MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, announces she’s donating $2.7 billion

MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist known for her impromptu multi-billion dollar donations to charities and racial equity issues, announced Tuesday that she has given $2.7 billion to 286 organizations.

Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, wrote in a Medium post that she made the gifts to enable the organization to continue their work, and as a “signal of trust and encouragement” to them and others.

It is the third round of announcements Scott has made regarding her philanthropy, which values quick response and unrestricted donations that as an individual rivals the largest of foundations. In 2020, she made two similar surprise announcements where she donated about $6 billion to COVID relief, gender equity historically Black colleges and universities and other schools.

Scott made clear in her announcement Tuesday that she is troubled by the increasing concentration of wealth among a small proportion of individuals. She said she worked with a team of researchers and philanthropy advisors “to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change.”

“In this effort, we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands, and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others,” she continued.

“Though we still have a lot to learn about how to act on these beliefs without contradicting and subverting them, we can begin by acknowledging that people working to build power from within communities are the agents of change.”

The list of her recipients varied, from universities to refugee resettlement groups, to arts and culture organizations that have suffered from a drop in giving as donors focused on more urgent needs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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