Leading in the Moment - LGW Action Update
October 30, 2020
LGW leaders are fighting the impact of Covid-19 in the DC region, leading the rebuild and giving support for those most vulnerable to the consequences of the dual epidemics we face; systemic racism and the ongoing toll of Covid-19.
Careerstone Group, LLC led by dynamic President Mary Abbajay ('06) has helped thousands of leaders and hundreds of teams successfully navigate the shift to effective virtual work and collaboration. Mary's Managing Up Virtually as an Employee course is now part of the groundbreaking LinkedIn Learning tutorial series. Find this outstanding online course here. Mary and Careerstone Group, LLC are partners and facilitators for LGW's Rising Leaders program.
DC Fiscal Policy Institute, with the leadership of Interim Executive Director Jacquelyn Lendsey ('90), is releasing resources and publications vital to helping our region respond to key issues related to the pandemic. Their informative articles cover policy issues related to our economy, healthcare system, schools, and topics central to leadership. Jacquelyn is one of many LGW leaders who are a part of the powerful Interim Executive Director Network created by Janice Frey-Angel ('10).
Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce has its first-ever Executive Director. Tene Dolphin ('12) is beginning her 100-day plan to scale the organization into a regional powerhouse for Black business leaders and entrepreneurs. Their aim is to empower the Black community in our region through education, enterprise, and entrepreneurship. Learn more about this growing initiative helping Black businesses surpass the disproportionate hardships they are experiencing due to COVID-19.
Mayer Brown partner Daniel Masur ('94) leads Technology Transactions for the practice. He was inducted into The Legal 500’s “Hall of Fame" earlier this year. Mayer Brown has comprehensive resources to help clients with regulatory developments related to the pandemic on their COVID-19 Portal. A hallmark of Mayer Brown is their commitment to making a positive impact in the community. One example of this is their longstanding support of the Children's Law Center led by Executive Director Judith Sandalow ('04).
The National Cherry Blossom Festival led by President and CEO Diana Mayhew ('07) just released its 2020 Annual Review. Diana and the team are hard at work to deliver an outstanding experience for their second virtual National Cherry Blossom Festival coming in the Spring of 2021. Be on the lookout for a new LGW Impact Story next month that retraces the amazing history of the Festival and the LGW connection, and be sure to take part in next year's events.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP recently promoted Earl Adams Jr. ('16) to Managing Partner for the DC office. Earl leveraged his experience as former Chief of Staff for Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to help his firm operationalize effectively in response to the pandemic. They have an extensive COVID-19 Resource Page with help on everything from business continuity planning to cybersecurity and employment law.
Academy of Hope adult public charter school CEO Lecester Johnson (’15) led a rapid shift to distance learning to ensure that the 7,000 learners they serve have the necessary access to achieve their high school credentials during the Covid-19 crisis. Many of the students at Academy of Hope have been devastated by the economic impact of the pandemic. So far they have directly helped close the digital divide for their students by distributing 150 laptops and hotspots to make sure the adults they serve have the technology they need. They are now scaling up their services for the fall and are calling for support.
Acquired Data Solutions, Inc., led by founder and president Steve Seiden ('12) announced the availability of a new contact tracing platform to reduce exposure and curb the spread of COVID-19. Their system uses wi-fi networks and smartphone device identification to locate and monitor potential exposure in real-time. For more information on the initiative click here.
Alabama Women’s Caucus for Art President Amy McBroom (’95) is advancing advocacy efforts to remove the Confederate monuments from the Huntsville Courthouse lawn. An accomplished abstract painter who spent decades in DC before returning to Alabama, McBroom is one of many LGW members who cherish being a part of this supportive community of united leaders, even from afar. As the saying goes, LGW is everywhere.
Alfred Street Baptist Church Senior Pastor Howard-John Wesley (’15) led clergy in demonstrations of righteous unrest. His message of hope is that the outcomes we usher in will accelerate urgent change to advance racial equity. Days after the murder of George Floyd he joined us for Frontline Conversations to help the LGW community heal and gather strength in our resolve to do all in our power to end systemic racism. His sermon, “I’m Mad As..” followed thereafter, expressing the emotions in the hearts of all of us seeking justice and an end to the continued violence and oppression against Black people.
America’s Promise Alliance has created a platform for youth (ages 6-25) to share their experiences about life during COVID-19. Among this and other efforts underway to improve the lives and futures of America’s youth, Nathaniel Cole (’16) Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships is co-facilitating the Youth Leadership Greater Washington (YLGW) program. Together we continue to help young leaders make progress towards goals and stay engaged, collaborate, and take action in this challenging time.
Anacostia Organics Owner and CEO Linda Mercado Greene (’09) has seen business nearly triple during the pandemic. She has increased hiring, providing much-needed opportunities for DC residents. She served on the city’s ReOpen DC Committee and recently received Inno 20’s “Inno on Fire” award recognizing her innovative business model and accomplishments. Anacostia Organics is the first cannabis dispensary in DC in the east of the river community.
