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November 2020


LENS-NC offers space for new connections and shared dreaming to help students with learning differences

LENS NC support equity for children

Photo by Rodrigo Dorfman

The Oak Foundation has committed over $1.4 million to an 18-month MDC initiative that provides grants and support for a network of organizations focused on improving the lives of the one-in-five children who struggle with learning and attention issues, and the less than favorable outcomes for low-income students and students of color. Read the story

"We're in a generational moment."

A Q&A with John Simpkins, MDC President

"It is critical that those of us who are concerned about racial equity, those of us who are concerned about equal treatment, and those of us who are concerned about economic advancement in the South, leverage this opportunity to bring about meaningful change and something that goes beyond where we found ourselves before this moment," says John Simpkins, who became MDC’s third president in 53 years in July 2020, succeeding David Dodson. Read the Q&A


MDC News

Applications accepted through Jan. 4 for MDC's 2021-2022 Autry Fellowship

Recent college graduates are invited to apply to spend a year working at MDC as an Autry Fellow.

Coretta Allen, Jenna Barnes, Susan Nobblitt,
and Trina Stephens join the MDC staff

The pandemic hasn't stopped MDC from bringing on talented new staff members to join operations and program teams.

Faydra Richardson image

Being 22 in 2020

MDC Autry Fellow Faydra Richardson on being young at this moment in history: "All I can say is that I am scared. I am tired. I am so hotly angry and screwed up. I am trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into months, just in case we run out of time. Just in case I’m too Black to live."

MDC Insights


Power Event Series 2020: Accelerating the Future 

MDC President John Simpkins speaks on a panel at the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Power Event Series 2020 on the pandemic and its impact on economic mobility. 


Strengthening rural leaders to transform rural communities

MDC engaged rural leaders and funders in a Southeastern virtual learning journey to examine what good leadership looks like in practice as part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national initiative.

How can foundations sustain and invest in systemic change during these difficult times?

A conversation focused on the challenges and opportunities of supporting an infrastructure of opportunity that keeps people from falling through the cracks while still advancing long-term systems change. MDC Board Chair Darrin Goss, CEO of the Coastal Community Foundation in Charleston, S.C., moderates a panel for MDC's Network for Southern Economic Mobility Virtual Learning Series. 

With networking harder than ever for disconnected young people, how can they build social capital?

A lively discussion about ways young people can get the support they need at a time of already tenuous education and employment opportunities. MDC's Network for Southern Economic Mobility Virtual Learning Series focuses on strategies and solutions for improving economic mobility among youth and young adults in the South.

MDC In the Media

The State logo

We can’t change the South’s past, but let’s make all Southerners part of its future

The State | Oct. 8, 2020

MDC President John Simpkins explains in an op-ed in The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C, what it will take to create equity and long-term systemic change in the South.

The State logo

COVID-19 mobility data highlights disparities in rural NC counties

WRAL | April 10, 2020

MDC Communications Director Richard Hart discusses the difficulties rural and front-line workers have social distancing and staying safe.


Shaping a South Where All
People Thrive 

MDC equips Southern leaders, institutions, and communities to improve economic mobility and advance equity.