Rockefeller Support and the Growth of Public Welfare Programs in North Carolina in the 1920s

by Anna Krome-Lukens

Jan 1, 2011
In the 1920s, North Carolina earned the moniker the "Wisconsin of the South" for its progressive social programs. At the heart of its progress was a network of devoted reformers. These reformers could not have been effective without numerous public-private partnerships, which fostered the growth of North Carolina's public welfare system. Rockefeller funds underwrote the cooperative efforts of university leaders and state officials, as well as each group's unilateral efforts to transform the state. In the course of Rockefeller interactions with North Carolina, moreover, Rockefeller officials' decisions shaped the boundaries and future direction of public welfare, social work, and social science research in the state and region. The records at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) -- in particular, the records of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial (LSRM) -- describe the evolution of the state's welfare programs, and establish links between North Carolina's welfare programs and national philanthropic efforts.
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