Looking Back, Working Forward

 

To change the system, we need to start with ourselves. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

We are taking this opportunity to reflect back on our work over the years as a way to further our impact. We’re examining the root causes of the issues our founder, Mrs. Reynolds, cared about and addressing them on today’s terms.

Over the past few months, we have been exploring our founding history, the complexity of our legacy, our investments over time, and our vision for a just society that stands up against racism and changes the system to ensure equitable health, education, and economic outcomes for all residents.

In pursuit of this vision, we announced in September during an event in Forsyth County to celebrate our 75th anniversary, that we will divest from tobacco and instead commit to a socially responsible investment strategy to support community-led businesses and economic opportunities in North Carolina.

We began by looking back, in order to move our work forward.

Kate B Reynolds sitting in a chair looking up while holding a book

Looking Back

In her lifetime, Trust founder, Kate B. Reynolds, funded charities dedicated to improving the lives of those whom she called “the poor and needy” of North Carolina. In her will she left instructions for a trust to be founded in her name to further this work, with an initial focus on improving the quality of life of people with low incomes in Forsyth County and improving health care around the state.

 

Working Forward

Today, Mrs. Reynolds’ gifts have enabled us to support thriving communities — partnering together for equitable health care, education, and economic opportunities for North Carolina residents. We center our work around racial equity—to realize the goals Mrs. Reynolds set forth when the Trust was founded, on today’s terms.

As we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year, we’re reflecting on the Trust’s early work, to better understand how to address the root causes of the issues our founder cared about.

Telling Trust Stories

To help us understand where we’ve been and what we need to do next, we developed a series of stories designed to trace the Trust’s trajectory from then to now.

These stories highlight how the Trust and our partners have helped move the needle for change-so everyone, particularly people of color in North Carolina, will have the access and support they need to succeed.

telling trust stories

Acknowledging our Past for a Stronger Tomorrow

The final installment in the series tells the story of the Trust’s deepening commitment to racial equity and systems change over 75 years and announces our divestment from tobacco.  

Telling trust stories

Addressing North Carolina’s Mental Health Needs 

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust started with the mission of improving North Carolina residents’ health and quality of life. Early on, the Trust focused on ensuring the health of newborns and their mothers, attracting health care providers to rural parts of the state, and ensuring “charity patients” had access to care. Thirty years into this work, it became clear there was a deep need to address challenges that weren’t just physical.