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December 9, 2016 / Kendra Allen, Editor

D.C.’s lowest-income residents need affordable housing

HOUSING | The lowest-income residents in D.C. are paying more than they can afford in rent: almost all of their income, according to a new report by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. The report, A Broken Foundation: Affordable Housing Crisis Threatens DC’s Lowest-Income Residents, offers methods to ensure these residents can live in stable housing. (DCFPI, 12/8)

The worsening affordable housing crisis is creating serious challenges in all aspect of extremely low-income residents’ lives. Paying a large share of income for housing leaves many families financially on the edge, putting them at high risk of getting evicted, moving frequently, or becoming homeless, and often forcing them to cut back on groceries and put off medical appointments. Families without affordable housing spend $150 less per month on food than others. Children in severely rent burdened families or in overcrowded conditions are more likely than others to fall behind in school, and drop out.

EDUCATION | D.C. Public Schools has partnered with Verizon to bring STEM education to three high-poverty middle schools. (AFRO, 12/8)

HEALTHAmericans’ life expectancy dipped last year, raising public health concerns (Baltimore Sun, 12/8)

-Amanda Misiko Andere, head of Funders Together to End Homelessness, discusses ending homelessness as a shared value and why now is the time for philanthropy to act. (Huffington Post, 12/7)

Why Homeless Kids Can’t Get to School (CityLab, 12/8)

RACIAL EQUITY | Consumer Health Foundation‘s Board Chair, Jackie Lendsey, shares her thoughts on why D.C. would benefit from a racial equity approach when developing policies. (CHF Blog, 12/7)

JUSTICE | Criminal justice reform has been a big topic this year. This article discusses the issue of sentencing and allows readers to assess the appropriate length of sentencing in different situations. (NYT, 12/9)

WORKFORCE | A new incubator for entrepreneurs of color whose startups serve underrepresented communities, has announced its plans for the next year. (DCInno, 12/7)

Social Sector Job Openings

Senior Associate, Engagement – Mid-Atlantic and Retail and Direct Bank markets | Capital One – New!
Part-time Accountant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers- New!
Program Officer | William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation- New!
Program Officer for Communications and Next Generation Engagement | William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation- New!
Executive Director | Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia
Manager of the Do Good Accelerator | University of Maryland –
Grants Coordinator | La Clinica del Pueblo
BUILD Health Challenge Executive Director | de Beaumont Foundation
Director of Development and Communications | Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Senior Advisor | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Development Manager | ACT for Alexandria
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association

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.

This interactive world map shows you the true size of countries and reminds you how close Alaska is to Russia.


December 8, 2016 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Helping returning citizens join the workforce

WORKFORCE | Finding a job within the first two months of release from a correctional facility cuts down recidivism dramatically. The Greater Baltimore Committee has released a new report it hopes will help Maryland returning citizens find work. The report recommends different initiatives for businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. (Baltimore Sun, 12/8)

The coalition proposed the state establish an Office of Re-entry within the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to coordinate services for inmates before release.

A “peer network” should be set up as well, the report said, staffed by ex-offenders who would help former prisoners find housing, vocational training, child care, jobs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. The report suggested the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation should coordinate with the corrections department to align prison workforce training with employers needs.

-Maryland Governor Hogan has proposed an alternative paid sick leave bill (Bethesda Beat, 12/7)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | A young mother moves into her new apartment after graduating from Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s transitional housing program (WaPo, 12/8)

EDUCATION | Elementary school children in Maryland may soon be allowed to bring their cell phones to school (WaPo, 12/7)

SAFETY | One Year After Launching Vision Zero, D.C. Sees No Reduction In Traffic Fatalities (WAMU, 12/7)

ENVIRONMENT | ‘Flushable’ wipes might need to meet a new standard for D.C. toilets (WaPo, 12/7)

-The Annie E. Casey Foundation, with the help of the Foundation Center, has launched an online resource tool featuring data on disconnected youth. The collection includes reports, case studies, and insights focused on the challenges these youth face. (PND, 12/6)

-The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation has launched a newsletter to better inform its partners on its work at the federal level and how that impacts and supports communities across the country. Read the lastest issue here

INNOVATION | OpinionA Year of Big Ideas in Social Change (NYT, 12/6)

Imagine that you could buy a loaf of bread for 7 cents. Now marvel at these other cheap expenses.


December 7, 2016 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Prince George’s County program prepares students for health care career

WORKFORCE/EDUCATION | A Gaithersburg (Maryland) High School program, in partnership with Ingleside at King’s Farm, a retirement community with a nursing home, allows students to train for careers in health care with real patients. While the students are learning to work as certified nursing assistants, they are also learning valuable life lessons. (WaPo, 12/6)

The goal is to prepare students for a career in health care, whether that means eventually going on to study medicine or beginning work as a certified nursing assistant, geriatric assistant or home health aide immediately out of high school.

