How segregation leads to shorter lifespans

Yesterday, new County Health Rankings were released with an added measure on racial segregation in America’s counties, in recognition of the fact that segregation has profound effects on an individual’s health outcomes. Evidence shows that racial segregation is making and keeping people sick. (Atlantic, 3/16)

Bridget Catlin, the co-director of the County Health Rankings, said segregation wreaks havoc on the body primarily by stressing it out. In addition to experiencing more violent crime, people in racially segregated pockets might be stranded further from good jobs or the transportation necessary to reach them.

The data might help explain why African Americans fare worse across various health metrics. The average life expectancy for African Americans is still four years shorter than for whites, for example.

– Racism and sexism can present themselves in various aspects of daily life, but the one thing that is probably most expected to be bias-free is surprisingly not – computer programs. Algorithms for computer programs are revealing some unpleasant truths about the ways in which biases persist. (NPR, 3/15)

ARTS | The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Age-Friendly D.C., and the District Department of Transportation have announced a $40,000 grant dedicated to public art with an anti-street harassment message. (DCist, 3/15)

– President & CEO of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers David Biemesderfer, was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Philanthropy & Social Innovation Experts in the Business of Giving Newsletter, published by Philanthropy Media. Congratulations!

Related: In January, new to his role as president and CEO at the Forum, David shared with our readers why he was excited to take the helm of the organization and to support the work of WRAG and our regional association colleagues. (Daily, 1/27)

What Young Donors Respond to Today (Gelman, Rosenberg, and Freedman, 3/9)

– Opinion: We caused the Metro shutdown when we decided to let our cities decay (WaPo, 3/16)

– Though millennials have flocked to cities in droves for years, history and data show that is likely to change at some point. Here’s a look at how cities can prepare for the inevitable population loss. (City Lab, 3/16)

A missed opportunity has bewildered the region.

– Ciara

A longer road to economic recovery for some

A new analysis hones in on state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity in the U.S. According to the study, while unemployment rates are down throughout most of the U.S., “only a handful of states have seen meaningful improvement in the labor market for African-American and Latino workers.” Virginia’s black unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation at 6.7 percent. (WSJ, 2/23)

Even in Virginia, the unemployment rate for black workers was twice as high as it was for white workers. The largest gaps in black and white unemployment were in the District of Columbia, where the black unemployment rate was 5.4 times that of white workers, and in Michigan, where the rate was 3.4 times higher, the report found. The smallest gap was in New Jersey, where the rate was 1.5 times higher.

– On Friday, February 26 and Saturday, February 27, the Reston Community Center, in association with the Equitable Growth Profile Advisory Group of Fairfax County, invites you to hear Professor john a. powelldirector of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and professor of law and African American Studies & Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Professor powell will present, “Racing To Justice:  Understanding Social Equity,” in two sessions that are open to the public and free of charge with pre-registration. Click here to learn more.

Related: Professor john a. powell kicked off WRAG’s, “Putting Racism on the Table”learning series last month, with a thoughtful discussion on structural racism.

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | Audience Engagement Is All the Rage Among Arts Funders. But What Is It, Really? (Inside Philanthropy, 2/18)

– In Fairfax County, officials are hopeful for the effectiveness of the Diversion First program that launched this year to emphasize treatment in lieu of jail time for low-level nonviolent offenders with mental illnesses. So far, 103 individuals have been diverted into treatment since the program took off on January 1. (Fairfax Times, 2/19)

– Arlington Has the Highest Earning Millennials in the U.S. (Arlington Now, 2/19)

– Opinion: How Society Pays When Women’s Work Is Underpaid (NYT, 2/22)

– An analysis of the best and worst metropolitan areas for women-owned businesses gives parts of the Greater Washington region high marks in certain categories, along with some disappointing marks in others. (WBJ, 2/23)

DISTRICT | In this neighborhood guide, Washingtonian sheds light on some of the major draws to Southeast D.C.’s Anacostia area – present and future. (Washingtonian, 2/19)

With the recent announcement of the D.C. streetcar’s service date, a quick guide on how to ride the streetcar was only right. 

– Ciara


High cost of living biggest challenge facing millennials in the region today

A new report from American University explores some of the biggest challenges facing millennials in the region and how the area currently stacks up in tackling those issues. (WBJ, 1/13)

The “Greater Washington Index: Millennials” is not supposed to serve as a comprehensive survey but as business intelligence to craft policies and programs geared toward the millennial generation. Respondents were asked questions about the D.C. area related to transportation, crime, employment and nightlife, among other topics.

Overall, the report shows that D.C.-area millennials seem to be just as traffic-hating, salary-conscious, cost-of-living aware as any other generation. Just 9 percent of millennials surveyed described the area as an affordable place to live.

Click here to access the report, Greater Washington Index: Millennials.

IMMIGRATION | Amid recent news that the Department of Homeland Security would be ramping up deportation raids, advocates for undocumented immigrants and some local government officials are looking to ease fears of those who may be impacted. (DCist, 1/13)

HOUSING | Maryland’s foreclosure rate was among the highest in the U.S. in 2015 (WBJ, 1/14)

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT/LGBT | D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced $45,000 to Wanda Halston House and Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders to invest in the fight against LGBTQ youth homelessness. In the District, more than 300 people under the age of 24 are thought to be homeless, with 43 percent self-identifying as LGBTQ, according to census data from last summer. (WCP, 1/13)

ARTS | Grantmakers in the Arts discusses how funders can and should support ALAANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American) organizations and artists, and critiques a few of the recommendations from the recent DeVos Institute of Arts Management report on diversity in the arts. (GIA, 1/13)

– Anacostia High School plans to open a new public safety academy this fall in a partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department and the DC Police Foundation. (ABC 7, 1/12)

–  Montgomery County Wants to Provide All Public School Students With Library Cards (Bethesda Magazine, 1/14)

Take a look at what is possibly the first-ever photograph of the White House taken 170 years ago.

