Making a better future for the next generation in North Carolina.

Future Makers — The Foresight Infrastructure of North Carolina

Jan 25, 2024 | Featured, Future, Future Maker, Future Planning, North Carolina | 0 comments

Who is thinking about the North Carolina our children and grandchildren will inherit? Who is taking action to create the future we want for them? It turns out that more than 50 state-wide organizations, state government agencies, and legislative committees are studying trends in the state, doing creative thinking about them, and advocating policies to make North Carolina “a more perfect union.” I think of these as the infrastructure for foresight in our state.

Here is a list of the organizations I have found that 1) work on policies for the entire state of North Carolina, 2) have a perspective of ten years or more, and 3) focus — at least partially — on the general interests of the people of the state. Organizations are not consistent in listing a mission and vision, so for some I have used their statements of what they are about, history, or goals.

Many of these organizations have conflicting visions for what NC should be in 2040. Their political orientations vary widely. Their common belief, though, is that research, education, and advocacy can make a better future for North Carolinians. They provide all of us with opportunities to get involved with future making.

I will be profiling many of these organizations in upcoming months. For now, I have just picked out text from their websites about their missions and goals.

Hope you find some you can volunteer with or support financially. Please let me know if I have overlooked any worthy ones!

ACLU of North Carolina


The ACLU of North Carolina dares to create a more perfect union – beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize the promise of the United States and North Carolina Constitutions for all and expand the reach of their guarantees.


We imagine a North Carolina that is a new model for the South, with protected and expanded civil liberties and civil rights for all, to move us closer to racial justice and abolition of the carceral state.

Arts North Carolina


Uniting people and communities to strengthen and celebrate a creative North Carolina.


A vibrant North Carolina where the arts are embraced by all as indispensable.

Carolina Demography


We help people understand a changing North Carolina to make informed decisions. Carolina Demography is a non-partisan team of population scientists working for the people of North Carolina.


We find and collect data; clean analyze and interpret data; and communicate data and engage stakeholders.

Carolina Forward


Carolina Forward is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit policy organization that advocates for ideas, policies and values to build a stronger North Carolina that works for all its people.

We believe in a more just, democratic and prosperous state that works for everyone – not just the ones with money and power.


  • Carolina Forward believes in North Carolina’s future as a strong, diverse, multiracial democracy. We believe that attempts to curtail the people’s voice through gerrymandering, voter suppression and racial disenfranchisement are betrayals of American democracy.
  • We believe that first-class schools, affordable housing, universal healthcare, racial justice, environmental protection and a thriving economy are not tradeoffs. They are all mutually complementary and necessary for one another.
  • We believe that corporate money is unavoidably corrupting to the democratic process, and that it is too entrenched in North Carolina politics – in both parties.
  • We believe in reclaiming the language of morality in public policy. Expanding opportunity for all, investing in education, ensuring affordable access to essential healthcare and protecting our most vulnerable citizens are not just political imperatives. They are also moral ones.

Center for Entrepreneurial Development


The Council for Entrepreneurial Development was formed in 1984 by a group of business leaders wanting to empower the successful creation and growth of entrepreneurial companies in the North Carolina region. 

CED acts as the connective center for all of this to happen. Through high-touch support, education, access to capital, and crucial connections, we bring entrepreneurs together with the optimal resources needed to turn a new company into a success story. Programs like Connect to Capital have enabled entrepreneurs to connect with potential investors via formal introductions–with more than 600 made since 2014.



CleanAIRE NC represents everyone who cares about health, equity, and the environment. We represent advocates, healthcare professionals, organizers, educators, scientists, and thousands of people from communities across North Carolina. Rural and urban, coastal, Piedmont and mountains, we are united by the belief that everyone deserves a healthy environment where they can grow and thrive. Together we advance solutions that address three powerful determinants of health in North Carolina: climate change, air pollution, and environmental justice. Through advocacy, education, and research, CleanAIRE NC is working to protect what connects us and ensure that all North Carolinians have access to clean air and a livable climate.

