you didn’t know it was there, you would miss Bryant’s Grocery in Money, MS, where Emmett Till crossed paths with Carolyn Bryant. Owned by the family of one of the jurors who acquitted Till’s murderers, the building is crumbling. They want $4 million for what remains of the structure, effectively preventing it from being preserved as a site of remembrance. In the small interpretive center across the street from the Tallahatchie County Courthouse, where the IMG_5687all-white jury let his killers go free, a sign that had marked the place where Till’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River is riddled with bullet holes. Prominently positioned outside the courthouse, just yards from that destroyed sign, stands a memorial to Confederate soldiers – erected nearly 50 years after the Civil War.


James Chaney’s headstone is supported by a steel frame.

In Neshoba County, MS, nothing marks the spot off a narrow road where civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered, with the complicity of local police. There’s a small marker on the side of the main road, but the land where they were killed is still owned by the family of one of their murderers. In a cemetery in Meridian, MS, James Chaney’s headstone is supported by a steel frame to protect it from vandalism.

This wasn’t just a history lesson, or a display of the troubling particularities of the South. Throughout the trip, I kept feeling like this wasn’t even history. Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were working to register African-Americans to vote. Today, those seeking to marginalize Black voters advance voting policies designed to disenfranchise African-Americans and other people of color. The KKK may not be coordinating with police (though you can still find Klansmen meeting in a local diner), but the ideology of anti-blackness is at work every time a police officer goes free after killing an unarmed Black person. In Memphis in 1968, Black sanitation workers marched for better labor conditions bearing signs stating “I Am A Man.” Today, the simple notion that Black lives matter gets twisted into a radical threat to justify political agendas that devalue Black lives. We passed Parchman Prison, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, infamous for its brutal convict leasing practices, and where John Lewis and many other Freedom Riders were imprisoned. Today, a state government website proudly notes the thousands of hours of “free offender labor” that Parchman prisoners provide. It’s not unique.

American historical narratives are often flattened, reduced, and burnished. We celebrate a few specific individuals, forget the rest, and think that we live in a time period unlike any other. Throughout this trip, we heard from individuals and stood in the places where they put their bodies on the line to fight for freedom in the face of imminent physical danger. Many people are still here sharing their stories about that fight. That means many of those who threatened and beat them are still here too. What this trip made painfully clear to me was that, in the fight for racial justice, we cannot fall into the trap of thinking that history is past.