The program, which was first implemented from 1999 to 2005 at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George’s County, was started by William Leahy, a neurologist who is now on Ingleside’s board of directors. He hopes to expand it to the District and Northern Virginia by next fall. Students don’t pay tuition; it is funded by a foundation that Leahy started, and the course is taught by Linda Hall, a nursing professor at Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education division.

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | Community of Hope’s Healthy Start program offers a lifeline to new parents (WaPo, 12/6)

HIV/AIDS | Funders Concerned About AIDS, the leading voice on philanthropic resources for the global AIDS epidemic, released its 14th annual Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS report. This year’s findings indicate that global philanthropic funding to fight the epidemic increased 10 percent from 2014, reaching $663 million, the highest level of funding since 2008. Read the full report here.

– A new Matters @ Hand blog stresses the need for regional leadership in furthuring work to advance fair housing in the Washington, DC area and offers advice on how to stay engaged with different jurisdictions. (Helping Hands Blog, 12/4)

A new apartment building is coming to Benning Road, along the streetcar route. (WCP, 12/6)

-Montgomery County’s new mental health court will work with people with mental illnesses who are repeatedly arrested but have few options for treatment. (NBC4, 12/1)

-Returning citizens face many obstacles once they are released from prison. Now, doctors are trying to make accessing and navigating the healthcare system one less problem. (NPR, 12/5)

JUSTICE REFORMFairfax supervisors approve civilian board to review police-abuse cases (WaPo, 12/6)

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is officially lit!


December 6, 2016 / Kendra Allen, Editor

D.C. Council to vote on paid family leave today

WORKFORCE | This morning the D.C. Council holds its first vote on the paid family leave bill. The bill, described as one of the most generous leave programs in the country, would allow D.C. employees 11 weeks of paid parental leave and 8 weeks of paid family leave. While many are supportive of the intention of the bill, one of the main issues being debated is a tax that employers must pay to support the program. (WAMU, 12/6)

Bennett [Local restaurant owner who is one of many D.C. business owners in support of paid family leave but not its implementation] says she doesn’t like that the cost is being placed completely on employers, with employees contributing nothing to a benefit they will gain. This way of structuring the system puts D.C. out of sync with the states already offering paid-leave: New Jersey, California and Rhode Island fund their programs through contributions made by employees.

Proponents of the bill, such as D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, say there was no other way to pay for the program: Congress prohibits D.C. from taxing non-resident income, removing the possibility of having employees contribute altogether. Limiting the program to D.C. residents would create a paid-leave system too small to be sustainable, according to Mendelson.

RACISM | WRAG launched our Putting Racism on the Table learning and training initiative this year, which included a plethora of videos, podcasts, blog posts, and more. Now WRAG wants to know – are you using the materials? Have they had an impact on you or your work? Please tell us! (Daily, 12/6)

Related: Make sure you check out WRAG’s new microsite with all our Putting Racism on the Table materials here.

FOOD | Local D.C. nonprofit hosts ‘Joyful Food Markets’ in Wards 7 and 8 schools to provide children and families access to healthy food. (WTOP, 12/5)

-Preliminary findings from a Montgomery County Planning Department study found that the County needs 20,000 more rental units for low-income households. (UrbanTurf, 12/2)

Literally nobody is building single-family detached homes in Alexandria (WBJ, 12/5)

-75 percent of units in this Georgia Avenue housing development project will be affordable but some residents aren’t pleased with the bargain. (GGW, 12/5)

PHILANTHROPY | The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective, a new Center for Effective Philanthropy report, offers foundation CEOs’ vision for philanthropy and includes their thoughts on addressing society’s most pressing issues.

TRANSIT | If you have cell phone service with Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T or Sprint, you can now use your phone on the metro between certain stations. (WaPo, 12/5)

Have any plans for inauguration? Busboys and Poets’ Andy Shallal is co-hosting a ‘Peace Ball‘ with author Alice Walker, activist Angela Davis and others at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture on inauguration eve.


December 6, 2016 / WRAG

Are you putting racism on the table? Let WRAG know!

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

When WRAG launched Putting Racism on the Table: The Learning Series, we focused narrowly on building a local cohort of informed philanthropic leaders who understood the many aspects of racism and were committed to addressing it. We didn’t get much further than the announcement when we knew we had to broaden our reach. Lots of people – in and outside of philanthropy – wanted to participate. That’s when we decided to video the lectures. We couldn’t have such phenomenal thought leaders and not share their lectures, in some way, with a wider audience. Next came a blog series of reflections by community leaders, then podcasts, and now Structural Racism Theater.

We learn differently. We all have busy schedules, so we keep thinking of ways to package the materials so that more people will be exposed to the materials and be better able to understand the dimensions and impact of racism. (Have you checked out our new microsite yet? Go to

As we were releasing adaptations of the materials, we started to hear that others were looking at our work and being affected by it. A leader in New Jersey called. We heard that folks in Seattle were watching our videos over lunch. Someone shared that we had made saying the word “racism” not only acceptable, but understandable as the realities of structural racism and implicit bias became more and more clear to more people.

