#Community

#Community is the Crimsonbridge Foundation’s commitment to participate, engage, listen, and learn with the communities we support. It is a team driven initiative designed to develop relationships with community partners that go beyond grant proposals. Through #community we engage directly with grantee community partners to better understand challenges, identify solutions, leverage new resources, celebrate success, and build community. It is our approach to philanthropy and community partnership.

Together for Hope Virtual Youth Expo

Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo spent an inspiring and energizing evening with Crimsonbridge Bridges for Census partner Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), alongside more than 100 LAYC supporters, staff, families, and youth at their first virtual youth expo. The Expo highlighted how LAYC continues to connect with youth virtually, and celebrated the accomplishments of LAYC youth using a variety of creative mediums: videos from youth and parents, voiceover recordings of youth sharing poems and short stories, displays of photography, artwork, and activism graphics, and more! The theme of the evening, “Reclaiming our Voices: Art, Dreams, Justice,” reminded the expo participants of the importance of safe spaces where youth can come together to grow, learn, and create 

Abolitionist, Allies, Resistance, and Persistence

August 2020

Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo joined Crimsonbridge community partner, DC SCORES to learn about the impact of historical inequalities on the communities where their poet athletes live and learn. DC SCORES partnered with the Sandy Spring Slave Museum to host an expert panel on the topic, which kicked off with a virtual tour of the museum. One of the panelists, a volunteer board member of the museum who also serves as the Director of the Montgomery County Public School’s Equity Initiative, offered four “agreements” for participating in courageous conversations about race:  1) stay engaged, 2) speak your truth, 3) experience discomfort, and 4) expect and accept nonclosure. Participants were also encouraged to consider how to use their power and privilege within their spheres of influence to interrupt systems of oppression. Caitlin Furey Mayo looks forward to visiting in-person in the future to learn more about Sandy Spring’s unique role in the history of the Greater Washington region.

Reopening Schools with Latino Families in Mind

As schools all over the country create plans for the fall, the Catholic School Advantage at the University of Notre Dame brought together Catholic school leaders to offer their perspectives on reopening, with a specific focus on Latino students and families. Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo listened alongside leaders to learn about the intentional strategies schools are using to communicate with families during the COVID-19 pandemic.  A central theme that emerged during the webinar is the importance of consistent and effective communications during this unprecedented time.  One principal shared that his school will be creating bilingual videos to help ease parents’ fears and concerns about the upcoming school year.  A superintendent encouraged school leaders to use multiple tools to reach families – WhatsApp, Facebook, robocalls, and email. Panelists agreed that nothing replaces face-to-face communications and recommended setting up a video call with parents when the technology is available.  To learn more, watch the recording of the webinar here.

What You Can Do to Support the 2020 Census

As members of the Communications Network and supporters of regional #completecount efforts, Crimsonbridge Program Officers Caitlin Furey and Abigail Galván joined a national conversation to listen for strategies that could be shared with our five Bridges for Census partners.  The webinar, presented in partnership with Fair Count, focused on action steps nonprofits and foundations can take to support the 2020 Census.  Though the COVID-19 pandemic and shortened deadline of September 30th present new and unique challenges to this important effort, Fair Count encouraged participants to view the census as one of the “three pillars of democracy” along with voting and redistricting. Recommendations included focusing on developing creative approaches to virtual outreach, collaborating with peer organizations to maximize impact, and crafting multilingual messages to engage hard-to-count populations. View the full webinar here.

 

Culture Matters: Creating Culturally Responsive Evidence-based Programs

“To serve others is a privilege and requires excellence.” This statement by an Identity team member captures their commitment to culturally responsive programming and evaluation.  For more than 20 years, Identity has built culturally responsive programs tailored to immigrant youth, many of whom have recently arrived from Central America.  During the webinar hosted by Community Science, Identity team members shared key strategies to ensure that programs are culturally responsive, such as: conducting focus groups with the target population, identifying culturally-competent and bilingual program facilitators, and listening to community needs through youth and parent advisory boards.  Hearing from Identity prompted Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo to reflect on the strategies that inform our Bridges and Bridges for Schools programs, as we consider how evaluation can improve these programs over time.

Virtual Convenings with College Completion Colleagues (C3) in June

A vital component of our three-year C3 Initiative, is connecting as a network. At the request of partners, Crimsonbridge and Scheidel Foundation co-hosted two virtual convenings in June 2020. The first convening engaged executive directors and the second convening brought together the program leaders of the six participating organizations – New Futures, Capital Partners for Education, CollegeTracks, Collegiate Directions, Generation Hope, and College Success Foundation-DC. As the organizations shared how they are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and engaging in the public outcry against racial injustice, it was clear that these leaders are innovating support for college students by connecting them with new resources and taking community care to the next level. As the academic world goes virtual,  students, many of whom are first-generation college goers, face additional barriers as they continue to adjust their lives and their academic plans, in order to complete their degree. Despite this, Crimsonbridge Foundation Program Officer Robyn Ellis was overwhelmingly encouraged to hear leaders’ stories of hope and courage as they not only support each other and their teams, but serve college scholars, their families, and their basic needs.

