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July 5, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

D.C. leads the way in movement to reduce pre-trial detention

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Unlike most other jurisdictions across the country, where individuals without the financial means to make bail get stuck in jail, D.C. allows about 90 percent of those facing criminal charges to remain in the community before trial, without putting up any money (WaPo, 7/4):

Nationally, about 47 percent of felony defendants with bonds remain jailed before their cases are heard because they cannot make bail. At the D.C. jail on 19th Street SE, no one is locked up on a criminal charge because of an inability to pay.

“We’ve proven it can work without money, but the whole country continues as if in a trance to do what we know does not work,” said D.C. Superior Court Judge Truman Morrison. The new way of thinking he promotes tracks the federal system, which bars judges from setting financial barriers to keep someone locked up.

Thousands of people across the nation sit in jail — not convicted, but awaiting their day in court — because they cannot afford to post money for release. Others, charged with the same crime but able to pay, go free.

EQUITY | Opinion: The Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker explains how America’s “internship-industrial complex” – in which young people with means have access to career-launching opportunities – perpetuates inequity. (NY Times, 7/5)

PHILANTHROPY | A new Foundation Center project,, tracks data on giving by young people and programs that engage youth in philanthropy across the country. (Chronicle, 7/1)

ENVIRONMENT | Montgomery County’s five-cent bag tax is generating revenue and reducing the number of plastic bags found in waterways. (WaPo, 7/4)

YOUTH | How A D.C. Diversion Program Helps Get Young Lives Off The Ropes (WAMU, 6/30)

EDUCATION | D.C. public school program wants students to see the world — for free (WaPo, 7/4)

Here’s a history of methods of burning off those 4th of July burgers and hot dogs.


June 30, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to step down

Editor’s Note: For the rest of the summer, the Daily WRAG will be the (Almost) Daily WRAG, on an abbreviated schedule of three days a week. The next post will be on Tuesday, July 5. Have a great holiday weekend!

EDUCATION | Yesterday, Kaya Henderson announced that she will be stepping down as DC Public Schools Chancellor this fall (WaPo, 6/29):

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who said she did not ask Henderson to resign, immediately tapped John Davis, the school system’s chief of schools, to serve as interim chancellor beginning Oct. 1. A national search for a permanent chancellor will begin later this year, but a replacement likely won’t start until the 2016-2017 school year concludes.


Bowser said that the city’s school-reform efforts will not slow under the next chancellor.

– Two new studies have found a correlation between increases in the minimum wage and increases in birth weight, a finding that has significant implications for equity. Another recent study found that, if New York City had a $15 minimum wage, between 2008 and 2012 “it could have ‘averted 2,800 to 5,500 premature deaths,’ mostly in low-income communities of color.” (City Lab, 6/28)

Mental Health, Violence, and Access to Services Are Top Priorities For D.C.’s 2020 Health Goals (WCP, 6/29)

WEST VIRGINIA | Our colleague organization, Philanthropy West Virginia, is hosting a webinar with local, state, and national philanthropy, corporate, and foundation leaders about ways to respond to the massive flooding in the state. The webinar is on Tuesday, July 5 from 11 AM to noon. Register by emailing to register.

– The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it will require over 28,000 employees across the country to participate in mandatory implicit bias training. (LA Times, 6/27)

– Kathleen Enright, head of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, writes about GEO’s decision to “embrace discomfort” and join efforts across the philanthropic sector to advance racial equity. (Huffington Post, 6/29)

HOUSING | How a House Can Shape a Child’s Future (Atlantic, 6/29)

SOCIAL INNOVATION | A report from the S&R Foundation and Capital One finds that D.C. is the top city in the country for fostering social enterprises. (WBJ, 6/29) Click here for the full report.

POVERTY | WAMU continues its series on an innovative Fort Worth nonprofit committed to moving people out of poverty. Today’s topic: collaboration. (WAMU, 6/30)

Associate | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Research Assistant | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Administrative Assistant (part time) | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers | Deadline: 7/18/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Part Time Bookkeeper/Accountant | ACT for Alexandria
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Associate Director (Conservation Focus) | Arabella Advisors
Director, Corporate Philanthropy | Council on Foundations

Visit WRAG’s job board to for the latest openings in the region’s social sector.

WRAG’s Community Calendar

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to:

Now you too can learn how to swim like a…mermaid?

– Rebekah

June 29, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

New report reveals the drivers of racial disparities in health outcomes in D.C.

– A new report from Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies reveals major disparities in health outcomes between D.C.’s African American and white residents, and provides recommendations on how the city can better address the structural nature of health inequities. (GU, 6/28) From the executive summary:

While citywide efforts are underway to streamline how healthcare services are organized and delivered, the benefit of this approach on the overall health of the African American community may be marginal. An explicit focus on historically embedded social, economic, political, and environmental injustices that disproportionately impact persons of color is needed. Examples include employing a racial equity approach when conducting community health needs assessments with a goal of uncovering and eliminating systemic barriers that perpetuate segregation, neighborhood disinvestment, and inequitable distribution of resources. Public and private partnerships that examine how planning efforts, policies and business decisions disproportionately impact African American residents are needed.

