10 April 2017 • Alums • Sustainability White '02 Noted for Work in Flint
In a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Ridgway H. White ’02 was profiled for his work on behalf of Flint, Mich. residents, as president of the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
From climate change solutions to college and career readiness, the Mott Foundation supports U.S. and international nonprofit programs in a range of areas to promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. Under White’s leadership, the foundation has taken a strong role in supporting its local community in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis.
The Chronicle article, “Flint Water Crisis Proves Mettle of New Foundation Leader,” highlights the accomplishments of White and the foundation against the backdrop of the water crisis.
When officials in Flint “publicly acknowledged after months of denial and stonewalling that the city’s water was unsafe…White and the Mott Foundation sprang into action.…Even before a state of emergency was declared, the family foundation gave $4 million, which was matched by an additional $2 million from the city and $6 million from the state, to switch Flint back to a safer water supply.”
The foundation subsequently committed $50 million in new and existing grants in 2016 and $100 million overall during the next five years, supporting work in six areas: safe drinking water, health care, early education, nonprofits, community engagement and economic development.
White was also featured in a February story in the Chronicle, also focused on Flint, in which he described needs for both “long-term infrastructure replacement from the government” and “additional support for these nonprofits and the services they’re providing” as the city contends with the ongoing effects of the water crisis.
As an HWS student, White was an individual studies major, concentrating on architecture, economics and urban planning. He was a member of the sailing team and studied abroad in Italy. He currently chairs the National Center for Family Philanthropy and is immediate past chair of the Sloan Museum governing council. He also serves on the boards of the Mott Foundation, The C.S. Harding Foundation, the Isabel Foundation, United States Sugar Corporation and Ayablu, a licensee of Burt’s Bees doing business as Burt’s Bees Baby. He is a member of the University of Michigan–Flint’s advisory committee.