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“It is not enough to have here the most powerful nation in the world and then admit we are powerless to find ways to give our young people training and job opportunities. In North Carolina we want to go into a few communities and say to the leaders of school and government and welfare and health and charity, let’s see if together in a few neighborhoods near here we can’t break the cycle of poverty and give these children a better chance.” – Terry Sanford, announcing the creation of the NCF, September 30, 1963
Change Comes Knocking is an award-winning documentary spotlighting the tumultuous story of the North Carolina Fund (NCF)–a bi-racial anti-poverty organization that boldly confronted the explosive issues of race, class and politics during the turbulent 1960s.
In 1963, progressive Democratic governor, Terry Sanford took an audacious step to attack the entrenched poverty he found throughout his state. The Fund directly empowered poor people, including African Americans, so they could challenge the entrenched power structure who were all too comfortable with the racial divisions that were the foundations of the economic status quo. Add to that a charismatic Fund employee named Howard Fuller, who spoke of Black Power and urged a more confrontational approach, and the backlash came swiftly.
Change Comes Knocking presents a snapshot of the creation of the Fund, one of the first bi-racial organizations in the South. The history of the North Carolina Fund encompasses 5 years of innovative and experimental actions, which also proved to be quite controversial. DurhamThe NC Fund encouraged communities around the state to create local agencies called Community action Programs (CAPS), whose agendas would have to include input from low income people. The Fund gave a voice to people who had been disenfranchised, and in turn empowered them to make substantial changes in their lives and communities.
Click here to visit the official Change Comes Knocking website.
Funding provided by: Ford Foundation, Inc, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Park Foundation
Sponsored by: The Southern Documentary Fund, A Video Dialog Production.