Stories

Inside MRBF

  • Staffing Changes and a Shifting Terrain

    In the aftermath of a terribly disorienting week, I have spent some time thinking about the things that give me strength. I keep returning to a set of values held by the committed board and staff at the Foundation: equity and inclusion, democracy, justice and respect for all voices, to name a few.

    I believe today it is even more important that we work from these values, live by these...

  • Envisioning a New Appalachia

    Once a year, the Babcock Foundation travels to a location within our funding footprint to learn from our grantee partners where they work. I always look forward to these trips because they afford us the opportunity to engage with our partners on the ground and meet with some of their constituents and other local residents. To be in their communities, to hear their stories, to see the lay of...

    Coalfield Development Corporation, WV
  • 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...