Staying Informed About Northern Virginia's Supportive Community

Learn how The Community Foundation works with local elected leaders & nonprofit organizations like Family Service & The Arc of VA to create positive change & build stronger communities.

Staying Informed About Northern Virginia's Supportive Community

Part of the business journey can include short-term setbacks and failures, but entrepreneurs need resilience to build a dream. To help them, they are surrounded by a strong and supportive community. We connect technology professionals through educational and networking events, peer-to-peer communities, award programs, and educational summits. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) thanks The Community Foundation and its donors for unleashing the power of philanthropy to help “people of all races, places, and identities reach their full potential”.

Our quarterly DMV community book group met in August to take an in-depth look at the revealing article “What We Did Wrong by Closing the Racial Wealth Gap”. In the article, Price and his co-authors address ten common myths about the racial wealth gap: conventional ideas that include “higher education, harder work, better financial decisions, and other changes in habits and practices on the part of blacks”. The article goes on to explain that “while these measures are not necessarily undesirable, they are totally inadequate to close the racial chasm in wealth. While addressing higher education and homeownership can help close the gap a bit, they're not one-size-fits-all solutions.

In addition, Price noted that both approaches are fraught with systemic obstacles—such as student debt, abusive loans, and racial biase—that both policymakers and exchange agents often overlook. Rather than looking for a programmatic “magic formula” to close the racial wealth gap, Price suggested taking a step back and reexamining what wealth means. He described wealth as “allowing us to live and retire with greater dignity, freedom, and peace of mind” and “giving future generations the freedom to dream big and become all that they can truly be, with a focus on being “healthy, spiritually complete, and contributing”.The program also featured a moving spoken word interpretation by Fella Morgan-Bey, writer, spoken word interpreter and published author. Presented by the BlackRock Center for the Arts, Fella presented the public with an original piece called “Who Done It”.

The Neighborhood Legal Services Program will organize presentations on the topic “Know Your Rights” and will represent clients in cases related to housing discrimination, illegal eviction, rent increases, housing conditions, rescission of vouchers, and loss of subsidies. As remote learning continues, schools still don't have enough devices for all students, and too many homes in DC lack access to high-speed Internet. Together with the District of Columbia Public Education Fund and Education Forward DC, we established the District of Columbia Educational Equity Fund which has provided Internet access to more than 4,000 students. And more than 3,000 students with personal devices. Read more in “Going back to school means addressing the digital divide” by our partner Erin Sheehy of Education Forward DC.

In this op-ed for the Washington Post our president and CEO Tonia Wellons and Ursula Wright CEO of FSG explore a new framework for rebuilding a more equitable future for our region. In the article they refer to our country's current situation as a “trifecta of crisis that threatens our nation's public health economic security and democracy”. Take for example the Wesley Housing Development Corporation which provided funds to help low-income households avoid eviction. The grant will help 139 DC households maintain their homes. Of these households nearly 50 residents will participate in individual career counseling sessions to obtain unemployment benefits or rejoin the workforce. In addition they will receive material assistance such as supermarket gift cards hygiene items and “Study &” snack packs for young people at no additional cost.

At the national and local levels there has been a growing understanding of the role of the federal state and local government in creating and maintaining inequity specifically racial inequity through policies and practices. Although openly discriminatory acts based on race are now illegal the effects of previous generations' policies often considered “racially neutral” that regulated the characteristics of communities including who could live where and how wealth could be generated still persist. However from an “equity” perspective the focus is moving from focusing on addressing the perceived lack in people to addressing the situations and conditions that drive the inequalities that people face. Family Service of Northern Virginia will provide pre-service training in foster care and a resource parent certification. The Community Foundation's Children's Opportunity Fund (COF) is a public-private partnership that invests in innovative evidence-based efforts aimed at reducing educational disparities to close the opportunity gap in Montgomery County. The Northern Virginia Technology Council allows its members to keep up to date on the latest technology trends network with other professionals and give back to their community.

This year The Arc of Virginia has partnered with VAAccess (Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs) to advocate for the transformation of the DD System. Bold and significant prioritization and investment is needed over the next biennium to stabilize Virginia's exemption program. Northern Virginia Family Service To help 130 households move from homelessness to temporary housing or from temporary housing to permanent housing. It is estimated that there are more than 39000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Northern Virginia region. Reports from the Urban Institute and the Northern Virginia Health Foundation have documented this variation in opportunities and vulnerability in Fairfax County and throughout the region. It does not constitute an endorsement recommendation or favor on the part of Northern Virginia Community College.

Let's stop child abuse now in Northern Virginia: to help 75 children served by the CASA program achieve permanence in their placement homes. Virginia Ability Alliance — (VAA) — The Virginia Ability Alliance is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that represent people with disabilities in Virginia. Before the General Assembly session begins and on weekends during the session state legislators hold town halls throughout Northern Virginia to inform their constituents and receive feedback. The Community Foundation is proud to collaborate with local elected leaders to promote positive change and build stronger communities in DC Maryland and Virginia. And if your organization is hosting an event in Northern Virginia consider working with one of the graduates who have been trained by our partners at Northern Virginia Community College or other local organizations such as Family Service of Northern Virginia or The Arc of Virginia. The Community Foundation is committed to helping entrepreneurs build their dreams while staying informed about what's happening in their community so they can make informed decisions about their future. We are proud to collaborate with local elected leaders as well as nonprofit organizations such as Family Service of Northern Virginia or The Arc of Virginia who are dedicated to helping those with disabilities or those facing homelessness or poverty find resources they need for success. We also work closely with organizations such as Wesley Housing Development Corporation who provide funds for low-income households so they can maintain their homes or Neighborhood Legal Services Program who provide legal assistance related to housing discrimination or illegal eviction. Finally we partner with organizations such as District of Columbia Public Education Fund or Education Forward DC who provide resources such as internet access or personal devices so students can continue their education remotely. At The Community Foundation we strive to create positive change within our region by providing resources for those who need it most while staying informed about what's happening within our community so we can all make informed decisions about our future.

Lisa Van Velde
Lisa Van Velde

Typical internet evangelist. Certified social media geek. Passionate twitter fanatic. Subtly charming zombie advocate. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Hardcore beer guru.