Georgetown University Class Awards $30,000 to DC Nonprofit Organizations

Posted in News Story

May 20, 2021 – Few college students have ever had the opportunity to learn about the responsibilities that come with being a philanthropist – let alone the impact on racial equity and justice. That’s exactly what they do in Professor Kathy Kretman’s class “Philanthropy, Power and Social Impact”. Kretman and Tamara Copeland, former CEO of Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, have co-taught the class for four years in Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. 

This year, the students awarded $30,000 to the following DC community-based nonprofit organizations:

Critical Exposure’s mission is to train DC youth to harness the power of photography and their own voices to fight for education, equity, and social justice. Executive Director Nicole Newman remarked that the $10,000 class grant will provide needed support to enable the nonprofit to continue its programs for DC youth, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The $5,000 grant to CARECEN will support a strategic plan focusing on racial equity. Abel Nuñez, Executive Director of CARECEN, said “CARECEN was created to foster the comprehensive development of the Latino population by providing direct services while promoting grassroots empowerment, civic engagement, and human rights advocacy.”

DC Greens will use its $5,000 award to support “The Well,” an urban oasis in Ward 8. Jaren Hill Lockridge, The Well’s Director, said that “The energy of The Well radiates positivity and wellness in a way that does not traditionally happen in the community.”

The students who selected the winners went through a semester-long process of studying both foundations and nonprofits. They worked together in foundations to build their mission, values, and selection criteria. Madeline Stern remarked that “the most important takeaway from the class was to be aware of implicit bias (in grant giving) and fighting against it.” Jade Ferguson summarized her experience: “Philanthropy can be a part of social justice, especially when emphasizing the agency of marginalized communities.”

The awards were made possible through the generous support of the Learning by Giving Foundation and the McCourt School of Public Policy.