Click here for the full report, which was developed by Christopher King, assistant professor in the School of Nursing & Health Studies and member of the Consumer Health Foundation‘s board of directors.

– Data from the Brookings Institution show how the millennial and post-millennial generations are driving the increase in racial diversity across the country. (Brookings, 6/28)

Related: Last week we released the second-to-last video in WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series. USC professor Manuel Pastor discusses the implications of these demographic changes and the urgent need to invest in racial equity.

– Data from the D.C. Public Charter School Board show that, on average, charter school students travel 2.1 miles from home to school. (WCP, 6/28)

– Montgomery County Public Schools’ new superintendent, Jack Smith, is getting to work. (WaPo, 6/29)

Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school? (WaPo, 6/29)

WORKFORCE | D.C.’ s ‘fair scheduling’ labor bill hits a hiccup, but proponents still hopeful (WaPo, 6/29)

POVERTY | A series on WAMU this week focused on poverty is highlighting a nonprofit organization in Fort Worth, TX, that is taking an innovative and personal approach to helping individuals get out of poverty. Click here and here for stories. (WAMU, 6/28-29)

HOUSING | Most Americans Think the Housing Crisis Never Ended (City Lab, 6/28)

WRAG MEMBERS | This year, WRAG is partnering with the Council on Foundations to encourage participation in the 2016 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey, a valuable benchmarking tool designed to collect compensation data for positions at community, private (family and independent), and public foundations, and other staffed grantmaking entities. This annual survey is one of the most important and effective resources for our members and we encourage you to participate. To learn more and take the survey contact

It probably comes as no surprise that a Twinkie unwrapped 40 years ago looks pretty much the same today.

– Rebekah

June 28, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Survey looks at perceptions of public safety in the District

A newly-released survey of District residents aims to provide a baseline idea of perceptions of public safety throughout the city and encourage greater collaboration with neighborhood police. The report (by the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), the Council for Court Excellence, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation) finds that residents in Ward 8 feel the least safe compared to residents in other areas of the city. (PR Web, 6/28)

District of Columbia residents who live in Ward 8 feel the least safe of any in the city, are more likely to have observed or experienced a violent crime, and are least likely to trust police than others who live here.


The survey findings come amid heightened concern about rising rates of homicides in major cities nationally. While data from the DC Metropolitan Police Department show that property crime is down and violent crime is level in the District as compared to a year ago, there has been a troubling spike in homicides. According to a recent report for the Department, between 2014 and 2015, there was a 54% increase in the number of homicides across DC with the increase mostly concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast quadrants. Between January and May of 2016, the number of homicides in Ward 7 tripled from the rate during the same period a year ago.

The full report, Perceptions of Public Safety, can be found here.

HEALTH/COMMUNITY | Jennifer Schitter, principal health planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, shares the partnership between their Region Forward Committee and WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group on a collective, cross-sector approach to shed light on how social, economic, and environmental factors influence health at the zip code level. (Daily, 6/28)

Related: The Healthy Communities Working Group has also just released their Theory of Change, illustrating a vision toward a better region “where communities across all jurisdictions are thriving, and all people are living their lives to their fullest potential.”

PHILANTHROPY | On Exponent Philanthropy‘s blog, Katherine B. Wright, executive director of the Wright Family Foundation, shares how her family’s organization stepped into the policy arena and witnessed the power of the collective voice of philanthropy. (Philanthrofiles, 6/24)

– According to a Freddie Mac survey of the housing plans and perceptions of people born before 1961, over five million in this age group anticipate moving to rental units by 2020, further placing pressure on low-income rental inventories. (Freddie Mac, 6/28)

– So you’re thinking about retirement? Find out which areas in the region were recently named among the best cities to do so. (ARLNow, 6/27)

– Nonprofit Work After Retirement? Maybe You Can Make It Pay (NYT, 6/24)

It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I must share that today will be my last day at WRAG and writing The Daily WRAG :(  Rebekah Seder will be taking over once again – on a modified schedule – as I will be making my transition to another organization in the WRAG family. Sincere thanks to anyone who has ever responded to any of the weird things that I’ve posted down here, or has sent a kind note to let us know they are reading. I will certainly miss my colleagues I’ve had the great privilege of working with over the past couple years and am so happy to say that I won’t be going far. 

– Ciara

June 28, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Does your zip code determine how long you will live? WRAG and COG join forces to explore

By Jennifer Schitter
Principal Health Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

What does housing, economy, education, transportation, public safety, environment, and land use have in common? They all have an impact on our health.

Inequalities in community health by location reflect the interplay of social, economic, and environmental factors that differentiate the quality and duration of life for residents from one Metro stop to another.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Region Forward Committee is partnering with the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) and its Healthy Communities Working Group (HCWG) to use a cross-sector approach to illuminate such disparities at the neighborhood level (Region Forward Sectors below). Once uncovered, both targeted policy and resource decisions by community stakeholders can have an impact on the lives of our communities. This collective approach to incorporate health considerations into decision-making is commonly referred to as Health in All Policies (HiAP).

