The UPDATE | November 3, 2021
Did you miss the Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony? That’s okay, here’s a recap!
Last week at DC Action’s first annual Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony, we honored community champions who have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of babies, children, youth in our community; celebrated our progress; and re-energized our community for the significant work still to be accomplished. Thanks to our sponsors, attendees, and donors, we raised $43,000 to ensure all of the District’s children and youth grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.
Honoring Five Champions of Children and Youth
We shined a light on five extraordinary Black women who are making a difference in the lives of thousands of District families from cradle to career. Alethea Etinoff of Point of Care Childcare was named Early Educator of the Year (home-based). Barbara Lankster of Kennedy Institute Child Development Center was named Early Educator of the Year (center-based). Samantha McDaniel of the Healthy Babies Project was named Home Visitor of the Year. Destiny Sharpeof SPACEs in Action received the Shooting Star Award for her leadership as a young adult aged 16-24. Audrey Walker of Jubilee Housing was named Youth Champion of the Year.
The honorees were selected from nearly one hundred nominations submitted by their peers, colleagues and neighbors. Each awardee received a prize of $2500. Their inspiring personal stories were so moving that standing ovations occurred more than once during the evening.
Introducing the Diane Bernstein Fellowship in Child and Youth Advocacy
Board member Bonnie Politz introduced DC Action’s new Diane Bernstein Fellowship in Child and Youth Advocacy. The fellowship was created to honor the legacy of Diane Bernstein, one of the five founders of DC Action for Children in 1992, who dedicated her life to advocating for children. A paid college internship providing hands-on experiential learning for college students interested in the intersection of racial justice and public policy with a focus on children and youth, the goal of the fellowship is to inspire more young people to enter the field of public interest advocacy.
Gali Laska, our inaugural Bernstein Fellow, began working with DC Action in September. She is a sophomore at The George Washington University, pursuing a double major in psychology and sociology. Gail is passionate about mental health care, education, and advocacy for children, and hopes to one day work with families of children with special needs.
Documenting the Successful Merger of DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates
In 2020, DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates merged to unite all those fighting on behalf of the District’s children and youth to pursue a single, shared vision for what it looks like to grow up in our city.
Kimberly Perry and Maggie Riden announced an upcoming effort, funded by the Meyer Foundation, to document and tell the story behind the motivation of the merger and the conditions that were in place to ensure it was set up for success.
Expressing Thanks to Board Chair Warren Romine for His Exemplary Service
Kimberly Perry thanked Board Chair, Warren Romine, for his diligent and steadfast Board leadership and service to DC Action for Children for the past ten years. “In addition to ensuring our organization’s integrity and compliance, Warren also led the Board through the recent, successful merger, making certain that legal, financial and program operations were fully integrated. DC Action has been lucky and blessed to have Warren in our corner for so many years.”
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.
1400 16th Street NW, Suite 740
Washington DC 20036
Copyright © 2021, DC Action, All rights reserved.