At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we are committed to championing equitable opportunities—both in our external work and internally at CZI. In 2020, our organization engaged in serious reflection about how to do more, and do better, to center these values across our internal team and our work. Inspired by the advocacy work of our grantees, our team members, and changemakers across the country, we have worked to chart a course forward that ensures that this commitment is realized. Last month, we also announced a $500 million investment over the next five years to support organizations and leaders who are leading the fight for racial equity in CZI focus areas. We look forward to convening a broad set of partners in the coming months to help guide us in this effort.
Today, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Belinda Stubblefield as our Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a member of CZI’s leadership team, Belinda will advance and accelerate our DEI and racial equity journey as an organization. Belinda comes to CZI from Year Up, a national nonprofit focused on closing the opportunity divide for young adults, where she held senior leadership roles—most recently as Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships and previously as Chief Diversity Officer. She also led diversity initiatives at Nestlé and was Delta Air Lines’ first VP of Global Diversity.
We spoke with Belinda recently and learned more about her background and what she hopes to achieve at CZI:
What excites you about joining CZI?
CZI’s mission is big and bold. Its priorities are aligned with key areas that I believe in and I want to help drive the positive impact CZI will have in the world. That is incredibly exciting and motivating.
Why is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) important to you?
When an organization really lives its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, it brings greater success — and it becomes a competitive advantage of the organization. That is what I know based on my experience and a great deal of research supports this, as well. I’m really looking forward to helping CZI deliver on its mission in a very meaningful way. Prioritizing DEI will help us drive the impact and results that we are all working to achieve.
I’ve had the privilege to lead DEI efforts for multiple organizations. I take great pride in putting it into practice and ensuring we are always walking the walk, not just talking the talk — not just supporting others’ work, but demonstrating it ourselves.
What are your personal connections to our issues of focus?
Both of my parents were educators. My mother taught elementary school and my father was a college professor. I truly believe that equitable access to a strong education can be a game changer for people’s paths to a great future.
Expanding access to opportunity is also core to who I am and the work I’ve been leading at Year Up for the past eight years. Year Up is really a social justice organization at heart, built around the idea that access to opportunity and meaningful support can be transformative for young adults and truly life changing.
About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system. Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.