Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, announced on Thursday that his philanthropic foundation would make a $100 million donation to four historically Black medical schools, in an effort to improve the health and wealth of Black communities, today’s DealBook newsletter reports.
The immediate goal is to ease the financial burden on about 800 medical students, who will each receive grants of up to $100,000. The donation to four institutions — Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine, in Los Angeles; Howard University College of Medicine, in Washington; Meharry Medical College, in Nashville; and Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta — is one of the biggest by a single donor to historically Black schools.
It follows other pledges to historically Black institutions by Reed Hastings of Netflix and his wife, Patty Quillin, and MacKenzie Scott, the author and philanthropist who was once married to the Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos. Mr. Bloomberg’s gift is the first major donation from the Greenwood Initiative, a racial justice program he started in the waning days of his 2020 presidential campaign.
It also has a broader aim: to increase the number of Black doctors in the United States. The famously data-driven Mr. Bloomberg and his team were convinced by statistics showing that Black doctors help provide better health outcomes for Black patients and are more likely to work in underserved communities. That became even more of a concern amid the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black people.
“By increasing the number of Black doctors, we hope the gift will help to save more Black lives and reduce the health problems that limit economic opportunity in Black communities,” Mr. Bloomberg told The Times.