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Striving for Equity: 10,000 Degrees’ Decades-Long Journey from Meritocracy to Equity

In this blog post by President & CEO, Kim Mazzuca, and published by NCAN (Mar 11, 2021), Kim discusses a vision and an action-oriented plan to achieve racial equity throughout 10,000 Degrees and a thriving culture of inclusivity and belonging for all.


10,000 Degrees is rooted in our vision in which all students have equitable opportunities to realize their potential, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.

10,000 Degrees welcomes and celebrates all people. We value our collective identities, be that based on race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religious background, education, socioeconomic status, ability, national origin, citizenship, military status, or political affiliation.

Therefore, we support a diverse array of students in order to help positively transform communities and create a more just world. We strive to create a workforce where everyone feels a sense of belonging and no one is excluded.  We are committed to attracting, developing, and retaining employees who reflect the diversity of the students we support and the communities we serve. We know that a workforce that reflects the diversity of all people and perspectives is essential to building strong and meaningful relationships with our students and the communities we serve.

As an organization committed to helping our communities achieve equity, we remain committed to modeling diversity and inclusion and to fostering a welcoming environment for all.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, 10,000 Degrees strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report on organizational progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address these inequities in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Lead with respect and dignity for all. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in all facets of our work and programs.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committees, and advisory bodies.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not constant, but rather something we continuously strive towards.

Marin Promise Equity Statement

Racial equity for students in Marin will be achieved when race and ethnicity no longer predict the outcome of a young person’s educational future. As a Marin Promise Partner, 10,000 Degrees commits to identify and dismantle racial inequities, and to provide equity-based supports, so that our most vulnerable children can achieve their full potential.