Skip to main navigation

Catalogue Blog

The People’s Mayor

In our ethnic and racial diversity, we are all brothers and sisters in a quest for greatness. Our creativity and energy are unequaled by any city anywhere in the world. We will not rest until the renewal of our city is done…[W]e are going to do some great deeds here together.

- Former Mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington, born today in 1922. Washington surpassed racial barriers, becoming the first African-American Mayor of Chicago from 1983 until his death in 1987.


You have to have faith to go barefooted — you don’t know what you might step on, what pain might come — but you keep on walking. And it makes you tough. Sometimes you skip and jump and run. Sometimes you get a thorn in your toe or trip over a limb, but there’s no turning back. Barefootin’ means getting mud between your toes and dancing on the water! Your spirit is in your feet, and your spirit can run free.

– American civil rights activist Unita Blackwell, born today in 1933. In 1976, Blackwell was the first African-American woman elected mayor in the state of Mississippi.

Tired of Giving In

People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

– civil rights activist Rosa Parks, born 100 years ago today

Roundtable Summit

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Yesterday morning, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington celebrated its tenth anniversary with a touching look back and a pressing call to action for the future. As a young nonprofit professional, the messages I heard were both disheartening and inspiring. According to Mario Morino, Co-Founder and Chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, the nonprofit sector faces quite a few challenges in the years ahead. Even with potential economic upturns (which are by no means guaranteed yet), the changing economic and employment landscape in the US will have a profound effect on the demand for social sector services. Effectively funding those services will require a dramatic re-think of current funding mechanisms, and above all the willpower from funders, investors, government, and social service providers/nonprofits alike to meet the needs that our country, regions, and cities will face.

Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, passionately spoke of the civil rights crisis facing America today — what he called the “most massive and simultaneous attack on rights happening in recent history.” Women, immigrants, and the LGBT and black communities are on the front lines of this battle — one primarily fought within state boundaries, not on the federal level. Such a multifaceted problem requires intense collaboration and coordination to solve it — and an acknowledgement of the political and systemic barriers that contribute to (and often cause) the larger problems nonprofits work to address.
Continue reading