New report suggests reparations will end the US racial wealth gap, not increased home-ownership

WEALTH GAP | Increasing the home-ownership rates of Blacks has long been touted as the way to decrease the racial wealth gap in the US, but a new report debunks this belief. Researchers say that even if we eliminate the home-ownership gap, we will still have wealth disparity. They suggest that America must consider the idea of reparations if it truly wants to address the gap. (Citylab, 4/20)

…doing away with the homeownership gap, by itself, will not create wealth parity for blacks and whites. They have numbers to prove it: White households that do not own homes have 31 times more wealth than black counterparts. The net worth of the latter group is just $120, according to the researchers’ calculations of 2014 government data.

Among homeowners, too, racial differences exist. White households who own homes have $140,000 more in net worth than black ones. That’s a much narrower gap, but still pretty significant, the authors write in the paper. They conclude that it’s not just that white households, on average, have greater housing equity, but they appear to have greater equity from all other types of financial assets.

RACIAL EQUITY | WRAG is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Racial Equity and Leadership Initiative of the National League of Cities to host a regional summit in 2019, tentatively called Race, Racism and the Future of Greater Washington. Read more here. (Daily, 4/23)

PHILANTHROPY
– Terri D. Wright, vice president for program and community at the Meyer Foundation, reflects on her first two months at the foundation and discusses her hope for the future. (Meyer Foundation, 4/17)

– Last week, we shared a study that found that funders are the biggest barrier to nonprofits. Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, responds to the report by discussing grantmakers’ strategy of reducing or stopping funding for organizations that are going through turmoil. (NAF, 4/23)

BUSINESS | This year, the Washington Business Journal launched its first Business of Pride Awards to honor Greater Washington companies and business leaders for outstanding practices in advancing LGBTQ leadership and equality. Congratulations to Harry Fox of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and J. Max Barger of PNC Wealth Management for being named 2018 honorees! (WBJ, 4/20)

EDUCATIOND.C. Council members propose independent education watchdog (WaPo, 4/22)

WORKFORCE
– MGM National Harbor’s executive chef is partnering with the Culinary Arts Center at Prince George’s Community College to help staff the National Harbor resort and give students industry experience. (WTOP, 4/23)

– D.C.-area officials in talks about ways to jointly court Amazon’s HQ2 (WBJ, 4/20)


Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:

Funny-Signs-Animals-37

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 allen@washingtongrantmakers.org.

– Kendra

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

Even a small amount of savings can make a difference for families

POVERTY
A new Urban Institute report explores the relationship between the economic health of cities and the financial health of its residents. While it’s no surprise that having wealthier families leads to wealthier cities, the study looks at how families experiencing hardships with even a small amount of savings can avoid spiraling into instability and creating greater costs for municipalities. (City Lab, 4/26):

Hardship outcomes matter to cities. Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families with children. Eviction also leads some families to seek out substandard living conditions. Residential instability limits opportunities for children and youths. Missed utility payments, another form of hardship, is a cost for municipalities. So are public benefits.

[..]

Financial insecurity is a problem for families that can take the form of food insecurity, poor health outcomes, and homelessness. The Urban Institute’s research shows that a family’s financial insecurity is also a city’s problem. When families without savings suffer income disruptions (which are common), they may turn to public benefits. Or they may turn to more expensive forms of support. Or they may suffer. All of these outcomes at the family level detract from a city’s overall financial health.

– Ahead of WRAG’s upcoming Brightest Minds event featuring author and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University Eldar Shafir on May 18WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellow Hannah Davis explains the notion of the “scarcity trap,” and why having too little is a big deal. (Daily, 4/26)

– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores why it’s so important for decision makers to stop viewing reading as the “broccoli” that low-income students must eat before getting to the “dessert”- art, history, music and more. (DC Eduphile, 4/18)

– The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap (Atlantic, 4/25)

HEALTH
–  Heroin epidemic worsens in Virginia (WTOP, 4/25)

– Suicide rates are on the rise for every age group under 75, with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 experiencing the highest percent increase. Economic stagnation, drug use, lack of health coverage, and even earlier puberty ages are counted as possible reasons for depression that leads to more suicides. (WAMU, 4/21)

– Do Local Governments Have a Role to Play in Mental Health? (City Lab, 4/19)

ARTS
– Americans for the Arts delivers their sixth and final publication of the National Arts Index, an annual report on the health and vitality of arts and culture in the U.S.

– With a number of recent transitions in the District’s dance scene, here’s a look at what’s on the horizon in the near future. (Dance Magazine, 4/15)

AudioIs Jazz Sustainable In Washington, D.C.? (WAMU, 4/21)


Have you read any of these remarkable book titles?

– Ciara

The next “great entrepreneurial city”

REGION/ECONOMY
AOL co-founder Steve Case recently discussed what he predicts will be the “third wave” of the Internet, in which all areas of life will be more seamlessly connected, and how he thinks Greater Washington’s talent pool could shape the region into one of the great entrepreneurial hubs with better coordination between the business and tech communities. (WBJ, 1/12)

[…] the community must continue to build networks between the tech and business communities, drive more investment in big ideas and make sure to retain the talent that moves here, which Case described as “core issues.”

“If done right — and I think they can be done right — it really will position D.C. to rise as one of the great entrepreneurial cities in this next wave,” Case said.

PHILANTHROPY
– The Truth Initiative has long been a leader in the fight against teen smoking. The Chronicle of Philanthropy shares how they rebranded in order to further connect with youth and continue to crush the rates of teen smoking. (Chronicle, 1/7) – Subscription required

– Foundation Center president Brad Smith introduces a new online data dashboard, funding map, and report from Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy called Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy. The interactive dashboard offers a quick glimpse at disaster-related funding trends for 2015. (Philantopic, 1/12)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores the rigors of D.C. high school diploma and diploma equivalency programs in her latest blog post. (GGE, 1/12)

RACIAL EQUITY/GENDER EQUITY | There is a racial wealth gap in the U.S. that persists well into retirement for most black and Latino citizens. For black women especially, studies find, the disadvantages that contribute to this wealth gap stretch far beyond that of their peers. (Oregon Live, 1/11)


Just for fun, check out your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, according to this interactive simulator. Then, if the odds are in your favor, see what you could buy in the Greater Washington region with all that money.

– Ciara