The South is evolving, and our work is evolving with it.
After two years of careful reflection and conversations with grantee partners and other experts across the region, the Babcock Foundation is pleased to share our deepened commitments to center power building and racial equity in everything we do, from grantmaking to investments, organizational culture to communications. This refinement of our work is detailed in our new strategic directions and program description.
Why are we doing this? Our region and country have changed substantially since we adopted our previous strategic directions framework in 2015. As we began to reexamine that framework in 2020, the landscape became even more turbulent. COVID, surging white supremacist violence, frequent climate disasters, the census undercount, extreme voter suppression and gerrymandering are all harming communities of color and low-wealth communities most severely.
This context, and dozens of frank conversations with our partners, informed our thinking about how to be the best possible supports to organizations challenging these destructive trends across the South. We honed in on a primary strategy across our 11-state footprint: strengthen state-based infrastructure for power building to advance racial equity.
Practically, this means we provide multiyear general operating support to bolster organizations building power with and for people directly harmed by systems of oppression. We also support collaborations among leaders of color, including networks providing resources and strategy alignment to build power across six arenas of change: legislative, administrative, corporate, judicial, narrative and electoral.
Our mission, approaches and pathways (democracy and civic engagement, supportive policies and institutions, and economic opportunity) are not changing fundamentally. We are, however, asking more clearly how structural racism is operating and how people are building power to dismantle it.
We are grateful to be in partnership with you as we work toward a more equitable, abundant South.