A Social Justice Town Hall: From Grief to Action

On Juneteenth, the Greater Washington Community Foundation hosted a virtual town hall to discuss systemic racism and how the DC community can come together for racial justice.  The town hall featured a conversation between Dr. Rashawn Ray, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, and the parents of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III, Richard W. Collins Jr. and Dawn Collins. Their son was killed in 2017, in a hate crime, three days before he was set to graduate from Bowie State University.  The Collins now pursue social justice at the local and national level, advocating to change unjust laws and systems.  A message Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo heard loud and clear was – educate yourself and VOTE in all local elections!  Watch the full recording here.

 

 

Excelencia in Education’s Greater Than Graduation Event

On June 5, national nonprofit Excelencia in Education hosted a special virtual graduation event, “Greater than Graduation” to honor 2020 Latino college graduates and their families. The event showcased Latino student success at four-year universities and community colleges across the United States, and shared students’ experiences in college and they prepare for their careers beyond graduation. While cheering on the graduates, Crimsonbridge’s program officer, Robyn Attebury Ellis recognized serious grit, reflection, and transformation in the nine graduates selected for an intimate conversation with Maria Hinojosa, host of Latino USA. Students represented Hispanic Serving Institutions and emerging HSIs, and talked about the challenges they overcame in college, their plans to give back to their communities, and amidst a pandemic, how hopeful they are for the future. The Crimsonbridge Foundation supports Excelencia in Education’s ALASS Institute and state research relating to Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Engaging Cross-Sector Leaders During the Pandemic

Investing in diverse leadership is an intentional act, one that involves continued outreach, development, and support.  We also believe in the importance of engaging leaders in cross-sector dialogue and solutions. One organization working on these efforts is Leadership Greater Washington (LGW).  As a featured sector leader during one of three LGW Chair’s Virtual Town Halls, Crimsonbridge’s executive director Danielle M. Reyes, shared an update on the pandemic’s impact on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Her remarks ended with a call to action for cross-sector solutions, rallying government, private, and nonprofit members to consider how they can support the community personally, professionally, and as sector leaders.

Our Words Our City LIVE!

April 2020

DC SCORES celebrated National Poetry Month with a virtual event featuring performances from their all star cast of poet-athletes and professional spoken word artists. The event was a major success, with over 2,000 viewers tuned in from their homes including Crimsonbridge team members, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey Mayo.  Our executive director noted how the virtual event was a fantastic opportunity for those not familiar with DC SCORES to have a free and accessible experience.  Caitlin Furey Mayo, who enjoyed all of the performances, was particularly touched by the poem, “Community,” shared by a 5th grader from Powell Elementary School. If you missed it, you can watch the recording of the event here. 

She Should Run…for office!

As a part of its 2020 Road to Run Series, She Should Run is offering webinars breaking down the decision of women to run for office. In the first webinar, “How to Ask a Woman to Run”, program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis learned that women running for political office are just as likely to win as men, but not as likely to be recruited. It shared why women’s representation matters and about common barriers like perceived lack of qualifications, and shared accessible tips for people who know a great leader considering a run. The session, which is now a free online video, featured a woman running for city leadership and her “power-mapping” process before deciding to run. She Should Run also suggested a piece of homework: for the girls in your life, introduce them to strong women leaders who problem-solve well and get things done. In addition, if you talk with a woman and nominate her to run, they’ll with encouraging words and guidance. Crimsonbridge Foundation is supporting the expansion of She Should Run’s virtual cohort programming in 2020.

 

A Moment of Calm with FADICA

April 2020

Funders and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) brought together members from all over the country for an hour-long virtual “retreat in daily life,” led by Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who lives in New York City. Program Officer Caitlin Furey embraced the opportunity to pause and reflect alongside fellow members of the FADICA community. Participants reflected on the importance of finding community at this time – something that resonates deeply with the Crimsonbridge Foundation. Another suggestion for fostering a spirit of peace during a crisis – end the day in reflection, with a particular emphasis on moments of gratitude, big or small.

Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund leader Kendra Hazel featured on The Kojo Nnamdi show

April 2020

Kendra Hazel, Community Green Spaces Educator at City Blossoms was featured on the legendary Kojo Nnamdi Show today! As a 2019 Rising Leader with our partner Leadership Greater Washington, Kendra has been keeping busy taking care of DC’s community gardens, all deemed essential during the pandemic. The City Blossoms team is continuing to practice social distancing while planting spring crops and are helping to build families’ connection to nature through their free resources available at http://cityblossoms.org/resources. Crimsonbridge’s executive director Danielle M. Reyes, an avid gardener, tuned in along with program officer, Robyn Attebury Ellis, who was reminded that, “It doesn’t matter if we have a yard or just a window.  If we have about six hours of sunlight, we can make something delicious grow!”

AL1GN online conference shares first-generation experiences during the pandemic

April 2020

This month, our friends at the Alliance for the Low-Income & First-Generation Narrative (AL1GN) moved their popular conference online! Over the past two Saturdays, AL1GN has convened first-gen students and supporters online, creating a supportive space for students to share how they’re managing the fast transition to online education during the pandemic. The content-rich web series has hosted a virtual town hall on institutional responses to COVID-19 and presentations from students on topics such as job searching in the era of coronavirus. Program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis listened in as students offered recommendations for those in the thick of the job search process, including advice about salary negotiation, networking online, and navigating summer internship searches. Explore future sessions at al1gnconference.com!