So here’s our ask of Daily WRAG readers: Are you using the Putting Racism on the Table materials? Has WRAG’s work prompted a conversation or contributed to an entire body of work that just needed a catalyst to move it forward? Please let me know –

As we all try to chronicle the impact of our work, hearing from you – just an email – would be great.

So, how have you used Putting Racism on the Table? In advance, thanks for sharing.

December 5, 2016 / Kendra Allen, Editor

D.C. Mayor Bowser wants more diversity in tech jobs

WORKFORCE | Mayor Bowser released a new report outlining how the city plans to make D.C.’s technology sector more inclusive. The report, Pathways to Inclusion, lists goals such as creating 5,000 new tech jobs for underrepresented workers and 500 new tech businesses founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs. (DCist, 12/3)

A new report outlines that, as it currently stands, the city has just under 30,000 tech jobs, defined as “occupations in computer and information systems, engineers, and natural sciences.” Of those, 49 percent are held by white men, 25 percent by white women, 9 percent by black men, and 8 percent by black women.

By examining the barriers preventing people from entering the tech field, the mayor’s office, in conjunction with the Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council, is hoping to begin the process of eradicating them, though it has yet to release any formal policy proposals to achieve those numbers.

– A D.C. grocer raised her employees wages to $12.50. Now she’s waiting to see if customers are willing to pay the slightly higher costs. (WaPo, 12/2)

EDUCATION/POVERTY | Federal grant money to help Virginia and Richmond-area schools expand preschool for disadvantaged children (Richmond Times, 12/4)

IMMIGRATION | Virginia Tech undocumented students push for ‘sanctuary campus’ (The Roanoke Times, 11/4)

AGING | There are new guidelines on how to address a growing population of seniors called “elder orphans”, who are alone and have no family to take care of them. (Kaiser Health News, 11/28)

ENVIRONMENT | Maryland anti-fracking advocates work to ban the practice in the state as a moratorium on fracking is set to end next year. (WaPo, 12/4)

ARTS & CULTURE/RACE | A photography collection featuring the Baltimore uprising after Freddie Gray’s death was on display this past weekend. The collection is part of the “Baltimore Stories: Narratives and the Life of an American City” project and is meant to prompt a discussion on race and the impact of narratives. (Baltimore Sun, 12/3)

Behold this really cool map of DC’s historic buildings! (Yes, I did look up my house.)


December 2, 2016 / WRAG

How funders can address implict bias in grantmaking

– According to a report from the D5 Coalition, less than 7 percent of philanthropic dollars are directed toward people of color. As funders increasingly focus on equity and diversity, recognizing that their own grantmaking decisions may be affected by implicit biases is critically important. (SSIR, 12/1)

…In their effort to ensure that grant dollars go toward effective organizations, many philanthropists have adopted grantmaking practices that can actually perpetuate the unequal distribution of funds. For example, traditional grantmaking practice tends to favor organizations that have existing relationships with funders and dedicated development staff, which better position them to garner philanthropic support. As a result, less funding may make its way toward smaller organizations, many of which may be serving similarly under-resourced communities. Such implicit bias may lead some funders to fall short of their own goals to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

– Complex algorithms and new technology enable companies to use people’s social connections to assess credit-worthiness, a trend that can have a disproportionately negative impact on low-income people and people of color. (Atlantic, 12/2)

LGBTQ/EQUITY | In D.C., Trans Community Still Doesn’t Have A Seat At The Table, Activist Says (WAMU, 12/1)

ENVIRONMENT | There’s a mysterious four-mile long “oily plume” floating down the Potomac River near DC. (dcist, 12/1)

HEALTH/HOUSING | A new HUD rule to go into effect next year will ban smoking in public housing. (NY Times, 11/30)

EDUCATION/HOUSING | Not All Kids Benefit From Subsidized Housing (City Lab, 11/30)

NONPROFITS/RFP | The United Way of the National Capital Area has released the RFP for its FY17 Summer Strong DC grant competition. Click here for more information.

SOCIAL SECTOR | A new report from the Case Foundation looks at trends in how millennials engage with social causes. (Case Foundation, Nov. 2016)

Social Sector Job Openings

Executive Director | Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia – New!
Manager of the Do Good Accelerator | University of Maryland – New!
Grants Coordinator | La Clinica del Pueblo
BUILD Health Challenge Executive Director | de Beaumont Foundation
Director of Development and Communications | Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
Manager of Communications | Do Good Institute, University of Maryland
Communications & Marketing Manager | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Senior Advisor | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Donor Services Officer | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Development Manager | ACT for Alexandria
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association

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 access the calendar.

Ever wonder what the beetle feet look like?

– Rebekah