MDC believes that everyone deserves to live and work in equitable, inclusive communities. We share a passion for advancing the work of equity internally at MDC and in the communities in which we work.

While all forms of equity are important, we recognize that the history of our nation—and the South in particular—makes racial equity an issue of particular urgency. We define racial equity as the condition in which all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, have the opportunity to thrive.

Our experience is that achieving racial equity requires communities to address the systemic barriers to opportunity faced by people of color in our country.

Since our start, MDC’s work has been at the intersection of race and opportunity. Some of our earliest work focused on how to build capacity in the private sector as the South shifted from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy and a segregated to an integrated workforce.

Today, depending on the project, we focus various tools and attention on racial equity. Data is a powerful vehicle to focus dialogue, and other tools deployed in local systems change efforts encourage a deep look at structural inequity.

In order to continue to advance our work in this area, MDC works deliberately to focus our own attention on racial equity. All staff attend racial equity training, and we convene an internal Racial Equity Committee. This group promotes racial equity in our internal policies and practices, including hiring and vendor selection.

The Committee also identifies opportunities to advance racial equity in our programmatic work with communities across the South. Committee members stay informed on emerging best practice, and equip our program teams with strategies and approaches to build capacity in local communities to address racial equity.