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Noah Raper


Madison County, NC

A native of Madison County, N.C., Noah graduated from Duke University in 2006 with a degree in history. In his senior honors thesis, he explored the social issues that developed alongside the cotton textile industry in North Carolina, particularly in the textile mill community of Lawndale.

While at Duke, Noah worked with Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) in a variety of roles. In the summer of 2005, he took part in SAF’s “Into the Fields” Internship and Leadership Development Program, building links between farmworkers and faith-based communities and supporting the efforts of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Through another summer internship, Noah worked in Madison County, North Carolina, under the auspices of the Program for the Rural Carolinas, where he was first introduced to the work of MDC.

During his Autry year, Noah worked on a number of projects, including the Program for the Rural Carolinas, the 2007 State of the South report, and Partners for Postsecondary Success. Through these programs, he learned new tools for research and writing as well as the power of philanthropy.

Following his fellowship, Noah continued his work at MDC for nearly five years. He then moved to Asheville, N.C., to work with the Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC). In this work, Noah continued to draw on the skills and knowledge that he learned at MDC.