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#COMMUNITY

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#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.
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Philanthropy DMV Presents Plans for 2024

February 1, 2024

Philanthropy DMV (PDMV), formerly Washington Region Area Grantmakers started 2024 by hosting its annual kickoff meeting. With a leadership transition occurring, the event was an opportunity to vote in new board members, discuss and suggest programming topics of interest, and for philanthropic colleagues from across the region to connect. As a returning institutional member, Crimsonbridge’s President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes, Program Officer Robyn Ellis, and Special Projects & Executive Assistant Sarah Babins attended the event, eager to connect with other grantmakers interested in nonprofit leadership development and college success work. Lastly, special congratulations to Executive Director of HumanitiesDC and active #LeaderBridgeDC alum, Rebecca Lemos Otero who was voted as a new PDMV Board Member.

Philanthropy, LeaderBridge

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Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics

January 26, 2024

A unique aspect of our local region is our proximity to the federal government and opportunities to attend briefings, meetings, and other convenings in person. Crimsonbridge President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes was pleased to attend the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics public meeting of the President's Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics (Commission). The public meeting provided a platform for the leadership of several U.S. Departments to share policy developments, new initiatives, and future goals with Commissioners. These advisory commissioners seek to better connect and promote engagement and opportunities for Hispanics throughout the US. Danielle had the opportunity to connect with many of the diverse community members in attendance who work throughout the country to promote inclusion.

Education Imperative

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Crimsonbridge CEO Shares Perspectives on Leadership with Leadership Montgomery Emerging Leaders

January 18, 2024

President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes was invited to be a guest presenter to the current Leadership Montgomery’s Emerging Leaders class. Her presentation, “Perspectives on Leadership and Philanthropy” offered ways emerging leaders could be both visionary and visible. Danielle offered tips and strategies for professional branding and network building and how these support building partnerships across sectors including philanthropy. The themes complimented and were part of a full day of training centered on the nonprofit sector. Emerging Leaders is a nine-month, dynamic professional development program that provides mid-level professionals between 25-35 years of age with the skills and connections necessary for success. LeaderBridge has supported the participation of nonprofit leaders in the Emerging Leaders program since 2019.

LeaderBridge, Presentation, Maryland

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Carlos Rosario Community Culinary Event: Mission in Action

January 10, 2024

Crimsonbridge Foundation team members Danielle Reyes and Danielle Verbiest recently attended community partner Carlos Rosario’s Community Culinary Event held at their Sonia Gutierrez Campus’ Emilia Rivera Bistro. Students from the Culinary Arts Training Program prepared a delicious 10-course Taste of Asia meal, demonstrating their culinary and English language skills. Reyes, a former ESL teacher, and Verbiest, an English language learner and former Executive Director of a local adult English literacy organization, know firsthand that English language proficiency is a tool for success and enjoyed seeing the students in action. We congratulate the students and staff on their accomplishments and wish them great success as they go on to enrich the greater DC hospitality industry. Carlos Rosario is a partner in Crimsonbridge Foundation’s adult English language initiatives.

English Language, Washington DC

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A Morning Volunteering with Girls on the Run of Montgomery County

November 18, 2023

Every spring and fall, Girls on the Run of Montgomery County (GOTR MoCo) offers a 10-week program that culminates in a 5K for all the girls who participated in the program. Each girl is accompanied by a buddy – parents, family members, teachers, school staff, coaches, and community volunteers run or walk alongside the girls as they reach their goal of completing a 5K. The 5K is a celebration of achievement for thousands of girls living in Montgomery County. Senior Program Officer Caitlin Mayo serves on both the GOTR MoCo Advisory Council and the 5K Committee, and this year she volunteered as the Post-Race Refreshments Captain. As a former staff member of GOTR MoCo, Caitlin looks forward to the 5K each season as an opportunity to reconnect with a mission that she is passionate about – empowering girls to achieve their full potential!

