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Netflix has followed through on its commitment to address systemic racism by shifting 2 percent of its cash holdings, or $100 million, to financial institutions that support Black communities in the U.S., the company said on Wednesday.
The video streaming giant said the Netflix cash was fully allocated to six financial institutions: Hope Credit Union, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The Change Company, Enterprise Community Impact Note, OneUnited Bank and Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note.
The goal was ensuring more home and small-business loans are distributed in Black communities, especially those impacted by the pandemic.
“Because we pegged our commitment to 2 percent of Netflix’s cash, the investment also grows overtime [sic]. So we will be ‘topping up’ our commitment at the end of the year and moving more cash — over and above the $100 million already committed — into these institutions,” Netflix’s Aaron Mitchell and Shannon Alwyn wrote in a Dec. 1 post.
The pandemic-era move by Netflix to shift cash capital to Black banks had other Hollywood players following suit. Those included Comcast donating $75 million over three years to groups like the National Urban League and the NAACP, Sony Music donating $100 million to groups that “foster equal rights,” and ViacomCBS giving $5 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and other groups.
“It’s been rewarding to see … the impact these changes have had for people like Dominique Lumpkin, who just bought her first home in Memphis. Or Colby Midget, who kept the doors open to her floral shop despite the toll of the pandemic,” the Netflix executives added in the post.
Those loans were made via Hope Credit Union, a community development financial institution that serves underbanked communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee and was to receive a $10 million deposit from Netflix.
In June 2020, Netflix, in making its original pledge, said directing cash to banks supporting Black communities would help end the “capital isolation” those communities faced and the multigenerational racial wealth gap directly impacting many Black families.
Netflix argued Black-owned or -led banks comprised only 1 percent of commercial banking assets in the U.S., helping to explain why 19 percent of Black families faced either negative wealth or had no assets for support in hard times.
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