The CEO of Netflix says he will donate $120 million to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), calling the gift “an investment in America’s future.”
Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, and his wife Patty Quillin, said Wednesday they are donating $40 million to Morehouse College, $40 million to Spelman College, and $40 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
“We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future,” Hastings and Quillin said in a statement. “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 two said HBCUs “have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving.”
“Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation,” they said. “We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams.”
They called on others to also support these institutions to help “reverse generations of inequity in our country.”
HBCUs tend to be less financially stable than other institutions
HBCUs across the board tend to have less financial security than predominantly white institutions, or PWIs. Within both public and private sectors, HBCU endowments lag behind PWIs by at least 70%, according to a recent report by the American Council on Education.
That same report also found that public HBCUs rely on federal, state and local funding more than other public universities, as they tend to lack the big donors and significant secondary sources of income — things like bookstores, parking and athletics — that other institutions may have.
All this has been exasperated In the midst of the coornavirus. HBCUs have been hit worse than other universities, with Quinton Ross, president of Alabama State University, predicting a loss in the millions for ASU alone.