Women & Girls Leadership, Maryland, Volunteering

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Crimsonbridge Participates in National Catholic Education Convening

November 14, 2023

Crimsonbridge’s Gabriela Smith, Danielle M. Reyes, and Caitlin Mayo attended a Catholic Schools Revitalization Convening, hosted by Leadership Roundtable in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The convening engaged bishops, Catholic education advocates and leaders, and education funders in vibrant discussions on the future of Catholic education, featuring innovative and successful models that addressed sustainability and enrollment. Crimsonbridge team members shared the importance of Spanish language communications capacity building and welcoming strategies that are successfully increasing Hispanic enrollment and engagement. Another highlight of the trip was reconnecting with Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Houma-Thibodaux, who worked closely with the foundation in his former role as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Education Imperative

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Washington Area Women's Foundation Hosts an #AskHer Conversation on New Report "Thrive As They Lead"

November 9, 2023

The Washington Area Women's Foundation (WAWF) hosted an #AskHer discussion to discuss their new groundbreaking report titled "Thrive As They Lead: Advancing the Infrastructure to Support Black Women Leaders in the D.C. Metro Area Nonprofit Sector. As an organization that is advancing economic security for women and girls in the Greater Washington region, WAWF convened a dynamic group of Black women leaders who addressed the broad under-resourcing of leaders in this region as well as investment opportunities to better support leaders. The panelists raised specific strategies to promote executive leader retention, board support, wellness and healing, and fair compensation. The leaders highlighted in this conversation were: Tamara Wilds Lawson, President & CEO of WAWF; Indira Henard, Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center; Tonia Wellons, President & CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation; and Koube Ngaaje, President & CEO of District Alliance for Safe Housing. Crimsonbridge staff Caitlin Mayo and Robyn Attebury Ellis tuned in, attentive to the call for philanthropy to listen to and support an ecosystem of support for Black women leaders so that more DMV nonprofit leaders can thrive. 

Women & Girls Leadership, Philanthropy, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia

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IGNITE Releases National Research on Gen Z’s Political Participation and Critical Issues

November 8, 2023

Partner IGNITE hosted a briefing on the release of new data on the political participation of Gen Z. Results featured in this national research came from a cross-section of 1,298 respondents from 49 states and DC. Program Officer Robyn Attebury Ellis tuned in to learn about the research, which highlighted changing demographics from previous years. Gen Z is now the most racially diverse generation in US history, more LGBTQIA (36% of survey respondents), and increasingly Independent in their political affiliations. Additionally, Gen Z Americans are calling for change in issue areas such as: mass shootings, healthcare, mental health, education, racial inequality, abortion, and climate change. Many young people are turning out to vote – with IGNITE alums noting a growing momentum for Gen Z college students. IGNITE CEO Sara Guillermo said, "Gen Z-ers are activated civically in a whole new way,” and shared the 8+ ways that Gen Z women are demonstrating their political engagement in 2024, including volunteering for campaigns, encouraging people to vote, running for office, attending community meetings, using social media to bring attention to an issue, and discussing public affairs with friends and family. 

Women & Girls Leadership

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LeaderBridge Team Presents At Exponent Philanthropy Conference 

October 17, 2023

The LeaderBridge team presented a 75-minute session titled "Actionable Ways to Support Nonprofit Leaders of Color" to a packed room of lean foundation peers attending the national Exponent Philanthropy Annual 2023 Conference in Baltimore. President and CEO, Danielle M. Reyes, Senior Program Officer Caitlin Mayo, and Program Officer Robyn Attebury Ellis had the opportunity to design and lead a session detailing short- and long-term strategies for funders interested in strategically supporting the leadership development goals of nonprofit leaders of color. Informed by feedback LeaderBridge alumni have shared with our team over the past 8 years, the LeaderBridge initiative has grown to support more than 170 nonprofit leaders in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, from over 130 locally serving nonprofits, and has partnered with twelve leadership development program providers to build welcoming and inclusive outreach and communications practices. 