APEX Home Loans is helping people across the community understand forbearance issues. Craig Strent (’09) and his team are also hard at work helping clients navigate refinancing while interest rates are decreased. Their Mortgage Forbearance Resource Center is a helpful guide for families at risk.
Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti (’20) and fellow members of the board are leading the county to a more racially equitable, safe, and prosperous future. Key legislation passed by unanimous vote last Wednesday to appropriate $475,687 in additional funds for body-worn cameras for officers. The board has also assembled an interactive dashboard to track detailed new data on COVID-19 that includes tracking cases by race and age.
Aspire! Afterschool Learning is adapting to meet the challenges their students are facing now. With a focus on academic support and well-being, Courtney Reeve (’13) and her team are offering daily options to help students engage and cope.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW), led by Gabrielle Webster ('13) launched “Clubhouse @ Your House” which brings all the elements of a Boys & Girls Clubs experience to youth virtually. Each day, youth have seven hours of live, virtual access to original programming, educational games, homework help, and creative projects. They set up a COVID-19 relief fund to support the families of frontline responders. BGCGW currently has five locations in MD and VA that provide childcare for COVID-19 healthcare workers and other essential workers. Her resilient leadership is helping those who need it most during the pandemic.
Bright Beginnings president and CEO Marla Dean (’20) leads over 400 early childhood and family learning centers in DC focused on breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. 30 of these centers are still open right now, serving the children of essential workers and frontline responders. You can support their relief efforts for children on their website.
Building Bridges Across the River president and CEO Rahsaan Bernard (’20) shared the news that his organization is providing food, unemployment resources, and a monthly stipend for hundreds of vulnerable families in the DC neighborhoods east of the river. They have provided 10,000 meals for families in need as of May 21, 2020. Get involved here.
Busboys and Poets , led by Andy Shallal (’17) is supporting artists and performers in our community by personally commissioning storefront murals around the region to spread messages of hope. Poets and musicians are performing on the Instagram Live, giving them an outlet for community-building, social action, and connection. Connect with the response here.
The Cadmus Group is holding a free webinar on Wednesday, May 20 focused on helping organizations develop an effective recovery strategy. Erik S. Gaull (’09) serves as Principal, Emergency Management, and is providing leadership to help implement effective solutions for organizations and government as they pivot from response to recovery. Learn more about their initiatives here.
The Campagna Center where Tammy Mann (’14) serves as Chief Executive Officer is a leading nonprofit helping children and families who are seeking education, resources, and community. They just reached their $25,000 goal in support of their community-wide emergency diaper bank to help families economically impacted by COVID-19. Nearly 2,200 children and families rely on the Campagna Center and their team is distributing diapers, wipes, baby food, formula milk, and Safeway cards. You can support their work here.
Capital Area Food Bank is raising money that directly goes to feeding those facing food insecurity because of lost wages, unemployment, and illness. Christel Hair ('11) is calling for action to help make sure no one goes hungry during this emergency.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, where Jeffrey Rostand (’17) is vice president and CFO, continues to serve people most vulnerable to COVID-19 by providing access to food, shelter, and critical resources. Jeffrey shared the news that they are providing a webinar on May 19 to help Spanish-speaking community members. Recent data released by the commonwealth of Virginia shows the Hispanic population makes up 9.6 percent of the state but represents 27.7 percent of COVID-19 cases.
Center for Nonprofit Advancement, led by executive director Glen O’Gilvie (’10) has launched the Center for Race, Equity, Justice and Inclusion (REJI) to bring together leaders from across government, nonprofit, philanthropy and commercial sectors to advance change. Through advocacy, research, capacity-building and experiential learning they are helping nonprofit leaders make actionable steps toward achieving racial diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. Their sold-out series, “Nonprofit Leadership Series for Black Professionals” is designed to help drive and inspire more leaders of color.
Chaia Tacos owner Bettina Stern (’20) has set up a fund to help feed frontline healthcare workers in need. Each day she personally makes sure her business can reach customers sheltering in place. Treat yourself to something from the menu or help a healthcare worker with a meal. Taco Tuesday is now every day.
Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow (’04) has been awarded the American Bar Association’s 2020 John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award. You can view her acceptance speech here. The Children’s Law center is addressing structural inequities during the pandemic and helping children and families with civil legal matters. She points out that local legal services organizations are an essential part of fighting racist injustice.
Cigna, where Monica Schmude (’20) serves as president of the Mid-Atlantic market, has partnered with local businesses to help feed over 4,300 first responders, police officers, and firefighters throughout the Greater Washington area, with more deliveries on the way. Cigna waived all customer cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment. They have deployed hundreds of on-staff clinicians to provide much-needed care. Access their comprehensive online resources here.
City National Bank put forth a tremendous effort to make sure their clients received PPP loans before the deadline. Juan M. Jara (’17) senior vice president and marketing manager, recently shared that after two grueling weeks of processing, his team helped protect the incomes of nearly 3,000 workers in our region.
