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May 11, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Doctors hope implicit bias training will address the high maternal mortality rates of Black women

HEALTH | Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes, with postpartum hemorrhaging being one of the leading preventable causes. Doctors and patients believe implicit bias is partly to blame for the high number. (NBC News, 5/11)

The racial disparity in U.S. maternal mortality rates is one of the severest in all of women’s health. Researchers don’t have a clear explanation for why.

“There seems to be something specific about the African-American experience here in the United States that seems to just have a toxic effect on the health of African-Americans,” said Swapna Reddy, who teaches a class on health disparity at Arizona State University. “It seems to be this double whammy, the intersectionality of being both African-American and also being a woman.”

ENVIRONMENT | This law firm is helping to install solar panels in the District’s low-income communities. (WaPo, 5/11)

PUBLIC SAFETYMass Incarceration Is a Public-Health Problem (Atlantic, 5/11)

– Tysons Corner’s plan to attract new residents includes building transit-oriented development and walkable spaces. (GGWash, 5/10)

– The District’s attorney general’s office has reached a settlement with Sandford Capital, one of the city’s most controversial landlords, to sell off its remaining properties and stay out of subsidized housing until 2025. (WaPo, 5/10)

FINANCE | The National Community Reinvestment Coalition has found that banks are reluctant to lend funds to low- to moderate-income borrowers and borrowers of color. (Next City, 5/9)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Executive Director | Nonprofit Montgomery– New!
Grants Program Analyst | Legal Services Corporation
Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

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.

The evolution of trust

– Kendra

May 10, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Restaurant owners and employees weigh in on DC’s tipped minimum wage vote

WORKFORCE | Next month, District residents will vote on whether to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers to $15 an hour. While some workers support the initiative, restaurant owners and some workers believe that if DC votes yes, it will cause businesses to shut down and end the practice of tipping. (WCP, 5/9)

According to May 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 8,440 servers in D.C. Their hourly mean wage is $17.48 ($36,370 annually). By contrast, their median wage is $11.86. That means half of servers earn less than $12. The numbers increase for bartenders, of which there are 4,290 in D.C. Their mean hourly wage is $18.29 ($38,050 annually), while their median hourly wage is $15.05. These figures include tips, though restaurants don’t always report their employees’ tips accurately, especially if they’re in cash form.

EQUITY | In response to Montgomery County’s recent passing of a racial equity resolution, a lawmaker offered that racial inequities could be addressed by “growing private-sector jobs and wages.” Temi F. Bennett, director of policy and communication at Consumer Health Foundation, discusses why this particular strategy won’t address racial inequities in the county. (CHF Blog, 5/2)

IMMIGRATION | The administration is proposing new regulations for the treatment of immigrant children detained at the border. (WaPo, 5/9)

TRANSPORTATIONCVS to end SmarTrip sales and other Metro card services heavily used by low-income riders (WaPo, 5/9)

HOUSING | DC Council has introduced legislation that would create rules for the storage and removal of the property of evicted families. (WCP, 5/3)

– Twenty artists are beautifying a neighborhood in northeast DC through an international mural festival. (WAMU, 5/10)

– NIH scientists, arts experts take note of music’s impact on brain (WTOP, 5/10)

This quiz will guess your age depending on how many Disney movies you’ve seen.

– Kendra

May 9, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Point-in-time homelessness survey shows varying results for the region

HOMELESSNESS | Results from this year’s point-in-time survey, which counts the number of homeless individuals who aren’t sheltered on a given night, shows a decrease in DC, Montgomery and Arlington counties, but small increases across the region. (WaPo, 5/8)

In Fairfax County, the number of homeless people is slightly up from last year, though still lower than 10 years ago, with 987 homeless people in the county of 1.1 million residents, compared with 964 last year. In 2008, the county counted 1,835 homeless people.

In Prince George’s County, the number of homeless people fell from 532 in 2017 to 478 in 2018, a 10 percent decline.

