The Pope Foundation’s new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Troy Kickler, Founding Director of the North Carolina History Project at the John Locke Foundation:
Many historians refer to the years between 1890 and 1950 —commonly known as the “Jim Crow era” — as the nadir of race relations in the United States. Segregation was enshrined in law in the South, and de-facto segregation was culturally accepted in the North.
Even in this hostile atmosphere, though, many African-American entrepreneurs — some former slaves — discovered economic niches, built businesses, and amassed sizeable fortunes.
“These African-Americans were creating wealth and providing jobs,” said Troy Kickler, Founding Director of the North Carolina History Project, in describing his February 2013 series on entrepreneurship among African-Americans during slavery and the Jim Crow years. “How much wealth and how many jobs could they have created if they had been allowed to fully participate in the market?”
This is one of many historical observations made by Troy, and one of many reasons why his initiative housed at the free-market think tank the John Locke Foundation has proved so valuable.
Read more Achiever Spotlights here.
The John William Pope Foundation’s new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Xavier Massey, a high-school student whose life was dramatically changed for the better after going through the Jesse Helms Foundation’s “Free Enterprise Challenge”:
Life is tough for Xavier Massey.
The 16-year-old from Waxhaw, North Carolina, works part-time at Wal-Mart to help his mother put food on the table for his siblings. At the same time, Xavier attends high school as a sophomore.
Xavier’s father died when he was just 5-years old, forcing the young man to partly support his welfare-dependent family.
“I’m the youngest, but I’m in the middle of everything,” he said. “I’ve had to grow up faster than other teenagers because of having to help my mom with the bills, having to work, and having to go to school.”
But Xavier hasn’t been forced to fend for himself. During the summer of 2012, he received invaluable training from the Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge, a project of the Jesse Helms Center located in Union County, North Carolina.
Established in 1995, FELC is a 5-day summer camp that gives rising high-school sophomores, juniors, and seniors a golden opportunity to get hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, business, and leadership. The program, held at local colleges and universities, now counts over 6,000 young people as graduates. (To learn more about registering, click here.)
Xavier credits the summer program with inspiring him to go onto college one day — and perhaps pursue a career in free enterprise.
“The conference challenged me to want more for myself,” he said.
Read more Achiever Spotlights here.
The John William Pope Foundation, one of the top-giving philanthropies in North Carolina, has launched a redesigned websiteto more effectively communicate with fellow donors, the public, and the media.
“Our expanded online presence serves as an important step in continuing my father’s legacy of generosity and goodwill,” said Art Pope, President and Chairman of the Pope Foundation. “Our goal is to underscore the vital work being done by our grantees.”
The website describes the Pope Foundation’s four areas of philanthropic investment — public policy groups, educational institutions, humanitarian efforts, and the arts — that amounts to over $10 million in giving each year. It also tells John William Pope’s remarkable story — from his humble beginning working in his father’s five-and-dime store during the Great Depression to becoming head of a retail chain serving 300 communities across the southeast and employing thousands.
Six grantees — including StepUp Ministry, Carolina Ballet, and the Boy Scouts of America — are highlighted on the new website, with more to follow in the coming weeks. The website also spotlights high-achieving individuals who have been assisted by Pope Foundation-supported grantees.
“The generosity of the Pope family has benefited North Carolina and the entire nation for over 25 years,” said Dave Riggs, Vice President for Programs and Operations at the Pope Foundation. “Because of their kindness, thousands of lives have improved from over $100 million in giving. This website is another step in furthering that heritage.”
For more information, interviews, or details on the application process, contact Dave Riggs or David Bass at 919-861-6449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE POPE FOUNDATION
The John William Pope Foundation, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, works to improve the well-being of the citizens of North Carolina and the nation through the advancement of individual freedom and personal responsibility. From its first grant in 1986 to the present, the Foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million, primarily to charities and organizations in North Carolina.
The Foundation is a private family foundation supported by the late John William Pope Sr. and his wife, Joyce W. Pope, and their children: their late son, John William Pope Jr.; Amanda Pope; and Art Pope.
The Pope Foundation receives additional support from the family’s business, Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns and operates Roses, Maxway, Super 10, and other discount stores, and has its offices and distribution centers in Raleigh and Henderson, North Carolina.
The John William Pope Foundation marked its 25th anniversary in December 2011. Even a quarter-century after the Foundation’s creation, the Pope family’s extraordinary generosity — nearly $100 million in philanthropic donations — is matched in significance only by the number of lives touched.
John William Pope’s unusually quiet, unassuming philanthropy was designed to recognize and support whole people — helping to meet their physical needs, provide educational opportunities, enrich their creativity through the arts, and promote public policy that protects their ability to be free and prosperous in the future.
In continuing the legacy of John William Pope, the Foundation’s 25th anniversary dinner was a fundraiser for StepUp Ministry, a nonprofit that empowers low-income individuals to break the poverty cycle. All proceeds from ticket sales for the dinner went to StepUp — nearly $300,000 total. John Stossel, a host and commentator on the Fox Business Network, keynoted the dinner.
To learn more about the Pope Foundation, click here.
The John William Pope Foundation marked its 20th year anniversary in 2006. Triangle Business Journal wrote this story on the Foundation’s 20-year milestone, emphasizing the increased funds devoted to humanitarian and public policy causes:
Formed in 1986 and funded mainly with donations from the Pope family and Variety Wholesalers, the discount retailer Pope’s grandfather founded in the 1930s, the foundation helped launch and has been the biggest supporter of the John Locke Foundation, an influential conservative policy, research and advocacy group formed in 1990.
The Pope Foundation also has been a steady supporter of other state and national policy groups, higher education, and a broad range of local charitable and religious groups.
The Pope family and Variety Wholesalers donated $3.8 million to the foundation in the fiscal year ended last June 30.
With assets worth nearly $53.6 million in fair market value last June 30, according to the Form 990 it filed with the IRS, the foundation in fiscal 2005 made grants totaling just over $7.4 million.
That included nearly $3.2 million for policy work in North Carolina, nearly $1.1 million for national policy work, nearly $1.8 million for university and student groups, mainly in North Carolina, and over $1.3 million for local educational, charitable, humanitarian, cultural and religious groups.
To learn more about the Pope Foundation’s four areas of philanthropic giving — public policy, education, humanitarian, and the arts — click here.