The City of College Park, led by Mayor Patrick Wojahn (’14), is creating more places for families to walk and bike, as the demand for safe outdoor activity now far exceeds what most cities have available. He has led a vast array of exemplary relief efforts in support of neighbors in need throughout the pandemic. Over the past weeks, he has joined many LGBTQ+ Marylanders and others, who took to the streets in solidarity to demonstrate against police brutality and racial violence. Read more about his recent work here.
Close the Gap, is a new fundraising initiative launched by Kim Alfonso (’09) to help immigrant families disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 access groceries in a time of great need. So far, they have raised $10,000 to provide grocery store gift cards and meal kits for families. Their goal is to raise $50,000 to feed one hundred families for the year. She continues to build her business Results One, which delivers high-quality training, digital accessibility testing, and consulting to help businesses and government comply with regulations related to digital access for people with disabilities.
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, led by Tony Cancelosi (’07) is advancing digital accessibility for the community they serve. The most vulnerable populations are often those left behind in times of crisis. Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind is making sure that visually impaired people of all ages are receiving vital virtual resources and braillers are being dispatched directly to the homes of children to make sure they receive the education they need. Check out their feature on ABC News.
Creative Associates International, with leadership from Pablo Maldonado (’90), is launching a specialized Center for Migration and Economic Stabilization to create solutions and advance thought-leadership related to helping migrants during the pandemic. This new initiative centers on serving migrants who are being impacted by COVID-19 who exist beyond the reach of traditional development efforts. Learn more here.
The Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes (’13) emphasized the urgent need for bilingual/Spanish language communications resources in last week’s LGW Town Hall. The Crimsonbridge Foundation continues to support the success of students, parents, organizations, and nonprofit leaders working through the crisis. This update provides details of the ways the Crimsonbridge Foundation is working in support of their partners and the community during the pandemic.
Critical Exposure led by Executive Director Adam Levner ('14) is an organization that trains DC youth to harness the power of photography and their own voices to fight for educational equity and social justice. This week, they held an online talk and digital photo exhibit conceptualized and developed by youth of color in our region called, "Life on Lockdown: Photos and stories from DC Youth during Covid-19." The virtual event convened black and brown youth activists from across DC to share their stories and vision following the latest wave of anti-black racism and police violence. Learn more about Critical Exposure here.
Crystal City BID led by Tracy Sayegh Gabriel ('20) has set up an initiative called Reopen/Reimagine that is helping businesses leaders in the National Landing community with reopening strategies and are currently producing a lineup of virtual programming to help business owners and residents maintain a sense of community and access resources for health and wellness. Their COVID-19 Resource Page is updated daily with the latest information for businesses operating in National Landing.
This Custom Life is an initiative aimed at helping blended families created by Cameron Gilreath Normand ('15) who also happens to be the Head of Federal Affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Her latest blog post is titled, "Nine Ways to Teach Your White Kids About Racial Injustice," and provides practical advice and helpful tools for parents seeking to educate their children on issues of systemic racism. Normand reminds us that "the only worse thing than saying the wrong thing is saying nothing," and that's advice we all should listen to.
Daughters of the Dream is a book (and blog site) by author Tamara Lucas Copeland ('04). As an advocate for racial equity, Copeland has shaped a breadth of instrumental initiatives aimed at undoing systemic racism in our region. She is hopeful that this is a different moment, one that will lead to real change. Her blog is providing steering thought-leadership and guiding perspectives that empower all those seeking to undo systemic racism today. Covid-19 has further exposed the inequities we knew existed. By providing insights and context and underscoring the important role each of us play no matter who we are, Daughters of the Dream can help us all be better anti-racist leaders today.
DC Action for Children, where Kimberly Perry (’04) serves as executive director is providing up-to-date resources for organizations serving children, youth, and families in DC. They co-chair the Under 3 DC Coalition, which released a brief last week giving a detailed overview of the need for increased funding for childcare facilities to enable providers to meet the needs of our community and create a successful economic recovery for our region.
DC Bar Foundation, led by Kirra Jarratt (’15) is calling upon the community to support the increased need for access to justice due to COVID-19. If there is an important justice issue impacting our community with a need for support, DC Bar Foundation is offering help.
DC Council has voted to allocate $100 Million in federal funding for a “Business Support Program” that will provide grants to provide relief for DC small businesses including bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment venues that drive our region’s vibrant economy. The bill was introduced by Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (’14).
District Department of Energy and Environment (DDOE) director Tommy Wells (’95) continues to lead progress towards a more environmentally sustainable region. As more people look for safe outdoor activities to avoid contracting the virus and turn to fisheries for alternative sources of food, DDOE is taking significant steps to improve DC’s environment. Last week, they announced more progress on their plan of action to clean up the Anacostia River, with $35 million earmarked for an underwater cleanup.
DC Hospital Association president Jacqueline Bowens (’97), is leading advocacy efforts for healthcare equity in DC neighborhoods that lack facilities. She shared news of victories this week in health care access, announcing public-private partnerships underway for two new hospitals, one in Anacostia and another at Howard University to help strengthen our community post-pandemic.
