Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will spend $500M over 5 years to support racial equity

It's part of an effort to ensure that Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color are included in CZI's initiatives.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan said their foundation is investing in racial equity.
James Martin/CNET

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, established by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, is working to "center racial equity" in its work, the co-founders said in an annual letter. To do so, the initiative will spend an initial $500 million over the next five years to support organizations and leaders working toward racial equity. A broad range of partners will be assembled in the coming months, they said.

"We truly believe that bringing together people with divergent worldviews and experiences isn't just a good way to help solve our world's biggest challenges -- it might be the only way," Zuckerberg and Chan wrote. "We will lead with humility and ensure that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color have a stake in CZI's initiatives and a voice in guiding them -- shaping our work, challenging our assumptions, and improving the way we operate."

Earlier this year, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation said it would donate $25 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to help speed development of virus treatments. And in 2016, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said it was investing more than $3 billion over the next decade to cure all diseases by the end of the century.

The initiative to boost racial equity comes during a year in which racial justice began to receive much-needed attention following the killing of George Floyd. Major companies including Facebook, Google and Apple have pledged millions of dollars to support racial justice groups and initiatives.