Southern Futures

Scholars and students at Carolina, alongside people across the region and beyond, are doing extraordinary work to reimagine the American South—to build a future where all southern communities can flourish.

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The state, region, and nation are crying out for an inclusive, consistent, and thoughtful commitment to people of the South and their futures, grounded in narratives and rhythms they know well, that they themselves created.

About

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the nation and deeply rooted in the American South. 

There’s no institution in the country better positioned to tell the complex stories of a challenging, promising region. Carolina champions research and teaching in the arts, history, public health, entrepreneurship and more, supported by world-class archives and library expertise.

The mission of Southern Futures is connecting those public resources with the people and communities who own them. With our partners, we will cultivate vibrant scholarship about the South, host a new generation of scholars committed to the region, and elevate southern voices outside the academy. Southern Futures will be a vital resource for creating and understanding the future of the South.

We hope you’ll join us.

Our Pillars

We are committed to helping imagine, understand, and create regional transformation through three main strategies:

Develop Future Southern Leaders

A thriving American South depends on the next generation of those who want to study, live, and lead in communities across the region. Southern Futures supports undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and others with scholarships, grants, courses, community partnerships, and gatherings to connect the people who care for this region and its future.

Focus on Art, Music, and Storytelling

Storytelling creates connection. Through stories we share ideas, culture, history and values that unite and inspire us. Whether in a documentary, a play, a podcast or an artistic performance, stories help us express and understand the human condition. They shift attitudes and advance culture. They lay the groundwork for cultural, economic and social revitalization in North Carolina and the wider region.

Gather and Share Carolina's Resources

Chapel Hill has a remarkable, multi-disciplinary collection of expertise focused on the South – from its scholarship to its library and archives, museum, UNC Press and its substantial commitment to the arts. Southern Futures brings those resources to communities who can benefit, and brings community wisdom and connection back to campus.

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