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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.