The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
TIME; Jörg Carstensen—picture alliance/Getty Images
By Melinda Gates
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Last year, MacKenzie Scott pledged to give the majority of her wealth back to society—and to do so with urgency. “It will take time and effort and care,” she wrote. “But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

Since then, she’s given $1.7 billion to 116 organizations, including HBCUs and grassroots groups on the front lines of racial, gender and LGBTQ+ equity. She has made a point of prioritizing organizations led by people who have experienced firsthand the injustices they are seeking to end—and used her voice to call attention to their good work. For many of these organizations, MacKenzie’s donation was the largest they had ever received.

If this is what MacKenzie’s first year of giving looks like, I can’t wait to see what comes next. Hers is a bold vision for philanthropy—and we’ll be feeling her impact for a long time.

Gates is a co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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