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Photo: Popow/ullstein bild via Getty Images

George Soros' philanthropic group, the Open Society Foundations, announced Monday it will invest $220 million in racial justice organizations and leaders that "helped to create and now sustain the momentum towards racial equality."

Why it matters: The windfall "will immediately reshape the landscape of Black political and civil rights organizations" while positioning Soros' foundation "near the forefront of the protest movement," the New York Times' Astead Herndon writes.

  • Soros has been the target of right-wing and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in recent years because of his status as one of the most prominent liberal megadonors in the world.

Detials: A set of five-year grants totaling $150 million will be used to support emerging social justice groups like Black Voters Matter and Circle for Justice Innovations, as well as established civil rights groups like the Equal Justice Initiative and Repairers of the Breach.

  • The foundation will also pour another $70 million into efforts to reform policing and the criminal justice system.
  • Some of the money will be used for "nurturing the civic engagement of young people," many of whom are engaging in activism for the first time in the wake of George Floyd's death.

What they're saying:

“The success of this movement, the largest in U.S. history, will be measured over years, not weeks, and we cannot say that Black lives matter and not make a multi-year commitment to a strategy set by and centering Black leaders and organizations who changed America’s sense of what is possible."
— Tom Perriello, executive director of Open Society-U.S.

Go deeper

JPMorgan commits $30 billion to fight the racial wealth gap


Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed/Axios

JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday a $30 billion investment over the next five years that the company says will address some of the largest drivers of the massive wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

  • The commitment makes the bank by far the largest monetary contributor to efforts by businesses to fight systemic inequality and racism in the U.S.

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.

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