Skip to content
September 13, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Join us for WRAG’s 2017 Annual Meeting: Power Reframed | Wednesday, November 8

WRAG | Join us on November 8th for WRAG’s 2017 Annual Meeting, Power Reframed, at MGM National Harbor! WRAG members will hear from Richard Rothstein, housing policy expert and author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

The luncheon, which is open to the community, will feature Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizen University and author of You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen. Click here to register.

INCOME INEQUALITY | Census data released yesterday show an improved economy, but at the same time provide a grim picture of the nation’s income inequality. (Atlantic, 9/12)

HEALTH | Today, the House is expected to pass a measure to prevent DC from funding the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act. (WaPo, 9/12)

EDUCATION | According to a new report, Montgomery County’s high school system should redesign its career and technology programs. (WaPo, 9/12)

Related: Funders, join us on December 1 for the final program in WRAG’s 2017 Public Education Learning Series: “Ensuring All Students Graduate College AND Career Ready.” Register here

LGBTQ RIGHTSEdith Windsor, LGBTQ Advocate Who Fought The Defense Of Marriage Act, Dies At 88 (NPR, 9/12)

ANTI-SEMITISM | Montgomery County residents have found anti-Semitic fliers that promote what police describe as “white national propaganda.” (Bethesda Beat, 9/12)

HOUSING | This organization wants to bring an independent living community for adults 62 and older to Tysons. (WaPo, 9/13)

PUBLIC SAFETYPolice: New Apple technology will delay justice in DC area (WTOP, 9/13)

Keep rolling over the circles to find the koala bear.

– Kendra

September 11, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

‘East of the River’ film aims to show the real lives of Anacostia teens

– The rate of suspensions in the District’s school system has been a hot topic recently. A new short film, East of the River, intends to tell the story of the experiences of these students, especially black girls, who are pushed out of the school system prematurely. The film includes teen actors who are from the Anacostia community. (DCist, 9/8)

While most films made in D.C. stick to the historical landmarks and paint the city as little more than an iconic backdrop for political intrigue, [the filmmaker Hannah] Peterson’s decision to cast real D.C. teens and use the less visible locations where they actually hang out with will create a slice of fiction that brings Washington to life on the big screen. In addition to notes from the young actors who’ll be in front of the camera, the screenplay was penned in collaboration with a Youth Advisory board of six students whose stories and insight helped shape the final product on the page.

“When people think about Anacostia they think about shooting and drugs,” says India Pendleton, a Ballou High School student and the leader of the Youth Advisory. “They don’t really come to Anacostia to see that people like me work really hard so we can have a good education. We work day and night in school, we work jobs after school. We do a lot because we know that people view us a certain way, so we have to work harder to get that target off of us.”

– Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks (NPR, 9/11)

GENDER EQUITY | Congratulations to WRAG member Washington Area Women’s Foundation for receiving the Women’s Funding Network’s 2017 Leadership in Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Award! (PND Blog, 9/9)

FOOD | The renewal of a District landmark, the “Shrimp Boat,” is mostly welcomed in the neighborhood. (WaPo, 9/10)

HEALTH | Over the weekend the University of Maryland, the Maryland State Dental Association and Catholic Charities partnered to provide free dental care to about 800 low-income Marylanders. (Baltimore Sun, 9/10)

INCOME | The District is offering an amnesty program to help parents who are behind in their court ordered child support due to various reasons including unemployment or underemployment. (WaPo, 9/7)

WORKFORCE | The J-1 visa program, which allows individuals to visit the US and learn about American society in exchange for work, may be in danger of ending. (WaPo, 9/10)

ENVIRONMENTVirginia Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Hurricane Irma (DCist, 9/8)

This website will tell you what the #1 song was when you were born.

– Kendra

September 8, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Proposed restrictions on SNAP program split health groups

FOOD INSECURITY | Due to the growing concern about the health of US residents, health organizations, and especially anti-obesity organizations, have been working to limit the nation’s sugar intake. Recently, these efforts have meant championing proposed rules to restrict SNAP recipients from buying soda and candy. (Civil Eats, 8/28)

“This issue has pitted anti-obesity and public health groups against the anti-hunger community,” said Dr. Kelly Brownell, dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “On the one hand, the public health community says these beverages are contributing to ill health through obesity and diabetes. On the other hand, the hunger community says people are already stigmatized for using these benefits, and that to take something away would further stigmatize them.”

