Rodney Sumler Research Foundation for Economic Empowerment and Environmental Protection

Foundation in honor of the late Rodney Jerome Sumler, it is our mission to continue his work of rewriting negative cultural narratives for people of color through education, research, and development. 

Who was Rodney Sumler?

Rodney Sumler was a Civil Rights leader who, in the 1960’s, organized demonstrations with the now Rev. Jessie Jackson while they were attending their Alma Mater: North Carolina A&T State University.
For the next 40 years, Rodney Sumler remained dedicated to the betterment of people of color. As an entrepreneur, he was well known and provided meeting spaces for community leaders to discuss ways to uplift their community in the 1970's.

For over 30 years, he helped maintain diversity of representation in our nation’s capital as the Head Editor of the AC Phoenix News, providing a medium for community members to learn about their representatives.  His final project was combating forces of environmental injustice afflicting a poor community of color in Eden, North Carolina.

Continuing the Legacy

In pursuit of this mission, currently overseeing the creation and implementation of these programs:
  • Social Research Expeditions that sponsor researchers in the field
  • Scholars in Residence that will incubate journalists, scholars, and activists focused on uplifting underserved communities through social research

Current Projects

We are currently in the seed stages to raise funds for projects like digitizing and preserving the AC Phoenix News, the local publication that was instrumental in empowering commu
nities in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad.