Closing the Gap in Funding for Women and Gender-Expansive People of Color

At The Women’s Foundation, we know that philanthropy is not immune to the racist ideas that permeate society. In 2016, we publicly committed to tackling racism head on and advancing equity for women and girls of color. We committed to better understand how racism shows up in our sector and to fix it from within. We also began our team journey to learn about addressing anti-Black racism and bias with an intersectional lens, and to increase our investments in movements and organizations led by Black and Brown women and gender-expansive people.

But even when many progressive philanthropists are moving in the same direction as us to bring about racial justice, foundations are less likely to publicly identify women and girls of color as a priority. Less than one percent of the total 66.9 billion given by foundations in the US goes towards Black and Brown women and gender-expansive people, largely remaining out of sight in public discourses and funding.

As data on the burden of the pandemic started to circulate, we were not surprised to learn that across the board, communities of color, particularly women, queer, and trans people of color, have been the hardest hit, disproportionately dying from the disease, but also experiencing increased job loss, economic insecurity, violence, and harassment.

During normal circumstances, organizations by and for women and girls of color do extensive critical work with extremely limited resources. At the outset of the crisis, we were concerned about the pressure the coronavirus outbreak would exert on their budgets, knowing their work would more than duplicate and that these organizations typically face significant barriers to unrestricted foundation funding. But we also knew that despite the historic lack of support from philanthropy, women of color-led organizations would bear the burden of the wide-reaching and multi-faceted consequences of the public health crisis and resulting economic downturn, but that as they have done time and time again, they would be at the forefront of social change, leading with resilience, power, and determination.

During this unprecedented time of social upheaval, social isolation, and economic depression, it is more important than ever for us to live our gender equity and racial justice values, and support small organizations led by women and gender-expansive people of color who are responding to the outbreak with a gender and race lens, and who understand the specific risks and vulnerabilities women and girls of color face.

For our first round of emergency funds—with investments totaling $100,000—we identified an issue area with critical gaps in funding and where the need has been significantly exacerbated by the pandemic—the safety of women experiencing violence.

We are supporting organizations that work to counter gender-based violence through a trust-based approach that is transparent, streamlined, flexible and removes unnecessary barriers that disproportionately impact small organizations without dedicated capacity to complete funder-imposed paperwork. Most of the organizations we are supporting have received little to no financial support from other Covid-19 emergency response efforts, are led by women or gender-expansive people of color, provide culturally specific and trauma-informed services, and build deep relationships with survivors of sexual and domestic violence at the intersections of gender, race, and other identities. Our grants are unrestricted funding to ensure our Grantee Partners will have flexibility to allocate funds where they are needed the most and where they will make a real difference—whether that’s on the project they originally applied for or to respond to emergent needs.

Through this round of grantmaking, we build on the work we have been doing over the past four years to fight anti-Black racism and to create an ecosystem where nonprofit leaders are valued, supported, and trusted. Now more than ever we are proud to be a community supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color in the Washington DC region.

As a feminist in philanthropy working to advance gender and racial equity, I am thrilled we are investing in organizations that center the voices and experiences of women and girls of color and who are led by women and gender-expansive people of color. I am proud we are supporting the leadership of women and gender expansive people of color through our work, and we hope others in the sector recognize the importance of supporting organizations by and for women and girls of color through their racial justice investments.

The following innovative, resilient, and courageous organizations addressing the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, are our latest Grantee Partners, and we are looking forward to supporting them beyond the grant.

Asian-Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project $20,000
Bringing a part-time case manager to help ease the very high caseload they have because of COVID-19. Their cases have increased by 70 percent because of new clients and recurring clients who have been triggered.

Building Bridges Foundation $5,000
Linking survivors of domestic violence who seek emergency medical services at United Medical Center with wrap around services and case management to help them exit abusive relationships.

Community Advocates for Family and Youth $15,000
Increasing their pro bono counseling availability to clients who do not have health insurance or who are undocumented and increasing the client financial assistance fund to directly support client needs.

DC Rape Crisis Center $15,000
For general operating support to advance the mission of the DCRCC in advocating for, and providing services to, survivors of sexual violence.

DEAF DAWN $20,000
Supporting their overall programming, including resource referral, case management, wrap around services, peer advocacy, counseling, support groups, resiliency education, and emergency crisis support

Tahirih Justice Center, Greater Washington Region  $10,000
For general operating support to advance the mission of providing free legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing violence, and to provide direct financial assistance and meet the basic needs of their clients.

The Safe Sisters Circle $15,000
Bringing a temporary staff attorney to assist The Safe Sisters Circle’s sole attorney with the influx of survivor’s cases during COVID-19 and immediately afterwards.

Black Women – We Deserve Better

I watched a Black woman get thrown into a dumpster on Tuesday.

I was minding my business on Twitter when I saw the video. There she was talking when a group of boys in the District physically picked her up and threw her in a nearby dumpster. Their laughter grew loud as she lay in the trash, crying and paralyzed with embarrassment.

In that moment, I saw myself in her and all I could feel was disappointment.

It’s a feeling a lot of Black women have learned to carve out space for at an early age. We’re born into the sad reality that no one is going to protect or care for us. Similar to trash, society discards us and our problems to avoid yet another uncomfortable conversation at the intersection of gender, race and class. It happens every time a Black girl is adultified, overpoliced, denied an opportunity, and when we attempt to report a crime or assault and are asked, “Are you sure this really happened to you?”  Sometimes we are talked out of it because, “You know how the police treats Black boys and men.”

The disposal of Black women and girls has been clearly documented since the beginning of time. It continues today with ever-present and jaw-dropping statistics which are readily available and accessible to all. If it helps, you can reach for your Aunt Jemima syrup, and add a little more sweetness to this bitter reality, but it won’t change anything. As the civil unrest continues to unfold, society is finally addressing the systemic racist elephant in the room, yet the urgency around Black women and girls moves sadly at a snail’s pace.  

When 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin Salau, tweeted about her sexual assault, no one did anything until she was found dead. She, who had so passionately defended and protected Black lives was left vulnerable and unprotected. Now she is another hashtag added to an ever-growing list. 

Breonna Taylor‘s murder still has not been answered for as her case continues to languish was so low on the list, we had to celebrate her 27th birthday, without her, to prove that her life was worth living.

In our own region, Black women, girls, trans and gender expansive individuals are last on the list for jobs, assistance, relief efforts and are currently experiencing the worst of the pandemic. We contribute the most to society and receive the least in return. To be honest, I am disappointed, but even more, I am hurt.

What if instead of last, we conjured a world where Black women and girls were put first? A world where chocolate girls with brown eyes and kinky hair got amber alert status, a world where Black women didn’t have to choose between their safety and their solidarity? A world where no one would ever think to throw a Black girl in a dumpster, because the repercussions would be swift and heavy.

I truly believe the outcome can change if we collectively do something. Where to start is simple: LOVE US OUT LOUD. Black women are fighting a long battle to dismantle a system we didn’t create and it’s backbreaking work we didn’t necessarily ask to do. We need allies to scream louder for us so that we can thrive and not just survive.

INVEST IN US. The media is finally telling our storIes, companies are reaching out to increase their diversity, people are saying buy Black, and actually doing it, but we need you for the long haul. Once the protestors go home, and things start to quiet down, you still need to be there.

At The Women’s Foundation, it’s part of our mission to center the lived experience of Black women and girls in our work but we can only succeed if you join us. Our Stand Together Fund, which tackles the issue of sexual and domestic violence, and elder and child care workers, is a new collective effort where we can all invest in more positive outcomes and a better, more just future.

To the Black women who are discarded, who are tired but don’t quit, the women who fight for the people who don’t protect them, and the ones who just need a hug while on the frontlines — YOU deserve better.

There is always more that we can do, but it is a collective effort  where we stand together and remind ourselves that Black women matter too.

Mercy Chikowore is a Black woman and Communications Manager for Washington Area Women’s Foundation, where she executes the organization’s communications and branding strategies.

#AskHer Series: Hanh Le, Executive Director, Weissberg Foundation

Our new #AskHer series is an interview with our partners, community members and supporters who work tirelessly for women and girls. Our latest interview is with Hanh Le, Executive Director of the Weissberg Foundation. The interview was conducted by our Communications Manager, Mercy Chikowore.

As we navigate our way through the ongoing global pandemic, there are various social issues that have also emerged. Sparked by the origin of the virus in Wuhan, China, the media, along with racial justice organizations have seen an uptick in racist attacks and discrimination towards members of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

As we close Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, and to better understand the aforementioned injustices, we talked to Hanh Le, Executive Director of the Weissberg Foundation. Her answers to our questions shine the light on what some members of the AAPI community may be experiencing right now and how our community can be supportive during this crisis.

Mercy Chikowore: Can you tell me a little about yourself you/your organization?

Hanh Le: I’m the Executive Director of the Weissberg Foundation. We are a small family foundation based in Rosslyn in Arlington, VA, and we center our efforts on advancing racial equity, primarily in the DC region and also a few states where we have a strong trustee presence, so Wisconsin, New Mexico and New York. I’ve been working with the Weissberg family for four years, but the foundation has been around for 30 years. We are proud that we’re a small–small staff, relatively small board, and have a relatively small grantmaking budget. It allows us to be super connected to each other, to our partners, and to our work and also to be able to move fairly quickly and nimbly.

Personally, I’ve been in DC 17 years now, but I was born in Vietnam and grew up in Virginia where our family was resettled after the fall of Saigon. I consider all three of those places–DC, Virginia and Vietnam–home, they are all intrinsically part of me. I am of Vietnam and also of the DMV region. Given that the large part of my career has been working for national nonprofit organizations, it’s deeply meaningful to me to now focus my work in this place I call home.

MC: Glad you can call the DMV home! How have you/your organization had to shift to continue to support your grantee partners right now?

HL: In terms of our strategy, it’s been more of a leaning in to really dig deeper and center our work even more on our existing values, which are listening and learning; building power and community; and equity and justice.  We are also leaning into our core strategies, only one of which is funding. A lot of people think that foundations just give money, and that is certainly an important part of what we do. However, in addition to funding, we have what we call our ABC strategies, because they are so fundamental to our work.

The A is for Amplification, making sure we use our voice, our platform, our connections to uplift stories, narratives, work, efforts that need to be amplified. The B is for Building Capacity, certainly building the capacity of our grantee partners to be able to achieve their missions more effectively, but also building the capacity of the philanthropic sector to operate more equitably and effectively, and then building our own internal capacity as an organization and individuals to do the same. And the C is for Collaboration, and that means not only supporting collaboration among grantee partners but also working more collaboratively with funding and other partners to organize for collective action.

I’m so thankful that we’ve been on this journey of clarifying our values and strategies and really deepening our analysis of structural racism and racial equity over the last several years because it has allowed us to act pretty quickly and with clarity of purpose in this crisis.

MC: Transparency and clarity are both key. What should people know about you/your organization during this pandemic that they may not otherwise read or hear about?

HL: I’ve been asked to speak a lot on webinars for the philanthropic community and to talk to peers and grantee partners to share how we’ve responded to COVID-19, centering equity and with a trust-based approach. This is a part of our change strategy for sure, but I don’t want it to be perceived by others or by us as a foundation, that we have got it all figured out. We definitely do not. We’re trying to do the best we can and share that transparently in the hopes that others can learn what might work well, what might not work so well, and just get conversations about power, race and equity into mainstream dialogue. It’s not about lifting ourselves up or being lifted up as exemplars, it’s about just saying hey, we’ve been given this platform and we’re going to use it to advocate for equity.

Anyone who is engaged in racial equity work knows that it’s not an end state. It’s a constant effort to learn, understand, find meaning, and act in ways that are going to be effective. We as individuals at the Foundation, as well as an institution, still have a lot of work to do to deepen our understanding of racial equity and the impact of how we’re working with each other and our grantee partners. And it’s very personal, and that can be really hard especially when there’s anxiety and uncertainty in your environment, home, community, and the world.

MC: Have people reacted to or maybe come to you for something you never thought about because of the pandemic?

HL: I think a lot of people reach out to me because of my identity as an Asian American woman, an immigrant and the different hats I wear–running a foundation, being on board of Asian American LEAD (AALEAD), my deep involvement with the Cherry Blossom Giving Circle, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). I think a lot of people have reached out to me recently especially because of the heightened visibility of anti-Asian racism and discrimination caused by harmful rhetoric around COVID-19. That’s not been surprising but it’s also, like gosh, I’m not an expert in all things Asian. I get “rep sweats,” or representation sweats. Am I speaking for the entire Asian community? I don’t feel equipped to do that, but I can definitely share my experiences and perspectives. If I’m given the platform and asked, then I’ll take the opportunity to amplify things that I think will advance racial and intersectional equity, but those rep sweats are real.

MC: Rep sweats, yes, I think I can relate and also, we are now ‘one of those people’ who reached out to you. So as COVID-19 has unfortunately spread across the United States, so have reports of racist attacks against people of Asian descent. What have you seen or heard in the Washington region regarding these attacks towards this population?

HL: There are incidents of racism that Asian healthcare providers are facing, trying to support people through this crisis and at the same time people refusing treatment from them because they’re Asian or saying rude, racist things to them. Also, people out and about just living their lives with their children, buying groceries, walking their dogs being spit upon or told to “go home, go back to your country.” It’s a microaggression that hits really hard, because this is our country.

Through AALEAD, I know our staff are doing a lot around ensuring that youth are supported around identity, anti-bullying, and mental health. We all know that the crisis is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health, but I imagine particularly on youth and youth of color. Even if they have not experienced the direct hate and racism because of their identity, there’s the anxiety and knowledge that it’s happening. And they’re seeing it on the news coming right from our President.

MC: What do you think spurred this discrimination in regards to the pandemic?

HL: I’m pretty sure the President insisting on calling COVID-19 “the Wuhan virus” has done a lot to spur how people are connecting the pandemic to Asian Americans. This racist rhetoric simply aggravates the bigotry and racism that has been a part of our American history of anti-nativism, anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and, yes, anti-Asian racism.

The Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans, the murder of and denial of justice for Vincent Chin. People have likely heard of Japanese internment, maybe some have heard of the Chinese Exclusion Act, probably fewer know about Vincent Chin, but this is all American history, and it’s history that’s important for certainly Asian Americans to know but all Americans to know. And it’s important to know the context of this Asian-American history within a broader context of our racialized US history and how the treatment of Asians is closely linked to the treatment of Black people in America, laborers in America, farmworkers in America,. Asians have both benefited from and been oppressed by the false hierarchy of Black and White in America. Asian Americans have been used intentionally as a wedge between Black and White, but the more we are knowledgeable about that, the more we as Asian Americans can claim our power, shape our own narratives, and stand in true solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

MC: Do you think the attacks and attitudes are towards all Asian populations?

HL: That’s part of the complexity with this concept of “Asian American.” Asia has so many different countries and ethnicities. Asian Americans have found power in solidarity, in being joined together under this broad banner of “Asian American,” it brings power in community and a platform. But there’s also this invisibilization of the distinctness of the different types of Asian identities that are represented by Asian Americans, and often people don’t see that. Most people wouldn’t know if someone is Chinese or Korean or Vietnamese, because of stereotypes, lack of knowledge, and this general grouping of Asian Americans.

With COVID-19 and because of the connection to China many people are going to simply assume or assert that if you’re Asian you’re a threat.

There are all these narratives and stories that people make up of others that they don’t now about. So how do we tell our own narrative, reclaim our story and how do we educate others? When you look at data disaggregated by race, those with the “best” outcomes are often White, and not far behind are often Asian Americans, and then you see the huge disparate gaps for Black and/or Latinx individuals.  When you start disaggregating Asians by country of origin or immigrant status, you see that some of the worst outcomes are in distinct segments of the population, like Southeast Asian communities. This isn’t about oppression Olympics, but it demonstrates how the lumping together of Asian Americans is powerful in some ways and also harmful in others.

MC: Do you think the anti-Asian sentiment is affecting women more than men?

