Newsletter - December 2, 2021

The UPDATE | December 2, 2021

Welcoming Four New Staff Members to the DC Action Team

Please join us in welcoming four new staff members to the DC Action team

Program Coordinator Hannah Francis

Hannah is excited to bring her program and project management skills along with her passion and energy to support DC Action's mission. She most recently served the District's children and the communities that support them at the Capital Area Food Bank where she managed the youth-focused direct service food access programs for the DC metropolitan area. She earned joint bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and International Service from American University. Hannah’s previous research with the DC Health Matters Collaborative focused on inclusive health programming and best practices to improve health literacy in the District.

Director of Policy and Equity Research Carlos Manjarrez

Carlos comes to DC Action with 20 years of experience in social policy think tanks and federal agencies. He has worked on projects focusing on public housing, evictions and homelessness, information access and cultural policy, food security, and civil legal aid. Although the substantive issues have changed over the years, the common thread that connects this work is a commitment to progressive community change and the empowerment of under-resourced communities. He specializes in leveraging municipal, administrative data with other sources of public data to inform advocacy and organizing efforts. 

Senior Writer Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso

Before joining the staff of DC Action, Betsy ran Rosso Writing, a communications consulting practice, for 16 years. In this role she worked with hundreds of organizations to help them tell their stories so the people and communities they serve could thrive. While many of her clients focused on children, youth, families, and education, Betsy has also worked in the areas of the arts, health, housing, human services, military service, philanthropy, and science. Prior to launching her consulting practice, Betsy served as communications officer for the Meyer Foundation and as senior editor for BoardSource. Betsy earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William and Mary.

Senior Youth Policy Analyst Rachel White

Rachel brings nearly a decade of youth advocacy experience to DC Action. After obtaining her law degree from Wake Forest University, Rachel worked for and directly alongside youth in New York City's foster care system, advocating for their individual needs in child welfare legal proceedings. At Montclair State University, Rachel taught courses such as Introduction to Child Advocacy, Cultural Competence in Child Welfare, Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect, and Introduction to Child Welfare Policy. As the correlation of systemic racism and disparate outcomes for Black and brown youth within the child welfare system became strikingly clear, Rachel pivoted her career from direct service to child welfare policy to effect change on a larger scale, centering racial equity. Rachel has successfully advocated for race impact statements to be included in the analysis of bills before the Maryland General Assembly, widened access to higher education for youth experiencing homelessness and youth involved in the child welfare system, and ensured that youth experiencing homelessness received housing priority on college campuses. 


Kimberly Perry to Moderate DC for Democracy Candidate Forum December 8

Register now for DC for Democracy’s Candidate Forum, featuring DC Council Chair candidates Phil Mendelson--current chair of the DC Council--and challenger Erin Palmer, and Mayoral candidate Robert White. All candidates who have filed to run through the Fair Elections program were invited to participate in the forum. DC Action Executive Director Kimberly Perry will be moderating the online event. 


Language Access is a Necessity for Building an Equitable Early Childhood System in the District

As the District struggles to implement the Birth-to-Three law and the entire country grapples with creating a more equitable system of child care and early education, we must ensure full inclusion by demanding language access laws are in full compliance. Child care cannot be equitable without language justice. The lack of language access is a serious barrier for many parents and educators, but it’s children who suffer the most. Learn more about this pressing issue in a blog post by DC Action Community Organizer Natasha Riddle Romero.

ICYMI: Creating Meaningful Earning Opportunities for Young People in the District

District youth are helping to support their families, trying to save for post-secondary education or entrepreneurship, and build assets. Youth employment is a reliable predictor of future lifetime earning potential. That’s why it’s critical for the District to create a large-scale youth jobs program or supplement youth income with guaranteed income. Research and Data Manager Rachel Metz discusses this issue in her latest blog post.

Read, Watch, Listen

Read We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina Love. Co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, Love’s book advocates for educational justice through the dismantling of systemic racism and the application of abolitionist teachings. 

Watch one of Black Culture Connection’s Ten “Must Watch” Black History Documentariesincluding The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 about the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on contemporary artists, Dark Girls about the persistent significance of skin tone, and More than a Month about the effects of focusing on Black history only during February.

Listen to the latest episode of the Power Station podcast, featuring DC Action Executive Director Kimberly Perry. The conversation explores how the pandemic and recent racial reckoning in the US have brought to light and exacerbated long standing inequities in our education, health, justice, and housing systems, and what DC Action is doing about it.


About DC Action

DC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-issue advocacy organization making the District of Columbia a place where all kids grow up safe, resilient, powerful and heard. DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. We are home to DC Kids Count, Under 3 DC, DC Out-of-School Time Coalition, the DC Home Visiting Council and the Youth Homelessness Advocacy Coalition. Our collaborative advocacy campaigns bring the power of young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.

DC Action

1400 16th Street NW, Suite 740

Washington DC 20036


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