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Hi Friend,

MDC is delighted to announce that Race Matters Institute (RMI) will now operate as a program of MDC. This strategic partnership will bolster MDC’s and RMI’s longstanding efforts to help organizations and leaders address systemic disparities and advance racial equity.

With over 50 years of experience designing, testing, and scaling effective strategies to build greater equity and opportunity across the South, MDC is excited to welcome the RMI team. “We are thrilled to have Race Matters Institute join us at MDC. RMI’s proven expertise in addressing racial inequities perfectly aligns with our mission,” said John Simpkins, President of MDC. “Together, we can extend the reach of our equity work and have an even greater impact on dismantling systemic barriers.”

Race Matters Institute, recognized for its innovative approaches to helping organizations close racial gaps in child, family, and community well-being, is equally enthusiastic about joining MDC. “By teaming up with MDC, we are poised to deepen our impact and enhance the scale and scope of our efforts,” said Race Matter Institute director, Kamilah Pickett. “This partnership reflects our shared commitment to driving systemic change that empowers leaders, organizations, and communities of impact.”

The combined strengths of Race Matters Institute and MDC will be a valuable resource for organizations and leaders in the South and beyond as they seek to develop sustainable solutions to address complex equity challenges.

Race Matters Institute’s services/offerings, assessments, resources, and contact information will remain available and accessible via www.racemattersinstitute.org (and stay tuned for RMI's new digital home at mdcinc.org!)


Partner & Project Highlights


Economic Security and Mobility

MDC signs onto letter urging Biden to move quickly on student loan debt relief

As part of a diverse coalition of 179 organizations representing tens of millions of people with student loan debt, MDC signed onto to a letter sent to President Biden applauding him for announcing plans to enact a new debt relief plan under the Higher Education Act. The letter also calls on the President to immediately deliver on his original promise to cancel student debt and protect borrowers before throwing them back into the depths of the fundamentally broken student loan repayment system.

Learn More → 


MDC News


We're Hiring! Application Deadline, Sept. 14, 5:00 pm

MDC seeks a Communications Associate to provide tactical support to the Director of Communications to implement MDC’s external communication strategy. The communications associate is enrolled in a 2- or 4-year undergraduate program, and the internship can serve as course credit. The position is based in North Carolina but is primarily a remote position, with possible and occasional travel to MDC’s office in Durham, NC.

The right person for this position will have excellent organizational and time management skills and the interest in and ability to simultaneously track deliverables and milestones across several projects. They should also have an interest in equity and experience with social media, and website development/maintenance.

This internship pays $17 per hour, or open to course credit. This is a part-time (15-20 hours per week), remote position.


Jenna Bryant works remotely from her home in Durham, North Carolina on Aug. 2. Bryant is an advocate for student debt relief and recently had over $47,000 forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Photo: James Kiefer / Carolina Public Press

The Burden of Student Loan Debt for Black Women in North Carolina and Prospects for Relief.

This article written by our friends at Carolina Public Press, features former MDC Program Director, Jenna Bryant, MDC Partnership Manager, Sabrina Golling, and MDC Rural Forward Program Associate, Eleanor Tyson.

Eleanor Tyson, 22, is from Winston-Salem and is a public policy master’s student at UNC Chapel Hill. She’ll be taking out a loan to go to school, adding to her current student debt. As a freshman, Tyson said she didn’t know much about student loans or high-interest rates. Now she’s worried about how all this debt will affect her future and that of her family.

“This is going to impact me for a long time,” Tyson said.

She’s not alone; many North Carolinians are worried about making payments in the fall. North Carolina is 10th in the nation for the highest student loan debt per capita.



The State of the South


Save the Date! State of the South in Charleston Feb. 5-7, 2024

Join MDC and our partners in Charleston for State of the South! We’ll gather as leaders, academics, artists, policymakers, and communities to eat, engage, and amplify issues exacerbating racial inequity and poverty.

This event is a unique opportunity to explore actionable strategies that will disrupt poverty and better serve our diverse communities. Your participation is vital in shaping a thriving South.


Developing a Collective Interrogation of Data on the South 

In Fall 2022, MDC launched the State of the South convening series as a platform for exploring how Southerners are reckoning with contemporary economic, social, and environmental challenges. The first and second convenings were in Durham, NC, and Berea, KY, and invited policymakers, academics, nonprofit leaders, artists, and community members to discuss policy and pathways to create equity in the South.

Duke’s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) partnered with MDC on this initiative, with a specific focus on developing – and critically interrogating – quantitative data pertaining to the state of the South. This was considered the “Snapshots on the South” component of this initiative. 



Your investment drives MDC’s work.

By investing in MDC, you make it possible for us to advance knowledge about what works to create and scale transformative solutions in education, employment, access to healthcare, and sustainable community development.


307 W Main St  | Durham, North Carolina 27701
919-381-5802 | info@mdcinc.org

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