HL: This is where it’s helpful to bring an intersectional analysis to the pandemic. When you start thinking of disproportionate impact, a lot of women work in the care industry and/or a lot of women are the primary caretakers of their household and balancing work and all the other commitments that women typically hold. So I do think in terms of impact, Asian women are bearing a heavier burden of the pandemic than Asian men might be.

MC: What is your advice to anyone dealing with these type of attacks?

HL: These anti-Asian attacks are everything from the violent to microaggressive. So, the first thing I’ll say is if you are experiencing or witnessing violence or potential violence, do whatever you need to do to ensure safety and necessary support, whether it’s legal, police, counseling–whatever you need to be safe.

In terms of how to deal with them non-violent attacks, I’ll share a “do” and a “don’t.”

DO: When CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked President Trump a question about the pandemic but not at all related to China, his response was, “Maybe it’s a question you should ask China.” Clearly a microaggression. Jiang’s response was, “Why are saying that to me specifically?” That’s a tactic I’ve learned to employ when someone has done or said something racist, asking them, “help me understand why you said/did that?” This puts the onus on the person to speak for—and hopefully reckon with—what they did and why they did it.

DON’T: There’s this horrible piece that Andrew Yang wrote in The Washington Post in April, about how Asians need to show that we are more American than ever, like we’re not the cause of the problem but we can be part of the solution. It was so problematic because it was essentially buying into and perpetuating anti-Asian stereotypes—the perpetual foreigners, model minorities, and/or quiet and timid.

There’s nothing more American than speaking up for what we believe, speaking up when we think that an injustice is being perpetuated. I encourage Asian Americans to be speaking up for ourselves, for our community members, for our friends, and to be bold and public about it. And we need to speak up when we witness racism against non-Asian people of color as well.

MC: Speaking up about injustice should be the case for everyone for sure. In your opinion, what steps can we take to combat these attitudes and behaviors?

HL: I’ve seen some powerful, more public displays of solidarity between AAPI and Black and Latinx leaders, in racial justice movements. So speaking up in allyship, in solidarity and understanding that even though our struggles are very different, there’s a lot that we share in common, that our liberation is deeply interconnected, and that there’s a lot we can do together to advance more equitable outcomes for all of our communities.

Just like the AAPI community is not a monolith in terms of our cultural identity, languages, religion, etc., we’re also not a monolith around our racial equity analysis. I’m seeing more mainstream Asian Americans wanting to learn more and speak honestly about our history, our own internalized racism, anti-Blackness in our community and how that plays out. I think the AAPI community being targeted in this pandemic, alongside the disparate impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous lives, is an opportunity for a lot of self-work in addition to the external education that needs to happen with it.

AAPIP has a Statement on Racial Equity in Philanthropy that speaks to how AAPIs are a significant and diverse part of America’s multicultural fabric; we fight for racial justice and equity; we stand in solidarity with fellow communities of color; and we are partners in philanthropy’s pursuit of racial equity. How do we constantly live into this?

In this very moment, there is an urgent need for Asian Americans to speak up and act up against the extreme violence against Black lives. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd are currently in the headlines, and there have been so many other brutal murders of Black people – we cannot be bystanders. In the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, Asian American officer Tou Thao literally stood by and watched it happen. By not speaking and acting up against racism, by not being anti-racist, we continue to perpetuate it.

Activist Michelle Kim wrote a piece on Allyship Actions for Asians to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now that I recommend checking out.

MC: In terms of your team, is this something you discuss often? Is there something you’re working on internally around the anti-Asian sentiment? 

HL: The Weissberg Foundation is committed to advancing people of color-led organizations and efforts that are building power and making change for racial justice. We center that on fighting anti-Black racism. Something I struggle with is how I as an Asian American leading work to ensure that resources are being directed to organizations centering their work on fighting anti-Black racism and that are led by Black and brown people balance both not favoring and not be biased against Asian issues and organizations? In the past, not knowing how to navigate this tension has caused me to not advocate as strongly and publicly for AAPIs as I should have. I talk very openly with my staff and board about this internal struggle, and they’re incredibly supportive of understanding and supporting me to use my voice, and lift up all these communities we care about, including the AAPI community I identify with.

MC: What do your grantee partners need right now, and maybe looking six months out, what do you think this space will need when society enters the reconstruction phase of the pandemic?

HL: Obviously, nonprofits need continued sustained financial resources to support acute relief needs the pandemic has exacerbated, but also their core mission work, which for most of our grantee partners is advocacy, organizing and civic engagement for systems change and the infrastructure needed to do their mission work effectively. A big part of that will be working more virtually internally and as a way to engage community. In addition to providing financial resources, how do we help nonprofits think about financial models and revenues that are going to serve them well? Foundations also need to start thinking about what funding—from philanthropy and government—looks like for 2021 and beyond, and help our nonprofit partners both advocate for and prepare for that.

Ultimately, trust is what our nonprofit partners really need; they know their communities best and they know how best to do their work. As funders, we can trust that and find out how we can best leverage our resources to support them. The Weissberg Foundation is part of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, which is advocating for things that nonprofits have been telling us they’ve needed for a long time–multi-year support, unrestricted support, streamlined paperwork, centering community–all these things that make for stronger relationships between funders and grantee partners. I think we’re seeing more funders implementing trust-based practices because of the emergency nature of the crisis. Our hope is that we continue to practice a trust-based approach to philanthropy in the long-term.

MC: What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as a result of the pandemic thus far? 

HL: I’m not sure about new lessons learned, but I’ve certainly gotten affirmation and a kick in the rear about what’s important. One thing is that we need go harder on fighting for systemic change for racial equity. As funders, we need to go beyond funding, and be advocating, and building capacity and collaborating for transformative change.

Another thing and even more fundamental, is that it’s all about people. People can be deeply problematic and concerning and hateful and bad, but people can also be amazingly resilient, and innovative and supportive and caring and empathetic. That’s what brings me the most faith and inspiration–the people. Everyone from my family and friends, to our grantee partners, fellow funders, some government leaders, and mostly community members who are doing all they can to take care of those around them.

There are people that are fighting really, really hard and going above and beyond to ensure that we come out of this in a way that reduces the harm, ensures that everyone is taken care of–especially our most vulnerable populations, and creates a new, more just and equitable reality. When it’s all said and done, it boils down to our humanity. 

The COVID-19 Crisis is a Racial Justice Issue & our Response must Prioritize the Power of Black, Indigenous, Latinx & Other People of Color

The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate — it can infect anyone. However, when an indiscriminate virus is unleashed in a country where racially unjust systems have long decided who lives, who dies, who thrives and who just gets by, the impact is anything but equal. As data disaggregated by race trickles out from state and local health agencies, it has confirmed what many of us not only feared but also anticipated: Black, Latinx and other people of color, who are the people of the global majority, are disproportionately dying from COVID-19.

A racially disparate impact necessitates a racially equitable response — one that prioritizes the leadership of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and other people of color to respond to the immediate needs in their own communities, bolsters resilience in the face of this crisis, and builds power to push for long-lasting systemic change. With this in mind, we, the undersigned funders who believe in reimagining philanthropy as a just, racially equitable transition of power and resources, have coordinated approximately $2 million in sustained funding and $500,000 in rapid response funding to date to organizations led by people of color in the Washington, DC region based on the following commitments:

1. Supporting underfunded organizations led by people of color
Organizations led by people of color are traditionally underfunded; therefore, they are less likely to have reserves and are more likely to be unsustainable after an economic crisis. We challenge the notion that the nonprofits that can weather an economic downturn are the “best.” Rather, they have not suffered from decades of systemic underinvestment from local and national funders. We commit to designating funds to organizations, projects, groups and collaboratives that are led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color, who are using an intersectional lens, and have operating budgets of under $1,000,000.

2. Solidarity with organizers, base builders and advocates
The philanthropic sector and the individual donors who support nonprofits are less likely to support the work of community organizing, base and power building and advocacy. We believe that more investment in organizations and groups that do this important work is imperative to address the issues that precipitated this crisis and the fallout to come. We commit to supporting those who have been organizing, advocating, and building power with communities of color before, during and in the wake of this moment.

3. Focusing hyperlocally
In times of crisis, your neighbors — those living and working in proximity to you — are often your first responders. We believe community care and mutual aid are vital responses in this moment and their structures will have lasting benefit beyond this crisis. We commit to focusing this support toward groups working in hyperlocal ways, for example, the neighborhood, block or building level.

4. Prioritizing disproportionately impacted industries and workers
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the District of Columbia already reported the highest Black unemployment rate in the country, and Virginia had a wider gap between Latinx/Hispanic and white unemployment than any other state. In the month of March, unemployment in the Greater Washington region, like the rest of the country, skyrocketed. Restaurant workers, domestic/care workers, hospitality workers, sex workers, day laborers, and those dependent on the formal and informal gig economy lost their livelihoods in the wake of COVID-19 — sectors where people of color make up the majority of workers and frequently have few worker protections. We commit to supporting organizations and groups with sector-specific priorities to increase the resiliency of our region’s disproportionately impacted industries, many of whom employ large numbers of people of color.

5. Taking a multi-pronged approach
Philanthropic institutions’ support must be as nimble and diverse as the evolving challenges our partners and their constituents face. Organizations are in the midst of shifting strategies and they are experimenting with digital organizing, conceiving of new fundraising plans and devising new engagement methods in a year with big priorities, including civic engagement and the Census. Our support is crucial. At the same time, we ask funders of social service and large-scale advocacy organizations to realign their resources in support of grassroots groups. We commit to a multi-pronged, innovative approach to address the needs of organizations led by people of color to develop new capacities and shift their strategies.

6. Operating with trust
Philanthropy is a sector created and maintained by inequity and an imbalance of power, and we recognize our role in maintaining inherited practices that hinder our ability to be at the forefront in achieving racial justice. We commit to reimagining the relationship between funder and grantee partner, operating through a trust-based approach that is transparent, streamlined, flexible and removes unnecessary barriers that disproportionately impact grassroots groups and organizations led by people of color.

As funders coordinating this effort, we pledge to act as advocates for these groups and invite our philanthropic peers, both locally and nationally, to part ways with business-as-usual philanthropy to meet this moment, which is anything but usual. Here are steps you can take right now:

1. Get the support you need from funding peers with experience in racial justice grantmaking. Organizations like Neighborhood Funders Group and Association for Black Foundation Executives can help. For local support, reach out to any of the signatories on this letter for opportunities to plug in.
2. If you do not have the relationships or capacity to deploy funding quickly to grassroots groups, rely on trusted intermediaries such as Diverse City Fund and Emergent Fund, who have a history of funding systems-change work driven by people of color-led grassroots organizations.
3. Extend your influence beyond grantmaking by contributing your time, expertise, and voice. We have formed sub-committees focused on civic engagement, healing justice and capacity building. We are especially inviting national foundations with regional offices in the Washington, DC region to join us.
4. Finally, attend the trust-based philanthropy webinar hosted by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers on Monday, April 20th at 11 a.m. to learn how to reimagine your philanthropy. Information can be found here: trust-based-philanthropy-during-times-crisis-and-beyond

In solidarity,

Yanique Redwood, PhD, MPH
President and CEO
Consumer Health Foundation

Board of Instigators
Diverse City Fund

alicia sanchez gill
Director
Emergent Fund

Julia Baer-Cooper
Philanthropic Advisor
England Family Foundation

Tonia Wellons
President and CEO
Greater Washington Community Foundation

Daniel Solomon
Donor Adviser to Greater Washington Community Foundation

Nat Chioke Williams
Executive Director
Hill-Snowdon Foundation

Dara Johnson
Executive Director
Horning Family Fund

Nicola Goren
President and CEO
Meyer Foundation

Tom Perriello
Executive Director Open Society-US
Open Society Foundations

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat
President and CEO
Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Hanh Le
Executive Director
Weissberg Foundation

Who Does Home Care Fall On? Girls of Color Stepping Up for Their Families & Communities During the COVID-19 Crisis

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 crisis has shaken us all up. The very fabric of life as we know it has been transformed into a new, less favorable normal. As the dynamics of our country have changed with lockdown and stay-at-home orders, so too have the dynamics of home life. Parents are working from home, furloughed, or newly unemployed. With school closures, children—from daycare to college-aged—are home too. Families are juggling the tall task of finding a new balance, with limited resources, and heightened anxieties.

What is also clear, is that individuals across the country are feeling the consequences of these changes to varying extents, and in varying ways—and oftentimes those experiences are closely intertwined with the intersections of their gender, race, and socioeconomic status. This begs the careful consideration of how the changing home dynamics brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are specifically and disproportionately impacting girls of color—and particularly girls of color from low-income communities.  For one, it is having a huge impact on how girls of color are being asked to show up as everyday caregivers to keep their homes afloat.

Black and Brown girls are and have always been natural leaders in their schools, their families, and their communities. While continuously at odds with the structural and systemic barriers put forth by the many traces of racism and patriarchy in the U.S. system, they are innovative, ambitious, and solutions oriented. Because of their lived experiences, they are often wise beyond their years. We can all learn something in trusting their leadership.

But Black and Brown girls are also—too, often—the first to feel the brunt of the crisis in a way that, if not called out, can go unseen. In the world of COVID-19, girls of color are being asked to show up in new ways, with new responsibilities. Girls who still have to show up as students, in the new virtual classrooms that they may or may not have good access to. Girls who, though perhaps not or never employed themselves, are now at home balancing school and labor.  

We’ve heard from so many of our girls—as young as 12 and 13—the new roles that they’re juggling while at home under lockdown. They have become the dominant care-provider for younger children in their homes, helping siblings adjust to home-school-style learning, aiding in the morning and nighttime routines, and assisting with homework help.  They are supervising playtimes, changing diapers, mixing bottles, and putting babies down for naps. And they’ve been showing up for elderly grandparents, great aunts, and great uncles, too: supporting them in complex medication regimens, preparing their meals, aiding them in getting dressed and moving around.

And beyond just their homes, they are stepping up to support child care and elderly care efforts in their communities, for neighbors and community members who are essential workers, and must leave home during the crisis, with no other access to home care. Middle and high-school girls, unpaid, are working around the clock to support their families and communities.

While there is no clear solution to this dilemma, it’s important to understand the implications. It’s important for teachers and school leaders across the country to deeply understand that the circumstances of students across their virtual classrooms are not the same. Shifting education from classrooms to living rooms is not just a change in location—the COVID-19 crisis has changed the responsibilities and priorities of so many families, including young girls.  While there are indeed homes across the U.S. where children can remain mostly-sheltered from the many impacts of this crisis—where a change in daily routine does not mean a change in duties or labor—that’s just not the reality for too many girls of color. So, let’s see girls for their leadership—when they rise to the occasion because they want to, or because they have. And let’s provide them with the additional support that they’ll need—mentorship, additional academic support, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, grace—to persevere through these times.

To learn more about Crittenton Service of Greater Washington and to support their work, please visit their website.

Siobhan Davenport is President and CEO of Crittenton Services of Greater Washington and has more than 16 years of experience working with youth that face structural barriers. With her leadership, CSGW launched its Declare Equity Initiative, focused on the inequities that girls of color face in schools through D.C. Metropolitan Area.

Responding to COVID-19 with a Gender & Race Lens

We are all in some way feeling the impact of COVID-19, no matter our race, nationality, gender, or ability. But cis and trans women and non-binary people of color—who experience deep-rooted inequities—are feeling the impact in very distinct ways. Responding with a gender and race lens underscores understanding the specific risks and vulnerabilities women and girls of color face. Some of them include:

Women of color are overrepresented in low-wage occupations and are disproportionately affected by poverty

Women of color are much more likely to experience poverty at higher rates and to work in the low-wage occupations bearing the brunt of the economic losses of the pandemic. Almost 27 percent of Black women and 16 percent of Latinas in the District live below the poverty level, and in the DMV region, nearly two-thirds of all low-wage workers are women. Most of them immigrant (49 percent) or non-white (81 percent). Low-wage occupations are precarious, with numerous research highlighting limited access to paid sick leave and other benefits. 