In 2013, the American Medical Association came out in favor of banning the purchase of sugary drinks with SNAP benefits. Anti-hunger groups, however, remain opposed to SNAP restrictions. In a February research brief the Food Research and Action Center listed numerous reasons for opposing a restriction on SNAP purchases. The center said the program should avoid “singling out poor people based on misconceptions or exaggerations.”

PHILANTHROPY | Darren Walker, president of Ford Foundation, calls for moral courage in America. (Ford, 9/6)

– Montgomery County officials are increasing their efforts to crack down on problem landlords. (WaPo, 9/7)

– Northern Va. leaders: Home building grinds to halt after state law change (WTOP, 9/7)

– The US Department of Labor has removed the District’s designation as “high risk” due to its improvements in job training and employment programs. (WaPo, 9/7)

– Opioid use responsible for 20 percent of drop in American men from labor force, study finds (Baltimore Sun, 9/7)

REFUGEESAppeals Court Limits Trump Travel Ban and Allows More Refugees (NYT, 9/7)

TRANSIT | Regional leaders are still grappling with the issue of Metro funding. (InsideNOVA, 9/7)

Social Sector Job Openings 
Communications + Program Coordinator | FCCP
Program Associate, Portfolio Support, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Associate, Public and Patient Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Engagement Officer | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Officer, Public Engagement | Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Program Coordinator | Exponent Philanthropy
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Membership & Marketing Associate | Exponent Philanthropy
Membership Development Manager| Exponent Philanthropy
Management Associate | Public Welfare Foundation
Executive Director | Agua Fund
Database Assistant | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Senior Administrative Assistant/Foundation Coordinator | The Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, the Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation and the Marriott Daughters Foundation

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 the image below to access the calendar.

All of these food events sound delicious! (The crab fest sounds the best.)

– Kendra

September 7, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Analysis of ACT scores shows a large achievement gap

EDUCATION | An analysis of ACT scores found that 9% of students in the class of 2017 who are from “disadvantaged backgrounds,” which are described as either low-income, first generation college students or students of color, are ready for college. This contrasts greatly with the readiness rate, which is 54%, for students who are not disadvantaged. (WaPo, 9/7)

Natasha Ushomirsky, a policy development director for the Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for disadvantaged students, said achievement gaps reflect long-standing disparities in the quality of teachers, rigor of curriculum and degree of academic support available to poor and minority children.

She called the ACT’s data understandable but “incredibly discouraging.” States and schools, she said, must redouble efforts to narrow and eliminate achievement gaps. “There’s a lot of power in communicating the expectation that all students can achieve at high levels,” Ushomirsky said.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Diane Melley, vice president of Global Citizenship Initiatives at IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, discusses why her organization invests staff time and professional development dollars in the Institute for CSR. (Daily, 9/7)

Related: Early bird registration for the 2018 Institute for CSR is now open! Download an application here.

WRAG COMMUNITY | We’re happy to announce that Katy Moore, WRAG’s managing director of corporate strategy, welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Karys Ann Quinn, on August 21! Mom, Dad, and Baby are doing well!

HEALTH CARE | St. Elizabeths East campus could be the future site of the hospital that will replace United Medical Center, according to District officials. (WAMU, 9/6)

IMMIGRATION | Virginia, D.C. Join Lawsuit To Stop Trump’s Plan To End DACA Program (WAMU, 9/6)

LGBTQ | This activist is providing a supportive space for the District’s Black LGBT community and is also advocating for them. (AFRO, 8/31)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Former and current inmates at a Virginia women’s prison report continued substandard health care, which contributed to the death of two inmates. (WaPo, 9/6)

CLIMATE JUSTICE | Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, discusses climate, racial and gender justice. (Yes! Magazine, 8/18)

There were some interesting moustaches for the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships.

– Kendra

September 7, 2017 / WRAG

Why IBM invests our staff time and professional development dollars in the Institute for CSR

By Diane Melley
Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives
IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs

At IBM, we view talent development as a core value and a key element of our current and future success. Investing in employee training not only helps attract and retain great team members, it also builds loyalty, inspires creativity, and increases our reputation as a company.

But, employee development, like many areas of business requires planning, investment, and an eye towards the future.

As the corporate social responsibility (CSR) field continues to grow, mature, and innovate, part of my role as a CSR executive is to ensure that my team members have the knowledge, skills, and networks they need to continue creating positive impact in our communities and deliver increased social and financial value back to IBM. That’s why, since the launch of the Institute for CSR in 2014, I have served as a faculty member and have made the strategic investment of time and dollars for my team members’ participation in this impressive Professional Certificate Program.

