Non-profit

We are Down Home

Website:

wearedownhomenc.org/

Location:

Greensboro, NC

Tax ID:

83-1247155

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Type:

Advocacy Group

Directors:

Dreama Caldwell and Todd Zimmer

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $2,333,489
Expenses: $1,538,800
Assets: $1,177,766

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We are Down Home is a left-of-center nonprofit advocacy group that is the educational arm of Down Home North Carolina, a lobbying organization founded to promote Democratic candidates and left-of-center policies in North Carolina. Like its sister organization, We Are Down Home also exclusively focuses on organizing in rural communities throughout North Carolina and operates seven chapters in various counties throughout the state. The organization supports an increased minimum wage, universal taxpayer-funded health care, and left-of-center criminal justice and policing policies among other stances. We Are Down Home received a $200,000 grant from the left-of-center Ford Foundation in 2022. 1 2

Background

We are Down Home was formed in 2018 along with Down Home North Carolina. The two organizations share staff and resources with We Are Down Home acting as the educational arm that conducts advocacy work promoting the organization’s preferred policy stances and organizing around policy issues. Down Home NC is the organization’s political arm which lobbies on specific legislation and endorses Democratic candidates for office. 3

We are Down Home and Down Home NC have ties to left-leaning national organizing group People’s Action and their structure and activity mirrors similar groups aligned with People’s Action in other states, including Michigan United and Hoosier Action. 4

Activities

We are Down Home supports left-of-center policy positions on healthcare, labor, and criminal justice. The group supports an increase in the state minimum wage in North Carolina. The group also promotes a “Healthcare for All” agenda and has advocated for the expansion of Medicaid in the state. Regarding criminal justice the organization supports a variety of left-of-center policies including changes to or an elimination of the cash bail system and has claimed that cash bail leads to the “criminalization of poverty.” 5

Funding

In 2022, Ford Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation that for many years was the largest foundation in the United States, gave a grant of $200,000 to We Are Down Home. The grant was tied to the Ford Foundation’s civic engagement and government and gender, racial, and ethnic justice programs. 6

People

The board of directors of the organization includes Kendra Johnson, the executive director of Equality NC; Theo Luebke of the Carolina Federation; and Ashley McDermott, an organizer with the Sunrise Movement. 7 8 9

We Are Down Home and Down Home NC are co-directed by Dreama Caldwell and Todd Zimmer. Caldwell is a local organizer based in rural Alamance County who began working with the group to oppose cash bail after she was held in the county jail under a $40,000 bond for a crime that she says she did not commit. Zimmer previously worked as an organizer for groups including the Rainforest Action NetworkFriends of the Earth, and Green Corps. 10 11

References

  1. “Advocacy,” We are Down Home. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://wearedownhomenc.org/advocacy/
  2. “We Are Down Home: General support to unite people across race and place and raise the voice and power of working people in rural and small-town North Carolina.” Ford Foundation Grants Database. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/we-are-down-home-142650/
  3. “Endorsements.” Down Home NC. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://downhomenc.org/our-electoral-work/endorsements/
  4. “Contact Us.” Down Home NC. Accessed June 27, 2022. https://downhomenc.org/contact-us/
  5. “Advocacy,” We are Down Home. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://wearedownhomenc.org/advocacy/
  6. “We Are Down Home: General support to unite people across race and place and raise the voice and power of working people in rural and small-town North Carolina.” Ford Foundation Grants Database. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/we-are-down-home-142650/
  7. “Staff.” Equality NC. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://equalitync.org/about/staff/
  8. Vallancourt, Cory. “Demonstrators greet Cawthorn before debate.” Smoky Mountain News. September 16, 2020. Accessed August 7, 2023.  https://smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/29843-demonstrators-greet-cawthorn-before-debate
  9. “Staff.” Carolina Federation. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://carolinafederation.org/staff/
  10. Noor, Jaisal. “Jailed for A Crime She Didn’t Commit, Dreama Caldwell Is Now Taking on The System.” The Real News Network. April 20, 2022. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://therealnews.com/jailed-for-a-crime-she-didnt-commit-dreama-caldwell-is-now-taking-on-the-system
  11. “Todd Zimmer.” LinkedIn. Accessed August 7, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-zimmer-678393218/details/experience/
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2019

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    We are Down Home

    PO BOX 10694
    Greensboro, NC 27404-0694