By OBSERVER Staff Report
The Greater Sacramento Urban League (GSUL) says it will dramatically increase its impact in the region thanks to a transformational gift from one of the nation’s richest women.
Philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott has donated $2.4 million to the GSUL. The gift is the largest single contribution in the local affiliate’s nearly 55-year history. The GSUL received the unsolicited gift from Scott after she and her team conducted a review of U.S. nonprofits.
“We’re honored and grateful Ms. Scott and her team recognize the Urban League’s value and impact in the Sacramento community,” said Dwayne Crenshaw, GSUL president and CEO. “By placing racial equity and social justice at the forefront of her philanthropic mission, Ms. Scott is shining a much-needed spotlight on the nation’s structural and institutional limitations and helping to build a stronger, more resilient society for everyone.”
Scott’s philanthropic efforts are focused on racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, democracy, and climate change. Scott, who is White, is an award-winning novelist who studied under and worked for famed author and Nobel Laureate in Literature Toni Morrison when she taught at Princeton University. The San Francisco native is reported to be the third-wealthiest woman in the United States and has been lauded by Forbes and Time magazines as one of the world’s “most powerful” and “most influential” women.
Her wealth has been estimated at $33.4 billion as she was awarded a 4% stake in Amazon upon divorcing its founder, Jeff Bezos, in 2019. She vowed to give away half her wealth to charity and created the Giving Pledge that same year. Scott reportedly made $5.8 billion in charitable gifts in 2020 and $2.7 billion in 2021, with more than $800 million going to colleges and universities serving Black and Hispanic students.
The GSUL has been empowering communities and impacting change in the Sacramento region since 1968. The gift will allow the organization to increase its impact and the reach of its focused efforts and programs to empower, educate and employ youth and families, as well as build healthy, safe and thriving communities for Black and other marginalized people, Crenshaw says. The GSUL also hopes to leverage Scott’s contribution to gain other public, private and philanthropic investments, and begin the development of a planned mixed-use housing and community-serving business project on GSUL-owned land in Del Paso Heights.
“This development is intended to serve as a catalyst for long overdue community and economic revitalization throughout the Del Paso Heights community,” Crenshaw said.
There are 90 Urban League affiliates nationwide. The GSUL is one of 25 to receive similar donations from Scott.
The mission of the Greater Sacramento Urban League is to empower Black and other historically marginalized people throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, educational fulfillment, social justice and civil rights for the promotion of well-being. For more information about the Greater Sacramento Urban League, visit gsul.org.