DC Water where Marc Battle (’17) serves as Executive VP & General Counsel set a national example for water utilities this year by making sure that every customer in DC – even those with disconnected service – could access water during the pandemic. Water utilities across the country followed suit. Battle (’17) applied his principled leadership and deep expertise to ensuring the disadvantaged in our community could access water – the vital source of life. Get more on the story here.
Delta Dental Institute Executive Director Vivian Vasallo (’09) recently shared their first-ever Community Impact Report. The report highlights their investment in programs that improve oral health, prevent dental disease, and expand access to care for those lacking adequate resources. Delta Dental donated more than $76.3 million last year, impacting the lives of more than 12.8 million people and funded more than 1,700 programs. Local grantees include Howard University College of Dentistry and Mary's Center.
Diligent Plans is an initiative that is partnering with Alicia (Chin) Greer (’20) to build leaders and optimize the performance of teams across all industries. Her work is empowering organizations to create the right conditions for success during the pandemic. Greer was recently selected as one of five speakers for Micron’s annual Growth Summit put on by their Women’s Leadership Network. She delivered the keynote address virtually to the 2020 Class of Leadership Fellows from Virginia's Community Colleges, emphasizing the power of finding purpose in the present.
District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) has a COVID-19 Fundraiser providing rapid support for survivors of domestic violence and their children. DASH, led by Koube Ngaaje ('20), remains on the frontlines, ensuring every survivor and child in their network receive maximum support as they face increased risk.
DowntownDC BID President and CEO Neil Albert (’13) served as Co-Chair of the ReopenDC Retail and Small Business Committee. The committee has provided recommendations and guidance for reopening DC businesses and retail storefronts. The goal is to inform the community of ways we can work together to thoughtfully build toward a more equitable, resilient, and vibrant city post-pandemic as we move into a safe and sustainable rebuild.
EverFi, where Bobby Moran (’19) serves as Chief Revenue Officer, is providing their groundbreaking resources for students and learners at no cost to advance the reach of digital education in this time of critical need.
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, led by president and CEO Victor Hoskins (’16), is providing resources and assistance for businesses navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Their COVID-19 Business Resource Hub contains tools to match job seekers with employers and provides businesses with information and critical resources during this emergency. Victor and the team are giving direct assistance virtually to help business leaders successfully continue operations.
GEICO Vice President Rynthia Manning Rost (’96) has joined the P-TECH coalition of leaders dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. P-TECH is a new initiative powered by IBM to help address the many social disparities we face as a nation by increasing access to equitable education and economic opportunity for young people of color, or in poverty, who have been historically denied. She is bringing her expertise in public affairs, community relations, and volunteer engagement to advance this broad initiative.
George Mason University School of Business Dean Maury Peiperl (‘19) found an inspiring and creative way to congratulate Class of 2020 graduates. He provided congratulations to new graduates via video, which he introduced with a piano segment from Billy Joel’s “Summer Highland Falls.” He credited students for persevering in the face of extraordinary circumstances and reminded them that their experience in triumphing over adversity will serve them in years to come.
Georgetown BID, led by Joe Sternlieb (’03), has set up an Employee Emergency Grant program to help those working in Georgetown businesses who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis. The Georgetown BID funded the first $150,000 and a new round of funding is underway. They have created a Georgetown BID Technical Assistance Program to provide support from CPA firms and lawyers to advise BID member businesses that are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Generation Hope, led by founder and CEO Nicole Lynn Lewis ('16) has created a Scholar Emergency Fund to provide direct financial support to student parents to relieve impacts brought on by illness, food insecurity, domestic violence, unemployment, housing instability, and transportation issues.
Girls Can Move Mountains is a new book by Dr. Solanges Vivens (’05) that shares her 25 most important rules of life and business to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, Vivens has been at the forefront of healthcare entrepreneurship for over 40 years. In addition to releasing her memoir during the pandemic, she is taking her work in a new direction with the Vivens Media Group multimedia content geared towards helping people discover their personal strengths and achieve their goals.
Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC) are hosting virtual mentorship sessions for scout troops in our region. Lidia Soto-Harmon (’07) led the first online mentorship program and more than 50 scouts joined to stay connected while physically distancing. GSCNC is offering a range of helpful resources to keep kids safe and engaged.
Greater Greater Washington, led by Executive Director David Alpert (’16) is a leader in housing, transportation, and public policy across our region. They influence the public narrative and mobilize support around the ideas that transform the built environment and public policy across jurisdictions. With a strong emphasis on sustainability and racial equity, they kicked off June by sharing survey results that demonstrate their wide-reaching impact, advocacy, and engagement.