LeaderBridge, Presentation, Philanthropy, Maryland

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Crimsonbridge presents at EdFunders 2023 with the Center for First-generation Student Success

October 10, 2023

At the 2023 EdFunders Annual Conference in Atlanta, President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes opened two funder snapshot sessions focused on first-generation college student research presented by Dr. Sarah Whitley of NASPA's Center for First-Gen Student Success. Program Officer Robyn Attebury Ellis also led a conversation with Dr. Whitley and Jonathan T. Reid of the ECMC Foundation, sharing insights and specific ways foundation leaders are using this research to inform grantmaking and engagement with institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. Throughout the conference, connecting with foundation members and nonprofit leaders and attending sessions focused on justice and thriving filled our cups. For Robyn, a highlight was the annual dinner hosted by the Postsecondary Access and Attainment (or PSA2) Impact Group where she was named an incoming co-chair of the steering committee, along with Jenny Achilles of the Trellis Foundation and Jonathan T. Reid of the ECMC Foundation. 

College Success, Philanthropy, Presentation

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A Catholic School Celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 14, 2023

“It was a joy!” commented Senior Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo on joining Bridges for Schools partner St. Martin of Tours Catholic School for a mass celebrated by Cardinal Gregory in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. School staff planned a beautiful, bilingual mass that honored the many cultures represented in the school’s Hispanic community. In honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Cardinal Gregory spoke in his homily about the special devotions of Latino Catholics to Our Lady. He praised the diversity of St. Martin of Tours, saying, "our youthful Hispanic community lives in unity, in peace, and in love." After mass, Caitlin caught up with partners from the Archdiocese of Washington's Catholic Schools Office and Office of Cultural Diversity who were also in attendance for this celebratory occasion.

Education Imperative

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Learning Forest Resiliency Efforts by Rock Creek Conservancy

August 15, 2023

Special Projects & Executive Assistant Sarah Babins and President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes attended a virtual update from Rock Creek Conservancy on its Forest Resilience Framework. Executive Director Jeanne Braha and the RCC team presented a scorecard on the park’s natural resources and a park-wide framework for forest restoration and management that will offer a roadmap for equitable adaptive management of the forests. This plan will build on several existing elements to engage park visitors and community members in people-powered restoration, i.e., responsible recreation and active stewardship of Rock Creek’s forests. Rock Creek Conservancy is one of Crimsonbridge’s Environmental Sustainability community partners. 

Environment

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Rock Creek Conservancy Reaches Neighbors through Community Care Day

August 2, 2023

Crimsonbridge President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes and volunteer Ava Neretic volunteered as representatives of Rock Creek Conservancy at a recent Community Care Day event in the Crestwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. The outdoor event created an accessible opportunity for nonprofits, DC agencies, and the Ward 4 council member's office, to share information about programs and services with community members steps from their homes. Loaded with handouts and QR codes, Danielle and Ava shared updates on the Conservancy’s work, its popular Summer in the Park series, the Carter Barron Alliance, and year-round volunteer opportunities. Rock Creek Conservancy is a 2023 community partner in Crimsonbridge’s Environmental Sustainability program.

Washington DC, Environment, Volunteering

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An Introduction to Environmental Advocacy

July 18, 2023

Nature Forward hosted a Conservation & Environmental Advocacy 101 training. Over the course of the afternoon, President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes, Philanthropy Fellow Paige Collazo, and Special Projects Assistant Sarah Babins participated in this interactive, online event to become more informed advocates for Environmental Sustainability. Staff heard from local DMV-area organizations and private citizens who are working towards solutions to environmental issues, and learned how coalition building can be challenging but necessary to move solutions forward and achieve positive change. As a speaker shared during the training, “Protecting the environment is not a marathon. It’s a relay race. It’s important to pass on your knowledge and skills to others so that we can carry the work together, forward.” Nature Forward is one of Crimsonbridge’s Environmental Sustainability community partners.  

