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February 8, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

These returning citizens are getting the chance to grow their DC businesses

WORKFORCE | John Legend, a Grammy award-winning artist, has partnered with New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund, and Bank of America‘s charitable foundation to help eight returning citizens grow their businesses. Three of the entrepreneurs, with businesses ranging from a landscaping and event support company to a nonprofit that supports returning citizens, are based in DC. (WBJ, 2/7)

The team hopes the effort will help eliminate the stigma and barriers to re-entry the incarcerated face when they return home.

“Entrepreneurship creates opportunities for people with a criminal record to live with dignity, realize their potential and return to their communities and families as positive leaders,” John Legend said in a statement to the Washington Business Journal. “Self-employment is a pathway for individuals who have been impacted by the criminal justice system to earn a family-sustaining income, build a career, and give back to their communities.”

Related: Last year, Anthony Pleasant, an entrepreneur and former worker at Clean Decisions (one of the businesses mentioned in the above article), discussed the barriers that exist for returning citizens and encouraged funders to take more risks. Check it out

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, sat down with Leadership Greater Washington to discuss her leadership journey, and the role of LGW and WRAG in the Greater Washington region’s future. Read it here. (LGW, 2/7)

PHILANTHROPY
– Last week we announced the passing of Lois Hechinger England, trustee of the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. We hope you’ll read her obituary here.

Meyer Foundation has named Terri Wright, former program director for health policy at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, as its vice president for program and community. (Meyer Blog, 2/6)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Chris Jarvis, co-Founder of Realized Worth outlines three big trends he’s seeing in corporate volunteering and employee giving.

If you’re a nonprofit leader looking for ways to design high-impact volunteer opportunities that will WOW your corporate partners, then join WRAG for the Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility workshop on April 26-27. Hear directly from Chris and more than other 20 CSR professionals from major companies across the region. (Realized Worth, 2/6)

POVERTY| Column: A revival of the “Poor People’s Campaign” was announced on Monday and activists say they are still grappling with how to address racism and poverty. (WaPo, 2/6)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/YOUTHTeens sentenced to life in prison say Maryland’s parole system is unconstitutional (WaPo, 2/6)


The Hirshhorn museum plans to project images relating to 1980s social issues on its building this month.

– Kendra

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