The Greater Washington Community Foundation, with the leadership of President and CEO Tonia Wellons (’20), has assisted 200 organizations in our region through their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. 50 percent of those organizations are led by people of color. Their newest effort, VoicesDMV is bringing together the community for On the Table conversations to spark ideas for rebuilding a stronger, more equitable region. They will then fund Community Action Awards to help transform the resulting ideas into action–committing at least $100,000 for community organizing, action, and social justice projects. LGW is a partner on this initiative. Get involved here.
HAND supports housing providers seeking to develop communities where all can live and thrive. With the leadership of Heather Raspberry (’18), they have developed a Racial Equity Resource Center to help address disparities and increase access to opportunity for communities of color. To help housing providers navigate the challenges created by COVID-19, HAND has also created a space where housing providers in our region can engage, share ideas, and collectively act on solutions to serve communities.
Helios HR CEO Kathy Albarado (’20) and team are helping businesses attract, engage and retain top talent. They have produced a breadth of excellent thought-leadership resources to help hiring-managers and human-resources professionals navigate new challenges during the pandemic. When they aren’t busy helping leaders navigate change, they are holding local drives for food and personal items in support of local community-based non-profits that provide crisis intervention, safe housing, and supportive services to families experiencing domestic violence and homelessness.
Hooks Book Events, led by the dynamic Perry Pidgeon Hooks ('13) is bringing leading-edge content and highly interactive shared learning experiences to help businesses excel in the time of COVID-19 through their HBE Engage platform. The platform is building new opportunities to advance racial equity; the program on July 29, co-produced by Sara Gibson (’15), is focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and community-driven solutions.
Howard University School of Education Dean Emeritus Leslie Fenwick (’09) and Chike Akua published an article this month in the Washington Post titled, “Just how little U.S. students learn about African American history — and five steps to start to change that” it offers steps for K-12 and higher education administrators to teach anti-racist curriculum and Black history in schools. Read the article here.
ICMA-RC, one of our nation’s leading providers of public sector financial services, are honoring public service employees serving our local communities on the front lines during this crisis in an inspiring and creative way. Lynne Ford (’15), ICMA-RC’s CEO and president has been hosting virtual jam-sessions with a variety of musicians - more than 450 team members participated in their first jam.
IMPACT Silver Spring led by Jayne Park (’05) brings people together across lines of race, class, and culture to create a thriving, multicultural community. Their "Building a Multi-Racial Movement: Challenges + Promises," event brought together a range of activists for a discussion on organizing and movement-building that transcends divisions of race. You can catch the entire enlightening virtual event here.
Internet Innovation Alliance Co-Chairwoman Kim Keenan (’00) is engaged in advocacy aimed at progress on ending the digital divide and addressing gender and racial disparities in the tech industry. Kim recently joined Common Sense media to talk about the “homework gap” that’s occurring for low-income students and students of color. You can find more details about her recent work and leadership here.
Jarvis Commercial Real Estate Managing Principal Ernie Jarvis (’02) is setting an example for how to be a champion for racial equity at work. Frustrated with the lack of diversity in real estate brokerage, he put forward a 10-point plan to fix the industry’s diversity problem. Read more about this thought-provoking plan and community leadership here.
Joe’s Movement Emporium provides arts-based youth programs that bridge the creative divide between under-resourced families and those with means. They are celebrating 25 years as the largest independent arts-provider in Prince George’s County with a virtual gala. Executive Director Brooke Kidd (’17) is planning the June 20 event which will include a wonderful lineup of artists, dignitaries, and community members and a DJ-led dance party. Howard W. Stone Jr. (’96) will be among those honored with this year’s Mighty Joe’s award.
Jubilee Housing is holding an Emergency Drive to support their residents who are unable to buy food and pay their bills at this time. Jim Knight ('19) is calling for action in support of Jubilee Housing residents bearing the greatest burden in the crisis.
Jubilee JumpStart is an early-care child education facility. Many of the families they serve have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Tom Bartlett (’20) serves as board chair and is seeking support in the direct effort to deliver surplus food, formula, diapers, and hand sanitizer for families in need. Tom is the co-founder and president of 20 Degrees, which helps nonprofits and social enterprises unlock new forms of revenue.
KAH Consulting specializes in storytelling for good, and CEO and Principal Counselor Kerry-Ann Hamilton (’15) provided an outstanding example of exactly that in her latest Washington Post column. She tells the story of breaking away from the pandemic on a family vacation that spanned many of our national parks. Along this journey, Kerry-Ann confronts the startling lack of diversity in our parks and the way racial inequity shows up in public spaces. Read Kerry-Ann’s powerful column here.
Kaiser Permanente is offering free Coronavirus testing for plan beneficiaries in the DC region. They have also increased employee sick leave benefits for frontline workers. The benefits apply to 6,000 employees across our region. Kim Horn (’15) is Regional President for Kaiser Permanente.
The Kojo Nnamdi Show hosted by Kojo Nnamdi ('98) has long been a vital outlet in our community for exploration and discussion of the issues most important to us all. More so than ever our community is turning to his voice and thoughtful leadership for guidance and inspiration. The show has provided excellent coverage of every angle of the Covid-19 crisis and continues to amplify brilliant voices to discuss racial equity in the wake of the devastating wave of racist violence in our country and the ensuant righteous unrest. If by chance you are not yet a fan, become one now.