Common Cause NC


Together, we can build a democracy that’s fair, vibrant and inclusive for all.

What we’re doing:

Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Communities in Schools North Carolina


Bridging relationships between schools, students and the community

At CISNC, we’re “all-in” for every student and will do whatever it takes to connect community resources, enhance educational success, and give every student a bright future. Our success centers on our commitment to building healthy, trusting relationships between adults and children – whether by providing homework help, behavioral intervention, counseling services and emotional support, or by meeting basic human needs such as food, clothing, and healthcare.

Conservation Trust for North Carolina

Mission & Vision:

Conservation Trust for North Carolina seeks to inspire and enable people to build resilient, just communities.

A resilient community is defined as one where people are meaningfully engaged and empowered, where leadership is responsive to community needs as defined by its residents, and where its people are able to respond to climate-related disasters by rebuilding or adapting in ways that make them stronger and more prepared for future challenges. 

We’re shifting our focus toward a more holistic vision for conservation.

In 2019, CTNC’s board and staff committed to a new mission focused on conserving land in ways that inspire and enable people to build resilient, just communities. Alongside community partners, we are committed to a process that increases funding for land and water conservation, factors the impacts of climate change into long-range plans, increasingly connects conservation to individual and community needs, and seeds equity and inclusion throughout the conservation sector.

We will advance big ideas to tackle our state’s gravest conservation problems.

We will take bold steps to invest in the power of people in conservation.

We will work where land provides individual and community prosperity for all.

Democracy North Carolina


To strengthen democratic structures, build power among disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all.


  • Our state’s democratic structures and policies are a national model, ensuring voting access and fair representation for every North Carolinian— especially the Black, brown, and low-wealth people who have been the targets of voter suppression.
  • Existing and emerging community activists, leaders, coalitions, and partners work together to strategically build power and expand participation.
  • People believe that true democracy is possible and worth the work.

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina


The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina improves the economic well-being and quality of life for all North Carolinians. We do this by collaborating with state, regional, local, and private-sector partners in new business recruitment, existing employer support, international trade and export assistance, small business start-up counseling, and tourism promotion.

Core Values:

We are a team of economic development professionals who take pride in:

  • Performing at a high level and holding ourselves accountable for our results.
  • Building strong partnerships and collaborating both inside and outside the organization.
  • Providing excellent customer service through every interaction.
  • Being an accessible, innovative, knowledgeable resource for all our stakeholders.
  • Serving as ambassadors for North Carolina through our work.


About us:

 EducationNC (EdNC) works to expand educational opportunities for all students in North Carolina, increase their academic attainment, and improve the performance of the state’s public schools. We provide residents and policymakers with nonpartisan data, research, news, information, and analysis about the major trends, issues, and challenges bearing on education. We gather and disseminate information employing the most effective means of communication, primarily through the Internet. In addition to the content distributed, we encourage an active and connected community of those interested in education policy and practice throughout the state. Our work encourages informed participation and strong leadership on behalf of the students of North Carolina. 

Emanicpate NC


Emancipate NC was founded on the knowledge that mass incarceration and structural racism harm all of us. Prison is state-sponsored violence. We are all complicit in its harms. As an organization, we are dedicated to shifting the narrative on racialized mass incarceration through community education and mobilization. The mainstream narrative that criminalizes Black and Brown people must be transformed—so that we can all get free.  

Environment North Carolina


Environment North Carolina works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.

We envision a greener North Carolina: one that protects more places where nature can thrive, and offers us and our children a greater opportunity to live healthier, more enriching lives. Through our research, public education, advocacy, litigation and action, we advance policies and practices that put our state and our country on a better path.

Hunt Institute


To provide unbiased research, technical expertise, and learning opportunities that equip and empower educators and policymakers to drive equitable reforms and become audacious champions for education.


An equitable American education system through which all learners achieve their highest potential in school and life.

