Skip to content
March 20, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

As the region braces for another blast of winter, these DC residents are without heat

POVERTY | According to a NBC4 News report, DC’s ward 7 and ward 8 residents were eight times more likely than residents of ward 2 and ward 3 to report a lack of heat to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs last year. DCRA has issued violations and infractions to the landlords but residents are still waiting for relief. (NBC4, 3/20)

Despite growing prosperity in many parts of the city, the number of District residents who reported trouble meeting their basic need to stay warm at home climbed steadily over the past five years, city records show. In 2013, members of 72 households told the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) that their landlords failed to provide adequate heat. In 2017, that number more than quadrupled, at 305 households. A housing lawyer and a neighborhood leader said they suspect that many more cases go unreported.

–  In 2016, WRAG partnered with Enterprise Community Loan Fund to launch Our Region, Your Investment to support the creation or preservation of affordable homes in the Greater Washington region. Today we are excited announce the sixth loan, which will support the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s redevelopment of the former Arlington Presbyterian Church into Gilliam Place. This project will create more than 170 affordable homes for Arlington, Virginia’s low-income, disabled and/or homeless residents. Read more here.

– A new audit of the DC Housing Production Trust Fund found that from 2009 to 2014, less than 20% of funding went to housing for families of four earning up to $33,000. (WaPo, 4/20)

– The Ruth Mott Foundation has announced that its president, Handy Lindsey Jr., will retire in November 2018. Read more about his work with the foundation here.

– Beyond the walkout: A call to philanthropy to invest in youth-led social change (NCRP, 3/13)

HOMELESSNESS | Amanda Andere, CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness, will join a panel of other advocates to discuss how organizations can address racial inequities in efforts to prevent and end homelessness on April 4. The forum is hosted by Friendship Place. Register and learn more here.

ARTS & HUMANITIES | A Maryland teen will star as the lead in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In The Heights‘ production at the Kennedy Center this week. (WTOP, 3/20)

HEALTHWomen In Medicine Shout #MeToo About Sexual Harassment At Work (KHN, 3/20)

It’s the first day of Spring! If you’re willing to brave the weather outside, Rita’s Italian Ice and Dairy Queen are offering free frozen treats today.

– Kendra

March 19, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Black boys and men don’t have the same economic opportunities as their white counterparts

RACIAL EQUITY | A new study has found that Black boys, even if they are born to high-income parents, are worse off economically in adulthood than white boys who are born into poverty. Researchers say this gap cannot be explained by class; it is about racism and the way society views Black boys and men. (NYT, 3/19)

If this inequality can’t be explained by individual or household traits, much of what matters probably lies outside the home — in surrounding neighborhoods, in the economy and in a society that views black boys differently from white boys, and even from black girls.

“One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea,” said Ibram Kendi, a professor and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. “But for whatever reason, we’re unwilling to stare racism in the face.”

– The 2018 County Health Rankings, a collaboration between Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, are here! Montgomery County and Loudoun County are still the healthiest counties in Maryland and Virginia, respectively.

– Maryland health care delivery experiment saves Medicare more than half a billion dollars in hospitals (Baltimore Sun, 3/16)

EDUCATION | Caroline Hill, founder of the DC Equity Lab and co-founder of the Equity Design Collaborative, discusses her thoughts on ensuring equity in education and the need to include those impacted in the process. (Aspen Institute, 3/15)

PHILANTHROPY | The Greater Washington Community Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year until Friday, March 23.

NONPROFITS | University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy has launched a new graduate certificate in nonprofit management and leadership. Learn more here.

HOUSING | Jessica Raven, executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, argues that, instead of criminalizing sex work, the District should be addressing the problem of homelessness, which may lead people to engage in sex work. (GGWash, 3/16)

– Maryland lawmakers will consider whether to raise the maximum fine for texting while driving to $500 tomorrow. (WaPo, 3/18)

– Fairfax For All Coalition Pushes to End Local Collaboration With ICE In Fairfax County, Virginia (Demos, 3/14)

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:


Thanks to Julia Baer-Cooper, philanthropic advisor, for this entry!

Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at

– Kendra

March 15, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Advocates wonder if DC General should close this year

HOMELESSNESS | A few years ago, DC’s mayor announced her plans to close DC General and replace it with smaller shelters throughout the city. Advocates are concerned that the District will be putting some homeless families at risk if DC General closes this year because the other shelters are not ready. (WAMU, 3/14)

“Closing D.C. General is not an end unto itself,” said Amber Harding of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. “If D.C. General is closed in a way that risks the health and safety of the families who live there and other families who need shelter in D.C., then the injustice of placing families there in the first place will be compounded, not alleviated.”

