Promoting Social and Economic Justice

Consistent with the Foundation’s mission and core values, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes it is critical to help change systems and structures that have often made it harder for populations who have been historically marginalized, subjected to discrimination, or excluded from full participation in society to thrive. Structural oppression is pervasive across all kinds of systems, sometimes in ways that are explicit and overt, but more often in ways that are implicit and less conscious. The Foundation also recognizes that North Carolinians are impacted by multiple intersecting systems simultaneously, not just one system or issue at a time. 

Consequently, the Foundation anticipates supporting efforts that aim to remove structural barriers to North Carolinians being able to create a better life for themselves and their families. While this work can take many forms, the Foundation is especially interested in work that seeks to: address the economic impacts and racial disparities of the criminal justice system; embrace and expand the contributions of and opportunities for immigrants; advance reproductive justice*; and ensure that all North Carolinians have the chance to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Foundation will consider applications for other social and economic justice work, as well, but special emphasis will be placed on the above-mentioned areas and their intersections. 

Through this grantmaking strategy, the Foundation funds work that is focused on state-level systemic change. 

*Reproductive justice: All people having the social, political, and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about their gender, bodies, sexuality, and families for themselves (Forward Together). Reproductive justice places reproductive health and rights within a social justice framework.