Institute for Emerging Issues


IEI serves as a nonpartisan connector, bringing North Carolinians together across sectors, regions, and perspectives to collaborate on finding solutions to the state’s emerging and most critical policy issues resulting in a more vibrant and prosperous North Carolina.


A North Carolina where people connect and collaborate to build a vibrant and prosperous future for all.

Institute for Southern Studies


The Institute draws attention to the national importance of the South and offers an exciting vision of the region — a place brimming with a capacity for progressive change that challenges its reputation as a monolithic, conservative stronghold.

Throughout our history, the Institute has maintained a strong commitment to developing research and publication projects that support grassroots organizing, especially efforts for corporate and government accountability. The Institute has also nurtured a variety of community and media projects for change, including the Brown Lung Association, Carolina Public Press, the Miami Workers Center, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, and Southerners for Economic Justice.

John Locke Foundation


Locke envisions a North Carolina in which liberty and limited, constitutional government are the cornerstones of society so that individuals, families, and institutions can freely shape their own destinies.


Locke’s mission is to be North Carolina’s most influential force driving public policy so North Carolinians flourish in a free and prosperous society.

Land for Tomorrow


Land for Tomorrow is a statewide coalition of community leaders, conservation and wildlife organizations, and parks and recreation advocates with a common goal: increasing land and water conservation in North Carolina.

My Future NC


myFutureNC promotes a shared vision for an education-to-workforce continuum across North Carolina–from early childhood through adulthood–and aligns and supports local, regional, and state actions that will dramatically increase attainment of industry-valued credentials and postsecondary degrees. myFutureNC promotes work of all sectors and helps find and fill gaps to drive educational access and attainment outcomes that align with and fulfill employer needs.

On Feb. 20, 2019, myFutureNC unveiled its goal and bold vision for the future of education in our state: We will work to ensure that by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians have a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree. 

National Institute of Minority Economic Development


To strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education and economic opportunities.


Economic Prosperity for Diverse Populations


Trust, Excellence, Innovation, Collaboration

NC.Gov – State Organizations A-Z


A comprehensive listing of all state agencies including links to websites and phone numbers. The agencies provide many publicly

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence


Polls have consistently shown that the majority of North Carolinians, like other Americans, want to prevent gun violence through effective policies and laws.  North Carolinians Against Gun Violence is dedicated to mobilizing this majority and making citizens safe from gun violence, and the North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education Fund directly supports these goals. We are building a statewide grassroots movement of individuals dedicated to reducing gun violence.

Our major strategy for preventing gun violence is through education: explaining the nature of gun violence and ways to prevent it. We also work for enforcement and enactment, through the advocacy of the enforcement of existing laws and through support of legislation on state and national levels.

available reports on their area of specialization, often with projections about future activity.

North Carolina Alliance for Health


All North Carolinians will live healthier lives, protected by strong health policies that prevent chronic disease.


Convene, mobilize, support, and empower partners to advance equitable policies that reduce health disparities, prevent chronic disease, and promote health.

North Carolina Association of Educators


Our vision is to provide an equitable, quality public education for every child.


To be the voice of educators in North Carolina that unites, organizes and empowers members to be advocates for education professionals, public education and children.


Equal Access – We value equal access to a quality public education that is adequately and equitably funded.

Diversity – We value a just society that respects the worth, dignity and equality of every individual.

Collective Action – We value an informed membership that works collectively to advance and protect the rights, benefits and interests of education professionals and promote quality public education.

Partnerships – We value partnerships with parents, families and communities, as well as coalitions with other stakeholders because they are essential to quality public education and student success.

Professionalism – We value the expertise and judgment of educational professionals and believe it is critical for student success. We maintain the highest professional standards and expect the status, compensation and respect due all professionals.

Shared Responsibility – We value a collaborative community of members and staff who share the responsibility of achieving NCAE’s goals.

NC Biotechnology Center


Transforming Life Sciences in North Carolina

Transformation – a significant change from one form to a different, more valuable one.

