Reframing <Washington>

Greater Washington is one of the most diverse regions in the country. Yet, there are staggering racial and ethnic disparities in the economic, educational, and health outcomes of our residents. How can this be the case in our nation’s capital? What needs to change so that all of our region’s residents can thrive?

Through our Reframing <Washington> program area, the Weissberg Foundation hopes to explore and advance efforts to change how the greater Washington region sees and therefore transforms itself, particularly in terms of how we build and distribute power, opportunity, and potential. We believe this reframing can lead to positive, community-driven outcomes for all the region’s residents and system-level change to advance racial equity for the region and beyond.

Empowerment Fund

The Empowerment Fund is the inaugural grantmaking initiative of the Reframing <Washington> program area. The fund supports small, community-based organizations in the DC region that are tackling racism head-on through advocacy, organizing, and/or civic engagement to build the economic, political, and social power of those most negatively impacted by racism—communities of color, those closest to incarceration, immigrants, and refugees.

We seek the following outcomes through the Empowerment Fund:

  • For our Community

    • Power
      People of color, those closest to incarceration, immigrants, and refugees are more empowered to advance equitable outcomes for themselves, their families, and their communities.
  • For our Grantees

    • Visibility
      Organizations giving voice and opportunity to historically marginalized populations—particularly those organizations closest to and led by members of the communities they serve—are more visible and attractive to talent, funders, and other potential collaborators.
    • Strength
      Organizations are better positioned to meet their goals to advance equity because they are better resourced to work effectively.
  • For our Foundation

    • Understanding
      The Foundation deepens our knowledge about systems change to advance equity and grows our relationships with organizations and individuals working to advance it.
    • Strategy
      The Foundation is better positioned to build a longer term, more comprehensive, and more effective strategy to support community-driven efforts to advance equity in the Washington region.

2018 Empowerment Fund Grantees

The Weissberg Foundation expects to award 10-12 grants in the amount of $10,000-20,000 each. The grant period will run from February 2018 – February 2019. Grants will support general operating expenses, unless funding is requested to support advocacy, organizing or civic engagement efforts specifically.

  • Critical Exposure
  • Diverse City Fund
  • Empower DC
  • Identity
  • Justice For Muslims
  • Many Languages One Voice
  • National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) – Virginia
  • ONE DC
  • Progressive Maryland
  • Young Women’s Project

Learn more about our Empowerment Fund grantees.


For more information about the Reframing Empowerment Fund, please contact Leni Dworkis at