Women are most of frontline workers

Women are also more likely to be caregivers for the sick in both healthcare settings and at home, being disproportionately exposed to contagion through person-to-person contact. In DC, more than half (52.3 percent) of physicians and surgeons, and almost three out of four (73 percent) professional nurses are women.

Increased risk of violence

Travel restrictions and mandatory lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 are escalating gender-based violence incidents in the District. Victims have more difficulty reporting abuse, getting medical care or seeking refuge at their parent’s or friend’s homes. And advocates are dealing with unprecedented challenges to offer help. Domestic violence is also major factor contributing to unstable housing.

Women of color make up the largest share of women who experience homelessness

Unhoused women face unique challenges. They have difficulty accessing health care, menstruation products, or childcare. Are more likely to have poor mental health or chronic illnesses, and they deal with concerns for their personal safety on a regular basis. While the homeless population at large in the District is male, most adults in families without homes are women (79 percent), and women of color make up the largest percentage of women who experience homelessness (90 percent).

As the coronavirus spreads, unhoused individuals are among the most vulnerable to infection. Shelters are operating at full capacity with limited staff or volunteers, spaces to quarantine those who test positive are inadequate, and public spaces where homeless women met most of their basic needs—like meals or toilets—are now closed. People over the age of 60 are also more susceptible to COVID-19 and in the District 60 is the most common age for homeless women.

Reproductive health services dwindle during pandemics

Evidence from past epidemics indicate that health care systems divert resources from reproductive and sexual health care services to contain the crisis, yet women continue to require family planning, maternal health care, and safe abortions. The District is already experiencing a maternal health care crisis that impacts Black women and low-income residents the most, as a result of lack of access to preventive and prenatal care.

For us at The Women’s Foundation, it’s important to highlight the specific vulnerabilities women of color are facing during the pandemic, especially when most health executives and decision-makers are men—the White House Coronavirus Task Force includes just one woman of color, out of 25 members. Women of color are on the frontlines of the crisis, and their voice and lived experience must inform preparedness and response policies and practices.

Claudia Williams is Program Officer at Washington Area Women’s Foundation where she contributes to crafting and executing program strategy.

Here’s How You Can Help Local Organizations Impacted By The Coronavirus

{Updated October 9, 2020 – We have added additional needs & resources to the alphabetized list below}

Neighbors and Friends –

These are uncertain times.  Many of us have not experienced a public health crisis quite like this before. While the quick spread of the coronavirus is anxiety provoking for all of us, for some in our community, the situation is dire.

We have heard from some of our Grantee Partners and area nonprofits that they are having trouble maintaining supplies of items to keep their offices safe for their clients, who rely on their critical services. We encourage you to review the lists below and consider donating an extra bar of soap or bottle of cleaning solution that you may have at your house or buy at the store this weekend.

The examples below are only a few of hundreds of organizations across the region that provide critical services to our community. We encourage you to reach out to other non-profits and community groups with whom you may already have a relationship to inquire about their needs as well.

Let’s all work together to ensure our neighbors have the resources they need to stay healthy and safe during these uncertain times.

Sincerely,

Martine Sadarangani Gordon
Vice President of Programs


ORGANIZATIONS IN NEED 
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Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW) was established in 1983 as the collective health and social welfare arm of several local church congregations. Today, ACSGW is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to help those less fortunate in our community. We empower those in need through compassionate emergency care, life education, and community development. ACSGW currently provides case management, food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, health and fitness programs, technology education, and job-training.
This organization is in need of:
  • Hygiene items for families in need

Point of contact:

Ken Flemmer

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Founded in 1975, AHC develops affordable housing and helps communities thrive in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Baltimore region. We provide a wide array of educational programs and social services in our community centers to help residents build more stable and successful lives.
Our primary focus at the present time is ensuring that basic needs, particularly for the elderly and families with children, are being met. AHC is seeking funds/items to deploy critical emergency assistance to residents who meet established criteria, such as:
  • Employment reduction or loss due to COVID-19
  • New immediate need for childcare; therefore, not able to go to work
  • Personal illness or need to self-quarantine
  • Other needs as assessed by Resident Services staff and as the crisis evolves

Immediate priorities include food, toiletries/diapers/formula, medication, emergency supplies, and transportation (bus/shuttle/Lyft/Uber fare or gas money). The health and safety of both residents and staff is paramount.

Items requested:

  • Food
  • Essential toiletries such as diapers, feminine products, body wash, and baby products
  • Essential household items such as toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and cleaning supplies
  • Medical supplies such as prescriptions, gloves, incontinence supplies, and wound care
Point of contact:
Haley Mixson

 

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Ayuda provides legal, social, and language services to help vulnerable immigrants in our neighborhoods access justice and transform their lives. Since 1973, we have served more than 100,000 low-income immigrants throughout Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Ayuda has created a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support the immigrant community who are low-income and in need of assistance.

Learn more and donate here: https://www.classy.org/campaign/support-covid-19-relief/c277151


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The Black Swan Academy (BSA) a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia that concentrates its efforts on empowering Black youth through Civic Leadership and Engagement.

In recognition that the closing of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the reduction of hours for waged workers may add an additional burden on young people and their families, BSA will be providing support in the following ways:

  • For the next two weeks, Wednesday-Friday from 11am-1pm, they will set up a table in front of Anacostia High School (Wednesdays), Ballou High School (Thursdays) and/or Woodson High School (Fridays) to offer young people and their families toiletries and other items.

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Please drop off any of the following supplies during those times (If you need them to pick up supplies, please contact Samantha Davis at sdavis@blackswanacademy.org)

  • Soap (bar or liquid)
  • Hand sanitizer (to the extent you can find it)
  • Gloves
  • Disinfecting wipes or sprays
  • Lotion
  • Toilet paper
  • Non perishable food items
  • Paper bags

Beginning April 1st, they will do a food and toiletries drive, you can contact Kaya Lowery, to arrange pick up/ drop off. klowery@blackswanacademy.org

Point of contact:
Samantha Davis
sdavis@blackswanacademy.org

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The Capital Area Food Bank leads our region’s efforts to provide good, healthy food to people struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Each year, we source and distribute the food for over 30 million meals.

For members of the public who wish to provide support, they are experiencing a shortage of volunteers, and are in critical need of help sorting and packing food in their warehouse and assisting at their offsite food distributions.  To learn more and sign up, visit volunteer.capitalareafoodbank.org.


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Calvary Women’s Services offers housing, health, education, and employment programs that empower homeless women in Washington, DC, to transform their lives.
The organization is need of:
  • Antiseptic gel by the gallon
  • Disposable face masks
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Latex gloves
  • Bottled water
  • Grocery gift cards for women in our permanent supportive housing
  • Donated meals for women in our transitional congregate housing
Point of contact:
202-678-2341

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The mission of Chess Girls DC is to build the confidence of Girls using Chess as a tool. Chess teaches Persistence. The Chess Girls DC program develops a solid foundation of chess knowledge taught in a way that properly prepares girls to apply it in a productive fashion, in order that every maneuver becomes a way to practice effective thinking.
The organization is in need of:
  • A grant/stipend for teacher who continues to teach and is unemployed
Point of contact:

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Community Bridges empowers girls from diverse backgrounds to become exceptional students, positive leaders, and healthy young women. We do so by addressing the developmental needs of immigrant and minority girls and their families living at or below the federal poverty level in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The organization is in need of:

  • Grocery gift cards
  • Cloth masks
  • Diapers

Point of contact:
Shannon Babe-Thomas
sbabethomas@communitybridges-md.org
301-512-4622


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The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) is the largest provider of safe housing and services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and children in the DC area.

Their doors remain open as they are still working to provide emergency safe housing, support, and services during this crisis.

Your gift today helps ensure that DASH’s critically needed services continue as the demand increases and the long-term effects of this crisis takes its toll on families to rebuild their lives.

The organization is in need of:

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Disinfecting Wipes and Sprays
  • Hand Soap
  • Grocery Gift Cards (Giant, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter)
  • Baby formula

Items can be purchased and shipped directly to DASH though its Target Charity Wish List.

