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April 25, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Montgomery County Council votes to create “equity” policy

EQUITY | Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted to create a new policy that requires the council to consider how its decisions will impact equity in the county. It will be joining Takoma Park and Fairfax County, which have already adopted similar policies. (WaPo, 4/24)

“There may be people who might question why is it we need to do something like this. Montgomery County is a very welcoming and inclusive community,” council member Craig Rice (D-Upcounty) said before the vote. “We don’t have to be sick to get better. There’s always more we can do to make sure we’re truly providing all opportunities for all folks in our community.”

The new policy would add an equity analysis to the council’s bills, much like the fiscal analysis there now, Montgomery council vice president Nancy Navarro said. “If we’re making decisions about land use, how is this going to address maybe a lack of affordable housing in particular areas of the county?” she said. “If we are voting to appropriate funds for an organization that is claiming to provide, let’s say, after-school programming in a majority-Latino school, do you have staff that is culturally proficient?”

Related: Julie Nelson, director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and a speaker in WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series in 2016, was quoted in the article. Watch her discuss implicit bias here.

– Equity in the Center has released its publication, Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture. It features research on how organizations can move through the Race Equity Cycle by manipulating organizational levers. (Equity in the Center, 4/24)

IMMIGRATION | A federal judge in DC has ruled that the administration has ninety days to come up with a logical reason to end DACA or the judge will reinstate the program. (NBC News, 4/24)

PHILANTHROPY | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded its 2018 Community Investment Grants to twenty-six groups to improve the quality of life in the region. (InsideNOVA, 4/24)

NONPROFITS | Independent Sector has found that the value of a volunteer’s time is $24.69 per hour. You can check the amount for your state here. (Independent Sector, 4/24)

HOUSING | This nonprofit is renovating four Anacostia homes and hopes to sell them as workforce housing to first-time home-buyers. (East of the River, 4/24)

This tool will show you how to properly nod to the rhythm.

– Kendra

April 24, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

These Virginia students successfully pushed for more mental health resources in their school

MENTAL HEALTH | Teens in a Virginia high school saw how the stress of school and other life factors was impacting their lives and the lives of their peers, and decided to do something to help. They lobbied and successfully helped pass a law requiring mental health instruction for the state’s ninth and tenth graders. (WaPo, 4/23)

The Albemarle County students have their own ideas for what they would like to see emerge from the law. They want to understand the science behind mental health, let students know where they can turn in times of trouble and shed negative connotations associated with talking about mental well-being.

“The problem isn’t that students are doing too much,” said Moreno, a senior at Western Albemarle High School. “The problem is that students are doing too much, and they don’t have individuals in place that can help them deal with the stress and anxiety that come with that. A bad day turns into a bad week and turns into a bad month.”

PHILANTHROPY | Stephanie Areizaga, a WRAG/UMD Philanthropy Fellow at Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, reflects on her experience over the last year and discusses how she gained practical skills for entering the nonprofit sector. (Daily, 4/24)

Related: The Philanthropy Fellows program is WRAG’s exclusive partnership with UMD’s Do Good Institute. WRAG is accepting applications from its members to host Philanthropy Fellows this fall until May 11. Learn more

ARTS & HUMANITIES | What Will The Holocaust Museum Look Like Without Survivors? (WAMU, 4/24)

– Tomorrow, ACT for Alexandria is hosting Spring2ACTion, an online giving day created to support nonprofits working in Alexandria. Learn more here.

– Trump-Fueled ‘Reactive’ Giving Likely to Continue in 2018, Study Says (Chronicle, 4/23 – Subscription needed)

POVERTY | Why workforce development programs are necessary to help low-income communities gains skills and secure better paying jobs. (Urban Institute, 4/13)

HOMELESSNESS | Fairfax County breaks ground on a new homeless shelter, which will have a mix of emergency beds and permanent housing. (Fairfax Times, 4/22)

EDUCATION | The Loudoun County School Board is considering reducing the county’s universal full-day kindergarten. (Loudoun Times, 4/21)

If you had to eat fast food, where would you rather eat?

– Kendra

April 24, 2018 / WRAG

Philanthropy Fellows in the Field: Bringing Nonprofit Management out of the Classroom and into Montgomery County

By Stephanie Areizaga
Philanthropy Fellow at Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families

Stephanie is a student at the University of Maryland and the Do Good Institute. She is working toward an MPP focused on nonprofit management and leadership. We asked her to reflect on her experience as a Philanthropy Fellow this past year. The Philanthropy Fellows program is a partnership between WRAG and the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland.

Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families serves as Montgomery County’s Local Management Board, a type of entity that every Maryland county possesses. The Collaboration Council’s purpose is to be a catalyst so that public agencies and other groups can collaborate to achieve positive results in the community. Through my fellowship, I primarily work with two contracts under the Collaboration Council’s “Social Justice” initiative. One is focused on families affected by incarceration and the other is focused on disconnected youth. From the start of my fellowship, I worked with these contracts hands-on by researching best practices, speaking with experts around the nation implementing this work and visiting their programs, providing input on program design, writing grants for the programs, and presenting at or leading meetings with our contracted partners. My wide-ranging academic background in public policy, nonprofit management and leadership, and criminal justice have brought a unique and helpful perspective to these programs.

During my time as a Philanthropy Fellow at MCCC, I learned a great deal about re-engagement models and services for families affected by incarceration, but I also learned many practical lessons about nonprofit program development and monitoring. For example, through working on these collaborative efforts, I see the importance cross-sector collaboration has on individual organizations’ awareness of and access to local resources and supports. Additionally, when starting up a new program, there is rarely a need to reinvent the wheel. I have been incredibly impressed by and appreciative of the practitioners in Florida, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia, the District of Columbia, and other counties throughout Maryland who have so generously shared their own knowledge, experiences, and resources for their programming dedicated to disconnected youth and families affected by incarceration.

The Philanthropy Fellows program has provided me with the ideal opportunity to bring my knowledge out of the classroom and apply it to real nonprofit programming. As I look toward my future career path, I feel confident knowing that I have both the academic knowledge and practical skills for entering the nonprofit field and effecting positive social change.

WRAG Members: Interested in what a Philanthropy Fellow could bring to your organization? Click here for details on the program, or contact Rebekah Seder. WRAG is accepting applications from our members to host fellows this fall until May 11.

April 23, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New report suggests reparations will end the US racial wealth gap, not increased home-ownership

WEALTH GAP | Increasing the home-ownership rates of Blacks has long been touted as the way to decrease the racial wealth gap in the US, but a new report debunks this belief. Researchers say that even if we eliminate the home-ownership gap, we will still have wealth disparity. They suggest that America must consider the idea of reparations if it truly wants to address the gap. (Citylab, 4/20)

…doing away with the homeownership gap, by itself, will not create wealth parity for blacks and whites. They have numbers to prove it: White households that do not own homes have 31 times more wealth than black counterparts. The net worth of the latter group is just $120, according to the researchers’ calculations of 2014 government data.

Among homeowners, too, racial differences exist. White households who own homes have $140,000 more in net worth than black ones. That’s a much narrower gap, but still pretty significant, the authors write in the paper. They conclude that it’s not just that white households, on average, have greater housing equity, but they appear to have greater equity from all other types of financial assets.

RACIAL EQUITY | WRAG is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Racial Equity and Leadership Initiative of the National League of Cities to host a regional summit in 2019, tentatively called Race, Racism and the Future of Greater Washington. Read more here. (Daily, 4/23)

– Terri D. Wright, vice president for program and community at the Meyer Foundation, reflects on her first two months at the foundation and discusses her hope for the future. (Meyer Foundation, 4/17)

– Last week, we shared a study that found that funders are the biggest barrier to nonprofits. Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, responds to the report by discussing grantmakers’ strategy of reducing or stopping funding for organizations that are going through turmoil. (NAF, 4/23)

BUSINESS | This year, the Washington Business Journal launched its first Business of Pride Awards to honor Greater Washington companies and business leaders for outstanding practices in advancing LGBTQ leadership and equality. Congratulations to Harry Fox of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and J. Max Barger of PNC Wealth Management for being named 2018 honorees! (WBJ, 4/20)

EDUCATIOND.C. Council members propose independent education watchdog (WaPo, 4/22)

– MGM National Harbor’s executive chef is partnering with the Culinary Arts Center at Prince George’s Community College to help staff the National Harbor resort and give students industry experience. (WTOP, 4/23)

– D.C.-area officials in talks about ways to jointly court Amazon’s HQ2 (WBJ, 4/20)

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


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

April 23, 2018 / WRAG

National League of Cities & WRAG Partner to Advance Racial Equity in the Greater Washington Region

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) Initiative of the National League of Cities (NLC) to host a regional summit in 2019, tentatively called Race, Racism and the Future of Greater Washington.

Although the initiative is in its early stages, WRAG and REAL are excited for the chance to further racial equity in the region. Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, shared her delight with the partnership with REAL. “We’ve been working at WRAG since late 2015 to position our region to engage in difficult conversations on race and racism. While learning was critical, it was never learning for learning’s sake. We have been strategically preparing philanthropy to be change agents and thought leaders. Now we are ready for action and want to engage with a much broader community to define and work toward a racially equitable region. We welcome the involvement of REAL.”

Both organizations have understood from the beginning of their respective work that neither the National League of Cities’ REAL initiative nor WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series alone would lead to racial equity. This partnership, however, is the seed of a larger idea to bring together people from multiple sectors – government, business, nonprofits, clergy, philanthropy, and academia – and other walks of life to examine the reality of structural racism in Greater Washington and to begin deep conversations and action to effect change.

