The Weekly WRAG - July 21

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

We hope you'll join us for our summer series on Regional Prosperity Through Racial Equity! Learn more about upcoming events below, and register for future events on our website!

Regional Prosperity Through Racial Equity Series
Producing Black & Brown Wealth

Friday, July 23, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | 
Register Here

Wealth provides options and opportunities for economic mobility. Black and Brown communities have historically been denied access to capital and networks that support entrepreneurship and business ownership. The pandemic has demonstrated how the lack of wealth has contributed to unequal outcomes for Black communities.    

In this panel, we’ll discuss a range of options for wealth building and closing the racial wealth gap. Grantmakers have a unique opportunity to disrupt the systems that perpetuate the racial wealth gap by cultivating trust-based relationships with the Black investment and entrepreneurial community to create family and community wealth. 

  • MODERATOR | Danny Wright, 1863 Ventures
  • PANELIST | Talisha Bekavac, US Black Chambers
  • PANELIST | Ellis Carr, Capital Impact
  • PANELIST | Gloria Nauden, City First Broadway
  • PANELIST | Harold Pettigrew, Washington Area Community Investment Fund

Regional Prosperity Through Racial Equity Series
Leveling the Education Playing Field

Friday, August 6, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | 
Register Here

Education has one of the greatest social returns on investment, yet Black and Brown students in our region are battling educational disparities from degree attainment to discipline practices. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education reported that in our region, Black and Brown students were more likely than their white peers to be one or more grade levels behind, and more likely to receive harsher discipline. 

The region experienced modest educational outcome improvements pre-COVID, particularly in Prince Georges County; however, the impacts of COVID hit Black and Brown students harder and threatens the gains achieved.  Philanthropy has an opportunity to help level the educational playing field as the region starts to recover. Ahead of a new school year, join us in a discussion on policies and investments needed to create an equity learning ecosystem stronger than before. 

  • MODERATOR | Kia Croom, Children's Defense Fund
  • PANELIST | Samantha Davis, Black Swan Academy
  • PANELIST | Christina Hanson, DC Public Schools
  • PANELIST | Gwynn Hughes, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • PANELIST | Amity Pope, Prince George's County Public Schools

   Looking For Shared Office Space?

WRAG is currently seeking subtenants for our space at the Navy Yard! Do you know of a nonprofit or foundation looking for office space? If interested, contact

President & CEO Ruth LaToison Ifill to speak at The Giving Institute's Summer Symposium

on July 23, Ruth will join other Philanthropy-Serving Organization Leaders to discuss how grantmaking shifted as a result of the dual pandemics, what’s changed forever, and what remains to be done. The session will feature insights informed by both by data and lived experience, getting a solid sense of what was a unique time in our world. Learn more and register here.


Healthy Community Working Group Members Partner to Slow Spread of Regional COVID Variants

Members of WRAG's Healthy Communities Working Group have partnered to fund a central data-sharing resource of regional COVID variants. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is leading this effort with coordinating partners to include the de Beaumont Foundation, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation. These organizations will fund the development of a tracking system for sequencing information from positive COVID cases with the specific purpose of finding links between cases based on the number of mutations. 

Epidemiologists currently have access to this information at a state level, but this project will enable public health officials to track variant information across state lines, vital in our inter-connected National Capital Area. This project is the first of its kind in the nation. After proof of concept, this model can be shared with other multi-state regions. 


Emergency Funder Briefing

The Dangers of Ignoring the Disinformation Campaign Against Critical Race Theory

Hosted by the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity 
and WRAG Member ABFE

Thursday, July 22 | 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Virtual Event

Efforts to combat systemic racism are under attack through distortions of Critical Race Theory, anti-racist education, and even the intent of "DEI" programming. 

Funders need to recognize this latest threat as part of a familiar racial backlash playbook and invest to tackle it more directly. It is imperative that we all have clarity of understanding about these attacks and the formidable conservative infrastructure behind them. This webinar will offer talking points to counter the attacks yourself, within your leadership, and with your board members.

The hosts look forward to providing critical tools to persuade your organization's key decision-makers to understand the moment we are currently confronting and to align organizational policies and priorities accordingly.


  • Lori Villarosa, Executive Director, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
  • Susan Taylor Batten, President & CEO, ABFE: a Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities
  • Dennis Chin, Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture, Race Forward
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw, Critical Race Theory Scholar and Executive Director of the African American Policy Forum
  • Eric Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center

AAPIP Publishes Report on Media Representation

Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy has released a report titled Invisible Ink. It explores news media coverage of AAPIs across 7 different publications through a pre-pandemic snapshot. The report found that news coverage of Asian Americans was so sparse, it was as if it was written in invisible ink. Less than 30% of news articles on economic inequality mentioned data on AAPI.

Read the report here.


Media Impact Funders Releases Report on Community Foundations Media Funding 

Media Impact Funders has published a report examining community foundation grants allocated for media investments between 2009 and 2021. The report analyzes $1.1 Billion in over 43,000 grants from 461 funders to 8,162 grantees. The report breaks down the funding by region and media subject area, highlighting a few case studies of media investment. 

View the report here.

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