Please consider giving a donation to Fair Chance on #GIVINGTUESDAY 
(Tuesday, November 29th) to put more children and youth on a pathway out of poverty.
Message from the Executive Director
Finding Thanksgiving Gratitude in a
Post-2016 Election Climate

Just prior to Thanksgiving and on the heels of the national election, I was able to attend the annual Independent Sector conference here in Washington, DC.  Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. The conference was a meeting ground to talk about the role of the charitable sector in the coming year and the impact of the election on our work. The question “what can nonprofits do to promote the mechanics and structures of democracy?” was debated in several sessions.  I found the responses to be hopeful; something I hadn’t been feeling throughout the contentious election. Participants saw an important role for nonprofits as nonpartisan actors to promote civil discourse and build local leaders to strengthen local communities. Many also spoke passionately about the critical need for the nonprofit sector to serve as the collective voice for and in collaboration with marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Fair Chance has a unique opportunity to step up and be a part of our democracy’s response. The name “Fair Chance” acknowledges the very existence of inequity. This time last year, Fair Chance announced a new mission statement to make explicit our end goal – to achieve life-changing results for children and youth living in poverty. With thanks to our partners and generous donors we then spent the past year designing our new Impact Academy to ensure even small nonprofits can have the skills, tools, and strategies to deliver interventions and measure child and youth outcomes predictive of greater success in life.  This week our board and staff will hold retreats to assess our value proposition in DC and beyond and to envision our future given the intersection of urban gentrification, race, poverty, structural inequity, and other factors affecting the nonprofits we work with and the communities they serve.
So, I am coming off of the Thanksgiving holiday motivated and excited for the future and for what the Fair Chance family can do together to meet the challenges ahead.  I am grateful to all of you for standing with us and for us as we have evolved with our city and with the changing landscape of the charitable and nonprofit sector. Thank you for your belief in, and commitment to, Fair Chance and the amazing network of nonprofits that we have had the privilege to call our partners.


Gretchen Van der Veer, PhD
What's New

Morning Meet Up with Fair Chance


Are you interested in learning more about Fair Chance?

Join us for our Open House series,

Morning Meet-Up with Fair Chance!

Let us treat you to breakfast and give you a deeper insight into our work:

Learn about Fair Chance's unique partnership model with youth-serving nonprofits

Hear from Eloise Russo, Executive Director of City Kids Wilderness Project

Gain an understanding of our how model works from a Kristen Barney,
Capacity Building Specialist

Discover opportunities to connect with Fair Chance

Fair Chance Featured on
Through the Noise Podcast

Fair Chance Executive Director Gretchen Van der Veer and Director of Development, Benjamin Bradburn joined Ernesto Gluecksmann and Blake Althen in studio earlier this month on Through the Noise (TTN). Through The Noise is a light and entertaining podcast that convenes conversations with local nonprofit executive directors, CEOs, communications directors, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in our region to highlight innovation and critical needs in our community. Listen to Fair Chance on Through the Noise podcast here. If you want to convene a conversation or feature your nonprofit, foundation or venture’s mission on TTN? Please contact Ernesto and team here.
2016 VISTA Fellows 

Fair Chance is excited to announce the 2016 VISTA Fellows Cohort! We have selected a promising group of young change agents who are ready to actively contribute during their year of service.  VISTA members will be serving with four of Fair Chance’s partner organizations to support capacity-building efforts and ultimately, serve the Washington D.C. community. The names and assignments of our AmeriCorps VISTAs can be found below.
Terra Blissett
Program and Evaluation VISTA, Fair Chance
Fair Chance is delighted to welcome Terra Blissett  to the team. Terra is an AmeriCorps VISTA who graduated from the University of Maryland this past May (2016) where she  majored in government and politics while minoring in international development and conflict management. Terra will be serving as our Program and Evaluation VISTA  throughout the year.  
Mbachur Mbenga
Community Outreach VISTAFree Minds Bookclub and Writing Workshop
Free Minds uses books, creative writing, and peer support to awaken DC youth incarcerated as adults to their own potential.  Through creative expression, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, these young poets achieve their education and career goals and become powerful voices for change in the community.

Leah Patterson
Communications VISTA, Common Good City Farm
Common Good City Farm's programs provide hands-on training in food production, healthy eating and environmental sustainability. The Farm itself serves as a demonstration site to individuals, organizations and government agencies in the DC Metro area. The site and our programs integrate people of all ages, classes, and races to create vibrant and safe communities.

Lila Blackney
Development and Communications VISTA, ACCESS Youth
ACCESS Youth aims to curb the school-to-prison pipeline through early intervention focused on three critical points along this spectrum: when students are truant from school when students have behavior issues that could result in suspension from school when young people are arrested for first-time, low-level offenses.
Thank you to our supporters of the AmeriCorps VISTA and Fair Chance partnership!
Accepting Applications for the
2017 Boston Consulting Group Fellows Program

Calling all Fair Chance alumni, if you're looking to grow or enhance your strategy, here's an opportunity to have a team from Boston Consulting Group support your organization for a year. After a successful pilot this year, the Fair Chance Network Services Program is pleased to announce the 2017 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Fellows Program. This unique year-long pro-bono opportunity with the Boston Consulting Group  (BCG) is designed specifically for Fair Chance alumni partners.  BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy.  BCG will provide three teams of two Associates, Consultants, or Project Leaders each to work with one of three Fair Chance alumni partners for an average of 1-2 hours/week for one year. Selected alumni partners will receive several sessions of pro bono executive coaching throughout the year as well as consultation on one or two specific projects designed to collectively advance the strategic work and/or growth of the organization. Applications for alumni partners are now available. View the application webinar  here.
Storytelling Workshop​

On November 15, Fair Chance offered the second session of its two-part Storytelling Workshop series at Google Inc.'s Washington D.C. offices. The workshop, designed exclusively for the 2017 graduating partners, provided the participants with tools and guidance for developing videos to highlight their organization's work, mission, and impact. The final videos will be revealed at Fair Chance's Partner Graduation Ceremony scheduled April 24, 2017, at Studio Theater.
Partner Highlights

Amara Legal Center held a film premiere on November 3rd for a short film entitled Breaking Free: A Survivor's Journey. The film was co-directed by a former client of Amara's and can be viewed here.

Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT) presented Crossing the Street: SW Is..., a free community festival celebrating the past, present and future of Southwest DC. Part of the city-wide Crossing the Street creative placemaking initiative, SW Is... brought the voices of the community to life through readings and panels, professional performances of student-written plays and poems, interactive art exhibits and more. Over 600 community members interacted with the event, and all left with a deeper awareness of and appreciation for their neighborhood!
For photos from Crossing the Street: SW Is...,
click here


Family & Youth Initiative was featured in the November edition of Bittersweet highlighting their work to connect teens living in foster care with families. Click here for the full story.


Mark Your Calendar 
December 5
 Youth Workforce Leaders Academy Application Due 

Youth Workforce Leaders Academy professional development opportunity for mid-level professionals who play a decision-making role at organizations that provide youth with workforce development. 

December 7
 Morning Meet-Up with Fair Chance

January 9, 2017
Fair Chance Partnership Application Due

April 24, 2017
 Fair Chance Graduation and Celebration
What We're Reading 
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and A Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance.  From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
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Fair Chance · 2001 S ST NW · Suite 310 · Washington, DC 20009 · USA