When MacKenzie Scott got divorced from Jeff Bezos in 2019, she quickly became the fourth richest woman on earth and was even quicker in promising to give away her money “until the safe is empty.” Now, she’s made good on that promise once again, announcing in a Medium post Tuesday that she’s donated $2.739 billion of her estimated $60 billion fortune to 286 non-profits, with more than a dozen of the beneficiaries located in Southern California.
This is Scott’s third round of massive endowments in 11 months—totaling more than $8 billion—in an ongoing effort she describes as “attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change.”
Explaining how she and her team chose the latest recipients, Scott writes, “Because community-centered service is such a powerful catalyst and multiplier, we spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected…high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”
As ABC 7 points out, the lucky locals in Los Angeles include South Central’s youth and community center A Place Called Home; Asian Pacific Community Fund; the Center for Cultural Innovation; the Japanese American Cultural Museum; Boyle Heights’ Self Help Graphics & Art; Homeboy Industries gang intervention service; the L.A. Arts Endowment Fund; plus the Arts for Healing and Justice Network in Long Beach.
Scott and her husband, science teacher Dan Jewett, are also donating to these Southern California institutes of higher learning:
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Cal State Channel Islands
- Cal State Fullerton
- Cal State Northridge
- Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga
- College of the Desert in Palm Desert
- Long Beach City College
- Pasadena City College
- Santa Barbara City College
Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach CC received $40 million and $30 million respectively, and both confirmed to ABC 7 that these are the largest donations they’ve ever gotten, with CSUN president Erika D. Beck calling the grant “transformative.”
Homeboy Industries CEO Thomas Vozzo tells the station, “We are incredibly honored and humbled to receive this extraordinary gift from a game-changing philanthropist committed to the notion that there is no us and them, only us. We will use this gift to address critical housing needs and job creation in a post-pandemic world, while building enduring strength for years to come as we invest in the next generation of future Homeboy leaders.”
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