Environment

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Aspiring Leaders Come Together for IGNITE’s Young Women Run 2023 Networking Reception  

July 17, 2023

Crimsonbridge President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes and Philanthropy Fellow Paige Collazo attended the Young Women Run Networking Reception hosted by the Foundation’s community partner, IGNITE National. As part of IGNITE’s three-day Young Women Run conference, this event was an opportunity for women from all over the country to flex their political power and network with legislators from Capitol Hill. The goal of the conference was to put a national spotlight on Gen Z women who are challenging traditional social norms and helping their peers harness their political power to make change. The networking event featured a conversation between award-winning Washington Post Journalist Jacqueline Allemany and Youth Activist Mana Shooshtari about increasing Gen Z involvement in politics. Paige, an incoming journalism student at the University of Southern California, appreciated the opportunity to network and received valuable advice about studying in the journalism field and ways to get more involved. IGNITE is supported through Crimsonbridge’s Women and Girls Leadership and Civic Engagement program area.   

Women & Girls Leadership, Washington DC

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Celebrating the Generation Hope FamilyU Cohort

July 11, 2023

Crimsonbridge Foundation President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes attended the Generation Hope FamilyU Cohort Celebration recognizing the accomplishments of the first cohort. FamilyU is a comprehensive, customized, evidence-based, two-year capacity-building experience designed to build and refine institutional competencies to improve student-parent success. As part of this cohort, local Washington D.C. regional institutions, George Mason University, Montgomery College, Northern Virginia Community College, and Trinity Washington University, advance and propel student success efforts by creating deep institutional change that results in improved student-parent outcomes. Generation Hope is supported through Crimsonbridge’s College Success program area.

College Success, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia

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DC Bar Foundation Avenues to Justice

July 11, 2023

As Vice President of the DC Bar Foundation Board, Crimsonbridge Foundation President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes was honored to address attendees of the Young Lawyers Network’s Annual Avenues to Justice event. Hosted by the Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council, the event’s primary goal is to raise funds and awareness, contributing to community well-being and good outcomes for DC residents facing life-changing legal, medical, and social issues. Danielle brings more than 20 years of grantmaking experience to her service on the DC Bar Foundation Board of Directors.

Washington DC, Volunteering, Philanthropy

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Advancing Leadership with Leadership Montgomery Emerging Leaders

June 20, 2023

President & CEO Danielle M. Reyes and Program Officer Robyn Attebury Ellis connected with Leadership Montgomery Emerging Leader alums, to speak about LeaderBridge continuing opportunities and hear feedback directly from leaders about their leadership development needs. Emerging Leaders is a nine-month, dynamic, professional development program that provides mid-level professionals between 25-35 years of age with the skills and connections necessary for success. LeaderBridge has supported 17 leaders who have completed the Leadership Montgomery Emerging Leaders program since 2019.

LeaderBridge, Maryland

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Learning Alongside D.C.’s Adult Public Charter Schools

May 22, 2023

Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School collaborated with the D.C. Policy Center to host a release event for its recent report, A landscape of D.C.’s adult public charter schools: Who they serve, how they serve, and what they achieve. The report focuses on D.C.’s nine adult-serving public charter schools that provide opportunities for adult learners to improve their English language skills, earn high school equivalency certificates, and enroll in workforce development programs. Senior Program Officer Caitlin Mayo connected with community partners, including Carlos Rosario International PCS and the Family Place, and heard from an expert panel that included staff and student voices from several adult public charter schools. Adult learners make up 5% of all public school students in DC.

English Language, Washington DC

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MCAEL Annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee

May 2, 2023

Operations and Grants Manager Danielle Verbiest was excited to attend the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)’s 8th Annual Grown-Up Spelling Bee. Back in person for the first time in several years, this event raised awareness and funds to support the Coalition’s adult English language programs as teams competed in a fun and exciting spelling contest. MCAEL, together with 60 adult ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and literacy service programs, works to strengthen the community by helping approximately 11,000 Montgomery County residents gain the English literacy skills needed to reach their potential as parents, workers, and community members. As an immigrant, English language learner, and former Executive Director of a local literacy organization, Verbiest knows firsthand how English language proficiency can be a tool for success, and she is proud to work for a foundation that partners with and supports the efforts of MCAEL and other English language initiatives in the region.

