Netflix follows through with pledge to move $100 million to Black banks, financial institutions

The streaming giant will place 2% of its holdings with financial institutions that loan to Black businesses

Netflix is committed to addressing systemic racism by supporting Black communities in the U.S.

Last year the streaming giant announced that it will place 2% of its holdings with financial institutions that loan to Black businesses, and now the company has followed through. As reported by THR, Netflix said on Wednesday that it has shifted $100 million to six financial institutions: Hope Credit Union, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The Change Company, Enterprise Community Impact Note, OneUnited Bank, and Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note.

“We’re excited to announce that Netflix has fulfilled its pledge to move two percent of our cash holdings — around $100 million — into Black banks and other Black-led financial institutions in the US,” Netflix Director of Human Resources Aaron Mitchell and Netflix Treasurer Shannon Alwyn said in a Dec. 1 post

“More capital moving into these institutions means more home and small-business loans, resulting in more opportunities for Black communities. So we will be ‘topping up’ our commitment at the end of the year and moving more cash — over and above the $100 million already committed — into these institutions,” the executives added.

In the blog post, Netflix breaks down how the $100 million will be distributed to financial institutions with a large portion supporting Black homeownership.

US Online Streaming Giant Netflix : Illustration
The Netflix logo (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

“It’s been rewarding to see … the impact these changes have had for people like Dominique Lumpkin, who just bought her first home in Memphis. Or Colby Midget, who kept the doors open to her floral shop despite the toll of the pandemic,” the Netflix executives added in the post.

Netflix aims to help Black communities, especially those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, obtain small-business loans. The idea came from a call to improve diversity at Netflix, theGrio previously reported. The streamer has partnered with several Black creators including the Obamas, Kenya Barris, and Shonda Rhimes

Mitchell suggested the idea of the CFO Spencer Neumann, referencing the book “The Color of Money,” by Mehrsa Baradaran as a guide to the challenges faced by Black financial institutions. In the book, Baradaran says that systemic racism has ensured Black banks remain undercapitalized which undercuts their ability to grow.

US currency. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Netflix’s goal to close the equity gap reportedly inspired several Hollywood companies to join the cause. Comcast will donate $75 million over three years to groups like the National Urban League and the NAACP, per THR. The article also notes that Sony Music has committed $100 million to groups that “foster equal rights,” and ViacomCBS is giving $5 million to groups such as the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and other groups.

In June 2020, Netflix pledged to direct cash to banks supporting Black communities in an effort to help end the multigenerational “capital isolation” impacting many Black families, according to the report.

Last year, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings and his wife gifted $120 million of their own money to split between Morehouse, Spelman, and the United Negro College Fund.

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Tonya Pendleton.

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