Skip to main content

First in Future: Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust President Dr. Laura Gerald

Summary:  On the one hand, who could have predicted it? Laura Gerald grew up in Robeson County, went to Harvard and Johns Hopkins for her medical degree, then ignored the myriad of opportunities available to her, returning to her hometown to serve her community as a pediatrician instead. On the other hand, it seems almost blindingly obvious that she would now be heading up the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. Their biggest priorities are rural health and care for children in their earliest years – exactly what Laura spent a lifetime training for. This week, Dr. Laura Gerald, president of Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, discusses her journey along the way, what philanthropy can AND can’t do, her favorite cookbook, and the realization in her later years that she had grown up poor.

Excerpt:  In looking ahead 20 years: “I wish we could waive a magic wand and…eliminate inequality…but we didn’t get here in a short period of time. Hopefully we will have made significant progress in not just doling out charity to poor people, but in actually changing the systems that would have created that poverty in the first place.”

Book recommendations:  The New Southern Garden Cookbook, Sheri Castle; Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Walker Evans and James Agee; The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead.

North Carolinian to Watch?  With help from today’s many child-focused programs, any child born in North Carolina will be doing something great in 20 years.

This is the first installment of a special 13-segment series produced in collaboration with UNC-TV, and recorded in UNC-TV’s Legislative Studio in downtown Raleigh! We are so excited to share the First in Future podcast via traditional means and via taped segments to air on the North Carolina Channel! Check back soon for air dates.

Listen to the podcast:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” iframe=”true” /]