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Alexis Ohanian resigns from Reddit board, donates $1M

Sophie Lewis

The co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, announced Friday that he is resigning from the board of the company. He said he has urged board members to fill his seat with a black candidate. 

Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit 15 years ago, announced his resignation in a blog post on Friday. He said that it is "long overdue" for him to "do the right thing" amid ongoing protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd

"I'm doing this for me, for my family, and for my country," Ohanian said. "I'm saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks, 'What did you do?'"

Ohanian married tennis superstar Serena Williams in September 2017. The couple gave birth to their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., that same year.  

"I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate," the venture capitalist said. He added that he plans to use future gains on his stock with the company to serve the black community.

Ohanian also announced he is pledging $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's "Know your Rights Camp," which aims to educate, empower and mobilize black and brown communities. 

After selling Reddit to Condé Nast in 2006, Ohanian rejoined the company in 2014 as executive chairman. Reddit remains one of the most popular websites in the U.S. 

The site, which is one of the earliest mass internet forums, has long been criticized for harboring racist, sexist and homophobic views among its user base. In recent years, it has taken a more proactive stance on banning more extreme communities from its platform. 

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

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