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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaking in 2016. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin announced Wednesday they are donating $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College.

Why it matters: It's the largest recorded individual gift to support scholarships at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which Reed and Quillin hope will encourage other wealthy individuals to make donations as well.

What they're saying: “HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving," Hasting and Quillin said in a statement. "Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation.”

  • "We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions — helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country."

The big picture: Unlike Ivy League colleges, HBCUs have comparatively small endowments and tend to receive most of their largest educational donations from alumni.

  • The donation comes in the midst of economic upheaval set off by the coronavirus pandemic, which has had an especially damaging effect on colleges and universities as high school graduates postpone pursuing higher education.

Go deeper: HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Go deeper

Sep 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

The colleges that are getting reopening right

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Universities that brought students back to campus have already seen a rough start to the fall, with more than 50,000 infections across the country. But some have seemingly cracked the code.

The big picture: A number of schools have managed to open up while quelling or even preventing outbreaks, either because they’re effectively testing and tracing or because they’ve got smaller student bodies and more rural locations.

1 hour ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

2 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.