Transformation is what the North Carolina Biotechnology Center does for ideas, businesses, professionals and subsectors of life sciences. NCBiotech helps technologies, companies and careers transform at every stage along the development pipeline. 

North Carolina Chamber of Commerce


Establish and maintain North Carolina as a national leader for private sector job growth, making North Carolina a top state in which to work and live.


To research, develop, advocate, and communicate for solutions and policies that produce a nationally competitive business climate in North Carolina.

Core values:

Community spirit strengthens the organization.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are imperative to progress.

Future-focused, data-driven decision-making fuels success.

Courageous, transparent communication nurtures growth.

Accountability drives performance and results.

NC Chamber: North Carolina Vision 2030

Pillars of a Secure Future:

Developed in 2012 with input from NC Chamber members, and put into action under the guidance of the NC Chamber Foundation starting in 2013, North Carolina Vision 2030 focuses on the three key issue areas identified by our members as those most important for our state’s continued economic competitiveness – Education and Talent Supply, Competitive Business Climate, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership.

NC Child

About us:

Lasting change requires meaningful collaboration from a diverse group of individuals and organizations, especially those who are most directly impacted by policy solutions. 

NC Child is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We advance public policies to ensure that every child in North Carolina has the opportunity to thrive – whatever their race, ethnicity, or place of birth.

Our approach:

Our children deserve our greatest efforts. Alongside our partners across the state, we create campaigns and build power so children and their families’ voices are heard.

NC Clean Energy Technology Center


We are a public service center seeking to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating, and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies.


The Center provides services to the businesses and citizens of North Carolina and beyond relating to the development and adoption of clean energy technologies. Through its programs and activities, we envision and seek to promote the development and use of clean energy in ways that stimulate a sustainable economy while reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy, and mitigating the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence


NCCADV leads the state’s movement to end domestic violence and to enhance work with survivors through collaborations, innovative trainings, prevention, technical assistance, state policy development and legal advocacy.


To empower all North Carolina communities to build a society that prevents and eliminates domestic violence.

North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Our values:

The work of NCCADP is built upon our core values of racial justice, restorative justice and centering the voices of people most proximate to the death penalty. These values require that we also engage in the larger movement for social justice and broad criminal legal reform, including ending mass incarceration. From working to remove all Confederate iconography to eliminating money bail, we oppose all forms of the carceral state and pledge to integrate this into our work as death penalty abAboutolitionists. 

North Carolina Conservation Network


We are a statewide network of over 60 environmental, community and environmental justice organizations focused on protecting North Carolina’s environment and public health.


Diverse groups engage in environmental policy decision-making at all levels of government—creating a North Carolina committed to improving and protecting the state’s vast natural resources. Our state is steadfast in adopting anti-racist policies that address environmental justice and lead to equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities.

North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation


Each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for life-long health, education, and well-being, supported by a comprehensive and equitable care and education system, from prenatal through third grade.


To marshal North Carolina’s great people, ideas, and achievements to ensure equitable access to opportunity and success for every child.

North Carolina Education Research Council


The North Carolina Education Research Data Center (NCERDC) was established in 2001 through a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to store and manage a publicly accessible dataset with the goal to provide researchers and the broader policy community ready access to the data on the state’s public schools, school districts, students and teachers.

North Carolina Employee Ownership Center


We’re on a mission to preserve and protect the job and community impacts of small and medium sized businesses throughout the state of North Carolina by helping to transition many to employee ownership.


The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center serves as the central hub for information and resources around employee ownership in North Carolina.

North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children


The North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children is the education lifeline and safety net that offers hope, dignity, and opportunity to our state’s most underserved public school students by providing for needs that local, state, and federal governments do not. Working directly through public school personnel, our mission is carried out through three initiatives:

  • Children’s Fund: Every day children struggle in school because they lack basic needs. NCFPSC responds quickly.
  • NC Teacher Cadet: Homegrown teachers who reflect the diversity of the students they will teach.
  • Disaster Relief:
  • Flooded schools, devastating loss — but teaching and learning must continue. NCFPSC is here.

