Posts Tagged ‘Issue 42 (January 2020’

New Year, New Momentum for Access to Justice

Happy New Year!

I know you will be as inspired as I am by what is ahead. In 2020, with your support, we will continue our efforts to expand equal access to justice for our DC neighbors in greatest need.

Two standouts exemplify our momentum together headed into a new year and new decade:

  • In a record year for DC Bar Foundation grant-making – in which we awarded over $10.5 million to 33 grantees – we are proud to partner with several new grantees, including Safe Sisters Circle.

    Safe Sisters Circle focuses on ending the plague of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and supporting those victimized by it – especially Black women, who experience violence at a higher rate than any other ethnic group in our region.

    Our funding will give underserved residents of Wards 7 and 8 accessible attorney support and other legal services, through the East of the River Women’s Legal Services and Healing Project. It provides free, culturally-specific, holistic, trauma-based services to Black women survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
  • We are thrilled to offer our grantees the fourth and final session in a Racial Justice Training Series.

    This training makes an essential contribution to our local legal aid community. It helps participants understand the meaning of racial equity and provides tools for envisioning and constructing equity in our workspaces.

    This interactive experience helps participants develop a path to understanding not only for themselves, but for their organizations as well. It prepares participants to meet the people they serve with greater skill and awareness, improving every outcome.

As we move into the first year of our new Strategic Plan, infusing racial justice and equity in our work will be a priority. To accomplish this, we will study and implement best practices on racial justice and equity initiatives, explore local partnerships where there are opportunities to align efforts, and evolve internally by learning, reflecting, unlearning and changing our practices in the pursuit of racial justice.
Thank you for standing with us as we bring the pursuit of access to justice into the new decade. Together, we will make 2020 a transformative year.

With gratitude,

Kirra L. Jarratt
Chief Executive Officer

Partner Profile: Wayne Gibson

Each month, we highlight an individual working to make the justice system more accessible to DC residents. This month features Wayne Gibson, Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Years on the Job

13 years at FTI and over 20 overall in the industry.

Where did you grow up?

Wilmington, Delaware

What brought you to DC?

I came to DC after graduate school, but had always had an affinity for the area because I had family here and visited often as I was growing up.

What was your first job in DC and what did you learn?

I came to DC after graduate school and worked for Arthur Andersen in one their consulting divisions, where I learned about organizing and motivating teams to problem solve large issues & challenges faced by our clients. However, prior to that I interned for a summer for the EPA in their econometrics and analytics division, called the Office of Policy Planning and Evaluation. That was the first time I really began to get to know DC as an adult and spend time in each quadrant (i.e. SW, NW, NE, SE). At the EPA, I learned a bit about the functioning of a Federal agency and how policies were economically evaluated for some programs.

Daily Habit

Reading (news and fiction), exercise (cycling and boxing)

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’m finishing a biography on Da Vinci – an amazing polymath. It would be an interesting conversation.

You get one extra hour of free time per day. How do you use it?

Currently I would alternate between spending time with my kids, reading, and practicing guitar.

One item from your Bucket List

Watch a soccer match in Barcelona

Most rewarding element of your work

The impact I get to have on organizations

Legal aid is important to me because…

It combats the continued disenfranchisement of people of color

Your dream for our legal system is…


Little known fact about your organization

Our scope and origin – we have over 4,500 people worldwide, and were founded to present technical issues during trials.

Calling You to Action: Provide Legal Resources for DC Neighbors in Need

Many individuals in our DC community need legal resources they cannot afford.

When you support our 2020 Call to Action campaign, you join with others who share your commitment to equal access to justice. This year, we aim to raise $665,000 from local law firms and corporations by June 30, 2020. Will you help us reach our goal and provide access to justice for our neighbors in need?

We are grateful to the organizations who have already joined the with us through our 2020 Call to Action campaign. Thank you! And we would especially like to recognize this year’s Platinum Call to Action donors, who have each contributed $25,000 or more to this year’s campaign:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Alston & Bird LLP

Sidley Austin LLP


We also thank our dedicated Volunteer Solicitors, who help drive the success of this campaign.

If your firm has not yet become a Call to Action leader, please join us today by donating online or by mailing in our printable donation form. A current list of all participating firms can be found on our website. For more information, please contact Daryl Byler, Director of Development and Communications at: byler@dcbarfoundation.og or (202) 853-9025.

Your Support Protects Housing & Provides Stability for District Residents

Ms. Taylor* and her husband are participants in a program that caps their rent at 30% of their income.

Unfortunately, last year, Ms. Taylor’s husband became severely ill and was admitted into a long-term health care facility. During this already difficult time, Ms. Taylor received a notice that her participation in the program was being terminated, leaving her facing eviction and homelessness.   

Ms. Taylor’s mother-in-law, for reasons unknown, had filed a notice that Ms. Taylor’s husband had vacated their home and that Ms. Taylor would not require further support.

Fortunately, Ms. Taylor got connected with a DC Bar Foundation grantee, where an attorney worked with her to resolve her case. The final outcome was positive: she was able to remain in the program and get the past rent, which had gone unpaid, up to date.

But that wasn’t all. Our grantee’s work provided more than one critically-needed outcome for Ms. Taylor. During her housing case, Ms. Taylor was approached to take over as caregiver for her teenage granddaughter. Ms. Taylor’s newly stabilized housing situation was essential for the court in her family matter to allow her to take in her granddaughter, giving her the stable family environment she needed.  

In time for the harsh winter months, Ms. Taylor and her granddaughter can now focus on being a family. The threat of losing their home no longer hangs over their heads. Ms. Taylor is hopeful that her husband’s health will soon improve, so he too can join their family in their home.

Your support makes outcomes like Ms. Taylor’s possible for more District residents. THANK YOU!

*Name changed to protect identity.