The Weekly WRAG - April 21

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Special Message from our Interim CEO

Today WRAG held a webinar on Investing in Women for an Equitable recovery. At the top of the hour, we held space for folks to share their feelings and reflections on yesterday’s events. Folks used words like relief and hope, and others named grief, weight, and worry. We knew the reflections would be a mixed bag because moments before the former police officer was convicted for killing George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, Ma'Khia Bryant (a 15-year-old Black child), was shot by a police officer in Columbus, OH.

We’re in a difficult moment in time, but it is not unique. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s strategy was not to provoke violence but to exist as a full human in spaces where the peaceful presence of the Black race would result in their demise. No one wanted to die, but they allowed the entire country to watch them be beaten, bitten, battered, hosed and jailed away.

As much as folks want to celebrate, the familiarity of this moment still hurts our communities, coworkers, neighbors, and families. Seeing, knowing, and being subjected to racialized violence hurts all of us, regardless of our color or creed. Racism may seem subtle to you when you do not have to face it regularly, but the subtly of mass biases has resulted in oppression, injustice, violence, and death.

WRAG is committed to fighting the tyranny of racism in our region and holding space for us to work in solidarity with folks across the nation. We send love to the Floyd family who did not give up the fight, and we will continue to press on to honor the efforts of all those who continue to strive for a more equitable National Capital Region.

In community,

Ruth LaToison Ifill

Interim President & CEO

Click here to take the survey

WRAG Strategic Planning is underway! We are happy to start the next phase of our strategic planning process. As part of this exciting and critically important opportunity for our region, we look forward to your input. Thank you for taking this survey to help us create a shared vision for the future of philanthropy in the Greater Washington, DC region. 

Reimagining the Criminal Legal System
Register Here

This spring, WRAG will host three webinars for members exploring different strategies for funders' roles in reimagining the DMV's systems of courts, jails, and prisons. See below for information on the first event!

Addressing Racial Disparity in the
Criminal Legal System

Part 1 of our 3-part spring series on Reimagining the Criminal Legal System


Friday, April 21, 2021
10:00 a.m. 
— 11:00 a.m. | Register Here

This panel will provide a survey of the region's racial disparity in the justice system and innovations for philanthropic partnership in equitable justice reform efforts throughout the region.

The Council for Court Excellence (CCE) is committed to studying and reducing racial disparities in the justice system. In 2019, CCE produced a study on DC’s justice system which revealed that DC is one of the heaviest policed cities in the country; racial disparities permeate every point of the system, and young adults make up the largest age group within the district jails. CCE is launching its second follow-up report providing an update on tracking key developments, issues, opportunities, and progress in DC over the last year.


Click here to nominate

Click here to nominate
Pssst! you can also nominate yourself!

For AAPI Heritage month, WRAG looks to uplift local AAPI leaders in philanthropy. Let's honor our AAPI community members!

Check out our events page for more upcoming
events in April, May, and beyond!

Looking For Shared Office Space?

WRAG is currently seeking subtenants for our space at the Navy YardDo you know of a nonprofit or foundation with a racial equity integrated mission looking for temporary office space? If so, we would love to connect with them and provide a socially distanced tour. #maskup. Reach out to Tia Pickeral at

The Annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is here! #WRAGMember the Council on Foundations invites all grantmakers to participate in this survey. In return, participants will receive a free copy of the full report, available in the fall ($500 value).

Action & Advocacy

Resourcing Radical Justice seeks
grantmakers to join funding collaborative


Resourcing Radical Justice (RRJ) is a new funder’s collective that centers Black liberation as the path to a thriving Greater Washington region. This group of funders was organized under the shared belief that COVID response and recovery are racial justice issues that require a strategy grounded in equity.

The group is seeking grantmaking organizations to join RRJ that have an explicit commitment to racial equity and currently support work happening in the Greater Washington region. To be considered for RRJ membership, please review our membership information and submit an interest form.

#WRAGMember Spotlight

Article: How Philanthropy Can Help Communities Benefit from the American Rescue Plan Act 

This article from Grantmakers in Health CEO Cara James explores the recent $1.9 trillion legislation passed by Congress, and what funders need to know in order to support their nonprofit partners. Specifically, foundations can "help communities through planning grants, technical assistance, and capacity building to identify their needs and determine how best to spend the resources provided through the relief packages."


#WRAGMember Arabella Advisors Hires HR Expert John-Anthony Meza as New Head of Culture and Talent and Operations

Meza will lead the vision and day-to-day operations of the company’s human resources function, including total rewards, talent acquisition, and employee engagement and retention. Meza will also help develop firmwide strategy for supporting Arabella’s people and cultivating an innovative, equitable, and inclusive culture. 

“I'm thrilled to join the talented, passionate team of professionals at Arabella Advisors as Head of People and Operations,” said Meza. “Arabella’s team is mission-driven, innovative and resourceful, and I am proud to support the team through this critical time in the firm’s growth.” Read more >>


Activating Philanthropy: How to Call Your Congressperson 

By Maggie May, via Philanthropy Women

This article explores how funders can engage with their Congressmen and Congresswomen to advance their key causes. Foundations and funders often pay more attention to working with elected officials in election years, but engagement during the "off-season" is just as, if not more, important. Philanthropy Women summarizes the key steps to engaging with Congress here: 

  1. Plan your call in advance — be clear, concise, and compelling. 
  2. Find and contact your Representative.
  3. Find and contact your State Senator. 
  4. Get in touch.
  5. Vote. 
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