Virtual Event Success with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

March 2020

Like many nonprofits that had planned events in March, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia got creative and went virtual with their 2020 A Taste of Literacy. Program officer Caitlin Furey was there  participating on social media and watching videos that featured learners, volunteers, and LCNV staff members! The event was an overwhelming success, and LCNV was able to reach 1,200 individuals with their inspiring stories!  LCNV has also pivoted to distance learning and has extended their spring semester to meet the needs of their adult learners.

 

Generation Hope’s virtual Bedtime Stories for student-parents and their families

Generation Hope is adding a little love to bedtime routines for college student-parents and their kids. Once a week, they will be sharing Bedtime Stories Live on their Support Generation Hope Facebook page for their ninety-one scholars, their families, and all their supporters. Last night, after putting one baby to bed, Crimsonbridge program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis tuned in with her four year old son to hear Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice read three books with her ten year old daughter. Robyn’s son called the story “super double thumbs up good!” Seeing a mother and child read with each other, to each other, and talk and laugh about the book, was everything. Tune in to Generation Hope’s Bedtime Stories Live next week to hear from their next reader, Senator Chris Van Hollen.

Learning about School District Investments in College Success For All

February 2020

In February 2020, NCAN shared a new report showing how 20 school districts and partners across the United States worked to change their postsecondary advising approach as a part of the To & Through Advising Challenge. A panel highlighting five of these school leaders discussed how their districts embraced data-informed collaborations to improve students success beyond high school. Program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis and board member Adrianna Smith, attended the report release along with fellow community partners, to listen and learn about how districts have made strategic investments in college success, including peer mentors influencing college enrollment behaviors, communications campaigns showing families multiple pathways, and more!

DC Scores Our Words Our City

February 2020

DC Scores creates neighborhood teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. It provides year-round soccer, poetry & service-learning programming for 3,000 kids across the District. As a poet and founder of the Makar Open Mic Series, Crimsonbridge board member Adrianna Smith was eager to attend a DC SCORES special edition of Our Words Our City.  As part of a year long 25th Anniversary celebration, the sold out poetry slam event showcased the incredible talent of 16 poet-athletes and alumni during a black box theater poetry event at Studio Theatre.

FADICA’s Catholic Philanthropy Summit

February 2020

FADICA’s Annual Meeting is an opportunity for engaged funders to learn about each other’s work and discuss issues and opportunities related to Catholic education, the environment, international development, and more. Highlighted this year was a Crimsonbridge sponsored study on Catholic Social Innovation and Parish Vitality. Following the report, Danielle M. Reyes was invited to emcee the Demo Day & Social Innovation Bazaar, where five leaders of organizations featured in the study presented their innovative work in a pitch-style format followed by a meet and greet for presenters and guests.

Latin American Youth Center Breakfast for Heroes

February 2020

The 9th Annual Breakfast for Heroes was an opportunity to start the day with a great breakfast and some inspiration.  Honoring heroes who have contributed to the success of the Latin American Youth Center, the event celebrated the contributions of a Montgomery County Council Member, the Director of Community Engagement at Montgomery College, and the Founder of Neighbors Rising. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo, who recently engaged with LAYC through our Bridges for Census program, appreciated the opportunity to listen to and connect with members of the community who are passionate about lifting up the strengths and assets of our region’s youth.

Catholic Schools Week with the Archdiocese of Washington

January 2020

For more than 40 years, Catholic Schools Week has been a special time for students, families, and staff. This year, at Saint Francis International School in Silver Spring, Maryland, Archbishop Gregory celebrated a beautiful multilingual mass that honored the rich diversity of the school and its 10th anniversary. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo was delighted to join the school community for a festive morning of worship, song, and dance. Saint Francis International School is a partner in Crimsonbridge’s Hispanic Education Imperative.

New Futures Scholar Award Dinner

January 2020

At the Crimsonbridge Foundation, seeing DC students experience success in college is a priority. At the January New Futures Scholar Award Dinner, program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis had the privilege of celebrating several of her former students from the UDC-CC CARE dual enrollment program who are now pursuing associate’s and bachelor’s degrees throughout the region. At the event, New Futures awarded 36 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in a variety of fields including Health Sciences, IT, Education, Construction, Public Service, and Hospitality. Scholars shared their stories, dreams, and noted that thanks to New Futures, they know where to turn when college gets tough.

Emerging Leaders Get the Inside Scoop on Leadership

December 2019

Program officer Robyn Attebury Ellis jumped at the invitation to join four nonprofit leaders, all Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund recipients, as they learned about leadership in Montgomery County. As a part of Leadership Montgomery’s Emerging Leaders program, the group meets monthly to discuss the inner-workings of key leaders’ visions, how they make decisions, who they rely on, and how they work through challenges. The day commenced included insights a coffee producer, financial expert, event space innovator, local elected official, and a brewery tour from its owner!

When Women Give

December 2019

At Crimsonbridge, being entrepreneurial and partnering with others is how we practice philanthropy.  This month, our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes, attended When Women Give, a conversation about the power and promise of women’s philanthropy hosted by our community partner, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.  The event not only provided an opportunity to learn and engage with community members and women of all ages, but encouraged women to recognize their many contributions and join the #iamaphilanthropist movement!

