SoCal nonprofits benefiting from donations by MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A host of Southland charities, arts institutions and universities were among the financial beneficiaries Tuesday of MacKenzie Scott's latest round of philanthropic donations, which this time totaled $2.739 billion and went to 286 equity-oriented organizations.

The ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged to give away the bulk of her fortune from the former couple's divorce settlement. She's given away more than $8 billion so far. Forbes estimates her net worth at roughly $60 billion.

In a Medium blog announcement about the third round of donations, Scott said she and her team, including husband Dan Jewett, "are all attempting 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."

The unrestricted grants will go to a wide range of organizations. In Southern California that includes:

-- A Place Called Home in Los Angeles;
-- Arts for Healing and Justice Network in Long Beach;
-- Asian Pacific Community Fund in Los Angeles;
-- Cal Poly Pomona;
-- Cal State Channel Islands;
-- Cal State Fullerton;
-- Cal State Northridge;
-- Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles;
-- Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga;
-- College of the Desert in Palm Desert;
-- Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles;
-- Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles;
-- L.A. Arts Endowment Fund;
-- Long Beach City College;
-- Pasadena City College;
-- Santa Barbara City College; and
-- Self Help Graphics & Art in Los Angeles.

Homeboy Industries CEO Thomas Vozzo confirmed that the nonprofit - dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated and gang-involved individuals rehabilitate and re-enter society -- received a grant for $20 million.

"We are incredibly honored and humbled to receive this extraordinary gift from a game-changing philanthropist committed to the notion that there is no us and them, only us," he said. "We will use this gift to address critical housing needs and job creation in a post-pandemic world, while building enduring strength for years to come as we invest in the next generation of future Homeboy leaders."

RELATED: MacKenzie Scott announces she's donating $2.7 billion to nearly 300 organizations

For some educational organizations, like Cal State Fullerton, a donation of $40 million from Scott is the largest the university has ever received.

The same is true for Long Beach City College, which received $30 million.

"This is the single largest donation the college has received in its almost 95-year history, and one of largest single-donor gifts given to a California Community College,'' according to LBCC.

CSUN President Erika D. Beck, who said the university received $40 million, also the largest gift from a single donor in the institution's history, called the funding "transformative" for the institution.

Cal Poly Pomona also received $40 million, its largest-ever individual donation.

University President Soraya M. Coley said the generosity will change lives.

To see the full list of donations, click here.



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