Shaping a South where all people thrive.


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Our Mission

MDC equips leaders, institutions, and communities with the necessary tools and strategies to advance equity—particularly racial and gender equity—and economic mobility. For over 50 years, institutions, communities, foundations, and others across the South have turned to MDC for deep knowledge and proven tools to design, demonstrate, and sustain what works to boost everyone, particularly those who’ve been left behind, to higher rungs on the economic ladder.

What we do

Research, Framing & Analysis

MDC researches and collects economic and demographic data across the South. We analyze this data to create a compelling narrative that tells the story of where the region is at any given moment. Since 1996, the manifestation of that rigorous analysis is MDC’s landmark, State of the South report.

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Systems Design for Systems Change

At MDC, we interrogate how systems impact people and how they can be shifted or recreated to achieve better outcomes. We bring compassion, experience, and a spirit of innovation to our work—supporting and pushing community leaders as they take on longstanding inequities in areas such as education, employment, and health.

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Equity Centered Leadership

Leaders are the people who design and make systems successful. At MDC, we believe leaders are found everywhere. We seek out leaders where they exist and empower them to speak on behalf of their communities. MDC cultivates leadership that is collaborative, focused on human dignity, and works to improve the lives of everyone, not just a single class or group.

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Our Impact

We facilitate the conversations that create change in the South, and follow those conversations up with policies and programs that have the most impact.

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MDC offers deep knowledge about what works in the South.

To say they are appreciated is not adequate enough to describe how invaluable they have been to me and our entire team. We would not be where we are today without MDC.

MDC's brilliant sustained support has helped us construct a strategic plan that will allow us to more easily achieve our goals and objectives.