Stories

Inside MRBF

  • 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...

  • Looking forward...

    After eight months at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, I believe we have good reason to be optimistic for the future of the South.

    Over that time, I have spoken with people in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Orleans, South Carolina and West Virginia – important battlegrounds in the struggle for economic opportunity and equality. I’ve also been learning from...

  • Taking down the Confederate flag is only the first step

    It’s time to address racism and inequality in the South.

    The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation applauds the South Carolina legislature’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds. The hate crime in Charleston focused the national spotlight on racism in the South; it also forced Southerners to consider the ways we commemorate history and how our symbols are perceived....