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October 9, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

District residents call for police reform

EQUALITY/DISTRICT
At a Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety public oversight hearing, several community members testified before D.C. councilmembers on the need for change in the policies and procedures of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Much of the hearing centered around the need to address racial disparities that exist in the implementation of the law. (DCist, 10/9)

For years, statistics have revealed a great racial disparity in arrest rates in D.C. In 2011, 91 percent of all drug-related arrests were of black people, despite roughly equal reported usage rates among races. And the statistics don’t stop there. Recent studies conducted by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee further cement a disturbing truth: black communities in D.C. are being disproportionately targeted by the Metropolitan Police Department.

While the city has taken measures to help alleviate these statistics—decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana and, most recently, introducing a pilot program that requires some D.C. cops to wear body cameras—many residents agree that a lot more needs to be done.

COMMUNITY
– Former president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation, Sterling Speirn, has been named to lead the Stupski Foundation in the spend down of their $260 million endowment. Formerly an operating foundation, Stupski ended operations in late 2012 and will now focus on becoming a grant-making organization that helps to improve the options for poor and minority children and on other issues including “end-of-life” controversies. (SBT,10/7)

Related: Sterling Speirn will also be a speaker at WRAG’s upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 20th. To find out more and register for the event, click here.

– On Wednesday, October 15th, the Herb Block Foundation will be honored for their commitment to defending basic freedoms, combating discrimination and improving conditions for vulnerable populations at D.C. Vote’s 2014 Champions of Democracy Gala. You can find out more about the event here.

EDUCATION
– As part of their “Unlocking Opportunities” series on the role public schools can play in providing important services to students, the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute discusses how schools can achieve better educational outcomes by first providing help to students in poverty. (DCFPI,10/9)

– In Montgomery County, some school leaders are requesting a two-year delay to the policy that would require high school seniors in Maryland to pass new standardized tests in order to be eligible for graduation. (WaPo, 10/8)

– As Montgomery County schools have recently  placed an emphasis on closing the achievement gap between white and nonwhite students, data shows that the SAT scores of minority students helped to improve scores for the county overall within the class of 2014. (WaPo, 10/7)

Enrollment Up Again in D.C.’s Traditional and Charter Schools (WAMU, 10/8)

TRANSIT | In a ranking of how many jobs a resident can access by transit during the morning rush of 7 AM to 9 AM among the 46 biggest metros in the U.S., the Washington region came in at number four. (CityLab, 10/8)

POVERTY | Three Reasons You Should Be Concerned About the Racial Wealth Gap (CFED, 10/9)

PHILANTHROPY | The Clinton Global Initiative, which recently announced support for D.C.’s efforts to reduce infant mortality, has had 80 percent of their commitments completed or ongoing in the period between 2005 and 2013. But, here’s why it’s more important to focus on the five percent of commitments that have been unsuccessful in order to gain valuable insight into trends in philanthropy. (Forbes, 9/23)


Make sure you get yours, they just might sell out after this

-Ciara

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