Some question expansion as summer youth jobs program begins

WORKFORCE/REGION
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

First citywide program for connecting black women with HIV prevention drugs coming to DC

HIV/AIDS 
A $1 million investment from the MAC AIDS Fund will go toward making D.C. the first major city to get a program that will connect black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) in the District with pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. (Slate, 6/17)

In 2009, D.C. declared an HIV epidemic that rivaled those in many African nations, with around 3 percent of the city’s residents living with HIV. In some areas and age groups, it was closer to 5 percent. Though targeted prevention efforts have cut D.C.’s new-diagnosis rate by almost 60 percent since then, the city still has an HIV rate nearly twice as high as the state with the next highest rate, Louisiana, and nearly 4 percent of black residents are infected. In D.C. and across the country, HIV is a racialized epidemic among women: As of 2012, 92 percent of D.C. women living with HIV were black.

Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership, which is at the forefront of these efforts, had this to say:

The Washington AIDS Partnership is excited to be at the center of Washington, D.C.’s goal to “end HIV” through the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan, and innovative HIV prevention strategies such as  Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for women. Stay tuned for a major announcement with more details on June 30!

RACISM/INEQUALITY | Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shares with WRAG this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning, and the enduring impact and significance of the political cartoonist in society. Check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

REGION | Leaders of Washington’s former bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are said to be keeping up the momentum of their efforts by continuing to meet to discuss objectives for further regional cooperation, even without the possibility of the summer games. (WBJ, 6/17)

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

– A report by the District’s Office of Revenue Analysis examines the gender pay gap among the city’s workforce. While men make more than women for the same work in most industries, D.C.’s nonprofit sector is shown to be one area where women often make more than men in similar positions. (WBJ, 6/17)

–  This Is The Insane Amount of Money it Takes To Be Considered “Wealthy” in DC (Washingtonian, 6/17)

EDUCATION
Montgomery County schools have adopted a new budget officials hope will narrow the school system’s achievement gap and lower class sizes. (WaPo, 6/17)

– Data show that 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)

HEALTH/YOUTH
– According to estimates, there are still 37 million homes in the U.S. that contain lead-based paint and 6 million that recieve drinking water through lead pipes. With children shown to absorb more lead than adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging physicians to be more proactive about testing children for exposure. (NPR, 6/20)

Video: Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy? (Atlantic, 6/14)


Just in case you haven’t heard, Clevelanders are very, very happy today.

– Ciara

A look at employment in the social profit sector through the Great Recession

WORKFORCE
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that during the Great Recession, as other industries cut back significantly on hiring and increased layoffs, the social profit sector continued to add jobs – a trend that is likely to reverse, for better or for worse. (WaPo, 3/2)

At the same time, organizations dipped into rainy day funds to stay afloat, resulting in a decline in asset levels. Some workers may have accepted lower wages for non-profit work because of the poor job market, boosting employment as well.

All of that is also why, when the bureau next puts out employment numbers, the figures might show a decrease: Resources are depleted, and the need also isn’t as great.

– A new JPMorgan Chase report, “Tech Jobs for All? Exploring the Promise and Pitfalls of Technology Training in the United States,” takes a look at the rapidly growing and quickly evolving tech training field and the unique obstacles it faces in developing the skilled and diverse workforce required to meet a growing need within the economy. The report is part of  JPMorgan Chase’s $250 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative to address the mismatch between employer needs and the skills of job seekers..

Opinion: Jobs for the Young in Poor Neighborhoods (NYT, 3/14)

WRAG/RACISM | In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland poses the question, “When was the last time you talked about racism?,” and explains her view on why you should start. (Daily, 3/15)

COMMUNITY/VIRGINIA | Opinion: Lynn Tadlock, Deputy Executive Director of Giving of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and WRAG board chair, shares her views on why urgent reform is necessary to put an end to gerrymandering in the state of Virginia. (Loudoun Times, 3/3)

HIV/AIDS | Eight American cities joined the Fast Track Cities Initiative, established on World AIDS Day in 2014 “to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV know that they have the virus, are taking anti-retroviral treatment medications and in so doing, are keeping the virus suppressed.” Take a look at what those cities, including the District, have been doing to successfully lower their HIV/AIDS rates and increase awareness. Kudos to the Washington AIDS Partnership for being recognized for their work! (Mic, 3/10)

POVERTY | Federal assistance for families in poverty can cover expenses like food, health care, and housing, but with data showing that families in the lowest-income quintile spend around 14 percent of their after-tax income on diapers, advocates are seeking ways to further support those in need with household necessities. (WaPo, 3/14)

HEALTH/EQUITY | WAMU unveils a new, four-part series on the continuing struggle for inclusion that those with developmental disabilities in the District face. (WAMU,  3/ 2016)

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | Americans Support Increases for Government Arts Funding (ArtsBlog, 3/5)


Perhaps the only thing more significant than turning 100-years-old is being able to do it with three of your lifelong friends.

