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Novelist MacKenzie Scott (R) with her former husband, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, at a 2018 awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Jorg Carstensen/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Novelist MacKenzie Scott revealed in a Medium blog post Tuesday that she's given $1.7 billion to charity over the past year since her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Details: Donations have mainly gone to social justice and public health organizations, along with groups fighting climate change. "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror," Scott writes.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Among the recipients are the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the historically black college Tuskegee University.
  • "My own reflection after recent events revealed a dividend of privilege I'd been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change," Scott added, pledging to highlight more donations as her "giving continues in the months and years to come."

Why it matters: Scott places 13th on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, with an estimated net worth of over $59 billion.

  • Scott notes she agreed last year to "give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it," after signing up to Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates' Giving Pledge campaign.
  • Billionaires who’ve taken the pledge "are liable to charges that they are using philanthropy to influence society without doing anything to address the underlying causes of inequality — or paying their fair share of taxes," noted David McCabe, writing for Axios when she signed up for the initiative last year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 4, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Filling in the blanks on where Jeff Bezos' $10 billion climate fund is going

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Atlantic has begun solving a big mystery in climate advocacy circles — how Jeff Bezos will spread around money from the $10 billion "Bezos Earth Fund" announced in February.

Why it matters: The fund's size makes it a huge presence in climate philanthropy. And, until now, the fund has been a mysterious presence, given the dearth of info and the broad scope of funding areas.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.