“I believe that WRAG has laid a solid foundation with philanthropy and has now broadened into other sectors with its Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity initiative,” said Leon Andrews, director of Race, Equity and Leadership at NLC. “What happens in Greater Washington can be a model for how you build a multi-sector, informed cadre of leaders committed to and working for racial justice. We want to explore this approach for other cities and regions around the country. What better place to start than in the nation’s capital region?”

The work of both WRAG and REAL to promote racial equity was born from racially-charged incidents of violence. Following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent unrest, the National League of Cities created the Race, Equity and Leadership initiative to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Similarly following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the leaders of WRAG committed to extensive learning to better understand the depth, breadth, and impact of structural racism and implicit bias and to work for racial equity through its Putting Racism on the Table effort.

Broad conversations about parameters and vision for the 2019 summit will begin in June 2018, to be followed by the establishment of a planning committee with a one-year window. In 2019, the first regional summit on race and racism will launch a much deeper body of work to advance racial equity in the Greater Washington region.

April 20, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Urban farmers in DC are rediscovering their roots and helping the community

FOOD | One returning citizen has formed a partnership with two gardeners to create a community garden in DC’s Ward 7 to help other returning citizens learn urban agriculture skills and to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the food desert. (Civil Eats, 4/5)

Xavier Brown formed a partnership with Boe Luther and Wallace Kirby, two gardeners from Ward 7 who started Hustlaz 2 Harvesters to offer people released from incarceration ways out of poverty into urban agriculture careers and other social enterprises. Brown, a certified master composter for the city, helped Luther and Kirby transform an empty lot into the Dix Street community garden as part of an urban agricultural initiative called Soilful City.

Only 1 in 10 Americans eats the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and people living in poverty have especially low rates of consumption of fresh produce. Access to healthy produce is difficult in low-income communities like Clay Terrace, because major chain supermarkets are reluctant to locate their stores there.

HEALTH | Here’s the state of marijuana laws in the Greater Washington region on this special day for the plant. (WAMU, 4/20)

ARTS & HUMANITIESWho Has A Right To The City? Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum Asks (WAMU, 4/20)

– An audit has found that a DC rule stating that private companies that receive public dollars should hire residents has not been enforced. (WaPo, 4/19)

– A survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Association of Fundraising Professionals found that about one in four female fundraisers has experienced sexual harassment. (Chronicle, 4/5)

– Earth Day is April 22. The region is celebrating the day by giving free or discounted rides on public transportation. (WTOP, 4/20)

– Here’s how researchers think the Washington-Baltimore region could look in 20 years (WaPo, 4/18)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation – New!
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation – New!
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation – New!
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Part-Time Program Administrator for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program Fund | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Executive Assistant to the President | Public Welfare Foundation
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
2018 Summer Intern | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Council on Foundations
Development Director | Critical Exposure
Director, Washington, DC Community | A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Director, Engineering Initiatives | A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Operations & Grants Manager | A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
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. 

Where to get shaved iced desserts from the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan in our region.

– Kendra

April 19, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Triage nurses and 911 operators come together to help DC residents

PUBLIC SAFETY | Washington, DC has the highest rate of 911 calls, but 25% of those calls are not emergencies. To lower the number, the city is launching a new program that consists of placing triage nurses in 911 call centers to help dispatchers field calls that are not urgent. (WAMU, 4/19)

The triage nurses can even coordinate free Lyft rides for people who are on Medicaid — including a stop at a pharmacy if needed.

The “ride” part of the new triage service is critical, proponents say, because that’s the real emergency for many of the inappropriate calls to 911. Some callers simply have a hard time getting to the doctor in parts of the District where clinics can be miles away, and public transportation may not be readily accessible.

RACIAL EQUITY | Last year, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, was named the Waldemar Nielsen Visiting Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Today, she reflects on her time spent educating public policy graduate students about racial equity and how philanthropy can play a role in achieving it. (Daily, 4/19)

HOMELESSNESSResidents Fight the Construction of the Ward 5 Homeless Shelter (WCP, 4/19)

FINANCE | JPMorgan Chase has announced that it will open 70 banking branches in the Greater Washington region and increase affordable housing lending to $500 million. (WaPo, 4/18)

DIVERSITY | GrantCraft has published a report exploring how the philanthropic sector can better integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into its grantmaking practices. Read it here. (GrantCraft, 4/17)

FOODSome D.C. students are seeking healthier, more affordable food for themselves, and their classmates (WaPo, 4/17)

NONPROFITS | Compass provides pro bono consulting to nonprofits in the following areas: board development, funding strategy, partnerships & collaborations and strategic marketing. Applications for 2018-19 are now open.

ENVIRONMENT | A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests that climate change is impacting the health of Virginians, and it is only going to get worse. (WaPo, 4/17)

Watch this cool video of some kids setting up dominoes and knocking them down.

– Kendra