Won’t he do it though y’all?! Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and philanthropist Patty Quillin are stepping up to show that black minds matter, by gifting $40 million each to UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Spelman College and Morehouse College. This is the largest ever individual gift in support of student scholarships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The money will be used to fund scholarships. Woo hoo!
“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,” said Quillin and Hastings. “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. 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.”
In a release about the donation, UNCF, Spelman and Morehouse urge other philanthropists to invest in HBCU’s, noting that many HBCU’s are disadvantaged when it comes to philanthropy — with a median endowment across America’s HBCU’s of just $15.7 million — compared to $36.8 million for non-HBUs. While no HBCU endowment ranks in the top 100 — we did want to acknowledge that in 2018 Spelman had an endowment of $367M, while Morehouse’s was $135M. We know that $40 million to the UNCF will mean a lot particularly to the state funded schools that are struggling.
“This gift from Patty and Reed comes from two people who care deeply about education, equity and the future of our country. We are enormously grateful for their affirmation of the work of Spelman College,” said Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman College President.
“This gift speaks volumes about the value that must be placed on what institutions such as ours do for the nation and the world,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, Morehouse College President.
“I am uplifted by the incredible support of Patty and Reed whose commitment has reaffirmed that we can overcome these challenges together. Dr. King famously reminded us that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ I believe the arc does not bend toward justice on its own. We must bend it with all the strength and power we have. Patty and Reed are helping bend the arc toward justice. I am buoyed and uplifted by their commitment and generosity. I feel a profound sense of responsibility to steward their incredible gift to maximum impact and ensure that it advances their belief in and commitment to the principle that ‘Black lives matter,’” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF CEO. ‘
It would be interesting to see who the top philanthropists are across HBCU’s. Also NOW is definitely the time for us to start speaking up about which institutions NEED these kind of gifts.
Also we need to take a moment and really applaud Quillin and Hastings because they’ve been giving to educational institutions for decades now, 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. By giving $120 million to UNCF, Spelman College and Morehouse College they hope to encourage other donors, charitable foundations and businesses to support Black students and HBCUs. They believe that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.
WE LOVE THIS. WE NEED MORE OF THIS ENERGY. We hope Reed Hastings is encouraging all of his friends and fellow CEO’s to follow suit!