English Language, Maryland

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Local Action, Global Impacts: How We Can Address Climate Change at Home

April 25, 2023

Bringing together a panel of inspiring women in government, policy, and business, She Should Run hosted its first-ever conversation on climate change. The webinar was an opportunity for women in office or considering a run for public office to learn about sustainable leadership practices, crafting a compelling public message, and learning from failure. As one speaker noted, climate change is a threat multiplier and destabilizer for all communities. Finding the motivators that help people make a personal connection to the effects of climate change are significant to motivate them to get involved every day.  Crimsonbridge’s Danielle M. Reyes and Sarah Babins, who work on the foundation’s Environmental Sustainability program area, appreciated the following takeaways: Focus on opportunity messaging, stay positive, maintain optimism, and share solutions!

Women & Girls Leadership, Environment

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Diving into Data with ACT for Alexandria and Venture Philanthropy Partners

April 19, 2023

Local funders and donors gathered for a data summit focused on youth outcomes in Northern Virginia. The event was hosted by ACT for Alexandria and Venture Philanthropy Partners and highlighted the diversity of Northern Virginia and its various jurisdictions. The data presented by Child Trends reveals deep ongoing disparities in youth outcomes across race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Crimsonbridge staff members Caitlin Mayo and Sarah Babins, who reside in Virginia, participated in the event alongside funding and nonprofit peers.

Philanthropy, Virginia

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Speed Networking with LGW Rising Leaders

April 5, 2023

“Meeting rising leaders from our region’s nonprofit sector always inspires and reminds me why investing in leadership development is so important,” said President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes after joining Leadership Greater Washington’s Rising Leaders Program as a special guest. The Speed Networking session, led by Mary Abbajay of CareerStone, offered participants a chance to practice their skills and was followed by a happy hour where the networking continued. The event gave Reyes the chance to meet and get to know this year’s four outstanding Rising Leaders participating through #LeaderBridgeDC.  

LeaderBridge

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Taking Nature Black Conference

March 7, 2023

Led by Nature Forward, this year’s Taking Nature Black conference was themed “Belonging: Engaged and Empowered,” focused on the needs and interests of Black nature professionals, environmental justice advocates, educators, and outdoor enthusiasts. President and CEO, Danielle M. Reyes, attended in preparation of the launch our new Environmental Sustainability program and was inspired, energized, and able to connect to a growing community of people working to achieve real environmental change. A highlight of her experience was reconnecting with author Caroline Brewer, who did a special reading of her poetic and powerful book, Say Their Names.

Environment

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An Inspiring Evening Featuring Women Filmmakers

February 1, 2023

The Girls on the Run of Montgomery County (GOTR MoCo) Advisory Council hosted their annual LUNAFEST event to raise funds for scholarships and running shoes for girls in Montgomery County. LUNAFEST is always an uplifting evening featuring the voices and talent of diverse women filmmakers. Crimsonbridge Senior Program Officer Caitlin Mayo joined her fellow Advisory Council members in planning and hosting the event for more than 100 GOTR MoCo supporters, including volunteer coaches, board members, and alums of the program. Guests left the event feeling empowered and inspired by the stories presented by LUNAFEST.

Women & Girls Leadership, Maryland, Volunteering

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Celebrating Catholic Schools Week with a Bilingual Book Launch

January 30, 2023

Crimsonbridge President and CEO Danielle M. Reyes and Senior Program Officer Caitlin Mayo celebrated Catholic Schools Week 2023 with Sacred Heart School, the only bilingual Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Washington and one of Crimsonbridge’s Bridges for Schools partners. Sacred Heart hosted a Publishing Party at the Mt. Pleasant Library to celebrate the release of Historias y Dibujos, a collection of Spanish essays written by the middle school students about their families' migration stories. The 8th grade students took turns reading from the newly published book, with many proud family members, teachers, and Catholic Schools Office leaders in attendance. Congratulations to the students and staff of Sacred Heart on this fantastic achievement! The book is available for purchase on Amazon here. 

Education Imperative, Washington DC

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