Cracked Foundations: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, LLC, founded in 2015 seeks to “build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.” The organization’s approach is to support “movement and capacity building to achieve progress across our focus areas with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens.”

According to the initiative’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page, the organization is “committed to doing our part to dismantle systemic racism and inequality and to champion equitable opportunities—both in our external work and internally at CZI.”

The initiative also promotes employees being part of what it terms “Employee Resource Groups” or “ERGs.” The purpose of these groups is to help create “safe and inclusive environments for everyone and help empower personal and professional growth.” ERGs include Building Leadership & Knowledge (B.L.K.) which “focuses on empowering the Black community at CZI” and PRICZM, which seeks to “foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace” while educating employees and the CZI community “about LGBTQIA+ issues.”

In its 2020 Annual Letter, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative notes that “systemic barriers have long denied many Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people that chance” to reach their “full potential.”

Building on past efforts to advance equity, CZI “set in motion an enterprise-wide effort to center racial equity in our work.” The initiative committed to making racial equity the central focus across its grantmaking. Furthermore, CZI states that racial equity “needs to live in all of our work—across science, education, criminal justice reform, housing, immigration, and community.”

Included in the centering of racial equity, CZI partnered with an organization that worked with educators to help schools “develop anti-racist educational environments as well as tracking their progress toward ensuring equitable access to and participation in academically rigorous courses.”

The initiative embraces a “whole child” approach to education which prioritizes and “honors the humanity of each teacher and student, and is critical to equitably preparing each student to reach their full potential.” The organizations whole child approach means taking into account the “many different ways in which young people grow.” This includes an “expanded definition of student success and well-being.”

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