• IDRA Newsletter • October 2019 •

One of the longest-serving leaders of a major philanthropy in the United States, William S. White passed away peacefully on October 9 at age 82. Leading the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, he built a reputation for seeking out solid, well-managed organizations and funding them to create infrastructure and sustainability in key sectors, including education. He embraced Charles Stewart Mott’s belief that good things happen when people work in partnership with their communities.

One such community partnership project the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation funded was IDRA’s Blueprints for Action initiative, a series of community dialogues aimed at fostering cross-race, joint Black and Latino leadership in education. IDRA held dialogues in communities in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas focused on fulfilling the promise of equity made by the court rulings in Brown vs. Board of Education and Mendez vs. Westminster.

Mr. White also was a founding board member with IDRA president emerita, Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, of CIVICUS, a global organization focused on developing civil society.

Mr. White’s philanthropic career was remarkable for both its longevity and impact. His presence will be sorely missed, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on.

[©2019, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the October 2019 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]

Photo courtesy of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation