In light of the fight for racial justice after the assassinations of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many unarmed black people, the founder of Netflix Reed hastings made the largest donation to racial justice in the form of a $ 120 million gift to historically black universities and colleges in America, commonly known as HBCU. The donation is the first to exceed $ 100 million for this cause from an individual or a billionaire couple. He is the first in Silicon Valley to make such a generous donation to racial justice.
Hastings donates $ 40 million each to Morehouse College and Spelman College, as well as an additional $ 40 million to the United Negro College Fund, which awards (and funds) scholarships to historically black schools. Hastings donations significantly increase the endowments of HBCUs. HBCUs generally have much smaller endowments than other colleges and universities. Spelman has an endowment of $ 390 million. Morehouse is $ 145 million. The United Negro College Fund is $ 100 million. The top three schools with the largest endowments are Harvard with $ 38.3 billion, the University of Texas with $ 30.8 billion and Yale with $ 29.3 billion. USC, my alma mater, ranks 21st with $ 5.54 billion. Brian, Georgetown, the esteemed leader of Celebrity Net Worth, Alma Mater, ranks 60th with $ 1.735 billion.
Billionaires are watched more than ever over the amount they donate to philanthropy and the tax breaks they receive – especially when they donate tens of millions or hundreds of millions to elite colleges with huge endowments. Most colleges and universities with the richest 25 to 30 endowments can fund their programs solely from the interest on their endowments.
In a statement about donating to the HBCUs, Hastings explained how privileged he and his wife were to be able to get an excellent education. He mentioned that he wanted to help more students, especially students of color, to get the same benefit from a good education. Hastings also said he hoped his donation would help more black students achieve their dreams. He also urged others, especially his billionaire colleagues, to support the HBCUs and help reverse generations of racial inequality in America.
To date, most donations from billionaires and tech companies in Silicon Valley have been lower than Hastings’ and have focused on other, broader causes. Apple and YouTube have each pledged $ 100 million for investments in the black community. Facebook donated $ 10 million to racial justice cases – but did not identify which were. Hastings’ company Netflix pledged $ 5 million earlier this week to fund black creators and black businesses.
Overall, businesses and individuals in the United States have pledged approximately $ 2 billion for racial justice since the murder of George Floyd. Michael Jordan made the biggest individual gift before Hastings at $ 100 million. Kanye west send Floyd’s daughter to college. Oprah Winfrey donates Disney shares to Floyd’s daughter.
George Floyd didn’t deserve to die for using a counterfeit $ 20 bill. But his death will change the world. He already has. We must simply continue to advance racial justice and call out to racists. There is no room for racism in the world today. After all, we cannot help the color of the skin with which we are born any more than the color of the eyes we have. It’s time to step in, donate, be an activist and call this racist uncle or grandparent. We must be allies. The lives of our black brothers and sisters depend on it.