Stories

Arkansas

  • Asking Hard Questions: How We Created a Racial Equity Statement

    An indispensable aspect of any journey are the signs pointing the way, indicators of where you want to go that keep you moving in the right direction.

    Over the last several months, the board and staff of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation have been exploring ways to incorporate racial equity more fully into all aspects of our work, from grantmaking to mission investing, from internal...

  • Congratulations to our New and Returning Grantee Partners

    Congratulations to our new and returning grantee partners who received funding in June 2018:

    Advocates for Community and Rural Education dba Rural Community Alliance

    Appalachia Funders Network

    Appalachian Citizens' Law Center

    Blueprint NC

    Coalfield Development Corporation

    CommunityWorks

    Homes of Hope, Inc.

    ...

  • Uplift America Partnership Bearing Fruit in Rural Communities

    This post originally appeared on the website of Prosperity Now, an organization dedicated to ensuring everyone in our country has a clear path to financial stability, wealth and prosperity. A key partner in Uplift America, Prosperity Now conducted research to guide the initiative’s design and implementation and now tracks Uplift’s impacts on local lenders and the rural...

  • 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.

  • Becoming Explicit about Equity

    Recent history and troubling current events are turning a glaring mirror on America, fueling the urgency to shape a more equitable future, to put more shoulder behind that bending moral arc. We’ve watched in horror as white supremacists snake through our streets spewing violence and hatred with impunity. We’ve witnessed the rise of elected leaders who unapologetically express racist attitudes...