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) led by President and CEO Lupi Quinteros-Grady (’20) supported the distribution of nearly 700 Chromebooks & 250 resource kits to under-resourced families in Prince George’s County last week. LAYC is engaged in multiple initiatives to provide food, tele-mental health appointments, and essential resources for families around the region. Learn more about their active response here.
LEAP Foundation DC, led by Dr. Clayton Lawrence ('13) helps disadvantaged youth in the DC region bridge the gap between hope and opportunity. Their partner organization, the Lawrence Executive Alliance of Professionals (LEAP) LLC is helping underprivileged young people secure careers in the growing field of health care and empowering the next generation of young people of color. Their mission is more vital than ever as they do the hard work of ending health and economic disparities in our community.
Life Pieces to Masterpieces, led by Mary Brown (’09) is now working harder than ever to serve disadvantaged boys and young men east of the river who are being deeply impacted by the toll of the pandemic. They pivoted fast to create ways to keep the young people they serve socially connected, providing crucial outlets for artistic expression and emotional relief. Learn more about their powerful impact here.
March of Dimes is empowering families with knowledge and tools to promote wellness. Stacey D. Stewart (’01) President and CEO, March of Dimes convened a virtual panel this week titled, “Healthy Moms, Strong Babies: Tips for Moms & Moms-to-be to Relieve Stress & Anxiety During the #COVID19 Pandemic.” The March of Dimes has launched an emergency intervention and support fund.
Marymount University voted unanimously last week to extend a five-year contract for President Dr. Imra Becerra (’15). She is advocating for new ways to increase access and personalized curriculum in higher education. She shared her recent viewpoints with the Greater Washington Board of Trade, emphasizing the importance of in-person learning, and is working with her team to ensure that students can return for the fall semester in a safe and secure manner.
Mary’s Center is providing crucial services for the elderly, the sick, and families in need of immediate care throughout our region. Maria S. Gomez (‘92) and her team launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to help their frontline providers continue their crucial work during the crisis.
MDB Communications, the full-service, advertising and marketing communications firm founded by Cary Hatch (’00) has launched an all-new landmark campaign heralding the vibrant opportunities for social-distancing activities in Prince George’s County. The campaign is called “Social Distance Here,” and highlights the many venues and destinations where visitors can enjoy safe activities and experience new things. Learn more here and put some of these great activities on your calendar!
Merito Group, led by President and CEO Carolyn Thompson (’20), has launched a groundbreaking new initiative that matches people looking for work with companies looking to support the needs of key employees, so productivity can thrive, and employees can be empowered during hectic times. Get connected and take advantage of the Merito Group At Home Assistance Program here.
The Metropolitan Council of Governments, led by executive director Chuck Bean (’05) passed Resolution R5-2021 to approve the National Capital Trail Network last week. The initiative was created by the Transportation Planning Board under the leadership of former Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette (’99). The sweeping plan will double the number of bike trails across our region to improve transportation, recreation, and access for all commuters. The decision arrives at a key moment, as the pandemic has revealed the crucial need for connected outdoor spaces and will enhance the ability for all people to safely access the region.
Meyer Foundation, led by President and CEO Nicky Goren (’13) awarded $1.18 million in general operating grants to 28 grantee partners building the power of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The largest grants went to organizations led by people of color. Discover more about the Meyer Foundation mission and impact here.
Miriam's Kitchen, led by LGW leaders Scott Schenkelberg ('13) and Adam Rocap ('20), has activated an Emergency Flex Fund to support older individuals with complicating health factors and those experiencing homelessness. They are providing meals, supplies, and connecting vulnerable populations to critical medical care.
Montgomery College, launched an initiative led by CEIO Sharon Jackson Bland ('07) that set up virtual discussions to create healing spaces for students of color. The first was attended by 250 people and now sessions are expanding to continue providing a critical outlet for young people looking for answers from leaders and a safe space to convene and speak from the heart.
The Motley Fool Co-Founder David Gardner (’19) announced this week that they are launching live teaching sessions on saving and investing for high school students and adults. The Motley Fool is the leading resource for investors and one of the foremost voices for conscious capitalism and triple-bottom-line investing. His podcast series is a must for any leader looking to do well by doing good.
My Sister’s Place, led by Director Mercedes Lemp (’14) is holding a Virtual Volunteer Award Celebration on Friday, September 18, 2020 to celebrate the volunteers helping My Sister’s Place during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. My Sister’s Place remains open and is committed to helping clients who are especially vulnerable to domestic violence and financial hardships during the pandemic. You can learn more about My Sister’s Place and support their work here.
National Capital Region Red Cross is responding to the strain on the blood supply in our region due to COVID-19. Please make an appointment to donate. Locations are available in DC, Rockville and Fairfax. President and CEO Linda Mathes ('97) is urging our community to help maintain the critical blood supply in our region during the crisis.
