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October 11, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Affordable housing investments in D.C. assist thousands

– Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration is highlighting recent affordable housing investments designed to assist thousands of D.C. residents who can soon rent from over 1,200 apartments. (City Paper, 10/7)

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the future mixed-use Beacon Center development, at 6300 Georgia Ave. NW, Bowser highlighted 19 affordable-housing projects her team has shepherded since she took office last year. They amount to just over $106 million designated from D.C.’s Housing Production Trust Fund, a major tool for bankrolling such housing. So far, Bowser has put $100 million annually in the fund.

In a statement, the mayor called her budgetary commitments for affordable housing unprecedented. “Because of our efforts, real money is getting out the door,” she said in remarks echoed by her Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner and Department of Housing and Community Development Director Polly Donaldson, who described the investments as “historic.”

– Montgomery County is facing a challenge over affordable housing plans in Silver Spring. (GGW, 10/5)

– In a special guest post, Terri Lee Freeman, former head of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and WRAG board chair, writes about why, from her current vantage point as the president of the National Civil Rights Museum, she believes it is critically necessary for funders to do the difficult work of confronting institutional racism. (Daily, 10/11)

–  Race, School Ratings And Real Estate: A ‘Legal Gray Area’ (NPR, 10/10)

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States has committed $1 million to help Venture Philanthropy Partners expand career-and college-readiness programs through the new Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates of Prince George’s County initiative.

 – After Maryland Governor Larry Hogan mandated that school begin after Labor Day, the Montgomery County Board of Education has voted to start classes before the holiday weekend. (WTOP, 10/10)

 There are alarming reports of significant patient abuse at St. Elizabeths Hospital, the city-run institution for the mentally ill in D.C. (City Paper, 10/7)

– In the latest turmoil, Warden William Smith resigned from the D.C. Department of Corrections. (City Paper, 10/11)

PHILANTHROPY | The Meyer Foundation received the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.’s  Making D.C. History Award for Distinction in Local Philanthropy at the Making D.C. History Awards on Friday, October 7, 2016.

Ever want to live in the White House? Here’s your chance – Buffy

October 11, 2016 / WRAG

A message from the president of the National Civil Rights Museum: Why funders must continue to put racism on the table

Earlier this month, I spent some time in Memphis with Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum and former head of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. As a former WRAG Board Chair, the conversation shifted to what was going on with WRAG and particularly to the Putting Racism on the Table work. From her vantage point as a former member of the philanthropic community and a current leader in racial equity, I thought her remarks would illuminate why we must continue this work. – Tamara Copeland, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

By Terri Lee Freeman
President, National Civil Rights Museum
Former President, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Former Chair, WRAG Board of Directors

Recently I received my quarterly copy of NCRP’s newsletter. To my delight and pride was an article penned by Tamara Lucas Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. The work that WRAG has taken on through the Putting Racism on the Table initiative is nothing short of groundbreaking. You see, the truth is most grantmakers tend to be very politically correct. As grantmakers we (yes I recognize I am no longer a part of your number, but humor me) tend to want to make people feel good. We want to evaluate the merit of programs and projects that are truly making a difference. We want to know that we are positively impacting the people of the communities we serve, as well as the social profit organizations through which much of that work is accomplished. And, we want to be liked. But what we don’t typically do very well is controversy and discomfort. The work that is being led by WRAG is both controversial and uncomfortable, and from my perch, this work is critically important, particularly at this juncture in history.

For far too long we’ve talked around the true issues plaguing communities. Oh, we talk about the symptoms — poverty, poor quality education, food deserts, and lack of opportunity. But rarely do we really have substantive conversations about the root causes of these issues. Certainly we talk around the facts that those most disenfranchised tend to be black and brown people, but we stop short of calling it what it is — institutional and individual racism. We rarely talk about the history of those who we consider disenfranchised. While we are quite comfortable talking about the horrors of the Holocaust, we are equally uncomfortable talking about slavery and the economic benefit the slave trade had for some, while others provided the free labor upon which the nation was built. As Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture stated when he spoke to WRAG a few years back, it’s difficult to tell the negative history when the enemy is us.

