Friday roundup – March 21 through March 25, 2016

THIS WEEK IN THE WRAG COMMUNITY
Reflections on implicit bias were shared by Board Chair Missy Young and lead staffer Dara Johnson from the Horning Family Fund. (Daily 3/24)

– The Consumer Health Foundation‘s Kendra Allen interviewed Sequnely Gray, Community Engagement Coordinator for So Others Might Eat and a TANF recipient, about her experience advocating for families on TANF and the impact of benefit time limits. (CHF, 3/21)

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION/REGION
– A new report found significant racial disparities in the acceptance rates among selective academic programs at public schools in Montgomery County. (WaPo, 3/22)

 In Loudoun County, a proposal that would concentrate mostly low-income, majority Hispanic students into two schools is evoking memories of “separate but equal” policies of the past. (WaPo, 3/20) 

THIS WEEK IN HEALTH
–  Grantmakers in Health, with support from the Aetna Foundation, released a supplement on health equity innovations, published with the spring 2016 edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The supplement highlights promising strategies and emerging approaches for building healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. (SSIR, spring 2016)

–  OpinionThe color of heroin addiction — why war then, treatment now? (WaPo, 3/23)

THIS WEEK IN CSR
 The deadline to apply for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards is Friday, April 1. Hint for Nonprofits: Nominating your corporate partners is a great way to show your appreciation and deepen your relationship!

Related: Interested in learning how to build new, stronger, and more mutually beneficial corporate partnerships? Join WRAG and more than 20 CSR professionals from some of the region’s top companies for the 2016 Fundamentals of CSR workshop on April 14-15.


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: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.


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Are you #TeamPancakes or #TeamWaffles? Personally, I found both to be far too filling.

– Ciara

Mayor Bowser shares new spending plan

DISTRICT
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently shared her latest spending plan. Raising the city’s minimum wage, hiring additional police officers, school modernization, and more were among the topics Bowser touched on (WaPo, 3/24):

Bowser’s budget also sidesteps a potentially bruising battle with advocates for the poor. Her spending plan does not carry out a threat made last year to cut off $10 million in funding for long-term welfare recipients. Instead, she will continue the funding for at least another year on monthly benefits for 6,500 families who have already been receiving checks for five years or more.

Related: Earlier this month, Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, shared with Daily WRAG readers what legislation to extend Temporary Assistance for Needy Families could mean to a number of households in the District. (Daily, 3/3)

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE | Horning Family Fund Board Chair Missy Young, and lead staffer Dara Johnson, candidly share their reflections on implicit bias and what WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series has meant to their organization so far. (Daily 3/24)

PHILANTHROPYExponent Philanthropy, the Fund for Shared Insight, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy present the next videos in their series, Philanthropy Lessons, in which funders share their experiences and what they’ve learned in their philanthropic careers. Stay tuned for more videos through June.

ARTS/VIRGINIA | A new documentary explores Reston, Virginia‘s distinctive, people-first urban development led by planner Robert E. Simon, Jr. 50 years ago, and how his ideas have inspired urban revival in other areas ever since. (City Lab, 3/23)

PUBLIC HEALTH/RACISM | OpinionThe color of heroin addiction — why war then, treatment now? (WaPo, 3/23)

JOBS | The Baltimore City Health Department is seeking an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer to serve from July 2016-July 2017. The goal of the AmeriCorps VISTA position is to train and organize Neighborhood Food Advocates for the Virtual Supermarket Program and to support and grow the Baltimore Food Justice Committee. Interested applicants should apply online now through May 15.


Have you ever wondered if you could be one variety of a cherry blossom tree, which tree you would be? Finally, you can find out. I’m a proud Kwanzan myself.

– Ciara

Reflections on implicit bias

by Missy Young, Board Chair, and Dara Johnson, Lead Staffer
The Horning Family Fund

Putting Racism on the Table is a six-part learning series for WRAG member philanthropic CEOs and their trustees to explore key elements of racism together. Last week, participants examined the dynamics of implicit bias with Julie Nelson, Director of the Government Alliance on Race & Equity, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Below, Horning Family Fund Board Chair Missy Young, and lead staffer Dara Johnson, share their respective experiences with implicit bias and what the series has meant to their organization.

 


Missy Young

WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table learning series has provided me with an opportunity to build on my personal experiences and to develop new directions in my work with the Horning Family Fund.

