Stories

Democracy/Civic Engagement

  • Both/And Investing: Doing well AND doing good

    Lately we find ourselves asking how we can be better supporters of our grantee partners, who are working in increasingly difficult circumstances to advance social and economic justice across the South. With rapid expansion of income inequality, the gradual erosion of public goods and outright attacks on families’ safety and dignity, their work is more important than at any point in recent history. The Foundation, our partners and the communities we care about are at a critical juncture and “urgency” is the operative word.

    Fortunately, the Babcock Foundation board and staff now have the flexibility to consider increased grantmaking opportunities just when they are needed most. After years of planning and research, 2017 marked the first complete year MRBF’s portfolio was 100 percent invested in a mission-related strategy guided by environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. These ESG screens require best practices in labor rights, climate impact, natural resource use, corporate governance, supply chain management, community impact and other factors. Not only was the portfolio’s return up more than 20 percent last year, but every asset class outperformed its respective benchmark and achieved ESG impact. The timing of these market gains could not be any better, and we’re committing additional resources to our partners throughout the region.

  • Signs of Progress in 2017

    There’s no denying the past year brought formidable challenges for the organizations and networks working tirelessly to increase social and economic justice across the South. As our grantee partners embark on another year striving to shape a more equitable future, it seems especially important to reflect on a few of the victories they achieved.

    Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice...
    Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
  • We Stand with the Dreamers: Our Statement on DACA

    The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation strongly opposes plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which enables 800,000 young people to study and work in the United States without fear of deportation.

    Often called “dreamers,” the youth enrolled in DACA were brought here as children; for many, America is the only country they’ve ever known. Rescinding...

    Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
  • Investing in Opportunity: Georgia’s Civic Engagement Network

    Like much of the South, Georgia is a racially diverse state rapidly growing even more so. Thanks in part to booming immigrant and refugee populations, it is projected to become majority-minority by 2025. And like its neighbors, Georgia has more than its share of challenges, including political representation that is not truly representative and persistent poverty, which is most acute in rural...

    Georgia STAND-UP