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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

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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.

Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.