Will Lonnie Bunch and the Smithsonian change the conversation and culture surrounding white supremacy?

CULTURE | The significance of Lonnie Bunch’s appointment as the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, goes far beyond the fact that he is the first African American to hold the job. He is in a unique position to grapple with the institution’s history, which is bound up in complicated ways with the history of white supremacy. (WaPo, 5/28)

Bunch can talk comfortably, in public, about white supremacy which could change not only the Smithsonian, but also the culture of the country it represents. Bunch takes over at a moment of extreme peril in human history, and will lead perhaps the only institution in American life that has both the intellectual capacity and the public credibility to confront the three greatest dangers we now face: climate change, the cultural and technological corruption of democratic processes, and white supremacy and neo-nationalism, three things that will be increasingly interconnected … the fact that Bunch can utter the words “white supremacy” is occasion for hope … if you can anatomize it and explain it to Americans, you can probably solve a host of other problems, too. Bunch has long since demonstrated he can do exactly that.

PHILANTHROPY/NONPROFITS | Yesterday, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced an innovative partnership with Catchafire to bring capacity building support to more than 100 nonprofits in the D.C. metropolitan area. Through this partnership, select Cafritz grantees will have access to virtual, skills-based volunteers, to help them strengthen their infrastructure, build their capacity, and allow staff to focus on achieving their organization’s programmatic goals. Read the press release here.

WORKFORCE | The DC Central Kitchen’s latest culinary arts program for 18-24 year-olds aims to help connect them to job opportunities in DC’s booming restaurant industry. The program is run out the THEARC in Ward 8. (WaPo, 5/27)

DISTRICT
– On Tuesday the DC Council added millions to subsidize the District’s only public hospital and to repair deteriorated public housing stock, with the passage of a $15.5 billion budget for the next fiscal year, but made cuts in other areas, including a workforce housing fund and free fares on Circulator buses. (WaPo, 5/28)

After a heated fight about race and schools, DC Council decides: Banneker will move to Shaw (WaPo, 5/28)

Need For Urgent Public Housing Repairs Prompts DC Council To Tap Controversial Source Of Money (WAMU, 5/28)

HOUSING | Getting a home near Amazon’s HQ2 in Crystal City is already a lot harder than it was before the announcement that they were coming to town. (WBJ, 5/27)

PUBLIC SAFETY | ‘This Will Not Be the New Normal’: DC Police Prepare For Possible Spike In Violence (WAMU, 5/28)

TRANSIT | As Metro shutdown arrives, dread pervades the Yellow and Blue lines (WaPo, 5/27)

NONPROFITS/RACIAL EQUITY | The Building Movement Project has just released Nonprofit Executives and the Racial Leadership Gap: A Race to Lead Brief which explores the gaps between executive leaders of color and white leaders and compares nonprofit executives to respondents in staff positions.


How to get to the beach this summer without a car.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

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