The Institute for CSR was designed by and for the CSR field as a practical, interactive, and affordable professional development opportunity. Over the course of four, two-day sessions, participants learn from some of the field’s most innovative thinkers, authors, and practitioners and expand their professional networks learning alongside CSR peers from across the country.

The Institute’s curriculum is highly interactive, steeped in practice, and based on real-life case studies and current trends. This ensures that my team members are being challenged with the freshest and most relevant ideas, thinking, and challenges facing the field of CSR today. As a bonus, the small class size and face-to-face learning experience provides an intimate forum for robust discussions, debates, and exploration of the unique challenges faced by CSR professionals and their companies.

IBM’s support of and participation in the Institute for CSR is just one of the many ways we demonstrate our commitment to professional development and our team’s understanding of the CSR profession. Here are testimonials from just two of IBM’s Institute for CSR graduates:

Earning my Professional Certificate from the Institute for CSR has been invaluable in my career. The incredible faculty members and the broad range of topics covered, coupled with the meaningful networking opportunities with other CSR professionals, creates a unique and beneficial experience. The knowledge I gained at the Institute has had a meaningful impact on the way I approach my work and the impact IBM is having on the communities we serve.

– Christian Schoen, Senior Program Manager & Certified Project Executive, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs

The Institute for CSR program is an amazing opportunity to learn from thought leaders about best practices in Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Philanthropy. I enjoyed the diversity of thought as it relates to solving systemic and societal issues facing communities. The alignment of the private sector to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals was invaluable learning as I focus on IBM’s CSR efforts in the geographies I serve. Most importantly, learning how companies are using tech and data to define metrics and evaluate community impact was critical for my skills development as I work to effectively measure the outcomes of the strategic partnerships I create.

– Steven Pearson, Manager, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs

I hope you’ll encourage your team to participate in this unique program in 2018! Early bird registration is now open. Download an application and check out the 2018 Brochure which includes the class dates, list of faculty, and more.

September 6, 2017 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Local university student reacts to DACA decision

– This Trinity University student has been looking forward to graduating next spring. Along with the usual senior year stress everyone experiences, she was handed another burden yesterday when the administration decided to end the DACA program, of which she is a recipient. (WaPo, 9/5)

Sadhana Singh is one of more than 100 students at Trinity Washington University with provisional legal status through DACA. They now make up about 10 percent of the private school’s enrollment — enough to have a profound impact on campus culture. The 31-year-old senior is part of the first group that will graduate in spring.

For Trinity’s president, Patricia McGuire, the decision to be one of the schools partnering with TheDream.US scholarship program was an easy one, a moral imperative. “It is so consistent with our mission,” she said. “Real Catholic social justice.” And despite the expense, it has benefited the school. “They are extraordinary, outstanding students,” she said. “Almost all are on the dean’s list, very practical and very motivated.”

– Natalie Wexler, education journalist and trustee of the Omega Foundation, responds to a recent New York Times article entitled “Why Students Can’t Write,” and explains why funders should care about the connection between teaching writing and teaching content. (Daily, 9/6)

Related Event: Funders, join us on September 28 for the third installment of WRAG’s 2017 Public Education Learning Series: “Curriculum: The Missing Ingredient in Education Reform.” Register here

– Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) has released a statement in response to yesterday’s announcement of the repeal of the DACA program. (GCIR, 9/5)

– United Philanthropy Forum and GCIR are co-sponsoring a webinar, Dreams in Limbo: A Look at the Future of DACA, Young Immigrants, and How Funders Can Respond, on September 14. Register here

– To Insure More Poor Children, It Helps If Parents Are On Medicaid (KHN, 9/5)

– Evergreen Health, a Maryland based health co-op created under the Affordable Care Act to sell health coverage, is being liquidated. (Baltimore Sun, 9/5)

– How the National Museum of African American History and Culture is including the Latinx experience in its exhibits. (Smithsonian Insider, 8/23)

– Two Arab Art Shows At American University Explore Conflict, Identity, And Community (DCist, 9/1)

TRANSIT | Metro is launching the Abilities-Ride program, which will allow MetroAccess customers to hail wheelchair accessible cabs, in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties this month. (WaPo, 9/5)

ENVIRONMENT | Last week the District was named the world’s first LEED Platinum City for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental metrics. (WAMU, 8/31)

This reminds me of that old game show, Child’s Play, but more difficult. Parents and Disney lovers, can you guess what characters they drew?

– Kendra