Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin have donated $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College, a record-setting individual gift supporting scholarships at historically black colleges and universities.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin today, Hastings said, “The times are the most stressed, the most painful, that we’ve ever seen in our lives, but out of that pain can come some opportunity, too. And maybe this will be the moment things change.”
Protests in support of Black Lives Matter, opposed to systemic racism and demanding police reform have have formed in cities across the country since the police killing of George Floyd on May 25.
The donation reflects $40 million gifts to each of the three recipients. Prior to the gifts, Spelman’s endowment totaled $390 million; Morehouse’s was $145 million; and UNCF’s was $100 million.
In a statement, Hastings and Quillin said, “Both of us had the privilege of a great education and we want to help more students — in particular students of color — get the same start in life.”
The statement continued, “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.”