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Our Commitment

Dear Friends,

At 10,000 Degrees, we are committed to making real, lasting change.

These past several weeks have been deeply troubling and extraordinarily heartbreaking, and they have called us to attention. We are witnessing so much anguish in the lives of our students and in our communities. Yet, we see hope as our students, staff, and broader communities have taken to the streets engaged with activism, pain, and protest—supporting one another and sharing resources, courage, and wisdom—fighting for Black lives and demanding justice.

These tragedies and our new circumstances have changed us—all of us. They have moved us to act in ways like never before.

At 10,000 Degrees, we are demanding more of ourselves.

First, let me reiterate, Black Lives Matter. At the core of our organization is our love for humanity, human rights and justice for all. Through our mission’s work, we are striving to create a more just and equitable world. We stand strong against all forms of oppression and we denounce racism, white supremacy, and the violence and brutality that has long been inflicted on Black lives and their communities.

We are taking thoughtful action and devoting resources to further develop our anti-racism work, and creating policies and practices with intention and compassion that honor and value all lives, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and nonbinary peoples. Our Board of Directors has established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee of the Board of Directors to ensure inclusive representation at the governance level, and our Strategic Planning committee has created a work team to ensure that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is prioritized and infused throughout our organization, strategies, programs and processes. We are also embarking upon a new comprehensive equity assessment process that will help us identify key focus areas and a plan of action.

We are listening, and will continue to do so. We must learn the bold truth of our role in perpetuating structural racism in our organizations, schools, and communities, and the harm it has caused. Our leadership is listening to staff, Fellows, and students to better understand their experiences and perspectives, and together with our Board of Directors, we are reading, learning, and examining our white privilege and implicit biases.

We are creating spaces for empowering racial identity, inclusivity, and healing. Black Lives Matter has illuminated a historic rise in hate, xenophobia, racial acts of violence—enough is enough. We must move to a place where peoples of color are heard, can fully participate and have equitable opportunities to thrive and prosper through professional development and career growth opportunities. White people must move towards being anti-racist and taking action for racial justice.

We are committed to developing staff at all levels within the organization to being truly inclusive of the communities we serve. We are reviewing organizational hiring practices to ensure that senior hires are representative of the communities we serve, and staff of color have equal opportunity for professional growth and development. We remain committed to developing a leadership pipeline through our innovative Fellowship program of recent college graduates who are representative of our student communities.

We are evaluating our advocacy policies and practices to ensure that everything we do is helping to create educational equity and a racially just environment. Only race-conscious ideas, policies, and actions will eliminate the racism and bias that thrives in our schools, structures, and communities. We are reaffirming our commitment and devoting resources to creating policies and practices that provide equitable opportunities for our students and dismantling structural racism.

We remain steadfastly committed to our mission to reach and empower more students through their education. We will continue to do everything in our power to provide students from low-income backgrounds with the resources and support they need to achieve their college degree and reach their full potential.

Our work matters now more than ever. We will remain vigilant and persistent in our self-awareness and self-examination, and push towards real, lasting change.

10,000 Degrees is here for you, our students, families, and communities, always. We invite you to join us on this journey—together, we have the power and opportunity to create a more just, civil, and equitable society.

Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts that you would like to share.

Thank you for all your support, and all you do for our students.

With gratitude and hope,

Kim Mazzuca
President & CEO