Netflix Fulfills $100 Million Cash Commitment to Black Financial Institutions

Netflix Dec. 1 announced it has completed a pledge to contribute 2% of its free cash, about $100 million, to black banks and related financial institutions by the end of 2021.

In a post, Netflix treasurer Shannon Alwyn, and Aaron Mitchell, director of human resources for Netflix Animation Studios, wrote the funds would translate into more home and small-business loans within the black community.

With reports about continuing discriminatory practices in lending and home loans toward blacks, Netflix and co-CEO Reed Hastings last year pledged to help narrow the gap. Indeed, the national black poverty rate (22%) in 2019 was more than double the white poverty rate (9%) in the U.S., according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study.

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Separately, Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million to educational institutions dedicated to students of color. The contributions include $40 million each to the United Negro College Fund and private colleges Spelman and Morehouse in Atlanta.

Netflix has been an early investor ($10 million) in Hope Credit Union, a community development financial institution serving underserved communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Other institutions receiving funds include: $25 million to the Black Economic Development Fund, managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation; $10 million with The Change Company; $25 million with the Enterprise Community Impact Note; $10 million with OneUnitedBank; and $20 million with Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note.

The funds are earmarked to support housing and community development projects focused on U.S. black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

“To help close the wealth gap, we need more companies to join this movement,” Alwyn and Mitchell wrote. “Together, we can contribute to more healing and progress for Black communities.”

Other companies that have contributed, according to Netflix, include PayPal, Costco, Square, and McKinsey and Company.

To expand awareness of its financial contributions, Netflix is streaming the first episode of new Web series “Banking on Us,” titled “Investing in the Black Community” for free on its YouTube channel.