CIVIL RIGHTS | Rebekah Seder, senior program manager at WRAG, discusses why WRAG & LGW are taking funders and other civic leaders on a 3.5 day learning journey to explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement – and urges others to join. (Daily, 5/9)

Related for WRAG/LGW Members: Register for the Civil Rights Learning Journey from Memphis to Birmingham, AL here.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Congratulations to these WRAG members for making Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 2018 list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens! (CRM, 5/7)

34. IBM
45. Northrop Grumman Corp.
73. Wells Fargo & Co.
74. Bank Of America Corp.
79. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
81. Boeing Co.
94. Capital One Financial Corp.
95. Citigroup Inc.

– Half of the Smithsonian museums have acquired new guides to lead people to less visited parts of the exhibits and to provide general assistance to visitors. They are robots. (WAMU, 5/7)

– ‘The Memories We Keep:’ New Art Exhibit Puts Spotlight On Refugee Artists (WAMU, 5/9)

CENSUS 2020Foundations Push Census Turnout in Worrisome Times (Chronicle, 5/7 – Subscription needed)

Flying taxis could be in your near future.

– Kendra

May 9, 2018 / WRAG

Traveling from Memphis to Birmingham to take off our historical blinders

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In September, WRAG and Leadership Greater Washington are taking a group of funders and other civic leaders on a journey to learn firsthand about the Civil Rights Movement. We are traveling from Memphis to Birmingham, visiting sites of key activities, meeting with movement leaders and contemporary activists, and attending a number of museums and other institutions. I am incredibly excited about this trip. But, I suspect that some may be asking, “Why would 35 people whose careers are dedicated to improving the Greater Washington region travel to Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama? Why, when the need to act on today’s problems is so urgent, would we be focusing on events of 50 years ago?”

Throughout WRAG’s two-and-a-half year examination of structural racism, “I just never learned about this” has been a constant refrain. I suspect that for many of my colleagues, especially those who, like me, attended predominantly white schools, our history education was similar. Certainly we learned key facts – the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Emancipation, Jim Crow. Then, we learned that the Civil Rights Movement happened, because a tired Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, a group of people marched from Selma to Montgomery, and Martin Luther King had a dream. Then, voila, America achieved racial equality.

This trip will open participants’ eyes to a much fuller story.

More than that, I think that this trip will begin to address a wrong that is perhaps more subtle than the many forms of racism that preoccupy our attention. The segregation of history – the idea that black history is somehow different and apart from American history, that the history of black Americans is not intrinsically intertwined with that of white Americans, and that it can be summed up in a chapter or two in a history textbook. A racism that flattens a rich and complex history, renders courageous and groundbreaking leaders as bit players, and writes a historical narrative that raises up white men as agents of change and black and brown people as those that history happens to. This way of imagining the past is like wearing blinders that make it impossible to see and understand the present.

I encourage WRAG members to consider what rewriting their understanding of history could mean for them personally, as well as professionally for their grantmaking and their engagement in the community. We know that it is a commitment of time and money. But, for those funders who are committed to advancing racial equity in our region and within their own institutions, I hope you will join me on this journey. I believe that this trip will be an investment that will pay dividends.

WRAG & LGW Members: Contact Rebekah Seder to learn more about this trip.

May 8, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Virginia to study high rates of evictions in the state

HOUSING | After a recent study found that five Virginia cities had eviction rates among the highest in the country, the state has decided to convene a work group to study the problem. (Richmond Times, 5/7)

A separate Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis of eviction records found that Richmond’s public housing authority initiated more evictions than any other landlord in the state, while some private landlords were even more aggressive about using the courts to force tenants to pay rent or leave.

Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, pointed out several examples of ways in which the legal system is “unfriendly” to tenants by giving them little legal recourse in disputes with landlords unless their debts are fully paid.

– Richard E. Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, announced that his foundation will no longer recognize sports teams that denigrate Native Americans with its RWJF Sports Award. (USA Today, 5/7)

– In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the National Women’s Law Center will be sharing overlooked histories, stories and research about this community. Learn more here. (NWLC, 5/1)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT‘We’re In This Together:’ Northern Virginia Faith Leaders Discuss Their Role In #MeToo Movement (WAMU, 5/7)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, discusses how CSR professionals can use new power ideas without sacrificing the old.(American Express, 5/7) We’re excited to see Tim for the second session of the 2018 Institute for CSR later this week!

LGBTQIA RIGHTS |Opinion: The Federal Farm Bill Will Take Food Out of the Mouths of LGBT Seniors (Advocate, 5/2)

Here are some cool photos of tulips in the Netherlands.

– Kendra

May 7, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC residents are raising concerns about pollution from new developments

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE | As new developments come to their community in Southwest DC, residents have raised concerns about the pollution they bring. Residents want city officials to redouble their enforcement efforts, plant more grass and trees in the neighborhood and put up more air-quality monitors. (WaPo, 5/6)

Usually when new development encroaches on low-income communities, residents worry most about being squeezed out by rising costs. In Syphax Gardens [a public housing complex in the neighborhood], a more pressing concern is being choked out by dust.

“Some days, it’s like living in a desert storm,” said Rhonda Hamilton, who lives in Syphax Gardens and serves as a D.C. advisory neighborhood commissioner, representing about 2,000 residents in the area. “Our elderly residents complain about burning in their eyes and lungs; children with asthma are having more flare-ups. People start coughing and can’t catch their breath. It’s very scary.”

– Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, discusses why he believes the concept of fairness is the antithesis of justice and why the philanthropic community should have the courage to be “unfair.” (NAF, 4/29)

– A new book documents the growing influence of public-private partnerships with local governments. (Chronicle, 5/7 – Subscription needed)

Related: In October, WRAG is hosting a “Brightest Minds” program featuring business and philanthropy leaders from Northeast Ohio, who will explain how they have partnered to grow their regional economy. This program is open to the public. Details here.

WORKFORCELoudoun Co. to study, develop family leave options for county employees (WTOP, 5/7)

EDUCATION | Maryland Governor Larry Hogan plans to sign a bill that will cover tuition costs at community colleges for qualifying residents. (WaPo, 5/4)

GENDER GAP | The economy has mostly recovered from the 2008 recession, but for some households, especially those headed by low-income, single women, it still hasn’t. (Yes! Magazine, 4/30)

TECHNOLOGYCreating A Space For D.C.’s Black Programmers And Innovators In A Digital Divide (WAMU, 5/4)

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday: Happy (belated) Teacher’s Appreciation Week!

Happy Teachers Week to someone who lied about how much I'd use Algebra.

Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at

– Kendra



May 4, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Maryland’s seafood industry is in crisis

WORKFORCE | For the past twenty-five years, Maryland’s crab houses have relied on a workforce of immigrants using the H-2B visa program for the state’s seafood industry. Due to a recent change in the way the visas are awarded, almost half of Eastern Shore’s crab houses have no workers this year. (WaPo, 5/3)

Visa shortages have been a perennial issue for the crab industry since the last generations of Eastern Shore women who once picked crabmeat aged out of the tedious seasonal work. In the 1980s, crab houses started bringing workers from Mexico through a program that lets them live and work in the United States during the warmer months and then return to Mexico in the winter, when watermen are prohibited from crabbing.

“Our families depend on us, and going to the United States is the best option because here in Mexico it is very difficult to find a job, and apart from that, you face the risk of so much crime,” Anayeni Chavarria Ponce, a crab picker from the Mexican state of Hidalgo, said via text message in Spanish. “Not to mention you can’t reach a salary even to buy the basics.”

HOUSING | Why the US is becoming a nation of renters. (Citylab, 5/3)

POVERTY | The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will devote $158 million to help low-income individuals experiencing economic hardship in the US become financially stable. (Chronicle, 5/3 – Subscription needed)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Federal prisons abruptly cancel policy that made it harder, costlier for inmates to get books (WaPo, 5/3)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Congratulations to Kristina Kloberdanz for being named Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer! Kristina is a graduate of the inaugural (2014) class of the Institute for CSR (WRAG’s partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation). (Mastercard, 5/3)

TECHNOLOGY | A Quick Guide to Digital Marketing for Nonprofits (PND Blog, 5/2)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants Program Analyst | Legal Services Corporation– New!
Grants Management Specialist | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Part-Time Program Administrator for the Bernie Scholarship Awards Program Fund | Greater Washington Community Foundation
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Council on Foundations
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

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.

This quiz can guess what part of the US you live in based on your food choices.

– Kendra