The floods come bigger and more often these days in North Carolina. On the fertile coastal plains and wetlands of the eastern part of the state, water is central to nearly everyone’s livelihood. Waterways knitted together small Native and early colonial communities and, later, nurtured a thriving textile industry. Generous rains still irrigate big industrial farms and small family plots. But in just the last two years, the mostly poor region has also borne two historic floods: Twice-a-century events that have begun arriving annually.
Southern communities are on the front lines of an ongoing global climate crisis, one whose threats grow in scope and magnitude each day. In many ways, Southerners have been among the first to learn what it’s like to live with a new climate – the more hostile one we have created for ourselves over decades of living outside our planetary means.
Although many of those same Southerners are organizing and mobilizing around a resilient and just new future, foundation investment in Southern communities does not match that reality.
Weathering the Storm, the latest installment in the As The South Grows series, continues the first report’s exploration of building power and the second’s examination of building wealth and looks closely at building resilience. There will be a transition to a new, and in many ways more hostile, climate that could result in disproportionate harm to already struggling communities.
In the South, the work to avoid a transition that results in disproportionate harm to already struggling communities is well underway. Weathering the Storm explores the intersection of economic, environmental and social systems where the Southern movement for climate resilience is growing.
Read the full report about climate resilience in the South at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.