Point of contact:
Jessy Murgel
jmurgel@dashdc.org

The DC Rape Crisis Center is a non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) and the designated sexual assault coalition for the District of Columbia. DCRCC is the oldest and the first rape crisis center in the country, and the only rape crisis center in the District of Columbia that has spent the past 46 years listening to the stories of survivors of sexual assault. In our 46th year, we are working to empower a culture of consent.

The organization is in need of:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Facial tissue
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water
  • First aid kits
  • Disinfecting wipes
Point of contact:
Indira Hernard
dcrcc@dcrcc.org

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Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) is seeking gift-card donations.  During this pandemic, many DVRP survivors need financial support to buy food, child care items, and personal hygiene products especially those in shelter.
Online gift card donations from places like Target, CVS or anywhere that provides e-gift cards can be sent to DVRP at info@dvrp.org and will be gifted directly to DVRP clients.
Learn more about DVRP here: https://dvrp.org/

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FAIR Girls  provides crisis intervention, specialized housing, and holistic and compassionate care to survivors of human trafficking.  FAIR Girls is located in Washington, D.C. but serves girls and young women trafficking survivors from across the DMV.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we have expanded our Vida Home hours to 24/7 — requiring an additional 45 hours of staff coverage per week, and increased groceries and cleaning supplies — to ensure that the survivors we serve have a safe, stable and healthy home they can count on during this crisis.   While we are unfortunately not able to accept new clients during this time, FAIR Girls continues to provide information and crisis intervention, via our 24/7 hotline (855-900-3247), to law enforcement, government agencies, community service partners and survivors who need our assistance in this unprecedented time.

We need the following supplies at the Vida Home, and vital financial help to continue to provide lifesaving services during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Toilet paper and Paper towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Soap
  • Canned and non-perishable goods
  • Hand sanitizer

Please make a donation through the FAIR Girls website


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Friendship Place is the premier housing service provider for people experiencing homelessness in the DC region. Our innovative, customized, person-focused programs empower participants to rebuild their lives, find homes, get jobs and reconnect with friends, family and the community, permanently.
The organization is in need of help to:
  • Buy food and toiletries for the families and individuals we serve. Many people cannot get out to buy groceries and other items. Friendship Place staff have begun ordering items to be delivered to participants, but this need only grows.
  • Continue and expand our street outreach activities. Friendship Place staff are still going out to meet with those in homeless camps, and we need tools to keep those in the camps safe.
  • Prepare for an influx of people who have lost their homes and their jobs. We need to prepare all our programs to serve the surge of participants we will see in the wake of this crisis.

Donate to Friendship Place and their efforts on their website.

Point of contact:

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Generation Hope is a not-for-profit that supports teen parents completing their undergraduate degrees. Part of the support we provide to the scholars is access to one-on-one mentoring. As most scholars are transitioning online due to COVID-19 and school closures, we would like to increase our recruitment efforts for Volunteer Sponsors who would be willing to mentor a scholar. We want to ensure that the scholars have access to the support they need to excel during these stressful times.
Sign up to be a Volunteer Sponsor today and learn more about the role, eligibility criteria and the application here: http://supportgenerationhope.org/sponsor-application
Point of contact:
Susanne Nyaga
Generation Hope  is also in need of:
  • Grocery, restaurant, or Visa gift cards to provide to our families
  • Virtual gift cards are preferable
Point of contact:
Caroline Griswold Sholt
caroline@supportgenerationhope.org

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Greater DC Diaper Bank empowers families and individuals in need throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia by providing an adequate and reliable source for basic baby needs and personal hygiene products.

“We are looking for 10,000 people who can give at least $12 to help us purchase 1,500,000 diapers to meet the needs of families right now.

We know that many things are scary and uncertain right now. But what’s NOT uncertain is the fact that we need each other right now, more than ever. Our families, friends, and neighbors need us and you answer that need by joining our army of doers and donors!

Our reality at Greater DC Diaper Bank changes, literally hour by hour, BUT we remain committed to supporting families in need with critical resources, especially now, and what we know is that things will get tougher as this crisis unfolds.”

You can help by giving what you can on their website.


 

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Healthy Babies Project is a private, not-for-profit, community-based support organization for District of Columbia pregnant and parenting women and families.

The organization is in need of:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Germicidal wipes
  • Water bottles
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Hand soap (Liquid)

Point of contact:
Regine Elie
relie@healthybabiesproject.org


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Over the next two weeks, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project’s office will be closed with staff working remotely. They will continue to monitor the situation and will assess whether or not to reopen Playtime at the shelters on March 30. In the meantime, they are not accepting any in-kind donations or deliveries at the office.
While Playtime programming is on hold, they plan to create play kits for the children to keep them entertained during this troubling time. If you would like to help them fill the kits with fun reusable toys and activities, please provide an online donation through their website.
Program staff will purchase items and deliver them to the children at the shelters.
This is an unprecedented time and with your generous support, Playtime is doing all it can to bring play to children already in crisis, while keeping staff, families, and volunteers safe.  Thank you for continuing to support the power of play!

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House of Ruth empowers women, children and families to rebuild their lives and heal from trauma, abuse and homelessness.

The organization is in need of:

  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bleach
  • Bars of soap
Point of contact:
Elizabeth Kiker
EKiker@houseofruth.org

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Each year, Identity assists more than 3,000 in-school and out-of-school youth and their families who live in high-poverty areas of Montgomery County and who are most at-risk for poor academic and economic life outcomes.

The organization is in need of:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Disinfecting spray cleaner
  • GROCERY STORE GIFT CARDS Because many of our client families are not in traditional salaried jobs, their lives and livelihoods will continue to be disrupted. In addition, the nutritious meals served at school that augment many of their children’s food supply are temporarily unavailable.  Donated grocery store gift cards (we suggest in denominations of $25-$50) would have an immediate and welcome impact. Gift cards can be mailed to Identity, 414 E. Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
  • DIRECT DONATIONS TO IDENTITY’S LIFT FUND which provides short-term financial relief to Identity clients facing truly extraordinary crises or hardship. It was created last year in honor of Identity Co-Founder Candace Kattar to ensure her legacy of never giving up on any young person in need. To contribute to this Fund, please visit this link.
  • Remote learning actually increases the need for supplies at a time when families are struggling. Your support during our Back-to-Learning Supply Drive will help fill age appropriate backpacks with school supplies from pens, binders and calculators to noise-cancelling earphones that block out distractions in crowded homes. Help us help up to 1,000 Latino and other historically underserved youth start the school year prepared and excited to learn. Each backpack filled with the supplies needed will cost about $100. To contribute to this fund, please write BACK TO LEARNING in the Additional Comments box on the donation form.
Point of contact:
Allison Russell
arussell@identity-youth.org

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The International Rescue Committee provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. In Silver Spring and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.
The IRC’s office in Silver Spring staff are working remotely to assist the individuals and families we serve to navigate the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Show your support by donating items via our Amazon Wishlists that are curated based on the needs of individual families we serve.
Point of contact:

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LIFT is a national nonprofit with locations in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles dedicated to empowering families to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. With its unique two-generation approach to poverty, LIFT invests in the personal well-being and financial strength of parents to bring about transformative change for their children, families, and overall community.
With many of our parents experiencing the financial impact of the pandemic, we are asking funders and supporters to support LIFT’s COVID-19 Family Goal Fund which puts money directly into parents’ hands to invest in their goals and rebound in times of crisis.
Point of contact:
Kristy Arnold

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Since 1917, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) has served boldly, offering hope and a helping hand where it is needed most.
We have an LSSNCA Emergency Assistance Fund to directly support:
  • Emergency rental assistance;
  • Assistance for utility bills;
  • Childcare funding;
  • Temporary grocery assistance;
  • LSSNCA administrative funding and most critical needs.
Learn more about the fund on their website.
Point of contact:
Shelby Kruczek


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Mamatoto Village is a non-profit organization devoted to creating career pathways for Women of Color in the field of public health and human services; and providing accessible perinatal support services designed to empower women with the necessary tools to make the most informed decisions in their maternity care, their parenting, and their lives.
The organization is in need of:
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned tuna and chicken
  • Dry goods (rice, pasta, beans)
  • Pasta sauce and tomato sauce
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bar and liquid soap
  • Personal hygiene items (lotion, body wash, toothpaste)
  • General donations for emergency family needs
Point of contact:
Briana  Green

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“At Martha’s Table, we remain deeply committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our community. Throughout this difficult time, we are doubling down on our mission to support strong children, strong families, and strong communities. As we continue to stand alongside our community, we will roll out an unprecedented level of support.

We are partnering with DC Health, the Capital Area Food Bank, DCPS, Trayon White, and other local leaders, to ensure bags of groceries are available at designated select school sites every day which are listed on our website.
If people are interested in making an in-kind donation they can check out our Martha’s Table Amazon Wish List featuring our most urgently needed items. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2HXVLVOSNZHZH?ref_=wl_share
Please visit https://marthastable.org/covid19/ for more detailed opportunities!

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Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) empowers victims of all crimes to achieve survivor defined justice through a collaborative continuum of advocacy, case management and legal services.
  • Survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and other crimes are requesting additional support from our Survivor Support Fund, and we need additional resources to provide that. For example, we are seeing requests for food donations.
  • We also would like to pay our Advocates hazard pay (time and a half). Our advocates are still responding to Washington Hospital Center 24/7 to provide crisis advocacy for sexual assault survivors seeking forensic exams. Our funders are not able to approve hazard pay, so we would like to provide this to advocates, but estimate it would cost us an additional $145.20 per 12 hours of response to survivors at the hospital.
To donate, please visit their website!
Point of contact:
Merry O’Brien

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Northern Virginia Family Service’s (NVFS) breadth, depth and scope of services offer the resources and support to ensure that everyone in need, at every stage of life, maximizes their potential and fully contributes to a thriving community.How you can help a family prepare:       

Donate Food, Goods, Grocery Gift Cards, or Funds

Make a donation through their website.

Drop-Off Location: NVFS SERVE Campus, 10056 Dean Dr, Manassas, VA 20110

To minimize person to person contact, please consider mailing donations to: NVFS Headquarters, 10455 White Granite Drive #100, Oakton, VA 22124

Most-Needed Items:

  • Diapers
  • Shelf-stable canned goods
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Household Cleaning supplies (Clorox wipes, Lysol, rubbing alcohol)
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Grocery Gift Cards

You can also purchase items through their Amazon Wish List. On the shipping address page, select NVFS HQ—this will ship it to their Oakton office. On the gift message, please include your name & address so they can properly acknowledge your generous donation.


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As the largest network of community health centers in Washington, D.C., Unity Health Care provides a full-range of health and human services to meet the needs of our communities through a network of over 20 traditional and non-traditional health sites. Their team of compassionate and multicultural health professionals place Unity values into action every day to bring whole-person care and wellness to over 104,000 patients through 500,000 visits annually.
The organization is in need of:
  • Hand sanitizer

Unity Health Care provides life saving health care for over 104,000 men, women and children in DC every year. Over 10% of COVID-19 patients are cared for by their incredible health heroes. You can help them save lives by donating here.

Point of contact:
Andrea White
202-465-6134
awhite@unityhealthcare.org


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Right Beginnings, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization recently formed under the District of Columbia’s not-for-profit statute.  The organization offers programs and services to female victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The organization is in need of:
  • Women’s cosmetics
  • Food
  • Women’s clothing – for victims of domestic violence at Freddi House emergency shelter

Point of contact:


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The Washington School for Girls ignites the joyful pursuit of learning and inspires lives of faith-filled purpose, leadership, and service.
WSG is an all-scholarship independent Catholic School educating students in grades 3-8. Located in Ward 8 and serving the surrounding communities, the school provides an excellent academic program in a supportive environment which engages families and the community in the social, emotional, and spiritual growth of its students and graduates. We help our students to become the confident, capable, and courageous young women they are meant to be.
We are offering a full academic program remotely, with live direct instruction, tutoring, and enrichment activities. Our families have critical needs to ensure their daughters can participate fully, such as:
  • Technology needs, such as wifi-hotspots and Chromebooks
  • School supplies, such as materials for independent work activities
  • Food assistance, since many students relied on National School Lunch Program meals served at school

Additionally, families impacted by COVID-19 have needed cash assistance for a variety of basic needs such as health-related expenses, transportation, childcare, household supplies, and more. WSG has a limited family emergency fund for such needs, but anticipates a significant increase in requests for assistance once utilities and landlords restart fee collection.

Point of contact:

Susan Rockwell
202-678-1113

Wesley Housing is an affordable housing developer and supportive services provider with 27 communities in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. In response to the unprecedented need in our communities due to COVID-19, we are providing supportive services remotely in the areas of housing stability, job stability, and material assistance. It is our goal to keep all 3,200+ residents housed, stabilize their income, and mitigate food insecurity by providing resources and linkages and referrals.
We are in need of funding to support these efforts, as well as grocery store gift cards for families.
In addition, we are holding a Supplies for Success school supplies drive until Sept. 3, 2020. Donations to the campaign will be used to purchase “Success Kits” for 400+ disadvantaged youth in our communities.

Point of contact:

Kathy Mejasich
703-642-3830 ext. 214

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Founded in 1905, YWCA National Capital Area dismantles barriers faced by women, girls, and people of color as they work to develop and sustain healthy lives. Women and girls come to us in times of transition for job training and career counseling. They come for mission-based skill building programs for their families. They come in times of crisis as survivors of rape or domestic violence.

The organization is in need of:

  • Non-perishable items, canned goods of all kinds, some meat products
  • Personal care items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes)
  • Masks and gloves

YWCA National Capital Area is taking donations of grocery items as well as monetary donations.

Point of contact:
Monica Gray

ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING RESOURCES 
breadforthecitylogoBread for the City is an award-winning front line agency serving Washington’s poor. They operate two Centers in the District of Columbia and provide direct services to low-income residents of Washington, DC. All of their services are free. Their mission is to provide comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, legal and social services to low-income Washington, DC residents in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
  • They have organized a food sign-up form in order to add those who are experiencing need in the District to their food distribution list. Call 202-265-2400 or click the link above to have a bag of groceries delivered.
  • ¡Haga clic aquí para registrarse en línea para la entrega de comestibles! Las cosas son difíciles para muchos en este momento. Estamos contentos de compartir lo que tenemos. Llame 202-265-2400 o haga clic en el enlace arriba para recibir una bolsa de compras el lunes 27 de abril o más tarde.

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Catholic Charities is committed to the poor, especially the homeless, immigrant newcomers at-risk and persons with mental and developmental disabilities. We will help individuals and families move from crisis and isolation to stability and growth through food assistance, workforce development and education to name a few.

Food: Food and meal distribution — including St. Maria’s Meals, the Southern Maryland Food Bank, food pantries and the SHARE Food Network — continues with safety protocols such as curb-side pickup in place. Because schools are closed and senior centers are limiting contact, the distribution of snack saks and senior saks has been suspended.

Shelters: Five low-barrier shelters operated by Catholic Charities on behalf of the District of Columbia are open 24 hours. Those seeking access to shelters are being screened by health-related questions, with 1,200 clients processed so far in the District and at a transitional housing facility in Rockville, Md.

Additionally, our medical clinics remain open to act as a frontline filter to alleviate stress on hospitals!

Health care: Our medical clinics continue to be open, some with limited hours. Patients are being screened before arrival. We are not accepting walk-ins or new appointments. Telemedicine appointments are offered for sick patients. Health Care Network services as they are available are being done remotely, and many behavioral health services are being done remotely.

Find out more on their website!


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Concentric Private Wealth is providing a variety of support to our clients and the larger community to help people have an outlet so that we can stay centered and thrive during these uncertain times.

Check out a brief description of each weekly session below:

PARENTS: Mindful Parenting in Times of High Stress with Francine Ronis, LPC

Parents, this one’s for you – a special opportunity to connect with a behavioral therapist in a group discussion to help navigate the difficult conversations of today as a family. Every Monday at 11:00 ET, you can join these enlightening discussions to help ease your mind and offer a sensible perspective.  Date and registration details will follow soon.

