Extraordinary People

Black students to ‘follow dreams’ as Netflix CEO invests in their college education

Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, is delving deep into his pockets to donate a whopping $120million.

The CEO of Netflix is delving deep into his pockets to donate a whopping $120million (£97m) to historically black colleges and universities – known as HBCUs.

Reed Hastings says he hopes the money can “reverse generations of inequity”, helping the institutions invest in America’s future and rewrite the narrative.

The donations will be divided between different organisations; with $40m (£32m) going to Morehouse College and $40m to Spelman College – both in Atlanta, Georgia – and the remaining $40m going to the United Negro College Fund [UNCF].

UNCF is an American philanthropic group that funds scholarships for black students across 37 private historically black colleges and universities.

In a joint statement with his wife Patty Quillin, Reed said: “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.

“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.”

They added: “Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation.

“We hope this additional $120m will help more black students follow their dreams.”

HBCUs often struggle financially as they rely on federal, state or local funding, whereas other public universities have the advantage of big donors and significant secondary sources of income such as bookstores, on-site parking and athletics.

In particular, Reed and Patty’s donation to the Morehouse College will fund at least 200 students to graduate debt-free, with the average student debt normally £30k.

Netflix have also introduced more options to its streaming service to support the Black Lives Matter movement and help educate viewers on race and social issues.

Notably, the Academy Award-nominated documentary 13th has seen an increase of 4,665% in subscribers watching the film over the last three weeks.

The movement has had worldwide support after the death of George Floyd on May 25, during which he died while under arrest at the hands of ex police officer Derek Chauvin.

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