– Ciara

Friday roundup – January 4 through January 8, 2016

– WRAG and Enterprise Community Loan Fund made a major announcement about a new impact investing initiative to support affordable housing here in our region. Click here to read more about Our Region, Your Investment.

– For many millennial workers homeownership in the Greater Washington region is simply out of reach. (WaPo, 1/4)

– Ed Davies, Executive Director of the DC Trust, has announced that he will be stepping down from his post in order to pursue a new opportunity and continue working on behalf of children, youth, and families.

– The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation has announced two new staff members, along with some other changes to their team. Julian A. Haynes and Amy Nakamoto will join Meyer as program officers on January 19.  Karen FitzGerald has been promoted from senior program officer to program director, and Maegan Scott has been promoted to serve as program officer for Meyer’s new Organizational Effectiveness Program and other capacity-building work.

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

The Chronicle of Philanthropy released this year’s list of 40 leaders under 40 who are working to solve entrenched problems with innovative solutions. (Chronicle, 1/5)

– A  first-of-its-kind philanthropy almanac, offering an abundance of data and facts about the field, is now available. (Chronicle, 1/6)

– As millennial philanthropy grows, how can arts and cultural social profit organizations be sure they are attracting this next generation of donors? (Seattle Times, 12/2015)

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:

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It may be too cold to visit the beach these days, but next time you go, you’ll know exactly what’s across the ocean from you in the horizon.

– Ciara

Why buying a home is out of reach for many millennials in the Greater Washington region

Despite a continuously growing population and relatively strong economy, one writer explores why it remains so difficult for workers – particularly millennial workers – to afford homeownership in the Greater Washington region. (WaPo, 1/4)

In the Washington region, officials are always lobbying to bring large companies and their workforce to the area — often with great success — leaving us in what seems like a regular housing shortage and subsequently an overwhelmed infrastructure that hasn’t been adequate for our population since the early 1980s.  On top of that, I can rattle off the names of 10 large universities in the area that supply a huge 20-something-year-old population year after year — many of whom stay put after graduation and get apartments.  Oh, I haven’t even mentioned the federal government or the military, which, as everyone knows, is a huge and stable (sans a government shutdown) slice of the workforce.

So that means we need housing — lots of housing. But the influx of new construction has not led to a great rise in the home ownership rate in Washington. So what gives?

VIRGINIA | Alison Silberberg will be sworn in as the new mayor of Alexandria with plans to limit development in the jurisdiction. (WaPo, 1/3)

– A new primary care office in D.C. aims to offer its patients dietary prescriptions in place of medication to cure what ails them. (WBJ, 12/2015)

Construction projects to dominate Greater Washington health care news in 2016 (WBJ, 12/2015)

–  2016  is gearing up to be an exciting year for museums in the city. Check out what’s on the horizon for the new year. (WaPo, 12, 2015)

With millennial philanthropy money flowing, arts groups miss out (Seattle Times, 12, 2015)

WORKFORCE | As we usher in a new year, more than a dozen states will also be ushering in higher minimum wages. Advocates and skeptics alike will be on the lookout for how the changes affect workers. (Atlantic, 1/1)

Though 2015 is long gone, take this quiz to test your knowledge of the year in D.C.

– Ciara

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

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)

– 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

The many hurdles for domestic violence survivors

For many families experiencing homelessness, the circumstances leading them there can be traced back to domestic violence. In D.C., obstacles, like a lack of affordable housing, make recovery much more difficult. (WCP, 8/28)

The problem is with mid- and long-term shelter: The District’s competitive real estate landscape, as well as its complicated victim compensation programs and antiquated city code, make it difficult to create a consistently reliable network of places to stay after the survivor is out of immediate danger.

– The Washington Post recently asked D.C. business leaders, as well as WRAG president Tamara Copeland, their thoughts on how the region should respond to the effects of sequestration. (WaPo, 8/29)

– Last week, many of us learned that D.C. is the most expensive city to raise a family of four, particularly due to high child care costs. Many of us also wondered why in the world child care is so expensive in the city. WAMU explores the reason. (WAMU, 8/28)

Millennials have transformed Arlington, but will they stay? (WaPo, 8/29)

– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, discusses in the New York Times how the Common Core education standards can tilt the scales in the struggle for skills vs. knowledge in today’s classrooms. (NYT, 8/28)

 Opinion: Former WRAG Board member Patrick Corvington writes about the stunning correlation between asthma and lead poisoning as they relate to school attendance. (HuffPo, 8/27)

Related: In a previous edition of What Funders Need to Know, WRAG discussed the link between safe and healthy housing and education outcomes.

PHILANTHROPY |  The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a number of resources for organizations looking to prepare for the wave of Americans turning 65 years old – about 10,000 people each day. (Chronicle, 8/31)

TRANSIT | Here are three potential scenarios for future expansion plans for Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport. (Loudoun Times-Mirror, 8/28)

JOBS | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has two exciting new openings: An Executive Director for the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, and a Grants Associate.

A sociology lecturer-turned-artist is going to beaches and putting all our sandcastles to shame.

– Ciara