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August 7, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The state of public health in the District

What is the state of public health in the District? Faculty from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University and the online Master of Health program have released a handy infographic in response to that question. (MPH@GW Blog, 8/6)

Like most large, metropolitan cities, the people who live and work in Washington, D.C., are a diverse and growing mix. Since 2010, its population has increased 7.4 percent. The average age is 33.8 years and the average life expectancy is 77.5. On a daily basis, D.C. residents are exposed to a wide range of interconnected health concerns — from crime and hunger, to substance abuse and HIV.

Related: WRAG’s funding collaborative, the Washington AIDS Partnership, is working to address Washington, D.C.’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. To find out more information, please visit

– A surgeon and professor at the Howard University Medical School is leading a campaign to increase awareness about the high number of minorities on transplant waiting lists, particularly those waiting for new kidneys. Though the number of minority organ donors has increased, he hopes to reduce the number of minorities who experience complications from diabetes and hypertension in the first place. (WTOP, 8/6)

– Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, announced $7 million to 24 public housing agencies around the country in an effort to house 1,000 homeless veterans. (, 8/6)

Related: On Tuesday, August 12th at 12:00 PM, WRAG will have a brown bag discussion featuring Ronald McCoy, from the D.C. Housing Authority – a member of Veterans Now, a coalition of nine local organizations, as well as local and federal government agencies, launched last year with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. Funders interested in veterans – or in ending homelessness for all – are invited to learn more about this successful model for connecting homeless individuals with housing. Click here to register.

– Opinion: The Martin Luther King Jr. library in downtown D.C. will soon be renovated, bringing about new opportunities for additions to the structure. Ward 6 Councilman, Tommy Wells, envisions the inclusion of affordable housing for seniors atop the building due to its location in the city and endless opportunity for enriching cultural activities for mature adults. (GGW, 8/6)

– Why D.C. is About to Have Even Less Affordable Housing (WCP, 8/6)

– A recent study by a Harvard doctoral student and an urban sociologist reveals some interesting links between a neighborhood’s capacity for total gentrification and the racial composition of its inhabitants. (City Lab, 8/7)

Opinion: According to a recent report from Open Society Foundations and the Foundation Center, foundations awarded more than $40 million in grants to support black boys and men in 2011. The widely publicized My Brother’s Keeper Initiative has prompted some to question whether or not there are enough philanthropic efforts going into young women of color. (Philanthropy, 8/7)

More than 20 years of research has taught us that boys and men of color are suffering. The lack of parallel data on girls and women of color does not mean they are doing fine. Operating from a data deficit reinforces the assumptions that girls are not in crisis and further excludes them from racial- and gender-justice efforts like My Brother’s Keeper.

Related: Earlier this year, a group of WRAG members formed the Boys and Men of Color Alliance to identify ways the local grantmaking community can leverage national energy around improving outcomes for boys and men of color in the Greater Washington region. Since the group last met, a lot has happened, including the White House listening session that informed the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative’s national strategy. Join us for a brown bag discussion to share updates on your own work in this area, and to help determine how the group should move forward.

Single Mothers Join Wave of Central American Immigrants Arriving in D.C. Area (WAMU, 8/7)

Which is America’s “coolest city?”



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