Learning with Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools

November 2019

Through the Hispanic Enrollment Initiative, the Archdiocese of Washington is committed to increasing Latino enrollment in Catholic schools and improving education outcomes for Latino children. Aligned with this, the Elementary Schools Principals Association of the Archdiocese of Washington is hosting a four-part professional development series focused on cultural competency and culturally responsive teaching practices during the 2019-20 school year. Program Officer Caitlin Mayo had the privilege of attending the first of these sessions as a guest, where she joined more than 50 principals and staff of the Catholic Schools Offices committed to this work.

Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Fall 5K

November 2019

It was a chilly November morning, but Program Officer Caitlin Mayo joined her fellow members of the Young Professionals Board of Girls on the Run of Montgomery County to volunteer at the Fall 5K. More than 2,000 girls crossed the finish line, joined by their family members, teachers, and coaches. The GOTR MoCo 5K is always a joyful and positive morning, made possible by hundreds of volunteers who believe in the value of this program. Congratulations to all of the girls who participated in the fall season!

 

 

Fall Meeting of the College Completion Colleagues Initiative

November 2019

The College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative held its fall meeting in the community conference room of Potter’s House in Adams Morgan.  The eight organizations have met as a cohort three times a year since 2018, to learn, share, and strengthen a regional network focused on college success. Participants broke off into small groups based on topics of their choosing. Our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes joined a robust discussion that shared each organization’s plans and funding needed to scale up.

Elevating Evidence-Based Programs that Accelerate Latino Student Success

October 2019

Excelencia in Education’s Accelerating Latino Student Success (ALASS) Institute is the meeting place for professionals leading effective strategies for Latino student success in higher education. Participants, including Crimsonbridge’s Danielle M. Reyes and Adri Smith, learned about and shared evidence-based practices, strategies and resources that increase Latino degree completion at the community, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.  Also celebrated were recipients of the Seal of Excelencia – designed to facilitate institutional change to close equity gaps and increase Latino student completion.

MCAEL Launches Toolkit for ESOL Programs

October 2019

Community partner MCAEL developed an exciting new resource for ESOL programs, a Program Administrator Toolkit. Our program officer, Caitlin Mayo, attended the launch party to celebrate the publication of the practical guidebook for community-based adult ESOL programs. The launch party was also an opportunity to connect with staff and teachers from other language programs, including fellow Crimsonbridge community partners such as Literacy Council of Frederick County and Spanish Catholic Center!

 

 

 

Creating New Futures Through College Success

October 2019

Crimsonbridge board member Adri Smith has been working closely with the Foundation to engage with Washington, DC area nonprofits, universities, and others as we seek to increase the number of first-generation students graduating from college. For her, connecting with College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative participant New Futures, at their Bright Futures event, was an opportunity to learn more about their work and celebrate their success in supporting students with big dreams.

Making College Success a Reality for DC Students

October 2019

The College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative has eight members – six nonprofit and two foundation partners, including Crimsonbridge.  Together we are on a journey to learn from, inform, and strengthen a network of providers, advocates, and students committed to #CollegeSuccess. Board member, Adri Smith, is deeply engaged in our college success work and came out to support and learn about C3 partner, the College Success Foundation, at their Annual Breakfast.

Community Changemakers

October 2019

The Catalogue for Philanthropy brought together over 70 of their nonprofit partners at Arena Stage for an opportunity to showcase and celebrate their impact on our community.  Program Officer Caitlin Mayo attended in support of this effort and for the opportunity to connect with Crimsonbridge partners, such as the Literacy Council of Frederick County, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Girls on the Run, and Rock Creek Conservancy, as well as meet other nonprofits for the first time!  Congratulations to the Catalogue for bringing our community together for an energizing night that encouraged guests to #BeAChangemaker.

Community Briefing on Immigrant Justice

October 2019

The foundation’s investments in improving outcomes for immigrants has always been informed by hearing and learning from community partners. This month, Program Officer Caitlin Furey had the opportunity to do just that, by attending a community briefing hosted by Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. At the event, five impressive five nonprofit leaders, working to achieve justice for immigrants in the Greater Washington region, challenged funders to consider the intersection of racial equity movements with movements for justice for immigrants, and called for philanthropy to leverage connections to build networks and elevate these issues.

Bringing English Language Learning to the Workplace

September 2019

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and La Cocina VA, both Crimsonbridge partners, were invited by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association to participate in a panel discussing the importance of employers helping their employees to grow their skills through English language training designed for the workplace.  Program Officer Caitlin Mayo attended the panel to support and hear from LCNV Executive Director Roopal Mehta Saran and La Cocina Board Chair Nick Freshman.  Both leaders spoke about the positive impact they have achieved through innovative partnerships with hotel, hospitality and restaurant groups.

Census 2020 Community Dialogue

September 2019

Program Officer Caitlin Mayo, who leads the foundation’s Bridges for Census 2020 work, participated in an informative discussion hosted by the Fairfax County Census 2020 Complete Count Committee at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center.  Panelists emphasized the importance of community-based nonprofits, faith leaders, and civic leaders serving as trusted sources during Census 2020 outreach, especially for historically under-counted populations.  After the panel, participants had a chance to mingle, ask questions, and develop strategies for getting a #completecount.

