The Obama Foundation has received its largest donation yet – $100 million from billionaire Jeff Bezos.
The Barack Obama Foundation was founded in 2014 to continue former President Obama’s work after he left the White House. It oversees the ongoing creation of the Barack Obama Presidential Center, which will be a community center in Chicago featuring a museum, a conference venue, a public library, and an athletic center. The Foundation also manages the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, a program to research and address opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color, and a scholarship program. President Obama has called the Foundation, and his goals for it, more consequential than his time as President of the United States. He hopes for it to be a spearhead of change for men of color.
Congressman John Lewis, who passed away in 2020 at 80 years old, was himself another such spearhead. He organized pro-integration protests in the 1960s and marched beside Martin Luther King Jr.
The Obama Foundation announced on Monday, November 22, that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is donating $100 million to honor John Lewis and “to help expand the scope of programming that reaches emerging leaders.” As a part of the substantial gift, Bezos is requesting that the plaza at the center of the soon-to-be-built Obama Presidential Center be called the John Lewis Plaza.
“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,” Bezos said in his own statement.
It is the largest single contribution made to the Obama Foundation, nearly doubling their donations received this year.
Bezos must have been feeling generous over the weekend, because separately but also on Monday, NYU Langone Health medical center also announced a $166 million donation from the billionaire.
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