I was born in Washington and am the product of parents who were active in the Civil Rights Movement. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, and had black neighbors and friends. When I was a teen, one of the best Christmas presents I ever received was two season tickets to Georgetown University basketball games. Coach John Thompson became one of my heroes – not only for his winning ways as a coach, but also because he opposed the exploitation of his black players and insisted that they get a good college education. Over the years, I have valued these experiences and have had plenty of chances to consider the causes and effects of individual and institutional racism. But participating in this series has provided me a growing and deeper understanding of systemic racism.

The Horning Family Fund has historically funded organizations that address educational inequities and improve outcomes for children in our city. About ten years ago, we decided to focus our efforts on Ward 8. And because we want to address more than the symptoms of poverty, we now fund advocacy organizations, as well.

Putting Racism on the Table has inspired our board to learn more about the roots of injustice and specifically the relationship between institutional racism and poverty. We have been challenged to act on our new knowledge. Recently, we added a question to our grant application that asks, “Does your organization participate in any racial equity training?” This question has already helped us to understand more about our grantees and how they see the context of their work. To advance our exploration and understanding of structural racism, several of our board members also plan to participate in the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s racial equity training.

On my way to last Friday’s Putting Racism on the Table session on implicit bias, I stopped for coffee at a nearby cafe and noticed that a white male was operating the cash register while the six other employees (all black) were busy doing other jobs. I wasn’t sure what to make of this. Something didn’t seem right. And though I have noticed similar situations before, I saw it differently this time – with a sense of urgency and hope that our work together as philanthropists will make a difference.


Dara Johnson

This month’s series on implicit bias caused me to reflect on my past work experience and new role at the Horning Family Fund. Prior to joining the Horning Family Fund, I served 14 years as a public school teacher and administrator in predominately black schools located in lower-income communities. I was determined to change the outcome of every child in my sphere of influence. My commitment and optimism was challenged every year as I ran into resistance from leaders, teachers, and school systems. There is no doubt that these groups wanted success for every child; yet their practices and decisions weren’t always aligned with this vision.

I recall working in multiple schools where parent engagement was mandated by the school district, but across many Title I schools (which serve lower-income communities), the budget was primarily spent on food rather than meaningful programs and supports for parents. The notion that parents in lower-income communities would only show up if a meal was provided, or that we shouldn’t invest substantial time around developing programs, was a direct reflection of how some staff members viewed our parents and their children. Some would even joke about holding meetings at a club or the local carryout, implying that’s what our parents would rather do than invest in their children. What I found most interesting about this whole experience is that the same staff members, who refused to change our parent engagement strategy, were also frustrated with the low level of parent engagement. Their biases of our parents shaped by their own experiences, as well as societal influences, caused them to retain a low expectation for parents in the community.

I’m not sharing this to highlight flaws because there were times when I had to reflect on my actions toward specific children and families. We have to recognize that having biases don’t make us bad people – we all have them. The key is to understand how our biases shape the decisions we make within our organizations. Then we can strategically implement changes that “close the gap” between our mission statements and our actions. Actions will always ring louder than our words.

As I think about my role with the foundation, this difficult and essential work toward racial equity will have to start internally. I applaud WRAG for bringing this topic to philanthropic leaders. However, if we seek to address the issues in others while denying the work that needs to happen within each of us, we will continue to perpetuate the same pattern of behavior that hinders our progress.

As we move forward as a foundation, I know we will continue to examine the change we ultimately want to make and identify how we go about making this change happen. Current and future generations are depending on us to not only fund programs, but to address the underlying causes of inequity. I know we don’t have all the answers or a finalized plan of action; nonetheless, we are at a good starting place. I’m so glad to participate in Putting Racism on the Table with our board chair and board member.


Last week, Lynne and Joe Horning and the Horning Family Fund, housed at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, were honored with the 2016 Civic Spirit Award at the 2016 Annual Celebration of Philanthropy.

New report on the early care and education economy in the District

CHILDREN/EDUCATION
A new report from DC Appleseed and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute explores the costs of delivering child care for infants and toddlers, and the experiences of early care and education providers in the District (DCFPI, 3/10):

Until now, no one has assessed how much it costs early care and education (ECE) providers to meet the level of quality that the District requires, or how providers are able to maintain quality while serving families who depend on child care subsidy payments from the government. DC Appleseed and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute have collaborated to produce a study to better understand these realities.

