George Soros directs $220 million toward efforts to achieve racial equality
Open Society Foundations, the philanthropic organization founded by billionaire George Soros, is investing $220 million in emerging organizations and leaders building power in Black communities across the U.S.
The largest share for the investment, $150 million, will be through a set of five-year grants to Black-led organizations focused on racial equality, the organization announced Monday.
“It is inspiring and powerful to experience this transformational moment in the racial justice movement,” Open Society Foundations President Patrick Gaspard said in a statement. “We are honored to be able to carry on the vital work of fighting for rights, dignity, and equity for oppressed people the world over started by our founder and chair, George Soros.”
Some of the organizations receiving the grants are fighting for expanding voting rights, while others are fighting for police reform. Recipients of this set of investments include Black Voters Matter, Circle for Justice Innovations, Repairers of the Breach and the Equal Justice Initiative, according to Open Society Foundations.
In addition to the five-year grants, Open Society Foundations said it is also making a series of investments totaling $70 million in “more immediate efforts to advance racial justice.”
The investment includes efforts to support local governments and organizations seeking to strengthen local expertise in understanding and navigating municipal budgets as cities “reimagine public safety” and move “beyond the culture of criminalization and incarceration.”
The foundation is also investing in creating opportunities for students to enroll in internships and fellowships that focus on racial justice, democracy, organizing and mentorship.
The foundation’s investments will also support ongoing efforts to fight voter suppression and ensure safe and secure elections amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is the time for urgent and bold action to address racial injustice in America,” Alex Soros, George Soros’s son and the deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, said in a statement. “These investments will empower proven leaders in the Black community to reimagine policing, end mass incarceration, and eliminate the barriers to opportunity that have been the source of inequity for too long.”