Together, We Prosper

The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s mission and work has always been centered on creating a just, equitable, and thriving community.

But recent events have added an urgency to our mission.

In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, persistent structural racism, and stark economic injustice, Greater Washington is facing a set of multifaceted and complex challenges. And the time is past due to address them in ways that are both intentional and aspirational.

To that end, The Community Foundation is embarking on a bold 10-year strategic vision that offers a north star for our work: closing the racial wealth gap in our region. It’s a big goal – one that will require us to align our business with our vision and advance racial equity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. It will also require us to partner with the community in new and meaningful ways.

We envision a future in which our attention and investments are directed toward communities that have been over-policed and underinvested in, as well as neighborhoods that are rich in cultural, community assets, and grassroots leadership.

To achieve this vision, we must forge powerful partnerships with community leaders and institutions, philanthropy, the private sector, and government that are fueled by community voices, strengthened with evidenced informed strategies, and supported by long-term commitments and investments.

Together, we can achieve this mission. Together, our entire region will prosper.

The Time Is Now

Seizing this opportunity to change the prospects for how Black and Brown people in our community generate, sustain, and share wealth, can open the door to making progress toward addressing every other disparity affecting a large segment of our community. Ultimately, we would improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, and raises a family here.

Now is the time for bold action and transformational change. Time and again throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have encountered local and national partners who are eager to work with The Community Foundation to advance racial justice and increase economic mobility, especially in our region’s most underinvested neighborhoods.

We want to make sure we meet that eagerness with action. And The Community Foundation is uniquely positioned to unite our community to take on this challenge. By the nature of our work, we exist at the intersection of racialized wealth and racialized poverty. We have built considerable expertise in guiding those with ample resources and charitable aspirations to effectively direct their money and resources toward helping those in need.

As the effort evolves, The Community Foundation will offer donors and partners new opportunities to make a difference. We will develop new ways for donors to align their philanthropy with the vision of closing our community’s racial wealth gap; to join us in our deliberate decision toward multi-year, general operating grants; and to double down on investments in organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Further, we will leverage our leadership and relationships — developed through decades of ongoing work through initiatives like Putting Race on the Table and VoicesDMV, and sharpened through our concentrated work around COVID-19 emergency response — to focus on creating change at the neighborhood level.

Moving Forward, Together

We’ve spent a lot of time listening.  And we’ve heard loud and clear the voices of many of our donors, partners, and community members who have grown impatient for meaningful change.

But this is a massive task — and we need to keep the conversation going, and expand it to include as many voices as possible.

With that in mind, our first step toward achieving our vision will focus on finding ways to invite the entire community to come together to learn, build, and invest in solutions to close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the region’s most underinvested neighborhoods.

By joining together, we can chart a path forward to shared prosperity.

Ultimately, we believe this energized commitment to advancing racial equity and inclusion in our most underinvested neighborhoods can ignite a powerful ripple effect to make our entire region stronger and more prosperous.

We invite you to join us on this journey toward creating a just, equitable, and thriving community — one in which everyone has the opportunity to prosper from economic stability and opportunity; thrive through greater access to quality education, health care and housing; and flourish by fully exercising their talents, creativity in ways that benefit themselves, their families and neighborhoods, and our entire community.

Together, we can make it happen.


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