The full report is titled, “Solid Footing: Reinforcing the Early Care and Education Economy for Infants and Toddlers in DC.”

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | Catherine Oidtman, Philanthropy Fellow at the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, reflects on what she’s learned about going “beyond dollars” in philanthropy. (Daily, 3/14)

Related for WRAG Members: We are now accepting applications from WRAG members interested in hosting Philanthropy Fellows this fall. For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Lynne and Joe Horning and the Horning Family Fund, housed at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, for being honored with the 2016 Civic Spirit Award! The Horning Family Fund will be honored this evening at the 2016 Annual Celebration of Philanthropy.

POVERTY/INEQUALITY
– Opinion: Judith Sandalow of The Children’s Law Center offers her thoughts on why the District’s safety net program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is so vital to low-income children and their families. (WaPo, 3/11)

Related: Ed Lazere, executive director of the DCFPI, recently shared with Daily WRAG readers what legislation to extend TANF could mean to so many households in the District. (Daily, 3/3)

– A pair of economists have found that students in poverty growing up in areas of high income inequality are shown to be much more likely to drop out of high school than students growing up in areas with less inequality. The results were found to be especially true for young boys living in high-inequality states. (WSJ, 3/10)

– Following their recent survey on Americans’ perceptions of race and opportunity in the U.S., The Atlantic breaks down some of the stark differences in opinion. (Atlantic, 3/10)

HOUSING/VIRGINIA | Contentious Ramsey property site in Alexandria clears another hurdle (WTOP 3/13)

AGING | Aging-in-place options most popular with baby boomers (WaPo, 3/14)

JOBS | The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers is hiring a Project Director to help increase their size, scope and national impact. This is a virtual opportunity. For more information or to apply, click here.


Happy Pi Day – a great excuse to indulge in pizzas and/or pies, and more.

– Ciara

How misdemeanors can lead to homelessness

HOMELESSNESS/HOUSING
Washington City Paper provides a firsthand account of the ways in which misdemeanors can often come back to haunt those convicted, particularly when it comes to obtaining necessities like housing. (WCP, 11/13)

[…] even minor brushes with the law leave ripple effects lasting far beyond when a fine was paid or sentence served, making it hard to get a job, housing, and other necessities. Public and assisted housing providers are allowed to screen applicants for their criminal histories, but […] it’s over-enforced and frequently far beyond the legal guidelines laid out in the Fair Housing Act.

– In D.C., members of a homeless tent community face being pushed out after their 14-day notification period has ended. Some cite encampments as a preferred option to potential safety threats while staying in shelters. Officials and health specialists are working to provide them with supportive services and permanent housing. (WTOP, 11/16)

ECONOMY/REGION | In their biannual survey of small business owners in the Greater Washington Region, Bank of America found that the small business market is hiring faster than any other it surveyed, and that 81 percent expect to grow their businesses over the next five years – a positive outlook for the local economy. (WBJ, 11/17)

COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has announced that they will honor The Horning Family Fund with the 2016 Civic Spirit Award at their Annual Celebration of Philanthropy on March 14, 2016. Since 1990, the fund has helped to build communities where families thrive and children are nurtured to achieve their greatest potential. For more information about the event, contact Jenny Towns.

FOOD/VIRGINIA | In Loudoun County’s “transition area” (the area between suburban subdivisions and rural land) a 4,000-acre development is making the idea of farm-to-table a high priority for the community. (WaPo, 11/16)

GENDER EQUITY
– According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal, men’s weekly median earnings  have increased twice as much as women’s weekly median earnings in the first three-quarters of 2015. Researchers hope that trends from this year don’t point to an ever-widening gap. (Atlantic, 11/17)

For Women, Income Inequality Continues into Retirement (NPR, 11/17)

IMMIGRATION | The Brookings Institution recently explored whether or not the lives of Hispanic immigrants and their families are economically better off once settling in the U.S. The data reveal mixed results about the upward mobility of immigrants and their children. (Atlantic, 11/16)


Can you name these North American cities based solely on their night sky views?

