Press release from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation:
|Community leaders gathered Thursday at the Chancellor’s Residence (Brumit Pisgah House) at UNC Asheville to welcome the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and its new Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green, to the city. This event was the latest stop on the Foundation’s Mo Wants to Know tour.
Launched in May 2016, Mo Wants to Know is a statewide listening and learning tour where Green, Trustees and staff will hear from state leaders, local leaders and other community members about trends and challenges, but also about opportunities, successes and ideas they have for making North Carolina a better place. This tour is part of the Foundation’s yearlong assessment to better understand the state’s shifting landscape and determine how it can best respond to these changes. During this time, the Foundation will also evaluate and examine its grantmaking and broader work.
Over the years, the Foundation has invested more than $18 million in grants and other initiatives in Buncombe County. At Thursday’s event, Green and other speakers celebrated the contributions of the Foundation, highlighting its past and current work. However, Green acknowledged that as the Foundation looks to the future, it must remain attuned to the changes that are impacting communities across the state.
“Since 1936, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has invested more than $530 million in North Carolina,” said Green. “We are excited about the future of our state, but also recognize that it is changing rapidly and in numerous ways – demographically, technologically and economically. Asheville is at the forefront of some of those changes. The conversations we have with members of this community will help inform the work of the Foundation moving forward. We look forward to our continued partnerships as we work together to make North Carolina a more equitable, sustainable and vibrant state.”
Additional speakers included Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary Grant.
The Foundation will continue its Mo Wants to Know tour this summer and into the fall, with additional stops in Durham and Raleigh. Individual and smaller group meetings in other cities and towns across the state will take place soon after. Each gathering will allow attendees the opportunity to meet Green, Trustees and staff to share their thoughts and ideas about the future of their communities and beyond.
All North Carolinians are encouraged to engage with the tour and share ideas with the Foundation by going to www.zsr.org/MoWantsToKnow or visiting the Foundation’s Facebookand Twitter pages, using the hashtags #MoWantsToKnow and #EnvisionNC.