• Reflections on the South: The Road Ahead

    Over the last few weeks in this blog series, I have explored some themes shared with me by our grantee partners, Foundation staff and board, and other colleagues across the South. Those conversations have been super helpful as I work to learn more about the region.

    At the risk of over-summarizing, let me recap some of the themes:

    Entrenched challenges, including racism, political...
  • Reflections on the South: Supporting Progress

    The Foundation conducts its strategic planning in 10-year arcs, a process that includes reflection on our work and results, conversations with our grantee and philanthropic partners and efforts to understand emerging trends. We are wrapping up one of these planning processes now.

    Looking across our work and recent history, some core lessons about supporting social and economic justice...

  • Reflections on the South: Possibilities in a Shifting Context

    A friend of mine often says change is inevitable, but the real trick is figuring out how to influence that change to achieve meaningful results.

    Any thoughtful observer of the South recognizes the region is undergoing serious changes. Major shifts in demographics, changes in urban and rural geographies, uneven economic opportunities and new obstacles to the voting booth present real...

  • Reflections on the South: Complexity, Challenges and Opportunity

    I spent much of my youth trying to figure out how to get out of Kentucky. I mostly saw the problems: too many ineffective or even corrupt local officials, too few interesting and accessible jobs, not enough diversity, and environmental challenges from coal mining and suburbanization. I was even apathetic about Kentucky basketball, mostly because everybody else loved it.

    The older I got...

  • Remembering Rick Cohen

    We are deeply saddened by the death of Rick Cohen, a journalist, critic and dogged advocate for rural America. Cohen wrote prolifically on a wide range of topics for N onprofit Quarterly , never hesitating to pen often harsh -- but always fair and valuable -- assessments of philanthropy. He researched the grantmaking disparity between rural and urban...