-Ciara

Study: The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Economic Future

COMMUNITY/PHILANTHROPY/WRAG
Earlier this year, the 2030 Group – an organization of business leaders focused on regional issues and solutions – commissioned The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Economic Future, a study to better understand growth trends and their resulting impacts that will affect the region by the year 2030. WRAG is working alongside business and civic organizations in the area to encourage regional cooperation and effective economic growth. The Washington Post shares some of the findings about the future of millennials in the region and next steps for the group revealed at a gathering last week (WaPo, 10/17):

Founded by the 2030 Group, a business organization, the Roadmap has 12 other sponsors, including the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Federal City Council, Fairfax and Montgomery chambers of commerce, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.

The study’s results provided fresh arguments for the Roadmap to use in pressing local political leaders to set aside parochial differences and work together on behalf of the region as a whole.

To further that effort, the Roadmap leaders set up working groups Thursday to discuss proposals such as creating strong centralized regional authorities to oversee policy and raise funds for transportation and housing.

– On the 2030 Group’s blog, WRAG president Tamara Copeland took part in a Roadmap Sponsor Profile, in which she discussed WRAG’s supportive role in the Roadmap Initiative. (2030 Group, 10/14)

Related: The philanthropic community didn’t always have a seat at the table in this effort. Last spring, Tamara shared how business and philanthropy became valuable partners in this regional economic initiative. (Daily, 4/2)

– Joe and Lynne Horning of the Horning Family Fund have been involved in philanthropy for nearly 60 years. In The Chronicle of Philanthropy, they share what has inspired their giving in Washington throughout the years, and offer some tips for new family foundations. (Chronicle, 10/5) – Subscription required

Washington Area Women’s Foundation president and CEO Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat appears on the Washington Business Journal‘s Power 100 2015: Connectors list. Congratulations! (WBJ, 10/12)

ARTS EDUCATION
– Theatre Forward, an organization providing funding and other resources to leading nonprofit theatres, has released a new publication, “Unmasking Business Success: Executive Perceptions of Arts Engagement and Workforce Skills.”

More schools are working to integrate the arts into classroom learning (WaPo, 10/14)

WORKFORCE/IMMIGRATION | More Evidence That Immigrants Don’t Steal American Jobs (City Lab, 10/16)


What expenditures are people in the Washington region splurging on each year?

– Ciara

Martha’s Table to move east as neighborhood changes

NONPROFITS | In 2016 Martha’s Table will break ground on a new headquarters in Southeast D.C. The organization will continue to provide a few programs at its current 14th Street NW location, in a neighborhood that has changed dramatically since the nonprofit opened, but is moving most of its operations east of the river to be closer to the communities that need their services:

Now few of the families who come to 14th Street to pick up bags of groceries or drop off pre-school students live nearby. They come, often by bus, from neighborhoods where the average rent is far lower than $2,400 a month, which is the price of a one-bedroom at the Bentley, a new building on 14th featuring a private pet grooming salon. There’s still a liquor store nearby, but this one sells $55 bottles of craft rye whiskey.

Washington’s shifting demographics mean that many nonprofits’ clients have been moving to other parts of the city. The inevitable question: Should the charities follow them?

The land for the new building was donated by the Horning Family Fund, which provided $10 million toward construction. (WaPo, 5/5)

HEALTH | A new report from Save the Children finds that babies born in Ward 8 are 10 times more likely to die in infancy than those born in Ward 3.  In a measure of infant mortality worldwide, it ranks Washington, D.C. last among 25 world capitals. (WaPo, 5/4)

VIRGINIA | Is Virginia Putting Too Many People Behind Bars? (WAMU, 5/3)

DISTRICT | 4 ways Bowser wants to connect underserved with innovation economy (WBJ, 5/4)

ARTS | Slimmed down vision for Dupont Underground to open in July (WaPo, 5/1)

EVENT | On May 28th, the England Family Foundation is hosting a donor briefing on the 11th Street Bridge Park. Founding Director Scott Kratz will explain the vision for this new civic space that will connect the Capitol Hill and Anacostia neighborhoods and be designed to support the community’s environmental, physical, cultural and economic health. The briefing will be held at the Anacostia Arts Center from 9:30am – 11:15am followed by a walking tour of the site. Contact Julia Baer-Cooper for details and to RSVP.


Imagine a brand new mode of transit featuring “bold, contemporary styling,” a “polished metal exterior,” and “floors fully carpeted with thick, wool pile in decorator desert sunset colors”!

– Rebekah