Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will give away billions to ’empower minorities and promote equality’
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced he plans to give away 99% of his fortune, as he sets up a new charitable foundation.
The tech boss made the announcement following the birth of daughter Max with wife Priscilla Chan.
In a letter posted to Facebook, the pair pledged to tackle poverty and equality, writing: “We want you to grow up in a world better than ours today”.
Zuckerberg revealed that over his lifetime, the pair will donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares – currently valued at around $45 billion – to his charitable Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
He wrote in part: We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.
He added: “Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
“Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities — regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.
“Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.
“Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
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“Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger? Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare? Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?
“Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?
“Can we truly empower everyone – women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?
“If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes – and hopefully within your lifetime.”
Facebook is a prominent backer of LGBT rights – filing an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court earlier this year, urging it to rule in favour of same-sex marriage.
The company has also backed the US Equality Act – a proposed LGBT rights law that would protect people from discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity.