In a series of tweets on Friday, Dorsey — who in April pledged $1 billion of his equity in Square to charity — announced six new grants through #startsmall, a limited liability corporation created by the tech billionaire, and noted that the figure of $87.8 million includes gifts yet to be announced. Grants announced on Friday include $10 million to #OaklandUndivided: Closing the Digital Divide, a campaign of the Oakland Public Education Fund, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf's Office of Education, the Oakland Unified School District, and Tech Exchange that aims to raise $12.5 million to provide laptops and Internet hotspots to twenty-five thousand students — half of all Oakland public school students — who lack access to online learning technology.
A second $10 million commitment will support Project 100, an initiative of GiveDirectly, Propel, and Stand for Children that hopes to raise $100 million in a hundred days to provide direct cash transfers of $1,000 to a hundred thousand families impacted by the virus. Other gifts announced on Friday by Dorsey include $1 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Fund in support of EJAF grantees that are responding to the public health crisis and its impacts on HIV prevention and care in marginalized communities; $720,000 to Kakenya's Dream, which runs educational, health, and leadership initiatives for girls in rural Kenyan communities, in support of the organization's efforts to provide distance learning and supplies while schools are closed; $600,000 to CommonLit in support of the organization's efforts to develop high-impact digital learning tools for special needs students and English language learners; $530,000 to Live in Peace in support of the organization's rent relief project in Silicon Valley; $500,000 to Mayvenn, the largest black-owned hair-extention business in the United States, which will use the funds to provide $500 grants to hair stylists around the country; and $450,000 to Think of Us, an online community for foster youth, in support of its efforts to deploy urgently needed resources to older foster youth impacted by COVID-19 and to launch a Virtual Foster Care Housing Assistance Support Center.
(Photo credit: Casey Horner via Unsplash)