Amazon founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation in honor of Congressman John Lewis, who was a civil right icon that passed away last year.
CNN Business reports that Bezos has asked that the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center be named the John Lewis Plaza. Bezos’s donation is the largest individual contribution to date, according to a statement from the Obama Foundation.
“Freedom fighters deserve a special place in the pantheon of heroes, and I can’t think of a more fitting person to honor with this gift than John Lewis, a great American leader and a man of extraordinary decency and courage. I’m thrilled to support president and Mrs. Obama and their Foundation in its mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders,” Bezos said in the statement.
The Obama Foundation is using this notable donation as an opportunity to give future donors the option to elevate and honor the names of heroes by naming public spaces after them within the Center. The Foundation’s mission is to “inspire, empower, and connect emerging domestic and global leaders to change their respective communities and the world.”
The Obama Foundation CEO Valarie Jarrett said, “we believe that there is incredible power in lifting up the names of extraordinary change agents upon whose shoulders we all stand, and we are thrilled by Mr. Bezos’ offer to name our magnificent Plaza in honor of John Lewis.” She further explained how his donation will aid the foundation in training a new generation of empowering leaders.
Bezos has placed more of a focus on philanthropy since stepping down as CEO of Amazon this year (NBC News). He has committed to spending $10 billion by the end of 2030 to support climate change efforts with his Bezos Earth Fund, and has only briefly discussed how that money will be used. This is the third multimillion dollar donation Bezos has announced this past week (Black Enterprise).
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLACK ENTERPRISE