Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will spend $500M over 5 years to support racial equity – CNET

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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan said their foundation is investing in racial equity.

James Martin/CNET

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, established by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, is working to "center racial equity" in its work, the co-founders said in an annual letter. To do so, the initiative will spend an initial $500 million over the next five years to support organizations and leaders working toward racial equity. A broad range of partners will be assembled in the coming months, they said.

"We truly believe that bringing together people with divergent worldviews and experiences isn't just a good way to help solve our world's biggest challenges -- it might be the only way," Zuckerberg and Chan wrote. "We will lead with humility and ensure that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color have a stake in CZI's initiatives and a voice in guiding them -- shaping our work, challenging our assumptions, and improving the way we operate."

Earlier this year, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation said it would donate $25 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to help speed development of virus treatments. And in 2016, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said it was investing more than $3 billion over the next decade to cure all diseases by the end of the century.

The initiative to boost racial equity comes during a year in which racial justice began to receive much-needed attention following the killing of George Floyd. Major companies including Facebook, Google and Apple have pledged millions of dollars to support racial justice groups and initiatives. 

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