Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has change of heart about pausing grants for Flint Schools

CEO Ridgway White reinstates $7 million dollars in grant funding
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:54 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - An outpouring of support at Wednesday night’s Flint school board meeting led to a change of heart from the president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

He decided against pausing grants that fund the YouthQuest afterschool program and the Community Education Initiative administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund and Crim Fitness Foundation.

Ridgway White released a statement late Thursday night saying he regrets pausing the grants.

“The mission of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is to support efforts that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. Nowhere is this more important than in our hometown. And no one is more important to us than the young people who attend Flint Community Schools,” he said.

The foundation announced Tuesday it would pause the grants over a communication dispute with the Flint school board. White was concerned about a measure passed in June, which prohibits Superintendent Anita Steward from talking with community partners like the foundation without the board president in attendance.

White apologized “for creating this instability” by pausing the grants over a dispute with the Flint school board.

“We’ve all been through a lot in the past decade, and I will do my best to keep the Mott Foundation’s support positive and beneficial for Flint kids and families so every child in Flint has the opportunity to succeed,” he said.

The Mott Foundation will grant $7 million to GAFF and Crim to ensure that YouthQuest and the Community Education Initiative can continue serving Flint kids and families through the 2021-2022 school year.

White said the foundation also remains committed to working with Flint Community Schools and the Board of Education. He would welcome the chance to resume a dialogue around creating a future that is bright for all Flint kids.

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