Netflix CEO to donate USD120M to historically black colleges

AP – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin, are donating USD120 million toward student scholarships at historically black colleges and universities.

The couple is giving USD40 million to each of three institutions: the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College. The organisations said it is the largest individual gift in support of student scholarships at HBCUs.

Hastings has a history of supporting educational causes, including charter schools. He launched a USD100 million education fund in 2016, beginning with money toward college scholarships for black and Latino students.

Hastings said now is the time when “everyone needs to figure out” how to contribute to solving racism. He said HBCUs have been resilient “little-known gems” for black education.

Amid protests over police brutality that began three weeks ago, companies and business leaders have been pledging solidarity with their black employees and the black community. But tech companies — including Netflix — have fallen short in hiring, retaining and promoting underrepresented minorities within their own ranks.

Other tech industry donations in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests have largely been on the company level.

On Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined plans toward racial equity at the company that includes increasing the number of black and other underrepresented minority executives and creating a USD175 million “economic opportunity package” that includes USD100 million in funding for black-led venture capital firms and startups.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company will spend USD100 million on a new Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, investing in education and criminal justice reform among other things. YouTube, meanwhile, pledged USD100 million to help black artists and other creators.