The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund, a Democracy Fund initiative administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation, recently issued a call for project proposals that inform and engage the public as communities recover from Hurricane Florence and prepare eastern North Carolina for a more resilient future.
The NC Local News Lab Fund will provide up to $150,000 in grants to organizations and initiatives around news and information related to hurricane recovery in eastern North Carolina. The Fund will consider projects that focus on collaboration, content, capacity building and community engagement related to recovery and resilience in the region. Preference will be given to projects that are based in, or include partners based in, eastern North Carolina and that are led by and serve traditionally underrepresented audiences.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, communities across eastern North Carolina are beginning to heal and rebuild, according to Leslie Ann Jackson, NCCF vice president of community investment and engagement. “Having trustworthy, accurate and timely news and information is vital for North Carolina’s communities as they recover,” she said. “It is a crucial time for eastern North Carolina communities that still need important information about recovery when the major networks have packed up and left.”
The explicit focus on eastern North Carolina for this grantmaking initiative is both an attempt to address short-term needs in the context of disaster recovery and to remedy the systemic underinvestment in the region’s nonprofits and communities.
The North Carolina Local News Lab Fund works to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to the local news and information they need to make their communities thrive. The Fund was established at the North Carolina Community Foundation in 2017.