MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, said on Tuesday she had donated nearly $ 1.7 billion to more than 100 charities after a divorce from Amazon’s founder last year.
Scott wrote in a lengthy blog post that she was plagued by events this year, but worked with a group of advisors to support non-profit organizations related to human rights, environmental and social causes. The move comes after she signed the Promise to Grant, a public pledge from the richest people in the world to donate at least half of her wealth throughout her life.
“There is no doubt in my mind that each person̵7;s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort and social structures that provide some people with opportunities and obstacles for countless others,” Scott wrote in the article. “Like many others, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heart and horror. Life will never stop looking for new ways to uncover inequalities in our systems. “
To date, Scott has spent more than $ 586 million on racial equality initiatives, $ 46 million on LGBTQ groups, $ 133 million on gender equality causes and $ 125 million on climate change efforts. Beneficiaries include major nonprofits, including Lambda Legal, The Nature Conservancy and the National Urban League, as well as Seattle-based charities, including the United Way of King County.
“I recommend these organizations to anyone who is similarly excited about the idea of empowering leaders to accelerate progress,” Scott wrote. “Each is facing complex challenges that will require many years of effort, while addressing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
All donations were unlimited, unless groups requested otherwise, Scott noted, in order to give organizations “maximum flexibility.”
“It’s unreal,” Angelique Albert, executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center and recipient of Scott’s donations, told The Seattle Times. “The fact that it is unlimited really speaks [Scott’s] trust us that we truly support racial justice and justice. This entitles us to do what is right for our community. “
Reuters notes that at the time of her divorce, Scott’s 4% stake in the Amazon was worth about $ 36 billion, making it one of the richest women in the world. That number has risen to more than $ 60 billion this year following a dramatic drop in Amazon stock prices.
Bezos himself did not make a similar pledge to donate most of his assets, although he announced a billion-dollar philanthropic effort this year, including a $ 10 billion fund to tackle climate change.
In her opinion, Scott said she would continue to talk about the organizations she decided to support “as my giving will continue in the coming months and years.”
“While this work continues and will take years, I am posting an update today because my own reflection on recent events has revealed the same privilege I have overlooked: the attention I can give to the organizations and leaders who drive change,” she wrote.
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