In a new episode of "put your money where your mouth is", former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $100 million to historically Black medical schools recently.
Michael Bloomberg, who was briefly a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, explained that this gift is meant to ease students’ debts and free them to serve in needy communities.
“If the goal of the portfolio is to create intergenerational wealth, we have to think about the mortality and the life span of the Black community,” said Garnesha Ezediaro, program lead for the Greenwood Initiative, Mr. Bloomberg’s philanthropic effort meant to address the systemic economic inequity faced by Black Americans.
According to NY Times, the gift is the first major donation by the Greenwood Initiative, which is named after the Tulsa district where hundreds of Black Oklahomans were massacred in 1921. Mr. Bloomberg introduced the initiative as part of his presidential campaign, during which he was forced to apologize for policies he instituted as mayor, most notably the aggressive “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy that disproportionately disadvantaged Black and Hispanic New Yorkers.
Leaders of the four Black medical institutions — Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine, in Los Angeles; Howard University College of Medicine, in Washington; Meharry Medical College, in Nashville; and Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta — have confirmed the donation is one of the biggest by a single donor to historically Black schools.
While Mr. Bloomberg's donation may be incomparable to the $1.8 Billion donation he made to Johns Hopkins University in 2018, which was considered the largest contribution ever made to an education institution in the U.S., this gift remains essentially a great way to start the conversation on the importance of Black Medical Schools and the importance of Black doctors.