 

 

Hispanic Enrollment Initiative

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Celebrates Hispanic Enrollment Initiative

September 2019

Crimsonbridge Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes joined parents, school leaders and teachers, and leadership of Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Office to recognize parent volunteers for their support of the Hispanic Enrollment Initiative, led by the office’s first Hispanic Enrollment Outreach Coordinator. Parish and school leaders praised these parents not only for the active part they play in connecting and welcoming new families to area Catholic Schools, but for the many contributions their families make that enrich Catholic school communities.

C3 Cohort

Knowledge Sharing Among C3 Organizations

July 2019

Members of the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative recently kicked off a second year of partnership toward a shared goal of increasing college success rates. During a day of candid conversation and knowledge sharing around technology, Crimsonbridge Foundation staff appreciated learning more about the complex role that various technology tools play in helping C3 nonprofits to connect with and support students in their journey to and through college. Those same technologies also support organizational efforts to track, manage, and share outcomes within their organizations and with external stakeholders.

New Futures Scholars Award Dinner

New Futures Welcomes New Scholars

July 2019

At its bi-annual Scholar Award Dinner, New Futures welcomed and celebrated 28 young people joining its program as Scholars. Among this inspiring group were 24 pursuing a certificate or associates degree and four second-time Scholars pursuing a bachelor’s degree in IT/Cybersecurity, Construction & Trades, Health Sciences, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Public Service, and Education fields. Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess appreciated the opportunity to learn about the journeys and aspirations of this dedicated group of Scholars following their dreams.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia Recognition Ceremony

Celebrating with Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

June 2019

Learners, volunteers, and community partners gathered in Falls Church for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s 57th Annual Recognition Ceremony. Program Officer Caitlin Furey’s favorite part of the night was when adult learners shared stories they had written for the theme, “My Voice Matters.” One learner expressed, “Although I faced many challenges, learning English was beneficial to me. I am now able to express myself and share my experiences on various topics in English. For this reason, I can now declare that my voice matters.”

Catholic Charities Program Fair

Exploring the Catholic Charities Program Fair

June 2019

Program Officer Caitlin Furey joined hundreds of employees from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington for their annual Program Fair, hosted at Catholic University. The Fair was a fun, interactive opportunity to learn more about the diverse array of services available through Catholic Charities’ 59 programs. Staff members from the ESOL program, housing, employment, behavioral health, health care, immigrant support services, and more were eager to share their work and passion for helping others.

Region Prepares for 2020 Census

June 2019

Program Officer Caitlin Furey and Philanthropy Fellow Anne Hundertmark joined representatives from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for a day of learning at, “Interventions that Work: 2020 Census and Hard-to-Reach Communities,” hosted at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. The conference provided workshops that dealt with issues ranging from engaging critical populations to understanding the effects of the census on our communities. Attendees left with strategies and an improved understanding of how nonprofits can serve as a vital instrument in ensuring an accurate and representative census count.

Celebrating Achievements with the Literacy Council of Frederick County

June 2019

Crimsonbridge Philanthropy Fellow Anne Hundertmark joined the Literacy Council of Frederick County for their 6th annual Celebration of Achievements. The celebration honored students who had advanced through key literacy milestones, such as completing an ESL course, and accomplishments that resulted from their improved literacy skills, including career advancement and even passing the US Citizenship Test! Volunteer tutors were also commended for the time and effort they invest into improving the literacy of the Frederick County community.

Palabras Sinceras

May 2019

In “Palabras Sinceras,” high school students took to the stage at GALA Hispanic Theatre to present poetry and short scenes they had written and developed over the course of a year while participating in the Paso Nuevo program. The bilingual production explored themes of love, friendship, family, and migration. Program Officer Caitlin Furey and Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess were inspired by the performances, which ranged from emotional and moving to comical and imaginative.

A Spelling Bee for Adult Literacy

May 2019

The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL) hosted their 6th annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee, featuring six teams, three celebrity judges, and a spirited audience of supporters. Funds raised during the event will support MCAEL’s goal to serve 21,000 adult learners by 2021. Program Officer Caitlin Furey volunteered back stage at the event and was very impressed by the spelling skills on display. Congratulations to the winning team from Bethesda Magazine, who correctly spelled “MAMMONISM” to take home the championship trophy!

Lunch with Nonprofit Leaders

April 2019

Nonprofit leaders and staff from Crimsonbridge and the World Bank enjoyed connecting over lunch at Georgetown University. Crimsonbridge has partnered with Georgetown’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership for several years, providing scholarships for leaders of diverse backgrounds to participate in the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. The World Bank also provides scholarships for leaders working to advance equity. Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes and Program Officer Reyna Sharp enjoyed the opportunity to connect with and learn about the personal and organizational goals of these nonprofit leaders.

Sharing Our Stories

March 2019

At 8 a.m. on a Friday morning, nearly 20 Catholic University students entered the Center for Cultural Engagement, where director Javier Bustamante, a Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund alum, had gathered staff from the Archdiocese of Washington, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Georgetown University, Bread for the World, and Crimsonbridge to share their career path stories over breakfast.  A shared theme among speakers was their commitment to community and service shaped by personal and family experiences.

