The Weekly WRAG - July 7

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Open Call for Board Nominations!

Due Sunday, July 11, 2021

For the first time in WRAG’s history, we are hosting an open call for nominations to our Board of Directors! We hope this effort encourages our membership to nominate people who have the lived experience and work expertise that will advance WRAG’s mission of developing a more equitable National Capital Region. 

The board seeks candidates who represent the full diversity of our region, our work, and foundation types. This year, the nominating committee is especially interested in candidates with expertise in racial equity or justice, advocacy & systems change, fiscal sponsorship, and audit & finance. 

Self-nominations are welcome! Learn more and nominate here.

Regional Housing Stability Series
Legal Aid as Housing Justice Intervention

Friday, July 9, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | Register Here

The region faced an eviction crisis even before the pandemic. Now, while greater rental assistance is coming through federal and local dollars, thousands of local residents still face the real possibility of navigating the legal eviction process alone. The risk of evictions is greater for Black and Brown renters who are more vulnerable due to existing disparities. Civil legal aid is an essential part of the region’s safety net, and as we turn to the monumental task of an equitable recovery, we must prioritize access to justice for all residents. Legal services providers are on the front lines now providing critical services to renters and are well-positioned to do more as the region emerges from the pandemic. Join us for a discussion with regional civil legal aid leaders on how investing in legal services is an important tool in ensuring tenants receive the benefits and protections they are entitled to, as well as opportunities for philanthropic partnership.   

  • MODERATOR | Kirra Jarratt, DC Bar Foundation  
  • PANELIST | Beth Mellen, Legal Aid Society of DC
  • PANELIST | Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, Legal Services of Northern Virginia  
  • PANELIST | Frank Vitale, Maryland Legal Aid  

Regional Prosperity Through Racial Equity Series
Racial Inclusion & Economic Justice

Friday, July 16, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | Register Here

Black and Brown communities across the region disproportionally comprise the low-wage workforce. Systemic barriers include unstable hours, underemployment, limited benefits, predatory lending, and limited access to capital. COVID-19 has exacerbated these pre-existing disparities and has pushed communities deeper into vulnerability. Advancing a more just and inclusive economy requires economic stability and access to opportunity in part through wealth distribution.  

This panel will explore how the region can remove racial barriers to economic opportunity—including redistribution of wealth, equitable labor markets, bolstering growth sectors, and workforce development. We'll also discuss how philanthropy can lead to creating a racially inclusive ecosystem of fair economic growth.  

  • MODERATOR | Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • PANELIST | Sarah Keh, Prudential Financial
  • PANELIST | Dawnn Leary, Greater Washington Community Foundation
  • PANELIST | Marjorie Nemes-Galarza, Latino Economic Development Center

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 Bank
  • PANELIST | Harold Pettigrew, Washington Area Community Investment Fund

On July 6, WHUR fm featured our President & CEO Ruth LaToison Ifill! Check out the piece to learn more about our work in racial equity and the future of philanthropy in the DMV! Ruth highlighted the great work of WRAG Members ACT for Alexandria, the DC Bar Foundation, the Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation, and the Horning Family Fund. Listen to the 15-minute segment here.

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

WRAG Honors Norman Berstein, 1921-2021

After decades of dedicated work in our community, Norman Bernstein died in his home at the age of 100. "Norman’s life was extraordinary. His impact on the Jewish community, Israel, and the broader community has been profound and lasting. He was a son of Washington DC and grew professionally as the District developed from a small town to a global city. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he was a man of honor, conviction, and kindness.  He sought to fight injustice whenever he encountered it."

-Kelly Lynch, Executive Director, Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation

A community Shiva service will be held on Thursday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Click Here to join the service via Zoom.

Weissberg Foundation Launches
the JustVA Fund

The Weissberg Foundation has launched the Just VA fund to support efforts at the intersection of criminal and racial justice in Virginia. Through this fund, the Foundation seeks to support organizations advancing critical systems change to Virginia's criminal legal systems, ones that actively dismantle structural racism within the Commonwealth to create a more equitable and just world for Virginians. More information is available here.


Did you know that WRAG members can view directory information for other WRAG members and their staff? 

See your organization's listing and explore the directory here.

If any listings need to be updated, reach out to


Groundswell Fund Publishes Open Letter to Philanthropy Advocating Funding for People of Color-led, Movement-Accountable Public Foundations

Dozens of philanthropy leaders have signed onto the Groundswell Fund's open letter. The signers explain  the transfer of wealth to people of color-led, movement-accountable public foundations as the "gold standard of racial justice giving." The authors challenge white-led institutions to interrogate their current or planning infrastructure for resourcing communities of color, arguing that funding POC-led institutions is a key strategy for advancing racial justice and self-determination. Learn more and read the letter here.

Asset Funders Network Publishes Report on the Care Economy

Asset Funders Network published a report on the care economy and guidance for supporting underserved caregivers. The report found that 9 out of 10 underpaid caregivers are women, and 40% of caregivers rely on public assistance. On average, unpaid caregivers lost $300k in income over their lifetime due to missed or deferred work. The report estimates that a $77 billion annual investment would support 2 million new jobs and $220 billion in new economic activity. The report concludes with strategies for philanthropy to invest in the care economy for equitable change.

Read the report here.


BoardSource publishes Leading With Intent Report Examining Trends and Practices of Nonprofit Boards.

Since 1994, BoardSource has published the Leading With Intent report to examine national trends in nonprofit management. The report is broken down into two parts: Board Practices and DEI. The report found that 49% of nonprofit chief executives said they did not have the right board members to "establish trust with the communities they serve. The report also found that cheif executives with clear expectations from their board chair rated their board higher in all areas of board culture. 

Read the report here.

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