NC Family Policy Council


We Equip North Carolina Families To Be Voices Of  Persuasion For Family Values In Their Communities

Founded in 1991, the North Carolina Family Policy Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of the family and traditional family values. 

As an independent 501(c)(3) research and education organization, the North Carolina Family Policy Council is supported entirely by the generosity of our donors. We are engaged in a battle to retain the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of western civilization. These are the same values which supported the establishment of the United States and which are embodied in the Ten Commandments and in the founding documents of our nation.

North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation

About us:

The NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit was chartered on April 27, 1999 and obtained its non-profit status on February 22, 2000.  The Foundation headquarters are located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Foundation funds projects addressing high priority natural resource and environmental issues while building conservation capacity across the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation


The North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation enhances awareness of the value of a free enterprise system of open and competitive markets because such markets result in innovation, lower costs, better products and enhancement of economic efficiency and vitality, human freedom and welfare.


The NC Free Enterprise Foundation (NCFREE) is the premier research organization in the state seeking to provide non-partisan analysis of the political landscape and its impact on North Carolina’s business environment.

NC Future Problem Solving


The North Carolina Future Problem Solving Program engages students in creative problem solving. Founded by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, FPSPI stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages students to develop a vision for the future. FPSPI features curricular and co-curricular competitive, as well as non-competitive, activities in creative problem solving.  NC FPS has a mission to develop the ability of young people globally to design and promote positive futures through problem-solving using critical and creative thinking. Through healthy competition and outstanding support from coaches, students are able to shine outside the classroom to solve real-world issues

North Carolina General Assembly – Committees

NC GreenPower


NC GreenPower’s mission is to expand public knowledge and acceptance of cleaner energy technologies to all North Carolinians through local, community-based initiatives.

North Carolina Housing Coalition


Leading a movement to ensure that every North Carolinian has a home in which to live with dignity and opportunity.

Desired long-term impact:

GROWING THE HOUSING MOVEMENT so that we can WIN THE POLICIES we need backed by the RESOURCES that meet the scale of the need, and to STRENGTHEN THE ECOSYSTEM OF HOUSING PROVIDERS in making those wins a reality for communities across North Carolina.

North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies


  • Inspire cutting-edge research and collaboration
  • Advance understanding of the current and future state of the climate
  • Engage with business, academia, government, and the public to enhance decision making

Main objectives:

  • promote discovery of new knowledge about global, regional, and local climate variability and its impacts, and
  • provide information that is critical for determining trends and validating climate forecasts at all of these spatial scales.

NC Institute of Medicine: Future of Local Public Health in North Carolina


The North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Task Force on the Future of Local Public Health in North Carolina will develop a vision for the future of local public health in the state and recommendations to achieve that vision. This includes principles of health equity, leadership, connection between clinical services and population health, opportunities for targeted investments, public communication about the value of public health, and data integration to drive improvements in service delivery and outcomes.

The work of the task force is happening in conjunction with a special initiative of the North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors (NCALHD) to improve the visibility and influence of public health as a critical part of the state’s health care safety net infrastructure, supported by a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The NCALHD will lead future action planning to implement task force recommendations with local public health departments, and additional partners may carry forward regional and state public health action planning, including policy development for consideration by the NC General Assembly.

North Carolina Justice Center


As a leading progressive research and advocacy organization, our mission is to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household in the state has access to the resources, services, and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.