Connecting at the Naturally Latinos Conference

March 2019

More than 150 environmental stewards gathered at the beautiful Woodend Nature Sanctuary for the Naturally Latinos Conference, hosted by the Audobon Naturalist Society. Attendees heard from environmental leaders and discussed how to engage and empower Latino communities. An inspiring highlight was keynote speaker Ada Monzón, Puerto Rican meteorologist and founder of science museum EcoExploratorio. The Crimsonbridge Foundation was a sponsor and Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes served on the planning committee. Program Officer Reyna Sharp truly enjoyed the vibrant conference.

Catalogue for Philanthropy Review

March 2019

Crimsonbridge staff joined a team of more than 100 volunteer reviewers across the region in support of the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy. Program Officers Caitlin Furey and Reyna Sharp and Grants and Communications Officer Beth Hess used their knowledge of area nonprofits to help evaluate small nonprofits for potential inclusion in the upcoming Catalogue.

Nonprofits Gather to Share Strategies for College Success

March 2019

In February, six nonprofits focused on college completion, who are members of the C3 Initiative, gathered for the third time since June to discuss how to ensure students persist and succeed in college. Jennifer Adams, College Success Director at CollegeTracks, kicked off the discussion with an insightful presentation on their approach to student engagement. Program Officer Reyna Sharp facilitated discussion with Caroline Wertz, Senior Program Officer with the Scheidel Foundation. Participants walked away with a refreshed perspective and practical tools to bring back to their teams. We look forward to the next C3 Initiative meeting this summer!

Catholic Charities of Los Angeles – Capacity for the next 100 years

February 2019

The Crimsonbridge Foundation first partnered with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles (CCLA) in 2017 on the redesign of their website. A goal was to include a new extensive Spanish-language microsite prior to the organization’s centennial in 2019. After several years of virtual collaboration and partnership across time zones, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey recently had the opportunity to meet CCLA’s leader, Monsignor Gregory Cox, and Alexandria Arnold at the St. Robert’s Center in Santa Monica and discuss the impact that having relevant online Spanish language content has had on the organization. Congratulations to Catholic Charities of Los Angeles on 100 years of service!

FADICA’s 2019 Member Symposium

February 2019

Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) gathered its members and partners in Santa Monica, California for a three-day conference focused on Catholic education, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and Church vitality. As a new member and funder, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey attended on behalf of the Crimsonbridge Foundation and had the opportunity to connect and learn with philanthropy professionals from all over the country.  A highlight, the Social Innovation Bazaar, featured short presentations from 6 innovative Catholic-led organizations working on issues including sustainable energy, community organizing, and assistance for asylum seekers.

New Futures Scholar Award Dinner

January 2019

New Futures, a partner of the Crimsonbridge Foundation through the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative, honored more than 20 college students at their bi-annual Scholar Award Dinner. New Futures Scholars receive scholarships, academic advising, and career coaching. Many are pursuing degrees and rewarding careers in high-growth fields, such as Computer Science, Graphic Design, Nursing, and Hospitality. Several student speakers shared their inspiring stories, and there was not a dry eye in the room! Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, was pleased to meet several New Futures Alumni, Scholars, staff, and supporters at this uplifting event.

Catholic Schools Week 2019

January 2019

The Crimsonbridge Foundation was thrilled to celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2019 with the Archdiocese of Washington and the students of St. Mary’s School in Landover Hills, MD. The school community kicked off the week-long celebration with a prayer service and performances by the talented student dance team and gospel choir. Our Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes, and our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, spent an inspiring morning at the school, which included a tour led by two eighth grade students.

Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts

January 2019

More than 30 girls gathered at James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, VA for “Encuentro,” a day-long leadership conference for Latina girls in middle and high school. Three Latina women shared their experiences, in English and Spanish, as first-generation Americans who pursued their dreams and became highly successful in their respective careers. Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, enjoyed being a volunteer facilitator for two workshops for the middle school girls: “Budgeting & Saving” and “Financing Your Future.”

Age of Agility Summit

January 2019

“Change happens gradually, and then suddenly.” Such is the case with technology, says Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Education Evangelist. He was joined by several other engaging speakers at the Age of Agility Summit, hosted by America Succeeds at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a riveting discussion on how education must adapt to an increasingly technology-based economy. Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, joined business leaders, educators, nonprofit organizations, and more to explore a new vision for learners, systems, and educators that meets the demands of the 21st-century global economy.

The Family Place Gift Giveaway

December 2018

Each year during the holiday season, the Family Place organizes a gift giveaway for their students, many of whom are recent immigrants to the United States. The gifts are generously donated by local businesses, churches, and foundation partners. Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, volunteered to join the wonderful Family Place staff to help students pick out the perfect gifts for their children. It was a cheery way to spend a December morning!

Committee for Montgomery’s Annual Legislative Breakfast

December 2018

At the invitation of community partner, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL), our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, joined MCAEL’s Executive Director, Kathy Stevens, and Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Monica Casañas, as well as representatives from the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Identity, Linkages for Learning, College Tracks, and Nonprofit Montgomery for an opportunity to listen and learn at “Be in The Room Where It Happens,” the Committee for Montgomery’s Annual Legislative Breakfast. One resonating message from Senator Chris Van Hollen’s keynote address – the importance of inclusivity in our community!