In June, local health officials and health funders from across the region joined together to discuss the HiAP opportunities and challenges seen within their own efforts. A few of the comments are listed below:

 HiAP Opportunities:

“It offers the opportunity for people outside of the public health field to share a common objective and interest in health and well-being.”

“An equitable society where all citizens have an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

  HiAP Challenges:

 “Implementing HiAP often involves gaining buy-in and support from other sectors and definitely involves a multi-sector effort, all of which take time and rarely is there funding to do so.”

 “Probably the biggest barrier is the name itself – those outside of the health space are too easily confused. Too often they think HiAP is about clinical care because of the name – and reactions like ‘why should we care about healthcare in transportation polices’ become the norm.”

By COG and WRAG partnering to break down barriers by using cross-sector data, it will show just how where we live impacts the lives we live. This will ultimately assist policy makers in deciding where to invest their time, money, and resources for the greatest community benefit. Although there are some challenges, health officials, funders, and elected officials are optimistic in making health a priority across the metropolitan Washington region.

June 27, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Some question expansion as summer youth jobs program begins

D.C.’s summer youth jobs program kicks off with 12,000 participants, including those who were made eligible due to the city raising the age limit from 21 to 24 in 2015. Meanwhile, officials grapple over data proving whether or not the age increase has proven to be a financially feasible move. (WaPo, 6/26)

If the program can’t prove that it helps its oldest participants find jobs that last beyond the summer, it stands to lose the millions of dollars needed to maintain the expansion that began last summer.


Unemployment rates for D.C. residents between age 20 and 24 are almost double the average rate in the city and even higher for young black people. About 1,000 men and women between the ages of 22 and 24 were accepted to the 2016 program, the maximum number allowed.

But the additional funding came with stipulations. The council agreed to permanently expand funding for the new age division only if the program could show that at least 35 percent of the 22-to-24-year-olds had full-time jobs after they completed the six-week program.

– Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld to eliminate 500 jobs (WaPo, 6/27)

HIV/AIDS | An interactive map providing a visualization of new HIV cases across the District has been released along with a new report by AIDSVu. The data used come from the city and the CDC, and show that D.C.’s ward 7 was hit the hardest with new HIV cases. (DCist, 6/23)

Related: Washington AIDS Partnership is at the forefront of efforts to “end HIV” in the city with a new program connecting black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) to pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan. (Daily, 6/20)

POVERTY/DISTRICT | WAMU presents a series exploring poverty this week, focusing today on the Greater Washington region and the underlying challenges its many social profit organizations face in aiding the poor. Residents and local leaders chime in on this interview, including president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region Bruce McNamer, to discuss obstacles to combating poverty. (WAMU, 6/27)

EDUCATION | The D.C. government recently appealed a May ruling by the federal court that said the city is “providing inadequate services to young children with special needs who have yet to enter the school system.” (WaPo, 6/24)

COMMUNITY/REGION | Not far from the Greater Washington region, nearly 44 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have recently been hit hard by massive flooding. WRAG colleague organization Philanthropy West Virginia shares flood recovery response resources for those wishing to provide assistance.

LGBT | Gay Marriage in the United States, One Year Later (Atlantic, 6/26)

EQUITY | Many organizations and institutions are focusing their efforts around equity, but are they approaching equity…equitably? This blog post explores “meta-equity” and offers some suggestions for getting it right. (NWB, 6/27)

How much do you think it would cost to Uber across the country? This Fairfax filmmaker is about to find out

– Ciara

June 24, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – June 20 through June 24, 2016

– Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shared this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Be sure to check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

– The latest video in the Putting Racism on the Table series is live! The video features Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, on the experiences of non-black racial minorities in the United States. While you’re at it, stop by our website to find the viewing guide and discussion guide that accompany the video.

– WRAG’s summer intern Hudson Kaplan-Allen offered the key takeaways from the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” and the importance of cultivating authentic relationships among funders and grantees. The event featured keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas. (Daily, 6/21)

– PwC took home the Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year (Large Business) award at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards.

– Unemployment rates in D.C.’s ward 7 and 8 are at the lowest levels in several years, according to recent federal data from the Department of Employment Services. (WCP, 6/17)

– Officials in Fairfax County are striving toward a more supportive community for the homeless with the opening of a new center. (WaPo, 6/22)

– According to data, more than 1.3 million U.S. students were homeless in 2013-2014. Advocates are looking to bring greater awareness and support to youth experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and a new report surveying homeless youth reveals that many schools may be failing to help students. (WaPo, 6/17)


Associate | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Research Assistant | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Part Time Bookkeeper/Accountant | ACT for Alexandria
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Director, Corporate Philanthropy | Council on Foundations

WRAG’s Community Calendar

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to:

So today is apparently #TakeYourDogToWorkDay. Brace yourself for cuteness overload and click the hashtag to see some dogs hard at work.

– Ciara 


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