Netflix has been in the news quite a bit over the past few years, and for good reason. For one, streaming media has grown immensely in popularity, continuously for the past decade or so, which is what has led federal authorities to consider listing the internet as a utility.
Of course, Netflix has also been working feverishly to develop original content which has really helped to put pressure on traditional programming networks. As an online, subscription-based, media source, Netflix has a bit more freedom in the depth and breadth of programming, which has led to critically acclaimed series like “Orange is the New Black” and the documentary series “Making a Murderer.”
But while the debate continues over entertainment and the internet, Netflix is in the news again, today, as CEO and cofounder Reed Hastings has announced The Hastings Fund.
Much like Hastings has done his part to improve access to film and television for millions across the world, he is now also doing the same with education. In a recent Facebook post, the CEO said he is launching a $100 million fund aimed at supporting efforts connecting children with better education opportunities.
Reciting the Fund’s mission statement, Hastings says, “Currently, too many children do not have access to amazing schools. Our aim is to partner with communities to significantly increase the number of students who have access to rich and holistic educational experiences.”
The first step of The Hastings Fund involves an initial $1.5 million investment in the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and the United Negro College Fund. Obviously, these are organizations which focus on providing more opportunities for underserved minority communities through guidance, advocacy, and of course, scholarship.
You may not be aware, but education has long been a goal of Hastings and Netflix. The founder once served, after all, on the California State Board of Education. Furthermore, he is currently a board member with many educational organizations.
Of course, Hasting is not the first tech CEO to turn his profits into potential. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg—along with his wife, Priscilla Chan—have already donated more than $100 million to the public education systems in Newark, New Jersey. In addition, though, they have also announced development for private academies for underserved populations in East Palo Alto, CA.