Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million toward student scholarships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College will get $40 million each.
The donation is by far the largest gift ever to historically black colleges and it comes amid the calls for racial justice after the police killed George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Hastings had already donated $1 million to the Centre for Policing Equity.
The donation will enable 200 first-year students to be able to attend Spelman College with a full four-year scholarship over the next 10 years. “It’s going to mean that every year we’re going to be able to identify 20 high-performing students, high-need students and say to them ‘you get to go to college debt-free,” Spelman College president, Mary Schmidt Campbell, said.
In a statement, the couple said that they supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because they believe that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future. “Both of us had the privilege of a great education and we want to help more students – in particular students of colour – get the same start in life.”
“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, White capital flows to predominantly White institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more Black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions – helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country,” Quillin and Hastings said.
Starting in 1997 with their support for schools like and including the KIPP charter school network that serves overwhelmingly low-income Black and Latino students, the couple have long given to educational institutions.
In 2016, Hastings had given scholarships to black and Latino students as part of a USD 100 million education fund.
Corporations and individuals have donated millions to anti-racism efforts in recent weeks, following the death of George Floyd in police custody promoting the Black Lives Matter protests all around the world.