Northern Virginia Family Service is seeking food, grocery gift cards, goods, and donations in support of neighbors in need. Cliff Yee ('15) and team are marshaling resources for aid to serve vulnerable residents directly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency
O2 LAB, led by Denise Hart (’08) and Robert McVearry (’13), have insights for marketing success in the midst of this troubling time. Their article this week provides three practical steps businesses and organizations should be taking today.
theatreWashington President and CEO Amy Austin (’15) expanded their Taking Care Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to Washington-area theater professionals facing hardships due to COVID-19. They are awarding $500 grants to at least 220 people affected by the crisis. The 2020 Helen Hayes Awards honoring theatre excellence in area productions will take place virtually.
The Office of the Chief Technology Officer for DC, led by CTO Lindsey Parker (’19) oversaw the successful rapid shift to telework for the DC government workforce and the move to distance learning for DC schools. Her work is advancing the digital future of DC. As a powerful advocate for removing the barriers caused by the digital divide, Lindsey’s strong leadership is ensuring that available technology supports all District employees and residents. She served as an instrumental member of the ReOpen DC advisory committee.
One Common Unity co-founder and Executive Director Hawah Kasat (’20) is helping young people tap into the power of arts and music to continue providing therapy and healing for young people in these dire circumstances. Their clinicians are offering their innovative programming via teletherapy during this time of physical distancing.
Orr Group senior director Katy Moore (’19) shared that her organization is providing comprehensive free online resources for nonprofits designed to help leaders and their teams with fundraising and recovery efforts during these challenging times. The resources can be found here.
Path to 15|55 is a new initiative launched by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson (’09), President and CEO of impact investment & advisory firm CapEQ™. Path to 15|55 is engaged in efforts to build a path to grow at least 15% of Black businesses, create 600,000 new jobs, and add $15 Billion to the US economy. This collaborative initiative is bringing together experts from every sector and was created in response to research from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity which demonstrates that supporting Black businesses is an engine that can transform our economy and society.
Prince George’s County where Angela Alsobrooks (’12) serves as County Executive is partnering with The United Way of the National Capital Area, led by Rosie Allen Herring (’02) on the Stand Up and Deliver program to fill critical needs for Prince Georgians. The fund works with local non-profits and restaurants to provide meals. In Prince George’s County, nearly a third of the population lives in a food desert, so the program is a lifeline to help residents maintain their health and wellness which reduces the rate of coronavirus infection. You can support the fund here.
Prince George’s County Community College (PGCC), led by President Charlene Dukes (’13) held a virtual commencement celebration to honor the Class of 2020 which was broadcast on Verizon FIOS 44, Comcast Xfinity 75 (995 HD), and the PGCC-TV YouTube channel. Among their many feats of service, PGCC donated PPE equipment to Prince George’s County to help protect essential healthcare workers. On July 20, she is leading a discussion with Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to be an Antiracist.” Dukes (’14) begins her retirement this year, so don’t forget to congratulate her on her exemplary career of leadership in our community.
Prosperity Now where Mary Frances-Wain (’20) serves as Chief Engagement Officer has helped millions of people, especially people of color and those of limited incomes, to achieve financial security, stability, and ultimately, prosperity. Prosperity Now recently partnered on a poll with UC Berkley which shows that the majority of Americans support changes to policing and new policies to prevent racial inequities in the economy. The Prosperity Now website contains a breadth of informative reports on the status of communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Find them here.
Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) members started Hook Hall Helps to support restaurant and foodservice industry workers seeking relief. President and CEO Kathy Hollinger ('04) is empowering the community to help our foodservice economy sustain and recover.
Rosslyn BID President Mary-Clare Burick ('15) announced that they will provide $100,000 in relief funding to Rosslyn small businesses as part of the Arlington County Small Business Emergency GRANT Program (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term). The fund is designed to help the many small businesses left behind in the federal grant process. Find more information on their community response here.
The Skyland Workforce Development Center, led by Director Anne-Maire Bairstow (’17) has pivoted to offering virtual job search, resume help, and interview prep to current participants. They are providing individual support for people out of work due to COVID-19. If you are interested in helping Skyland Workforce Development Center connect job seekers with resources you can connect here.
Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund (TDJBCF) founded by Thelma D. Jones (’00) is serving an average of 125 meals per day to seniors and immune-compromised residents of River Park, a private complex in SW DC. This volunteer-led response from TDJBCF is a daily three-hour effort which is protecting the wellbeing of dozens of vulnerable residents. They are partnering on the effort with the SW BID.
Tower Strategy Group where Saurabh Kapoor (’17) is Founder and Managing Director released an enlightening in-depth report titled “Transformation: Failure is a Choice” that details strategies for business change and growth. During COVID-19, being nimble and adaptable are requisites for leadership. This report can help you better understand how to facilitate methodical change and transformation initiatives and avoid common hurdles when implementing. Download the PDF here.
