The second-largest donor to the recently-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture is an investor who has recently stepped up his commitment to African-American causes.
Robert F. Smith is the chairman and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners, an Austin, Texas-based firm which invests in software companies. With his gift of $20 million, he is the second largest donor to The National Museum of African American History and Culture which opened in Washington D.C. on Sept. 24. Oprah Winfrey is the largest donor, at $21 million.
Smith told The Washington Post that he seeks to emerge from the background and become more prominent in African American causes.
Smith is active in several foundations in Baltimore including NPower, a job training program for inner city youth, and Badges for Baseball, which pairs police officers with young people in a mentorship program.
“This is the first time in history you can create wealth and not have access to capital. You just need intellectual property. A blogger who has a large audience can create wealth by attracting advertisers,” Smith told the Post. “I am showing the current generations of African Americans they can do it, too. So the next generation can go even higher.”