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September 13, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How can DC solve the maternal healthcare crisis Black mothers are experiencing?

HEALTH CARE | There have been numerous stories about the high maternal mortality rate for Black women and other women of color in DC. Two solutions that should be prioritized are addressing the structural racism mothers face when trying to access services and the implicit bias of doctors who don’t listen to their patients. At a recent conference, DC’s mayor focused on why patients aren’t accessing services. (WaPo, 9/12)

But one of the key dilemmas facing the players at the conference dealt not with access to hospital delivery rooms, but rather with the months of a woman’s pregnancy leading up to childbirth.

The issue is not insurance, Mayor Bowser said, since 97 percent of D.C. residents are covered by insurance. “It means getting more people connected to the right people at the right time,” she said. “Why are people avoiding the doctor their first three months of pregnancy?”

CSR | Congratulations to WRAG members The Boeing Company, Eagle Hill Consulting, and IBM for being named as finalists for this year’s Citizens Awards by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation! The Citizens Award recognize businesses who are making a positive impact in communities around the world. (USCCF, 9/12)

MENTAL HEALTH/ EDUCATION | A DC art teacher discusses why its important for teachers, mentors and other adults who work with youth to try to reach those who are experiencing trauma. (WaPo, 9/12)

ARTS & HUMANITIESD.C. Area Students Tell History From Their Own Eyes On The Hamilton Stage (WAMU, 9/12)

HOUSING | A DC councilmember wants to revise a bill to establish affordable housing as a priority in the city’s comprehensive plan. (WBJ, 9/12)

TRANSPORTATION | Metro has proposed charging riders higher fares for travelling during regional events and specific events. (WTOP, 9/13)

Make music with anyone, anywhere.

– Kendra

September 11, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

New report finds that Latinx community is still largely excluded from the Smithsonian’s workforce

– A newly released report by UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center and the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative which analyzed the progress of the Smithsonian in improving Latinx representation in its workforce found that it has not. Although the report shows some areas of improvement, the Smithsonian has a long way to go. (WAMU, 9/10)

In “Invisible No More,” Noriego and his co-authors evaluate the Smithsonian’s progress on 10 goals the institution set in 1994 in a report called “Willful Neglect.” “The Smithsonian…displays a pattern of willful neglect toward the estimated 25 million Latinos in the United States,” wrote the authors in 1994. “It is difficult for the Task Force to understand how such a consistent pattern of Latino exclusion from the work of the Smithsonian could have occured by chance.”

The report included 10 recommendations for improvement, included supporting the development of a Latino Museum on the National Mall and increasing Latino representation across the Smithsonian’s workforce.

– ‘It’s Definitely On The Cool Side Of Things’: Studio Theatre’s 40 Years Of Contemporary Drama In The District (DCist, 9/10)

WORKFORCE | A couple of months ago, a majority of DC’s residents voted to increase the tipped minimum wage. DC Council will hold a hearing to repeal the bill on Monday. (WCP, 9/10)

HEALTHCARE | A profile on how Mamatoto Village, a nonprofit in DC, is trying to address the high maternal mortality rate for Black women in the city. (YES! Magazine, 9/7)

– Maryland officials have announced that the state will stop using the PARCC standardized test and will instead look for a test that is shorter. (Baltimore Sun, 9/11)

As D.C.-area schools grapple with overcrowding, parents wonder why enrollment projections are so off (WaPo, 9/9)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has ordered residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence. (WaPo, 9/10)

The worst tropical storms to hit our region.

– Kendra

September 7, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

School ties to ICE makes school unsafe for undocumented and other immigrant students

EDUCATION | Greater Washington students are back in school. While some students can go to school worry-free, immigrant students, especially those who are undocumented or who have family that are, are forced to go to school every day in fear of authorities reporting them to ICE. (WAMU, 9/6)

This fear is increasingly common in schools in the D.C. area. While some children of immigrants go to class but are afraid to talk to authority figures, others have stopped attending school entirely.

“You have those senior ones who are even afraid to walk or feel like they are not going to be able to graduate because of their legal status,” says Sandra Shephard, the Managing Director for the Latin American Youth Center in Prince George’s County and a counselor for immigrant youth. “I had a case in May where a young person actually wanted to commit suicide because he was afraid that if he walked to get his diploma, immigration was going to come get him and his family.”