Trinity University is providing the space for a drive up/walk up testing site for coronavirus (COVID-19) administered by Children’s National Hospital, where Kathleen Chavanu Gorman (’16) is President and CEO. Barbara Goliday (’09), Director of Major Gifts at Trinity Washington University shared the news. Families are encouraged to book an appointment through their physician if a child is showing symptoms. Children's National can be supported through their Emergency Action Fund.
United Way of the National Capital Area has launched an Emergency Assistance Fund to help community-based organizations deliver economic assistance and access to vital food and basic needs supplies. Rosie Allen Herring ('02) is spearheading the initiative to provide food, economic assistance, and basic necessities to families.
Volunteers of America (VOA), where Jatrice Martel Gaiter ('02) and Joe Budzynski ('06) serve on the executive leadership team, are responding to surging needs for our elderly, homeless, and families during this health crisis. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, VOA teams have activated emergency plans providing round-the-clock care for seniors, children, and families.
Walker's Legacy, the largest digital platform for women of color in business, led by Natalie Madeira Cofield ('20) has established an excellent series called Breaking the Stigma: A Mental Health Digital Summit. These frequent events are providing an outlet for impactful education and discourse on mental health that aim to bring awareness, teach coping mechanisms, and provide useful tools through engaging conversations from mental health professionals in a time when the need is greatest. Learn more about this powerful global community of brilliant entrepreneurs and executives.
The Washington Business Journal released an article by Vandana Sinha (’18) that shared the perspectives of dozens of prominent business leaders on racial inequity, violence against people of color, and the resulting demonstrations. The powerful article is a call to action and offers a deep consideration of ways leaders in our community can create solutions to help stop the ongoing devastation caused by centuries of racism.
Washington Area Women's Foundation, president, and CEO Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat ('15) and team launched their new 'Stand Together Fund' to support women and girls of color in our region who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Their goal is to meet critical gaps in funding to protect women and families experiencing domestic violence and help safeguard frontline workers.
Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) President and CEO Keith J. Sellars (‘20) recently teamed up with Neil Albert (‘13) to shape the direction of recommendations for the ReopenDC Retail and Small Business Committee. In addition, WDCEP has set up a COVID-19 Business Guidance & Resources hub and published an excellent recent report on Opportunity Zones in DC which can help accelerate investment and economic recovery from COVID-19 while creating more equitable conditions.
The Washington Informer led by publisher Denise Rolark Barnes (’97) is hosting frequent live streams on their WIN-TV platform to amplify voices throughout the Black community on a breadth of important issues. She hosted a powerful recent conversation on unerasing Black women from the history of the women’s suffrage movement. The channel consistently amplifies the voices of business leaders, activists, academics, and artists – providing a rich outlet for community belonging and awareness-building.
Washington Law Firm, P.C. is welcoming Sheryl Wood (’04) to its civil rights practice. She will be working on civil rights cases and will be providing consulting services on law enforcement reforms. She is a former federal prosecutor at the US Department of Justice in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division where she investigated and prosecuted law enforcement officers for excessive use of force nationwide.
Washington Nationals Philanthropies Executive Director of Collective Impact Tamara Wilds Lawson (’15) is advancing the NATS4GOOD Community Response Fund, administered by Nationals Philanthropies, to disperse grants to partners providing essential food access, health, and human services in response to the COVID19 pandemic. Find out more about NATS4GOOD here.
Washington Performing Arts, led by Jenny Bilfield (’20) is bringing all-new online performances with their Home Delivery Plus package coming in 2021. The performances will be recorded in exceptional audio and video quality in real concert venues. Discover new artists and big-name performers like Joshua Bell and J’Nai Bridges, and even engage in Q&A with performers, all from the comfort and safety of your home. Find out more here and be sure to sign up to receive notices of exciting upcoming shows.
Washington Post BrandStudio has created a directory of local businesses and organizations entitled "Doing Our Part, At Home.” Ethan Selzer (’17) is spearheading efforts to promote this database that lays out the current status of businesses in the D.C. metro area. The resource helps local audiences support the businesses and organizations that are meaningful to them. We encourage you to add your information today via this easy form.
World Central Kitchen board director Lizette Corro (’08) cares deeply about giving a helping hand to the underserved. Her unique expertise in strategic planning, fundraising, and global event management is helping drive the work of Jose Andres’ nonprofit, which has provided 100,000 meals and counting to those in need across our region. For ways to get involved visit their site.
Urban land Institute Washington where Liz Price (’11) serves as Executive Director just announced their 2020 Pathways to Inclusion initiative to expand the professional networks of real estate and land use professionals who are underrepresented in the land use and real estate fields, defined as being African American/African descent, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Asian. Price (’17) is advancing responsible land use and sustainable growth in our region, read her latest article in the Washington Business Journal on using regulatory tools to create more racially equitable neighborhoods here.
LGW leaders, log in to The Connector and create a post in our "Opportunities" section under "COVID-19 Needs/Resources," we encourage you to post anything from hyperlocal to regional, and to share helpful resources and needs.
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