Racial Equity Roundtable

December 2018

This month, the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University held its second Racial Equity Roundtable. Nonprofit leaders explored how to promote and ensure racial equity within their organizations. Program Officer Reyna Sharp participated in the discussion on meaningfully and intentionally assessing an organization’s racial equity efforts.

College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative Hosts Second Convening

November 2019

In partnership with the Scheidel Foundation, Crimsonbridge hosted the second of three convenings of the College Completion Colleagues (C3) Initiative earlier this month. The C3’s nonprofit members, six local organizations that provide essential support on the journey to and through college for those who are first-generation college students or have financial need, explored best practices in the critical transition to college. Panelists included Program Director of the Georgetown Scholarship Program Melissa Foy and Director of College and Career Transition at Prince George’s Community College Cecelia A. Knox. Crimsonbridge Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes moderated the panel discussion and Program Officer Reyna Sharp facilitated discussion.

The Promise of Latino Youth Forum

November 2018

Identity, Inc kicked off their 20th Anniversary year with the release of a report by University of Maryland researchers on how Latino youth living in Montgomery County, MD are faring and concrete ways in which to support their successful transition to adulthood.  Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, encouraged Crimsonbridge grantees serving Montgomery County to join her at this community learning opportunity.  Congratulations to Identity on 20 years of empowering Latino youth and their families!

Girls on the Run of Montgomery County Fall 5K

November 2018

More than 2,000 girls gathered with their families and coaches for the Fall 5K Celebration on a chilly Sunday morning in Bethesda. As volunteers, our Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes, served as a course marshal, while Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, oversaw the volunteer booth. Both cheered the girls on as they completed the goal they have been working towards over the ten-week season. It was a morning filled with positivity, encouragement, and empowerment for young girls in our community!

DC SCORES’ Westside Poetry Slam

November 2018

At DC SCORES’ Westside Poetry Slam, students from more than 15 elementary schools gathered for an energized evening of poetry, dancing, and good sportsmanship at Roosevelt High School. Many bilingual poet-athletes took the stage, performing poems in English and Spanish! Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, loved hearing all of the poems, which ranged widely in topic and sentiment – from favorite school lunch (funny!), to choosing love over hate (moving and inspiring!).

Catalogue for Philanthropy “Inspiration to Action”

October 2018

At the Shakespeare Theatre, The Catalogue for Philanthropy hosted its annual “Inspiration to Action.” This unique event showcases several nonprofit members of the Catalogue through live, illuminating, and entertaining stage performances. Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes and Program Officer Reyna Sharp enjoyed the dynamic performances, as well as the opportunity to meet several nonprofit leaders and representatives.

Collegiate Directions Professional Development Series

October 2018

Collegiate Directions, a community partner that helps students succeed in college, hosted Dr. Tiffany Jones from the Education Trust to discuss A PROMISE FULFILLED: A Framework for Equitable Free College Programs. More and more states are pursuing Free College, yet Dr. Jones notes these programs do not always help those who need it most. Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, was grateful to attend and learn along with staff about the key elements of equitable Free College programs.

Generation Hope’s Pancake Battle

October 2018

At Generation Hope’s Pancake Battle, celebrity chefs competed for the honor of best pancake while supporters cheered on (and enjoyed the judging process) with all proceeds going to help D.C. area teen parents become college graduates and help their children enter kindergarten at higher levels of school readiness. As volunteers, our Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes and board member, Adrianna Smith, had the opportunity to help out while connecting with staff, participants, and their children.

Racial Equity Roundtable

October 2018

Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL) held its first Racial Equity Roundtable this month. Alumni of the CPNL’s graduate programs gathered to explore racial equity in the nonprofit sector. Program Officer Reyna Sharp participated in the discussion about how to support and increase diverse staff at all levels of nonprofit organizations.

Catalogue for Philanthropy’s Community Conversation on Adult Education

September 2018

As part of their Community Conversation series, The Catalogue for Philanthropy hosted a panel on adult literacy in the 21st century. Panelists included leaders from the Washington English Center, the Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School, and Byte Back. Our Program Officer, Reyna Sharp, attended and participated in the discussion about challenges organizations face, trends in adult education, and shared goals for the future.

Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital Camp CEO

September 2018

Each fall, Camp CEO brings together more than 20 women executives and 40 high school girl scouts from the Greater Washington region for an action-packed weekend of fun and inspiration at Camp Potomac Woods. Our Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes loved spending the weekend with these women and girls… and had fun learning how to use a sling shot and a tomahawk too!

Leadership Greater Washington Rising Leaders Graduation

July 2018

The Rising Leaders Class of 2018 graduated after months of interactive professional development workshops, with topics ranging from managing up to presenting with confidence. Our Executive Director and Program Officer, Danielle M. Reyes and Caitlin Furey, were thrilled to connect with the 9 Rising Leaders who received scholarships from the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund. Each of these Rising Leaders serve the DC community at local nonprofits.

Prince George’s Community College Culinary Arts Center Grand Opening

April 2018

Members of the community gathered to celebrate the Grand Opening of Prince George’s Community College state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Center. Our Program Officer, Caitlin Furey, was excited to tour the new building, and learn more about the classes that PGCC will offer in the space. Course offerings will include an option for adults to learn English while developing the skills necessary for a career in the culinary arts.