– Virginia advocates are fighting a law that makes it a crime for people who have multiple alcohol-related crimes to purchase, possess or even be near alcohol. (WaPo, 9/7)

– Lawyers Turn to Activism as Civil Liberties Come Under Attack (YES! Magazine, 9/6)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Washington Dulles International Airport has unveiled a new system that will replace boarding passes for international passengers – facial scans. (WaPo, 9/6)

TRANSIT | For the past few months, Metro has piloted a program that prohibits passengers from using cash to ride the 79 bus. It is contemplating expanding the program to other bus lines. (DCist, 9/6)

POPULATIONGentrification in DC is not just a black and white issue (GGWash, 9/6)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company– New!
Development Manager | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Vice-President for Development and Communications | Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED)
Development Manager | Leadership Greater Washington
Senior Managing Director, Finance & Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Institutional Giving Associate | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Director, Institutional Giving | Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Events Manager | Public Welfare Foundation
Major Gifts Officer | L’Arche Greater Washington D.C.
Manager of Program & Evaluation Services | BoardSource
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Executive Vice President, Development and Communications | Northern Virginia Family Service
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations | Northern Virginia Family Service
Adult Education Specialist | BoardSource
Senior Director, Evaluation and Learning | Flamboyan Foundation
Major Gifts Officer | Food & Friends
Part-Time Program Administrator for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Membership Development Manager | Exponent Philanthropy

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

In case you’re interested in this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival

– Kendra

September 6, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Seeing the loss of creative spaces, DC artists look towards Maryland

ARTS & CULTURE | Over the past year, artists in DC have seen the spaces they are able to create in and show their work dwindling, either from the increased cost of rent or the impact of the building being redeveloped. The loss has driven some to Maryland in search of better opportunities. (WCP, 9/6)

Where might area artists find it easier to keep their doors open while advancing a mission? It could be in Maryland. In nearby Prince George’s County, there are numerous business incentives and grant opportunities for arts organizations. While D.C. offers grants for individuals, nonprofits, and specific projects through the DC Commision on Arts and Humanities, Prince George’s County tends to have more support for facilities and businesses that aren’t 501(c)(3)s.

As such, Hyattsville and the Gateway Arts District along Route 1 are dotted with commercial buildings and storage facilities that have been converted to artist studios and independent creative businesses.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Kevin Rashid Johnson, one of the organizers of the national prison strike that began on August 21, discusses why this action is necessary and the retaliation he has experienced from Virginia prison officials for participating in the strike. (Guardian, 8/23)

HISTORY | The Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project is researching sites that are of cultural significance to free and enslaved Black residents in Georgetown before they were pushed out. (Urban Turf, 9/5)

ENVIRONMENT | Opinion: Here’s Why Capitalism Can’t Fix Climate Change (YES! Magazine, 8/31)

FOOD INSECURITY | How proposed changes to the Farm Bill will diminish the US’s ability to fight hunger. (Atlantic, 9/6)

EDUCATION | Montgomery County, MD has a school system that is majority people of color. This year, it is intensifying efforts to ensure that schools are racially and economically equitable. (Bethesda Beat, 9/3)

WORKFORCEAutomation Is Coming To A Store Near You. How Could It Affect Washington’s Cashiers? (WAMU, 9/6)

Today is National Read a Book Day! I’m re-reading Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith. What are you reading?

– Kendra

September 5, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How Virginia can ensure school districts are funded equitably

EDUCATION | According to a recent National Center for Education Statistics report, Virginia and Maryland are among six states where the wealthiest school districts receive more funding per student than the poorest districts. The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis has released a blog post on how Virginia can better fund schools with a high poverty population. (TCI, 8/28)

Virginia does target some extra state support to schools with high percentages of low-income students through its At-Risk Add-On program, which provides between 1-13 percent more in basic aid per student eligible for free lunch. But given the funding gap that this new national report reveals, this approach is clearly not sufficient to make up for the difference between high-poverty and low-poverty school divisions.

Rather than relying so heavily on student enrollment to allocate state funding to school divisions, Virginia should follow the lead of other states that use need-based allocations. This model would use weights to adjust per student funding based on economic status, English language proficiency, or student disability. Most states take this approach to more equitably distribute education funding to divisions.

RACIAL EQUITY | Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, and Yanique Redwood, chair of WRAG’s Board of Directors, provide an update on how WRAG plans to make an organizational commitment to racial equity. (Daily, 9/5)

PHILANTHROPY | A philanthropic advisor discusses how foundations can encourage staff to take more risks. (NCRP, 8/23)

HOUSING | It’s Time to Rewrite Fair Lending Rules. (Just Not Like This.) (Citylab, 8/31)

– DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced that the city will give a one-time grant to a downtown church to operate a daytime service center for homeless residents. (Street Sense Media, 9/5)

– New D.C. General replacement shelter to début in Northwest this month (Curbed, 9/4)

NONPROFITS | In a new blog, nonprofit leader Vu Le asks progressive activists to stop weaponizing social justice terminology and concepts against each other. (NAF, 9/4)

LGBTQIA RIGHTSBusinesses in Virginia increasingly are showing support to LGBTQ communities not just to attract them as customers (Richmond Times, 9/2)

Congratulations to the Mystics for going to the WNBA Finals for the first time!

– Kendra