NEW YORK – Armenian-American Internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, announced his resignation from the company’s board Friday afternoon. In the video posted on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, the 37-year-old said doing the right thing was long overdue.
Ohanian, the husband of tennis superstar Serena Williams, revealed he had urged Reddit board to fill his seat with a black candidate and vowed to use future Reddit stock to serve the black community, specifically to curb racial hate.
“I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging,” Ohanian said both in tweets and a video he posted online. “It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country. I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?'”
“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” he said. “To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”
Reddit said it would honor Ohanian’s request. “I want to take responsibility for the history of our policies over the years that got us here, and we still have work to do,” Reddit CEO and cofounder Steve Huffman wrote on Reddit.
Ohanian also pledged $1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative. The organization looks to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders,” according to its website.