Former NAACP president & CEO will focus on social impact investments in tech startups and community organizations that narrow gaps
(Oakland, CA)- Benjamin Todd Jealous, who served as President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) until last December, will join the Kapor Center for Social Impact as a partner, the Center announced today.
“The startups and nonprofit organizations the Kapor Center invests in have tremendous potential to expand opportunity for all Americans, particularly for communities that have been historically left behind,” said Jealous. “The Kapor team is an exceptionally diverse band of geniuses working to close gaps in access, opportunity, wealth and participation and I am proud to continue working on those issues with them.”
The mission of the Kapor Center for Social Impact is to provide educational access for all Americans, diversify the tech industry, and support startup companies that have a positive social impact. The Center works in two ways: Kapor Capital makes seed-stage investments in tech companies that close gaps in education, healthcare, economic inclusion and access to opportunity for Americans affected by growing inequality; and the Foundation invests in community organizations that focus on closing the same gaps.
“As an entrepreneur and an investor, I’ve built my career on seeing the possibilities of good ideas and the right team, and then bringing that vision to life,” said Mitchell Kapor, co-founder and co-chair of the Center. “By bringing Ben to the Kapor team, we are making a bet that someone who has succeeded in changing the broader world in so many ways will do the same in our world.”
“Ben has spent his career working to end racial and economic gaps in society, from the criminal justice system to education to health care,” said Freada Kapor Klein, co-founder and co-Chair of the Center. “We are tremendously pleased that he will bring his vast experience, strategy and energy to the tech sector as the next frontier in his life’s work for justice and inclusion.”
Jealous will also join the board of directors of the Kapor Center-funded Level Playing Field Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers faced by people of color in science, technology, engineering and math.
“I welcome Ben to the Kapor team,” Nicole Sanchez, Kapor Center, Co-Managing Partner said. “His energy, commitment and intellect will be invaluable as we continue our work to create more opportunities for more Americans from all walks of life.”
The Kapor Center for Social Impact was one of ten foundations that joined the White House last week to pledge participation in the groundbreaking My Brother’s Keeper initiative to support young men of color in academic achievement. Kapor Center Co-Managing Partner Cedric Brown represented the Kapor Center at the White House.
At the NAACP, Jealous was recognized as a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality, and free multiple wrongfully incarcerated people from prison. Jealous said that his first order of business will be to initiate a learning tour of Silicon Valley to learn from the entrepreneurs and innovators who are shaping this sector.