Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

As we work to build a better future for everyone, we must ensure that a commitment to racial equity and social justice is centered across our initiative work—including in our approach to grantmaking and how our teams work and show up in the field. There’s much more work to do, but here’s a summary of where we’ve invested in our efforts to date and where we are going.

Focus Areas

Education

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative envisions a country where demographics are not predictive of student outcomes and every child enters adulthood with the knowledge, skills, habits and agency they need to realize their full potential. We achieve this by supporting an iteratively improving K–12 education system that makes sure all students are equitably prepared. CZI’s earliest education grants, back in 2016, were made in support of a more racially diverse education system and current investments in the last year include:

  • $7 million to programs that identify, develop and support racially diverse education leaders.
  • $7 million to support community driven solutions to advance racial equity and improve youth well-being.
  • $2.25 million to nine organizations to support the healing of Black students’ racial trauma and to continue accelerating the capabilities of schools and districts to transform learning environments to be anti-racist. The grant recipients are National Equity Project, Kingmakers of Oakland, pilotED, Roses and Concrete, Black Teachers Collaborative, Village of Wisdom, Beloved, Diversity Talks and The Equity Lab.
  • $825,000 to support professional development grounded in equity and cultural responsiveness, with the aim of helping educators deliver high-quality distance learning.
  • $850,000 to five organizations to partner with schools with more than 75% Black, Latinx, and/or Indigenous students, driving the design of school recovery plans that incorporate meaningful participation from communities to support mental well-being.

In partnership with a number of organizations such as 228 Accelerator, Camelback Ventures, Promise54 and the Equity Lab, we have also been working internally to develop our team’s capacity to more deeply investigate the impacts of systemic racism in education. We are committed to expanding beyond these efforts and look forward to continuing to work alongside our employees and partners to diversify our team and support the success of our leaders of color.

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Science

  • Biomedical science is rife with systemic disparities, inequities, and injustices that are especially experienced by Black, Latinx, Indigenous communities and other communities of color. CZI Science has given over $51 million in grants to advance diversity, equity, or inclusion goals—such as increasing access to scientific opportunity—for marginalized or underserved communities in science. Of this, over $27 million has been dedicated to supporting communities of color.
  • We are continuously learning and improving our practices through our grantmaking, technology development, scientific events, and community building. We strive to bring together diverse scientific teams that incorporate a wide range of lived experiences and perspectives. We believe resources created and used by scientists need to be inclusive and explicitly representative of communities of color. We aim to take an equitable and participatory approach to how we define and evaluate the success of our grants, and we are dedicated to making tools, methods, and datasets accessible to a broad set of researchers and communities. Additionally, we are lifting up approaches to public engagement in science that are ethical and inclusive of the perspectives, interests, and needs of community partners.
  • Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities and other communities of color in the United States are disproportionately burdened by COVID-19, further exacerbating the stark health disparities that exist. To increase statewide testing capacity in California, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and UCSF created a COVID-19 testing lab with support from CZI. The lab provided free testing for populations across California that might otherwise not have access to tests — including for undocumented, uninsured, and unsheltered populations, and people in nursing homes and prisons. In addition, CZI supports the COVID Racial Data Tracker to collect, analyze, and publish the most up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the US.

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Justice & Opportunity

  • In Justice & Opportunity, we work in areas that are deeply rooted in systemic racism and inequalities that disproportionately impact people of color. To reform the criminal justice system, we must examine the unequal burden placed on Black and Brown communities within it. To build solutions in housing, we must reckon with a system that has segregated and held families and communities of color back from building wealth through ownership for centuries. And in immigration, we must bring the immigrant experience into our collective pursuit for racial justice in this country.
  • Since our founding in 2015, the Justice & Opportunity initiative has given over $400 million to organizations seeking to reimagine these deeply inequitable systems, working on the frontlines of housing affordability, criminal justice reform, and immigration reform. We recognize the uneven application of both justice and opportunity across our society, and also the uneven direction of philanthropic dollars toward these issues. This is why we expressly  provide funding in deeply underfunded areas, particularly  to groups with directly impacted leaders—for example, formerly incarcerated persons and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status.
  • We’re constantly working to better tackle equity head on, and to better support our partners and the communities we serve.
  • Starting in April of 2020, our Movement & Capacity Building team managed a series of 61 grant partner training sessions open to all CZI grantees across our core focus areas—Science, Education, Justice & Opportunity and Community. More than 4,000 participants attended from over 1,000 organizations. As part of the wider program, 16 sessions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion; 865 people attended these sessions from 258 partner organizations. We partnered with Danielle DeRuiter-Williams from The Justice Collective, on a four part series on Core Concepts of Race, Equity and Identity. We partnered on four sessions with Libero Della Piana and LeeAnn Hall from the Alliance for a Just Society. Nicole Sanchez from Vaya Consulting delivered a four-part series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion In The Workplace and Adriana Barboza, Carmen McClaskey, and Jamilyn Bailey from The Management Center led a four-part series entitled Key Management Practices with Race Equity Lens. In addition, the Movement & Capacity Building Team held over 100 in-depth embedded trainings for single issue cohorts to support impacted communities in Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration, Housing, and Science. For each of these coalitions we leaned into anti-trauma, restoration, and increasing DEI across many levels.

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Community

We cannot build a future for everyone, including people of color, without addressing inequities in our community. The Bay Area has experienced unmatched prosperity and growth, but has one of the highest rates of economic inequality in the country. CZI’s Community team works in service of a more just Bay Area where people impacted by systemic racism and structural inequities have the assets and power to shape their communities.

  • Through the Community Fund, our local responsive grantmaking and capacity building program, we partner with organizations in our community that support the economic and social well-being of Black, Latinx, immigrant, and other marginalized communities. Since its launch in 2017, the Community Fund has granted more than $12 million to local nonprofits.
  • COVID-19 exposed and exacerbated the health and economic inequities experienced by Black and Latinx communities in the Bay Area. Our local response to the pandemic specifically addresses the needs of marginalized communities, supporting organizations and programs that are supporting relief and long-term recovery for individuals and families who are bearing the brunt of the crisis, including communities of color. CZI has committed more than $9 million to COVID-19 response programming locally.

Looking ahead, our Community team will embark on a formal strategic learning and design process to ensure CZI’s local programs and partnerships center racial and social justice, and support increased socioeconomic opportunity for marginalized communities in the Bay Area.

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