Catalogue for Philanthropy’s Panel on Women and Girls

March 2018

Catalogue for Philanthropy brought together four phenomenal nonprofit leaders to discuss the state of women and girls in the DC region. Danielle M. Reyes, our Executive Director, and Caitlin Furey, our Program Officer, attended to listen, learn, and meet other nonprofit professionals with diverse perspectives. Thank you to Catalogue for Philanthropy for playing the role of convener and host!

Crimsonbridge Volunteers at the Serving Our Children’s Winter Carnival

January 2018

Serving Our Children welcomed hundreds of families to their Winter Carnival at THEARC in Ward 8. Staff assisted parents with the application process for the Opportunity Scholarship Program, as children enjoyed the carnival games. Our program officer, Caitlin Furey, volunteered at the community event, and spent the afternoon working at the prize table, where children selected which book they would take home after a fun day at the carnival!

Celebrating the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership Anniversary

September 2017

We were happy to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership!

University of Notre Dame’s Latino Enrollment Institute

July 2017

In preparation of co-sponsoring the first Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) in Washington, DC with the Archdiocese of Washington next spring, program officer, Caitlin Furey, spent three days in South Bend, IN attending the summer LEI. In addition to a tremendous amount of learning and idea sharing, it was an opportunity to connect with school administrators, education staff, and others who are working to make enrollment to Catholic schools more accessible for Hispanic students across the country.

Celebrating Heritage and Leadership

May 2017

In recognition of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a commemorative month that pays tribute to and celebrates the culture, contributions, and sacrifices of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States – the DC office of the Gates Foundation co-hosted a special event with the Metro DC Chapter of Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) that featured a panel of three Asian American women leading private foundations in the Greater Washington region.

Girls on the Run 5K

May 2017

In Montgomery County, each fall and spring, 2,500 girls from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds come together to achieve the goal they have been working towards all season, completing a 5K! Our program officer, Caitlin Furey, volunteers as a coach with Girls on the Run of Montgomery County, and she was thrilled to watch the 25 girls from her team cross the finish line. Hundreds of volunteers, coaches, and sponsors make the 5K possible each season.

Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership Open House

March 2017

Georgetown University hosted an informational open house for its Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. Nonprofit leaders gathered to learn more about the program, and networked with fellow perspective participants. Caitlin Furey, our program officer, had the opportunity to attend the open house, and she was pleased to see several leaders from Crimsonbridge partner organizations in attendance.

La Cocina VA Graduation

March 2017

Celebrating success is never more important than when honoring the hard work and achievement of new graduates. Our program officer, Caitlin Furey, was proud to represent the Crimsonbridge Foundation at the La Cocina VA Graduation ceremony. Seven students celebrated their completion of the bilingual culinary training program with family, friends, and La Cocina VA staff.

City Blossoms Bilingual Cookbook Launch

March 2017

If you’ve been looking for a beautiful bilingual cookbook that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, City Blossoms, which develops urban green spaces for children and youth to learn, plant, and enjoy, has released a cookbook with 32 bilingual recipes entitled, Garden Gastronomy – Gastronomía del Jardin. Our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes, attended the book release party at Petworth Citizen where she was able to congratulate the organization’s co-founder, Rebecca Lemos and sample a delicious appetizer from one of the book’s recipes!

Brain Science Collaborative

February 2017

During this year-long professional development series, Teach for America DC Region teachers gain important, effective classroom strategies from the field of Mind, Brain and Education Science, to allow them to maximize their effectiveness and their students to achieve their highest potential. Caitlin Furey, our program officer, attended one of the highly interactive and engaging sessions, in which teachers learned about the connection between brain plasticity and student learning.

Archbishop Carroll High School Career Conversations

January 2017

Selecting a college major and career path can be difficult. To help address this, Archbishop Carroll, one of the first racially integrated high schools in the area, hosts a Career Conversations Day for students. Our executive director, Danielle M. Reyes, served as a panelist for this event, which engages dozens of professionals, from alumni and community partners such as Leadership Greater Washington, to share information and field students’ questions about future jobs and careers.

Latino Student Fund Holiday Gala

December 2016

The Embassy of Spain graciously hosted a holiday event in honor of the Latino Student Fund, bringing together staff, board members, community partners, and others, providing a welcome opportunity for program officer, Caitlin Furey, and board member, Adriana Smith to meet and connect with the organization’s staff.

Sharing Effective Communications Strategies with Educators in Washington State

October 2016

This month, Reaching and Engaging with Hispanic Communities: A Research-Informed Communication Guide for Nonprofits, Policymakers, and Funders, a publication produced by Child Trends Hispanic Institute and The Crimsonbridge Foundation, was presented at the Washington State Charter Schools Association Annual Conference. The annual conference is the association’s largest convening of the year, bringing together more than 300 national, regional and local experts engaged in the state’s growing charter school sector.

Latin American Youth Center’s Breakfast of Heroes

October 2016

The LAYC serves more than 4,000 youth annually. Attending its Breakfast for Heroes is an opportunity for staff and others to hear about the great work of this organization, celebrate its successes, and learn more about its ongoing need for support.