In 2016, WRAG led a groundbreaking effort called Putting Racism on the Table. The goal was to promote learning and understanding about the depth, breadth, and impact of racism among the leadership of philanthropic institutions in the region. Now, we are partnering with Leadership Greater Washington to expand the regional, cross-sector network of philanthropic, nonprofit, and business leaders who understand racism and are committed to working for racial justice. Together, we are Expanding the Table for Racial Equity.
Our goal: Grow the network of people committed to promoting and working together for racial equity in the Greater Washington region.
Our process: Inform. Engage in a conversation. Move to action.
Kickoff Reception, featuring Dr. Bernard Demczuk, Historian
Participants in Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity are invited to an opening reception. We'll start at Ben's Chili Bowl, where Dr. Bernard Demczuk, the restaurant's official historian, will discuss the important role of the U Street corridor in DC's racial history. Then, we'll move to Ben's Next Door for a casual reception. Email Rebekah Seder, seder(at)washingtongrantmakers.org to register.
About Dr. Demczuk
Bernard Demczuk, Ph.D. is a 40-year+ DC resident living in the Shaw community where he has been active in community, corporate, academic, labor and government relations. Since 1998, he has been the Assistant VP for DC government relations at the George Washington University. He retired from GW in 2017 after 19 years of service. Bernard holds a doctorate in American Studies and African American history and culture from GW. As Ben’s Chili Bowl’s official historian, he can be found at his “Open Table” office in Ben’s Chili Bowl every Thursday-Saturday mornings from 10am - 12 noon offering free Black history and culture talks and tours to anyone who wants to listen and learn.
Bernard started his career as the Recreational Director at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Anacostia in 1971. After four years as a Corrections Officer at the DC Jail, where he also taught Black Studies to the inmates, he was promoted to National Political Director for the American Federation of Government Employees Union in 1981, where he directed the union’s labor relations with the city until 1989. Bernard has traveled abroad widely teaching and lecturing on international relations, civil and human rights. In 1989, Bernard joined Jesse Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition as its Labor Director, after helping to lead Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 labor strategy in those two Presidential campaigns. From 1992-1998, Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and Mayor Marion Barry selected Bernard as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the Executive Office of the Mayor, where he was the chief lobbyist for the Mayor to the City Council, US Congress and White House.
He sits on the board of directors of the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Board of Trade, the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation and numerous other boards. He is the resident historian of the Howard Theatre. Bernard has taught African American history and culture at the DCPS School Without Walls for 14 years and is the faculty advisor of the George Washington Williams House (The Black House) at GW. He lectures frequently on DC Black history and culture for the DC government, community and corporate groups.
Expanding the Table Attendance Eligibility & Requirements:
Roughly one-third of participants will be LGW members; one-third WRAG members; and one-third WRAG member grantee partners. WRAG member CEOs may delegate a staff member to attend and invite one grantee. We hope that participants will attend the full series, but ask that you commit to attending at least 3 other programs in the series.
Registration is open December 2017 and January 2018. Space is very limited and available on a first-come, first served basis. Email Rebekah Seder, seder(at)washingtongrantmakers.org, to register your staff and grantee representatives.