MacKenzie Scott surpassed ex-husband Jeff Bezos’ lifetime donations in 2 years
Several Black-focused initiatives and racial equity organizations are among the nearly 800 charitable causes Scott has supported since 2019
Billionaire MacKenzie Scott has wasted no time in sharing her fortune since divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019.
Upworthy.com reports that Scott, 51, in under two years donated more than four times her ex-husband’s total lifetime donations, and on the receiving end of the funds were about 780 charitable organizations and institutions — including several groups working for racial equity and Black-focused community support.
Scott has supported HBCUs including Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Hampton University, as well as charities including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), The Freedom Fund and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
“Higher education is a proven pathway to opportunity, so we looked for 2- and 4-year institutions successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved,” wrote Scott in a June 2021 post on the digital blog Medium where she chronicles her donations.
“Discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities has been deepening, so we assessed organizations bridging divides through interfaith support and collaboration,” she added.
According to Forbes, Scott is already among the United States’ most philanthropic billionaires ever, having given away at least $8.6 billion in under two years, a faster pace than any billionaire in history.
Per Upworthy, the figure represents over 14% of her $53.5 billion net worth as of Jan. 19, 2022, whereas Bezos’ lifetime donations total to about $2.1 billion — or just over 1% of his $184.8 billion net worth.
Scott explained in June 2021 that her philanthropic efforts are an attempt to “give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change,” adding that “it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands.”
“Though we still have a lot to learn about how to act on these beliefs without contradicting and subverting them, we can begin by acknowledging that people working to build power from within communities are the agents of change,” Scott wrote. “Their service supports and empowers people who go on to support and empower others.”
Scott has additionally shown support for organizations working to foster community-based arts and cultural education, including the Art for Justice Fund, the Arts for Healing and Justice Network, the Atlanta Music Project and more.
“Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health, so we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions and identity groups that donors often overlook,” Scott said.
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