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Kanye West's Academic Charity Closes

Organization intended to curb high school dropout rates shuts down mysteriously

April 20, 2011 9:50 AM ET
Kanye West's Academic Charity Closes
Wendy Redfern/Redferns/Getty

The Kanye West Foundation, a charity intended to reduce high school dropout rates, has closed mysteriously. In an email sent to other nonprofit groups the organization's former executive director Joseph Collins announced that the charity had closed after "a successful 4+ years of programming and events." Collins wrote, "It has been an incredible experience working with Kanye and the board to realize his mother’s vision and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the Foundation."

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Collins declined to comment on the closing when reached by the New York Times, which could not reach West through his agency, publicist or record label. No one else in connection with the Foundation responded to the Times' calls or emails.

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According to the Times' research, the Foundation was not directly financed by West, and raised the majority of its funds by working with companies and individuals connected to the him. The organization's grant-making slowed down drastically following the 2007 death of the rapper's mother, Donda West, an English professor.

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