– Ciara

A glimpse into the region’s future

REGION
According to a new regional forecast from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the region’s population will continue to grow steadily and will add nearly 1.5 million residents over the next 30 years. Job growth is also expected to be significant. Officials are concerned a surge in residents to the region will continue to present challenges in providing affordable housing and quality transportation. (WaPo, 3/9)

The [District] is projected to expand from 672,000 residents last year to 987,000 in 2045, when it will be just shy of replacing Prince George’s County as the region’s third-most-populous jurisdiction, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Fairfax and Montgomery counties will continue to rank first and second. They and other counties in the region will continue to grow. But only Charles County, which is a quarter of the District’s size, will gain population at a faster rate than the city.

Related: Last year, 2030 Group president Bob Buchanan and George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis senior adviser and director of special projects Stephen Fuller, led the charge to undertake an extensive research project providing recommendations for ways in which the region can reposition itself to maximize potential and remain competitive in the global economy titled, The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy. WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland also shared how philanthropy in the region might respond and collaborate with other sectors to meet challenges facing our communities. (Daily 1/15)

HEALTH
– As misconceptions change about what the “face of HIV/AIDS” looks like, grassroots efforts are proving to be helpful in empowering those who are newly diagnosed. (WTOP, 3/10)

– Medicaid Rules Can Thwart Immigrants Who Need Dialysis (WAMU, 3/8)

EDUCATION/HOMELESSNESS | With recently-announced plans to replace the D.C. General shelter with smaller facilities, some are growing concerned about what the changes may mean for overcrowding in surrounding schools. (WCP, 3/8)

PHILANTHROPY/GENDER EQUITY | Mind the Gap – How Philanthropy Can Address Gender-Based Economic Disparities (PND, 3/8)

ARTSOpinion: One theatergoer shares his experience watching a popular Broadway show featuring a diverse cast, and how he felt when he look around and noticed the audience was anything but. (NPR, 3/8)

JOBS | The Abell Foundation is seeking to fill its Grants Associate position.


This quick quiz will guess your age, marital status, and income based on which mobile apps you have on your phone. My own results came pretty close! 

– Ciara

When small debts become big problems

ECONOMY/EQUITY 
For an alarming number of African American families, debts – even relatively small debts – can trickle into an insurmountable problem that further contributes to a widening racial wealth gap. (PS Mag, 1/4)

The most recent federal survey in 2013 put the difference in net worth between the typical white and black family at $131,000. That’s a big number, but here’s an even more troubling statistic: About one-quarter of African-American families had less than $5 in reserve. Low-income whites had about $375.

EDUCATION/REGION
Meet the new principal of D.C.’s first public all-boys high school in Deanwood, part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Empowering Males of Color Initiative. (DCist, 1/5)

The Rise of Urban Public Boarding Schools (Atlantic, 12/2015)

Survey: 11 of Loudoun’s 15 public high schools among state’s top 100 (Loudoun Times, 1/4)

VIRGINIA | A historic win for a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors may also be a sign of the continually changing generational and racial makeup of residents in one of the nation’s fastest growing counties. (Washingtonian, 1/4)

PHILANTHROPY/IMPACT INVESTING
The Chronicle of Philanthropy introduces their list of 40 people under 40 you should be paying attention to as they spearhead innovative ways to solve problems. (Chronicle, 1/5) Congratulations to Trista Harris, president of WRAG’s colleague organization Minnesota Council on Foundations, for making the list!

– On Philanthropy: All investing is impact investing (News & Observer, 1/4)

HEALTH/HEALTHCARE 
– Despite significant advances in the treatment of HIV-positive people, activists and physicians still face struggles in addressing the social and economic challenges of more vulnerable individuals living with the virus. (Atlantic, 12/2015)

Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds (NYT, 1/5)


The fascinating science behind beards.

– Ciara

 

Hurdles in getting jobs for the unemployed in the District

DISTRICT/WORKFORCE
Disagreements, allegations of mismanagement, and underspending of federal funds have led the U.S. Labor Department to label D.C. as a “high-risk” partner in job training and employment programs. D.C. is currently the only jurisdiction to be labeled as such. (WaPo, 12/12)

The designation, which the District has had since 2012, places the city under increased federal oversight and means it risks suffering a slowdown in federal grants totaling $24 million a year for job training.

[…]

About 60,000 District adults lack a high-school diploma or its equivalent, and 30,000 or more have such a degree but aren’t reading at an eighth grade level, officials said. About 25,000 District residents are unemployed.

WRAG | WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland presents her fourth quarterly report to the community, along with some highlights on how WRAG stayed true to its mission of promoting increased, effective and responsible philanthropy to improve the health and vitality of the region and all who live here in 2015. (Daily, 12/14)

HIV/HOMELESSNESS | In part one of their series on housing for D.C. residents living with HIV, Washington City Paper looks at how housing resources for homeless, HIV-positive individuals can be extremely scarce. (WCP, 12/14)

ECONOMY
– In Prince George’s County, the CEO of their Economic Development Corporation is in the midst of a vigorous campaign to get more businesses to relocate to the county and bring about a long-hoped-for revival. (WaPo, 12/13)

– It’s no secret that, like many other major U.S. cities, getting by in D.C. is challenging for the middle class. An architect breaks down how increasingly difficult it can be for some to call the District home. (WaPo, 12/11)

Maryland county wants to ease the burden of student debt for its residents (WaPo, 12/14)

The Tipping Point: Most Americans No Longer Are Middle Class (NPR, 12/10)

EDUCATION/VIRGINIA | Urban Coalition Presses Virginia Lawmakers to ‘Meaningfully Increase’ Education Funding (WAMU, 12/14)


When is it acceptable to tell a lie? According to an author, there are at least 10 scenarios where he would lie. Would you agree?

– Ciara

Washington AIDS Partnership honored for their work in the fight to end AIDS

HIV/AIDS
Last night, the Washington AIDS Partnership (WAP) was recognized by DC Appleseed for their work in the fight to end AIDS in the District. Beginning in 2015, WAP embarked on a new initiative with DC Appleseed, local experts, and the D.C. government to create a plan which would identify barriers to end HIV/AIDS, gaps in services and infrastructure, and capacity needs among community-based organizations. At the event, both D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health spoke to the need for D.C. to set the example for the rest of the nation and end the epidemic in the city. Within the District, 80 percent of individuals are linked to care within three months of testing positive for HIV, 62 percent are retained in care, and 40 percent are virally suppressed. These numbers are above the national averages for HIV care; however, WAP, DC Appleseed, and the D.C. government are committed to bringing the number of individuals linked and retained in care to 90 percent by the year 2020. WAP will continue to fund and support innovative programs that look to treat, prevent, and educate individuals in D.C. about HIV in an effort to bring the epidemic to an end in the city.

POVERTY/WORKFORCE
– New data on income and poverty in 2014 by the Census Bureau finds income growth, wage growth, and poverty rates remained unchanged from 2013. (NPR, 9/16)

– Mapping the Difference Between Minimum Wage and Cost of Living (City Lab, 9/10)

HEALTH/YOUTH | In a new blog post for the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) superintendent Dr. Alvin Crawley  explains why integrating health and wellness goals into the day-to-day activities at schools, just as ACPS plans to do beginning this fall, is so vital for staff and students alike. (NVHF, 9/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Check out how thinking more like a designer may be a great method to apply to the field of philanthropy over at Exponent Philanthropy‘s blog. (PhilanthroFiles, 9/17)

EDUCATION/VIRGINIA | Opinion: As Fairfax County Public Schools face severe budget cuts, officials of the nation’s 10th largest school system with 190,000 students, discuss what under-funding could mean for the very near future. (WaPo, 9/17)

FOOD | A study from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity examines the dietary habits of Americans and finds that there is a growing gap in the dietary quality of wealthier people and people in poverty. (WaPo, 9/17)

DISTRICT/ECONOMY | D.C.’s ward 8 will soon see a big public investment in the form of a new sports and entertainment complex on the St. Elizabeths East campus. (WBJ, 9/16)


When it comes to autumn, Denali Park just “gets it.”

– Ciara