Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin are investing in the futures of HBCU students. According to CNN, the couple recently vowed to donate $120 million to historically Black colleges and universities.
The funds will be distributed to Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the United Negro College Fund which provides scholarships for Black students. “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,” the couple said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “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. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams.” Netflix has also donated $5 million to grassroots organizations focused on uplifting Black youth, supporting Black-owned businesses and addressing racial injustice.
The donation from Hastings and Quillin comes nearly a month after Black businessman Frank Baker and his wife Laura Day Baker launched a $1 million scholarship fund for Spelman College graduates. “We are all aware of the headwinds that people of color, especially women, face in our country, the challenges of which are made even more apparent by the economic and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Bakers said in a statement. “We believe it is critical that talented women finish college and confidently enter – free of undue financial stress – the initial stage of their professional careers. We hope that this gift will help lessen their financial burden as they start this promising next chapter in their lives and encourage them to persevere over life’s challenges.”
Efforts like the one being led by Reed Hastings are needed. Studies show that HBCU students graduate with more loan debt than students from other colleges and universities.