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Hi Friend,

We are less than 1 week away from Closing the Healthcare Coverage Gap in Birmingham! In addition to our participatory conversation with Khalilah Brown, MD; Kenneth Tyrone King; and Jane Adams, MDC is pleased to feature artist Jenny Fine and her work at this event. 

Jenny Fine is a visual artist and art educator living and working in Alabama. Based in the photographic form, Fine’s practice employs time as the primary material in her exploration of personal and cultural memory, identity, and our ever-shifting relationship to the photograph. 

Jenny's work will play a key role in helping us frame and imagine what Alabama and the South could look like if the healthcare coverage gap closes. We hope you'll join us and share your thoughts at the WorkPlay Theatre on November 6th from 11 AM-2 PM CST.

Lunch is provided for this free event; however, registration is required. 

Find out more details here. Questions or accessibility requests? stateofthesouth@mdcinc.org.

We hope to see you in Birmingham!

Your friends at MDC


Partner & Project Highlights


A visual graphic of the network’s purpose, created by A Visual Approach.

Educational Equity

LENS-NC enters its third year of work, focused on learning and acting together to improve outcomes for vulnerable students.

As this cohort, funded by the Oak Foundation and facilitated by MDC, begins its third year of work, it’s celebrating a dual approach. And the symbiotic relationship between those approaches might be what uncovers solutions for students living at the intersection.

The network provides opportunities for organizations to learn together, learn from one another, address common challenges, and explore opportunities to amplify effective strategies for change at the classroom, school, community, district, and state levels.

“This was always billed as a learning and action network,” MDC Program Manager Elyse Griffin said. “MDC has always called it that. But I think at different times, we are doing one or the other, more.”

Learn More → 


MDC News


Student Debt and Nonprofits at Nonprofit Legal Compliance Workshop 

Student Debt and Nonprofits – How to Support Your Staff and Constituents with their Student Debt – Amy Czulada, Phillip Sheldon, and Kat Welbeck

Panelists and MDC partnership manager,  Phillip Sheldon will outline student debt relief options available to both employees and constituents of North Carolina nonprofit organizations and discuss the role of nonprofit organizations in outreach, education, and policy-change.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their own student debt experiences and about how student debt affects them and their constituents. This session’s objectives include reducing the stigma associated with student debt, highlighting the equity issues inherent in the student debt space, and discussing how student debt relief stands as an opportunity to close racial wealth gaps, encourage new businesses, and increase opportunities for career growth and development.


Five Takeaways From IP’s New Report on Giving for Rural Communities

Inside Philanthropy's most recent "State of American Philanthropy" report provides an overview of rural philanthropy. It’s an eye-opening read. 

"In part, the report lifts up those efforts and raises awareness about them. But on the other hand, there's a need for more investment and more effective philanthropic investment in rural communities," said United Philanthropy Forum President and CEO Dave Biemesderfer, who was a contributing editor for the report. 

IP partnered with several organizations as this brief came together. They include PhilanthropywoRx, a consulting service organization that advocates for the work of underrepresented communities and funders; United Philanthropy Forum, whose membership includes about 100 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations that represent more than 7,000 funders across the U.S.; and MDC, which provides support for Southern leaders, institutions and communities to advance equity and economic mobility.



The State of the South


State of the South in Charleston, SC Feb. 5-7, 2024

Please join us for State of the South in Charleston, SC as we gather around food, art, and critical conversations on how we can make Charleston, South Carolina, and the larger South equitably accessible to everyone.

We will bring together policymakers, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, community members, and artists to understand the policies and investments needed to support communities. Your voice is essential to these critical conversations.

Click the link below for program updates and agenda. 


Show Up and Stay: Why the South needs philanthropy to lead in the movement for racial equity

By Simon Palmore, MDC Autry Fellow

On October 3, MDC hosted a webinar titled “What the SCOTUS decision on affirmative action means for philanthropic work in the South” to discuss the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. MDC’s President and CEO, John Simpkins, moderated a discussion with Edward Chaney, an attorney specializing in nonprofit law, and Dr. Laura Gerald, the President of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Their discussion ranged from the direct legal implications of Students for Fair Admissions to the role of philanthropy in advancing civil rights throughout history, to the path forward for all those seeking to confront and dismantle the South’s entrenched inequities.

This moment, Chaney and Gerald agree, calls for philanthropy to reach back and look forward: reach back to philanthropy’s history of fighting for civil rights, and look forward to a South and a nation rich with opportunity and equity for all.



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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