City officials said Bowser’s goal for closing the shelter was always 2018, and that improvements in the rest of the homeless services system and the coming replacement shelters offered the city the chance to make good on that pledge.

AFFORDABLE HOUSINGCiti gave $4.71 billion in funding to affordable housing properties in 2017, making it the top affordable housing lender in the US for the eighth year. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Capital One are also among the top lenders. (AHF, 2/28)

EDUCATION | Montgomery County, MD students in recovery will soon have another resource to help them continue their education. (Bethesda Beat, 3/14)

IMPACT INVESTING | The Nathan Cummings Foundation has announced that it will put its entire endowment in investments that are creating social change. (Chronicle, 3/13 – Subscription needed)

IMMIGRATION | A federal judge in DC is considering ordering the administration to restart the DACA program. (WaPo, 3/14)

HEALTHD.C. has a high maternal mortality rate. Lawmakers want to know why. (WaPo, 3/14)

– The Environmental Film Festival is returning to the region this week. Check out the films here. (WTOP, 3/15)

– Activists urge Maryland to stop ‘Potomac Pipeline’ ahead of key deadline (WaPo, 3/14)

Why you should give your phone a break sometimes.

– Kendra

March 13, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

This is how the social sector can defend new attacks to the Johnson Amendment

ADVOCACY | Today and tomorrow, WRAG members are participating in Foundations on the Hill to talk with their Congressional representatives about the issues that impact the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. In this interview, Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, advises nonprofits and philanthropic organizations on Congress’ renewed efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment. (NPQ, 3/9)

…there is great urgency for nonprofits and foundations to engage immediately. Here’s why: The well-funded forces trying to politicize the 501c3 community against our will learned last year—thanks to engaged advocacy by charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations—that they cannot jam their desires through the process as a free-standing bill. So now they are trying to avoid a straight up-down vote by attaching their anti-Johnson Amendment language to the upcoming spending bill. That bill must pass by March 23rd to keep the federal government from running out of money and shutting down for a third time this year.

RACIAL EQUITY | Hanh Le, co-chair of WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group and executive director of the Weissberg Foundation, and Jayne Park, executive director of IMPACT Silver Spring, report on the community conversation the Racial Equity Working Group and IMPACT Silver Spring held  in October 2017 to envision a racially equitable Montgomery County. (Daily, 3/13)

WORKFORCEDC launches effort to train workers for high-paying infrastructure jobs (WTOP, 3/12)

HEALTH CARE| Many states that were once against Medicaid expansion are now considering it because of reforms such as work requirements, but these new restrictions may lead to less coverage. (Atlantic, 3/13)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | The National Endowment for the Arts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis have partnered to create a report on the cultural sector’s impact on the US economy. You can use this tool to explore your state’s data.

PUBLIC SAFETY | Column: The nation is focused on students and gun violence. But kids in urban schools want to know, where’s everybody been? (WaPo, 3/12)

NONPROFITS | The Lab @ DC is hosting its second Formapalooza, a public event to make DC government forms more user-friendly. You can nominate forms and learn more here.

Do you live in a bubble?

– Kendra

March 13, 2018 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Envisioning a Racially Equitable Montgomery County

By Hanh Le, Executive Director, Weissberg Foundation & Co-Chair, WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group, and Jayne Park, Executive Director, IMPACT Silver Spring

Community Convo - Racial History of Montgomery Co 500

What would a racially equitable Montgomery County look like? On October 18, 2017 the Racial Equity Working Group of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) partnered with IMPACT Silver Spring to explore this question. We brought together about 40 community members and local funders diverse in race, ethnicity, age, affiliations, and vocations to connect with one another, learn about the historical roots of today’s racial inequities, generate ideas for what is needed to advance racial equity, and envision how those advances might look in the county.

Many of us left the convening feeling connected, full, and hopeful, while also knowing the true test of success would be whether concrete actions would emerge and move the work forward. This written piece reflects on what happened at the community conversation and its significance, the state of current racial equity efforts, and what still needs to be done to advance the work.What would a racially equitable Montgomery County look like? On October 18, 2017 the Racial Equity Working Group of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) partnered with IMPACT Silver Spring to explore this question. We brought together about 40 community members and local funders diverse in race, ethnicity, age, affiliations, and vocations to connect with one another, learn about the historical roots of today’s racial inequities, generate ideas for what is needed to advance racial equity, and envision how those advances might look in the county.

Click here to read the full report on our community conversation in Montgomery County.