The Reddit co-founder also pledged $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp

By Rachel DeSantis
June 05, 2020 01:58 PM
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Alexis Ohanian is stepping down from Reddit’s board, and has pledged $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp in a move he says is inspired by the question, “What did you do?”

The Reddit co-founder and executive chairman, 37, announced his resignation on Friday, and said he has encouraged his colleagues to hire a black candidate in his place.

“I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging,” he wrote. “It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.”

Ohanian shares daughter Alexis Olympia, 2½, with wife Serena Williams, 38 — and said she played a large part in his decision.

“I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?’” he wrote. “I have resigned as a member of the reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.”

Alexis Ohanian
Neville Elder/Corbis via Getty

Ohanian continued: “I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”

Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp is a legal defense initiative that aims to “raise awareness on higher education, self-empowerment, and [provide] instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios,” according to the athlete’s website.

Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia
Alexis Ohanian/Instagram

It’s recently expanded to provide legal assistance to protesters fighting against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis, Kaepernick said, and has also been working to file civil rights cases against police.

Ohanian’s million-dollar pledge comes after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey contributed $3 million to Kaepernick’s fund.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, 32, has emerged as a leading civil rights activist following his #TakeAKnee movement, in which he protested police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem during football games.

The movement was controversial, and Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.