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September 28, 2011 / Christian Clansky

Washingtonian recognizes WRAG members in list of powerful women…Survey: Ten percent of D.C. 8th graders attempt suicide…District short on doctors [News, 9.28.11]

COMMUNITY | In its October issue, the Washingtonian features its annual list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the region. We’re excited to see some of our members recognized for their leadership. Congratulations Rose Ann, Carol, Terri, Nicky, Julie, and Vicki! From the print edition:

Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director, Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and chair, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. Cafritz keeps many local arts and humanities groups alive.

Carol Thompson Cole, president and CEO, Venture Philanthropy Partners. Her community and government experience and her interpersonal skills make Cole the ideal go-between for the hard-charging entrepreneurial funders of VPP and the nonprofits that receive VPP investment funds.

Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, inspires local philanthropists to put their money where the needs are. [Terri is also the vice-chair of the WRAG board.]

Nicky Goren, president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, is a catalyst for increasing local philanthropy by and for local women.

Julie Rogers, president of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, does more than give away money – she has taught grantsmanship and fostered collaboration among local nonprofit leaders as a way of helping their organizations survive.

Victoria P. Sant, president of the board of trustees of the National Gallery of Art, is a major philanthropic force in the area, involved in Vital Voices, the Community Foundation, and the Summit Foundation.

MENTAL HEALTH | This is completely unacceptable. A CDC survey of 1,186 District middle-schoolers finds that ten percent of eighth-grade students said they had attempted suicide in the past year. The same survey also found 30 percent claiming to have had sexual intercourse and 15 percent of sixth through eighth graders saying they belong to a gang (Examiner, 9/28).

“Children are the canaries in the coal mine, and middle schoolers are often the canaries for children’s issues — it’s a very vulnerable time,” said Judith Sandalow, executive director of the Children’s Law Center, which represents at-risk children. “A third of all students in the District live in poverty, so the number of those children who have witnessed violence in their homes or communities or schools is extremely high, and as a community, we don’t offer significant assistance.”

WRAG’s Health Working Group and Children, Youth, and Families Working Group have both identified mental health as priorities (CYF’s next meeting is about school-aged mental health), but this conversation needs to expand well beyond philanthropy or school advocates immediately.

YOUTH | New D.C. center to serve disabled youths, vets (WaPo, 9/28) The National Youth Transitions Center will be “a one-stop shop with a variety of services aimed at people with disabilities and injured veterans, ages 14 to 26.”

EDUCATION | Here’s a debate among leaders in education, including Geoffrey Canada (who spoke at WRAG’s annual meeting in 2007) about whether the school day should be longer. (NYTimes, 9/26) I emphatically say, maybe!

AGING | Quick Action Saves Food Programs For Low-Income DC Seniors (Poverty and Polcy, 9/27)

D.C. has fewer than 3,000 active doctors, report says (WaPo, 9/28)

Health Insurance Costs Rising Sharply This Year, Study Shows (NYTimes, 9/28)

FACTOID | We’re halfway through the week, so let’s celebrate with a Philanthropy Factoid! Today’s looks at how the intersection of marketing and pop culture can break down barriers. (WG Daily, 9/28)

RIP | The wonderfully talented Jessy Dixon, who worked with Paul Simon to make gospel music popular, passed away at 73 this week. (WaPo, 9/28) Here’s a video of Dixon performing Simon’s Gone at Last at the Warner Theatre a few years ago (honestly one of the best concerts I’ve seen).

Does anyone know if the sun still exists? I think we need to laugh a little today, so here’s something great – bad lip reading of famous people. Here’s one of Rick Perry, which I think you’ll enjoy regardless of political inclination. It’s the concept rather than character that is funny, though Perry’s southern drawl does add some depth to the humor. Ice cream.

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