In spring 2020, our Board of Governors approved a new Vision for the Mid-South and Values for Investing, a set of community investment principles—developed with the participation of dozens of diverse stakeholders—that will guide the Community Foundation's discretionary grantmaking through the FOREVER Funds.
Memphis and the Mid-South comprise a diverse community that, while faced with daunting social and economic challenges, also has invaluable human and natural resources. The region faces massive challenges, including high rates of poverty and incarceration, limited access to affordable housing and quality healthcare, and schools which continue to struggle to educate all our children. With a continuing history of institutional racism and inequity, these failings disproportionately affect our African-American and Latinx neighbors. At the same time, we also have considerable assets. We are blessed with a rich musical heritage, a vibrant arts community, a world-class healthcare system, and more than our fair share of parklands, greenspaces, and other natural resources. The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is committed to investing in and working alongside our community to address our challenges and sustain our assets in order to create transformational change. We envision a more equitable community and pledge to make investments that will help make that vision reality.
Our Vision for the Mid-South
We will create a just and equitable region where all individuals and groups receive the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential, and where identity and geography do not determine their outcomes. We will build a community where everyone is welcome, valued, resourced, and informed, one where people can easily access opportunities to contribute and thrive.
Our Values for Investing
IMPACT We will seek systemic change that results in a just and equitable Mid-South through investments that address the root causes of our challenges and support the strengths of our community.
ACCOUNTABILITY We will establish and track metrics for desired outcomes and provide transparency in our processes and in the results.
INCLUSION We will implement processes where all community members’ voices can be heard, and decision-makers and participants reflect the demographics of communities being served.
PARTNERSHIP and COLLABORATION We will work with our community to identify issues, craft solutions, align resources, and act together to implement them.