All that said, WRAG and a cohort of grantmakers and trustees have taken the courageous step to face these very issues. You’ve determined that the first step to creating a solution is dialogue. You’ve determined that facing your personal implicit biases will help you better recognize the systemic racism that continues to plague black and brown communities. You’ve determined that understanding the true origins of economic inequity will allow you to better fund equitable solutions and potentially have an impact on poverty. I’m convinced that the work you’ve embarked upon will help you make better investments in community. And at a minimum it will better help you understand the communities in which you invest.

We are truly at a critical juncture in time. Hate is real. Bias exists. And, privilege isn’t distributed equally. People are angry and fearful. It appears that rhetoric that divides and paints the “other” as the enemy has become totally acceptable. We seem to think that because we are officially a diverse society, the issue of inclusion is basically handled. Not so! The work that is ahead of us is difficult indeed. It will make us question others and ourselves. But this work is necessary.

In just over a year, our nation will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On April 4, 2018, we will reflect, but our reflection will be in vain if we have not acted to create a society that works for ALL citizens. The effort that WRAG has undertaken is a step in the right direction. Once our public pronouncements become our private conversations, we will be closer to becoming the beloved community Dr. King spoke so passionately about.

I take great pride in knowing that the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, an organization that allowed me to “cut my grant making teeth,” is leading this effort. Thanks for your continued dedication to making the Washington metropolitan region a more just and equitable community.

To learn more about WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table initiative, click here. Funders: There is still space available at four upcoming racial equity trainings WRAG is hosting as part of this work. Visit our website to learn more.

October 6, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Where you live in DC determines the availability of medical care

– Where people live in D.C. affects their access to non-emergency medical care. In addition to emergency vehicles taking longer to get east of the Anacostia River, fewer clinics, pharmacies, and vaccination centers means access to non-emergency medical care is more difficult there as well. (GGW, 10/4)

No urgent care or retail clinics have opened in Wards 4 or 8 since 2010, and nearly 70% of all D.C.’s clinics are in Wards 2 and 3. This gap is partially filled by community health centers. Community health centers receive federal funding to provide primary care to underserved populations. One such clinic, Unity Health Care, operates a community health centers in all wards except 2, 3, and 4, with varying degrees of walk-in services.

– ‘An act of kindness’: Medical aid-in-dying legislation advances in the District (WaPo, 10/6)

TRANSPORTATIONMontgomery’s new bus rapid transit system will make the county more equitable (GGW, 10/5)

– Study finds 10 percent of Virginia schoolchildren are chronically absent (WaPo, 10/5)

– Although it hasn’t been discussed much on the campaign trail, education is on the minds of the electorate. (Atlantic, 10/1)

LGBT | For D.C.’s LGBT Community, A Police Liaison Who Can Relate (WAMU, 10/6)

NONPROFITS Corporate America Emerging Source for Nonprofit CFOs (NPQ, 10/5)

ENVIRONMENT | The James River in Virginia at Jamestown, where America’s first permanent English settlement was founded in 1607, was just cited as being among America’s “most endangered” historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (WTOP, 10/5)

MARYLAND | Two months after a flood ravaged downtown Ellicott City, Maryland, killing two people and ruining businesses and houses, Main Street will reopen on October 6. (WTOP, 10/5)

ARTOne Photographer Chronicles 30 Years of Life in Our City (City Paper, 10/6)

– Hurricane Matthew, the decade’s most powerful Atlantic tropical storm, has devastated parts of the Caribbean and is now expected to have a significant impact on the East Coast of the United States the next few days. Here’s how funders can help. (Center for Disaster Philanthropy, 10/6)

– Philanthropy and Social Innovation in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter (Invested Impact, 10/3)

 – How Philanthropy Can Help Bridge America’s Political Divide (SSIR, 9/30)

Social Sector Job Openings
Director, Community Affairs – NCA | CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

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
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 much to learn about the tunnels under Capitol Hill.

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Tuesday!

– Buffy

October 5, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Philanthropy has become a focal point of the 2016 presidential election

– Nonprofits are concerned about the impact the 2016 presidential election may be having on how the public views nonprofits and charity. Discussion about the candidates’ foundations and giving has been primarily negative, which may skew the public’s perceptions about the nonprofit sector. (CP, 9/27)

Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, worries that this election will “create the impression that nonprofits and foundations are places of scandal and conflicts of interest, which I don’t think is, in fact, generally true.” Both candidates have been accused of excessive secrecy, and investigative journalists have found unusually rich fodder to explore in Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s charitable enterprises, which must file publicly available tax documents. The result: a level of interest in the major party candidates’ philanthropic affiliations that is unprecedented, experts say.