To make opportunity and prosperity for all a reality, we work toward:

  • Jobs that are safe, pay a living wage, and provide benefits
  • Access to quality and affordable health care
  • Quality public education for every child
  • Consumer protections from abusive practices
  • Safe and affordable housing
  • Public investments that expand opportunities for economic security
  • A fair and stable revenue system that adequately funds public investments while fairly distributing tax responsibility
  • A more fair criminal justice system, from arrest to reentry
  • Fair treatment for everyone in North Carolina – regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, disability, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation

North Carolina Leadership Forum


NCLF provides an opportunity for civic, business and political leaders from across North Carolina to discuss issues central to the future of our state. The Forum provides a venue for North Carolina leaders to discuss the nature of the challenges, to understand different points of view about how to address them, and to advance mutually acceptable solutions that improve the lives of North Carolinians

North Carolina League of Conservation Voters


Every person in North Carolina has equitable access to participate in a thriving democracy that represents and is accountable to their communities and in a government which prioritizes clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment, especially for those communities first and worst impacted by environmental injustices.


The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) is a pragmatic, results-oriented, non-partisan organization whose mission is to protect the health and quality of life for all North Carolinians, with an intentional focus on systematically excluded communities of color. We elect environmental champions, advocate for environmental policies that protect our communities, and hold elected leaders accountable for their decisions. We create a political environment that will protect our natural environment.

We believe:

  • Voting is the most important thing we can do for the environment.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are as important as clean air and clean water.
  • Everyone has a right to vote and a right to breathe clean air.

NC Moves 2050

What is NC Moves 2050:

NC Moves 2050 is a strategic, multimodal transportation plan aimed at preparing for the future, connecting communities and supporting North Carolina’s economy and quality of life. The plan is focused on creating a more responsive, diverse and inclusive transportation system to keep people and freight moving safely and efficiently.

North Carolina Partnership for Children (& Smart Start)


Each child reaches their potential and is prepared for school and life success in North Carolina and a global community.


Advance a high quality, comprehensive, accountable early childhood system that benefits each child in North Carolina beginning with a healthy birth

North Carolina Public Health Association


The North Carolina Public Health Association is the leading professional association for people dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and environment of all North Carolinians.


North Carolina Public Health Association is an association of individuals and organizations working to improve the public’s health through political advocacy, public awareness, professional development, and the interface between research and practice.

Guiding principles:

The Guiding Principles of the North Carolina Public Health Association are: integrity, dignity and respect, pride and commitment, inclusion and education for individuals and communities.

North Carolina Rural Center


The NC Rural Center’s mission is to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. We serve the state’s 78 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.

Core values:

Strive for excellence; promote authentic leadership; lead with diversity, equity, and inclusion; deliver meaningful and measurable impact.

North Carolina Sea Grant


North Carolina Sea Grant works with local, state, and national policymakers and scientists to co-produce critical projects in four focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems, resilient communities and economies, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and environmental literacy and workforce development. 

With significant returns on investment for coastal North Carolina, we forge partnerships and support research, education, and outreach. Funding opportunities include grants for established scientists and specialists, fellowships to develop the next generation of researchers and policymakers, and special collaborations that fuse community and academic expertise.

Our team catalyzes a wide variety of initiatives across a broad range of topics, including:

  • Resilience planning for climate change and other coastal hazards, 
  • Bolstering the blue economy, 
  • Helping sustainable seafood businesses and consumers, 
  • Fostering better water quality and eco-friendly coastal landscaping, 
  • Facilitating environmental education, 
  • Strengthening individual and community health and safety, 
  • And generating many more solutions for Coastal N.C.

NC Sustainable Energy Association


NCSEA’s programs, products, and services are designed to make clean energy mutually beneficial to consumers, utilities, and the overall clean energy industry. 

NCSEA’s Policy Team works to advance and support beneficial clean energy policies through legislative, executive, and regulatory engagement throughout the year. 

North Carolina Wildlife Federation


To protect, conserve, and restore North Carolina wildlife and habitat for all.


A North Carolina with healthy and diverse habitats and wildlife valued by all people and sustained for future generations.


  • Science-based decision making
  • Non-partisan approach to policy
  • Inclusive of broad interests and perspectives
  • Collaborative with diverse organizations and individuals
  • Committed to solutions and impact

North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation


The purpose of the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation is to assist in the acquisition, management and protection of wildlife habitat within the state of North Carolina and promote conservation education for the benefit of future generations.

Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina


All children grow up in safe, stable, nurturing families and communities.


Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina ensures that child maltreatment prevention is a priority for North Carolina and all communities have the knowledge, support and resources to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Progress North Carolina


We are a team of communications and digital experts dedicated to building long-term transformative people power throughout North Carolina. We serve as a center for providing innovative research, data-driven messaging and communication strategies to local partners, organizations and coalitions in order to build a narrative of social solidarity and reshape what is possible by advocating for progressive policies, leaders, and civil servants ready to serve North Carolinians.


The North Carolina we envision consistently moves forward boldly and fearlessly, in upholding and enacting values that will make our state work for all of us. We want North Carolinians to feel ownership of their government, where their representatives respect the diversity and interests of those they were elected to serve.

Public School Forum


To provide meaningful action on North Carolina’s most important public education issues.


All North Carolina children shall have the opportunity to reach their full potential through equitable and meaningful public education that nourishes our state’s civic and economic vitality.

Sierra Club of North Carolina

Our issues:

For more than 50 years, the North Carolina Chapter of Sierra Club has helped to protect natural areas, ensure clean air and water, promote clean energy solutions, and more on behalf of all our state’s people.

Current focus areas:

  • Climate change, including coastal adaptation and more clean energy use and access as a way to mitigate its impact
  • Pollution in our air, land and water, whether in heavily populated areas, rural communities or our natural areas
  • Public lands, where we seek to safeguard rare and endangered species, protect recreational and biologically sensitive areas from extraction, and assure that all our state’s residents and visitors have safe access
  • Equity, inclusion and justice for North Carolinians of color and other underserved peoples, who are most affected by environmental degradation and natural disasters
  • NC’s Carbon Plan, which is intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation. We’re keeping an eye on the N.C. Utilities Commission and Duke Energy as they work on the Carbon Plan’s 2024 update.

Southern Environmental Law Center


To protect the basic right to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate; to preserve our region’s natural treasures and rich biodiversity; and to provide a healthy environment for all.

Our focus:

As lawyers, policy experts, community advocates and partners, we take on the toughest environmental challenges facing the South and the country. We defend our air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and the people who live here. And we win.

UNC Institute for the Environment


IE fosters and conducts collaborations with faculty, students and staff across the university to identify and solve the world’s environmental challenges and sustain and improve the environment.

At IE, we develop multidisciplinary collaborations to understand major environmental issues and engage myriad academic disciplines, public and private partners, and an informed and committed community. Through IE’s air and water research centers, our community engagement and sustainability initiatives, and field sites and experiential education programs, we provide interdisciplinary forums for faculty, students and community partners to meet pressing environmental challenges.

The UNC Institute for the Environment is committed to inclusive excellence within our organization and our disciplines. We recognize that diverse perspectives strengthen groups and know that environmental challenges and solutions do not affect people equally. We value the knowledge and resources that all communities bring to understanding and sustaining the environment.  

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Our Vision

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that all of North Carolina benefits when every North Carolinian has the resources and opportunities to achieve their full potential and when each person’s worth and dignity is affirmed. Therefore, we desire for ALL North Carolinians to have access to high-quality education, to benefit from a healthy and sustainable environment, to enjoy economic opportunity under just and fair rules and to be able to engage fully in civic life.

Our Strategy:

We recognize that there are systemic and structural barriers in place, particularly regarding race, that disadvantage some North Carolinians from realizing this vision, even as they advantage others. Therefore, the Foundation, consistent with our core values, seeks to partner with others to help change state-level systems in ways that overcome those barriers and thereby help improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians. In particular, we believe that working together across issues, approaches and populations is necessary to create systemic change.*

Core values:

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation embraces a set of core values that emerge from the Foundation’s long history to further its mission of improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians.

  • Stewardship
  • Integrity
  • Fairness & Justice
  • Dignity & Equity
  • Civic Participation
  • Excellence
  • Sustainability
  • Collaboration



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