At their current price, those shares are worth something like $45 billion.
The 2,232-word missive is scant on details but outlines an ambitious long-term global effort to bring communities together and revolutionize health care and education. The Internet will be a crucial tool, the letter argues, but adds that technology "can't solve problems by itself."
Although the message stresses an international vision and the need for a campaign that will last decades or longer, many of the issues it raises resonate with the present moment in the United States. Among the issues the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative plans to address are the impact of poverty, mass incarceration and the marginalization of the undocumented:
Children have the best opportunities when they can learn. And they learn best when they're healthy. Health starts early -- with loving family, good nutrition and a safe, stable environment.
Children who face traumatic experiences early in life often develop less healthy minds and bodies. Studies show physical changes in brain development leading to lower cognitive ability. ...
If you have to wonder whether you'll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.
If you fear you'll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.
We need institutions that understand these issues are all connected. ... By partnering with schools, health centers, parent groups and local governments, and by ensuring all children are well fed and cared for starting young, we can start to treat these inequities as connected. Only then can we collectively start to give everyone an equal opportunity.
In a video posted on a new Facebook page for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the couple discusses their hopes for the new enterprises.
"The only way we reach our full human potential is if we unlock the gifts of every person around the world," Zuckerberg says.
Chan adds, "We need to make sure there are investments in programs that ensure that the future isn't going to be like today -- that the future is going to be better than today."
The two are already noted for large donations focused on education and health care.