The American South is home to more people than any other region in the country, and it’s still growing. Immigrant communities are on the rise, African Americans whose forebears fled Southern violence are returning, and many others are relocating to the South, attracted by jobs, mild weather and enticing culture. The South is barreling toward a future of prosperity and diversity.
But the South’s challenges – some old and some new – are real. Few of them are unique to the region, but they color Southern community life in specific ways. Income inequality, police violence and poor health outcomes still hit Black and poor Southerners particularly hard. Extractive industry continues to pollute one of the South’s greatest assets: its natural resources. And the disastrous impacts of climate change are hurting the South in ways the rest of the country won’t experience for a generation or more.
Grantmakers for Southern Progress and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) are proud to present our series, As the South Grows. The goal of the project is to increase the amount and sustainability of funding from local and regional Southern funders, as well as from national funders, that improve the quality of life and increase the power of marginalized communities in the South and are accountable to and informed by these communities. We hope these stories will provoke more thought around this and other questions among the philanthropic sector.