Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin will donate an allotted total of $120 million to HBCUs and black scholarship funds. Spelman College, Morehouse College and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will each receive $40 million.
“There are many good places to donate, but the [historically Black colleges and universities] are 150 years old, incredibly resilient, producing an amazing number of Black graduates,” Hastings said during an interview with CNBC on Monday. “We want to help draw attention to the HBCUs, to them being part of the solution for America, and for black children to aspire to.”
The generous donation comes during a time where many are calling for racial justice and equality in America, sparked by the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minnesota in May. Additionally, black people are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic due to disparities in access to healthcare in the community.
“The amount of tragedy really did get us to focus and say, ‘let’s do something now that will be supportive of these great institutions and give people some sense of hope,’” Hastings continued. “This moment is not the first time that racism has reared its, you know, terribly ugly head.”
Forbes reports that Hastings has a net worth of nearly $4.8 billion, and he’s also no stranger to donating his earnings to fund education. In 2016, he started a $100 million fund through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for children’s education. Through the fund, he donated inaugural grants to both the United Negro College Fund and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley totaling $1.5 million.