  President Obama has said he will engage in the causes he cares about after he leaves the White House, and the nonprofit world is waiting to see where he will make a difference. (CP, 10/4)

– As the Latino population in our region has grown, so has the number of organizations that provide services to Latino communities. Child Trends Hispanic Institute and the Crimsonbridge Foundation have just released a new guide with recommendations for how service providers and educators can effectively engage with Latino communities.

– Kendra Allen from the Consumer Health Foundation discusses the Racial Equity Workshop Series for Community Health Workers it recently hosted. (CHF Blog, 9/29)

HOUSINGD.C. Breaks Ground on $11 Million Affordable Housing Project in Ward 5 (City Paper, 10/4)

EDUCATION | Millions of dollars were provided to Montgomery County Public Schools to narrow the achievement gap and improve student performance by cutting class sizes – but some schools haven’t changed. (WTOP, 10/4)

POLITICS | Have a question you want to ask the candidates? The second presidential debate will be held on Sunday, October 9 in a town-hall format and the Commission on Presidential Debates is inviting potential questions. Search and vote for questions about issues that are important to you here.

DIVERSITY/ART | The Women’s Museum’s ‘No Man’s Land’ Is A Corrective To Art World Gender Disparity (dcist, 10/3)

IMMIGRATIONHow U.S. Immigration Judges Battle Their Own Prejudice (NYT, 10/4)

What?! I’ve been wearing and using my Fitbit religiously for 2 years … I don’t believe it : ) – Buffy

October 4, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Unemployment benefits increase in D.C.

EMPLOYMENT | For the first time in almost 10 years, D.C. residents are eligible for an unemployment benefits increase as of October 1.

District residents are now eligible for up to $425 in weekly unemployment insurance benefits, or $1,700 a month, for up to half a year if they lose employment due to layoffs or other factors outside their control. Although the change is under a hundred dollars more than the $359 currently allowed each week, it’s the first time D.C.’s unemployment insurance benefits have risen in roughly a decade. The increase also brings the District in line with Maryland’s and Virginia’s programs for unemployment insurance, which provide weekly maximums of $430 and $378, respectively.

As of August, approximately 6 percent of residents were unemployed. The District is also moving toward a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2020 and is considering one of the most robust paid leave benefits in the country. (City Paper, 10/3)

RACIAL EQUITY | President of the Meyer Foundation and WRAG Board Member Nicky Goren discusses the role of the funding community as allies in moving racial equity forward and building a more equitable Washington region together.

PHILANTHROPY | Association of Black Foundation Executives leader Susan Taylor Batten helps grantmakers understand and address systemic racism, and is one of a number of leaders who want to expand the definition of philanthropy. (Chronicle, 10/4)

Related: Leader Seeks to Break Crisis-Response Pattern After Shootings by Police (Chronicle, 10/4) [Subscription Required]

Also Related: ABFE’s Susan Taylor Batten and Marcus Walton are leading two trainings on grantmaking for racial equity later this month, as part of WRAG’s ongoing Putting Racism on the Table learning and training series. These trainings are open to all grantmakers. More information can be found here and here.

EDUCATIONPr. George’s Co. council member says she wouldn’t put her kids in Head Start program (WTOP, 10/3)

HEALTH | In a county with high rates of diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases, a new bill is up for debate that will focus on healthy food options in Prince George’s vending machines. (WaPo, 9/27)

HOUSINGLegal Fight Over Brookland Manor Redevelopment Intensifies (City Paper, 10/3)

Robots delivering our food? I think I’m game! – Buffy

October 3, 2016 / WRAG

New data show increasing economic disparities, displacement in DC

INEQUALITY | The median income in DC overall has increased since the recession, but the poverty rate has increased in wards 7 and 8, according to a DC Fiscal Policy Institute analysis of recently released census data. In addition, the number of African-American residents living west of the Anacostia River has declined since 2007. (City Paper, 9/29)

According to the advocacy organization, 21,000 fewer black residents live west of the Anacostia River than before the recession, resulting in a decline from 42 percent of west-of-the-river population in 2007 to 33 percent last year. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of residents living east of the Anacostia are black, composing almost half of the District’s total black population (47 percent).

Additionally, the poverty rate east of the river increased from 27 percent before the recession to 33 percent in 2015. It ticked down a percentage point west of the river, to 12 percent, over the same period. The proportion of the city’s residents who live below the federal poverty line jumped from 40 percent in 2007 to 47 percent last year.

Here’s more on DCFPI’s analysis and recommendations.

– A new report from American University finds that, across the region, people living in the most racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods think that their neighborhoods are better than other areas. However, even in diverse neighborhoods, black and Latino residents reported different perceptions of police and safety. (WaPo 10/3)

Related: WRAG Members: Derek Hyra, director of the Metropolitan Policy Center at AU, which conducted this study, is the business meeting speaker at WRAG’s 2016 Annual Meeting. His talk will focus on how we can better ensure that the benefits of economic development and growth happening across the region accrue to all residents. Learn more here.

– PolicyLink has a nice write-up (featuring the Northern Virginia Health Foundation president and CEO and WRAG Board member Patricia Mathews) about how Fairfax County came to pass the One Fairfax resolution, which commits the county to advancing racial and social equity. (PolicyLink, 9/29)

– In their latest in a series of issue briefs, HAND looks at the housing choices of millennials and their impact on the Greater Washington region. (HAND, 9/27)

Affordable Housing Advocacy and the National Elections (NPQ, 10/3)

Developer-In-Chief: Obama Wants D.C. (And Other Cities) To Build More Housing (WAMU, 9/29)

JUSTICE | D.C.’s Broken Parole System (City Paper, 9/30)

FOOD/HEALTH | FDA Is Redefining The Term ‘Healthy’ On Food Labels (NPR, 10/3)

How did I go for so long without knowing about pangolins?!

– Rebekah

September 29, 2016 / WRAG

DCPS graduation rates continue to rise

– Kaya Henderson’s tenure as DC Public Schools chancellor comes to an end this week with four-year graduation rates at 69 percent, 16 points higher than they were in 2011 when she was appointed. While rates are up overall, a racial achievement gap remains. (WAMU, 9/29):

The graduation rates for black and Hispanic boys still lag behind those of their white and female counterparts, though the gap has decreased since last year. Sixty-seven percent of black and Hispanic students graduate in four years, compared to 93 percent of white students.
Across the river in Virginia, on-time graduation rates are at 91.3 percent, up from 90.5 percent in 2015. Minority students fare better than they do in the District, but their numbers still lag behind their white counterparts: 88 percent of black students and 82.8 percent of Hispanic students graduate on time.

– This week’s City Paper cover story takes a critical look at how DCPS has addressed longstanding issues at the District’s 40 lowest performing schools, which serve predominately low-income children of color in the poorest parts of the city. (City Paper, 9/29)

– In response to Governor Hogan’s executive order that schools in Maryland will open after Labor Day, the State Board of Education is working to ensure there is a process for school districts to get waivers to start school before Labor Day. Allowing school districts to start school earlier can better meet the needs of disadvantaged students and address issues like summer learning loss. (WaPo, 9/29)

REGION/EQUITY | A new report from the National Council of La Raza finds that Latino children in the Greater Washington region fare better on a number of socioeconomic indicators, compared to Latino children in other areas of the country. (WAMU, 9/29)

JUSTICE/RACE | D.C. Releases Body Camera Footage Of Aftermath Of Terrence Sterling Shooting (WAMU, 9/27)

HOUSING | D.C. Commits $7 Million to Fund More Than 100 Units of Affordable Housing in Wards 6 and 8 (City Paper, 9/28)

– A funder explains how and why her organization is bucking the trend toward lack of transparency among foundations – and how it has increased their philanthropic impact. (NCRP, 9/15)

– Did you know there’s an election happening soon? Here’s a look at how foundations get out the vote. (Foundation Center, 9/19)

ARTS | Dance Legend Returns To Washington In Time To Help Ballet Celebrate A Milestone (WAMU, 9/29)

COMMUNITY | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has a new grant application format. Learn more here.

Social Sector Job Openings
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association – NEW!
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

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
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

It’s National Coffee Day! Here’s where you can get a free afternoon pick-me-up today.

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday.

– Rebekah