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MacKenzie Scott gives nearly $1.7 bn of Amazon fortune to social causes

Scott, who formerly went by the name MacKenzie Bezos, last year signed a 'giving pledge' to donate the bulk of her wealth to charity.

MacKenzie Scott. Picture: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO - MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, on Tuesday said she has given nearly $1.7 billion to groups devoted to race, gender and economic equality as well as other social causes.

Scott, who formerly went by the name MacKenzie Bezos, last year signed a "giving pledge" to donate the bulk of her wealth to charity.

She disclosed donations she has made to more than 100 nonprofits since then in a post on the website Medium.

"I gave each a contribution and encouraged them to spend it on whatever they believe best serves their efforts," said Scott, who was left a multi-billionaire after her divorce last year from Bezos.

"Every one of them is tackling complex challenges that will require sustained effort over many years, while simultaneously addressing consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic."

The largest portion of her philanthropy went to groups devoted to racial equity, which received slightly more than $586 million, according to the post.

Another $399 million in donations went to nonprofits focused on economic mobility, while the remainder went to causes including public health, gender equity, gay rights, democracy and the battle against climate change, the list indicated.

"Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror," Scott said.

"Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable."

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