ADULTS: Meditation led by Yogi Marni Sclaroff

Start your day with our weekly meditative Zoom-cast. It will be both calming and centering – a short, 15-minute escape from the headlines and negativity that will help you cope with the events of the day, and stay connected. Please join us for this live stream every Tuesday at 7AM ET and 11AM ET

OPEN TO ALL: Growth IGNITED with Katherine Liola

And finally, twice a week please don’t miss our live storytelling podcast where Katherine interviews people from various backgrounds and careers (including an Olympian, multiple Emmy winner and physician)  to hear about their personal journeys of growth, and how they arrived where they are today. Their stories will lift and inspire you. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00 ET.

TEENS: Resilience Building in Uncertain Times with Corinne Coppola, M.A. 

Our upcoming live streaming Zoom-cast for middle-schoolers, and our live-streaming Zoom-cast for high-schoolers. These warm, meditative sessions will help ease the mind and promote self-confidence and a more positive, hopeful tone while adding valuable perspective.

2:00 ET – Middle School Students

2:30 ET – High School Students

TEENS and COLLEGE STUDENTS: Financial Bootcamp with the Concentric Team

Check out our MoneySmartSeries for teenagers and young adults, look for Office Hours with the Concentric Team – a candid forum for answering common questions and offering tips for high-schoolers and college students. Our MoneySmart series has become a favorite among students and we’ll be announcing our weekly schedule soon.

ADULTS: Money Talk with the Concentric Team

We will also be making space each week for a high level Q&A session to help those you care about find direction in these uncertain times. Invite your friends and loved ones.

All reflective and learning sessions are virtual and compliments of Concentric Private Wealth. Learn more on their website.


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Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) is a new program which provides benefits to purchase foods to families who have lost access to free school meals due to COVID-19 related school closures. Benefits are retroactive to when schools initially closed. The first round of benefits to households already enrolled in SNAP/TANF will be transferred this Friday, May 22.

Eligibility:
All households with students in pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade receiving free school meals at D.C. Public Schools and public charter schools are eligible for P-EBT. This includes income-eligible families who have submitted a Free and Reduced-priced Meals (FARM) application, families receiving SNAP or TANF, and all families with students attending a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school.

Resources:
DHS has created a landing page and P-EBT Call Center for families (202-868-6663, M-F from 7:30am – 4:45pm). Families should use the P-EBT Call Center for more information on P-EBT and questions about their enrollment status.
You can download an FAQ on the DC Hunger website here.
Deadlines:
It is VERY important for families who are not enrolled in free or reduced-priced meals and do not attend a CEP school to apply asap. If a family applies any time in May, they will receive the full May and June benefits. However, if they apply on June 1, they miss out of all May benefits. The deadline to apply for all new families is June 19. Because of delays in SNAP application verifications, the best way for new families to apply is to contact their school to submit a FARM application.
For more information visit: https://dhs.dc.gov/p-ebt

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ELIANA’S LIGHT
Eliana’s Light supports DC, MD, and VA families with children who have complex medical conditions by providing a collaborative approach to care that’s focused on their whole health and well-being.
During this time of COVID-19, we are providing financial assistance to help families cover the cost of food, rent and utilities while we connect them to additional resources in their community and support their emotional well-being.
Point of contact:
Whitney Ortiz
 

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Expecting Health was founded by a group of women with a simple idea: families deserve and should expect more – more support, more guidance, better health. At Expecting Health, we believe that new and expecting families, regardless of makeup, income, or background, should and deserve to expect health. We simply don’t think it needs to be this hard.

As a soon-to-be or new parent, you have a lot going on! With the recent outbreak of coronavirus, also called COVID-19, there is even more misinformation, confusion, and fear around what you need to do to stay healthy. It’s important to be informed, up to date, and prepared to help you stay calm and empowered during this time. You may have a lot of questions about what you can do to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Being a new or expecting parent is never easy but during this pandemic, it may be even more challenging, scary, and stressful. While there are many things out of your control, there are things you can do to keep yourself and your baby as healthy as possible.

Check out COVID-19 resources for new and expecting parents on our website! Follow along on our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/expectinghealth), Twitter (@ExpectHealthOrg), and Instagram (@ExpectingHealth) for more information and useful infographics that make it easy to understand what’s going on!

Point of contact:
Jamie Loey
jloey@expectinghealth.org


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Friends of Puerto Rico is a non-profit 501(C)(3) that supports the economic development of the people of Puerto Rico through entrepreneurial initiatives, education, and creating opportunities for women and girls. Since 2015, we have mobilized a passionate community of over 30,000 global entrepreneurs, donors and partner organizations focused on driving economic success and innovation to cultivate the next generation of leaders. Through a combination of training, education and mentorship initiatives that utilize the beautiful culture, art and people of Puerto Rico, our goal is to end financial hardship and provide economic opportunities and self-sufficiency for people on the island, in Washington, DC and around the United States.
The organization is offering:
  • Social impact coffee from Puerto Rico and they are happy to donate to organizations and families in need.
Point of contact:

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JCADA is committed to providing high-quality services to all residents of the Greater Washington DC community 14 years old & older, without regard to race, national origin, ability, background, faith, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or immigration status. JCADA services victims and survivors of all types of power-based violence, including victims and survivors of domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence), dating violence, elder abuse, gender-based violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.
The organization is offering:
  • Free counseling, victim advocacy, and legal services for victims of power-based violence.
  • Helpline open during business hours for safety planning while being quarantined with an abuser.
  • Prevention, Education & Training to teach adults and teens about healthy relationships.
Point of contact:
Amanda Katz

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Latin American Youth Center’s (LAYC) mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood, through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs.  In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, LAYC is offering the following tele-mental health services for youth in DC: mental health treatment, behavioral health services for homeless youth, trauma informed care, and substance use treatment.
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Point of contact:
202-319-2229

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  1. MHA’s COVID19 website houses information and resources specific to the current public health emergency including live events and webinars, screenings, and educational resources:  www.mhanational.org/covid19
  2. MHA’s May is Mental Health Month Toolkit may also be helpful as its handouts focus on life after loss, eliminating toxic influences, creating routines, supporting others, and connecting with others. www.mhanational.org/may
  3. MHA’s affiliate, Vibrant Emotional Health, administers the Disaster Distress Helpline https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline. Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.
  4. For policy changes related to tele-health services in Medicaid and Medicare, here is a summary of changes including a link to the state-by-state breakdown.

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OAR is a community-based nonprofit which envisions a safe and thriving community where those impacted by the legal system enjoy equal civil and human rights. Through our upstream work, we are confronting and dismantling racism in the legal system and across all systems. Our downstream work allows us to be on the journey with individuals of all genders returning to the community from incarceration and support their families in the homecoming process. And we offer alternative sentencing options through community service to youth and adults to avoid the trauma of incarceration and instead remain a part of helping the community thrive.
Point of contact:
Stephannie Ku

703-228-7132

 

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Rock Recovery (Rock) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Arlington, VA whose mission is to support the journey to freedom from disordered eating by bridging gaps in the treatment and understanding of eating disorders and related mental health challenges. Rock provides affordable and accessible comprehensive eating disorder recovery services and hosts community empowerment events designed to decrease mental health stigma, increase access to care and spread the message that complete recovery is possible.

Along with individual sliding scale therapy, Rock offers weekly, clinical therapy groups which include:

  • Bridge to Life: A three-hour therapy program that includes combined clinician-led meal support and therapeutic processing in a supportive group setting
  • Body Image Therapy Group: Weekly therapy group to help clients health their self image
  • Coffee & Conversations for Moms: Monthly therapy group to help clients in all stages of motherhood navigate daily challenges of being a parent while pursuing recovery
  • Freedom & Faith: Virtual faith-based recovery therapy group to help clients find support in their faith as they overcome their eating disorder
  • Bridge to Life Virtual: Virtual therapy group with a clinician-supported meal exposure and therapeutic processing and support

Point of contact:
info@rockrecoveryed.org
571-255-9906


Have additional resources? Please email communications@wawf.org