The following is an excerpt from the 2022 Cisco Purpose Report, published on December 8, 2022.

Inclusion isn’t just something we do—it’s part of who we are. Fulfilling our purpose to Power an Inclusive Future for All means reimagining how we come together and how we respect each other’s identities and the roles we play inside and outside of work. It means tearing down barriers to equity, collaboration, and connection—both in the many places we work and in the wider world.

For years, Cisco has taken considerable steps to fight injustice and inequity around the world. In 2020, we came together to make our commitment to social justice integral to our company’s purpose by creating our Social Justice Beliefs and Actions—the beginning of a five-year, US$300 million commitment to address our biggest challenges and drive lasting, generational change.

One of the most powerful examples of Cisco’s focus on bold action and generational impact is our US$150 million commitment to preserve the legacy and sustainability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through Social Justice Action 8. Our commitment makes Cisco the largest corporate donor in HBCU history.

Of Cisco’s total commitment through 2025, US$50 million is dedicated to fund STEM education as the first corporate donor to the Student Freedom Initiative’s Access to Education endowment. An additional US$100 million is focused on driving technology modernization at four-year HBCUs. In collaboration with key partners and suppliers, we’ve recently completed the modernization initiatives for an initial group of eight HBCUs. By building a bridge to technology excellence, we’re not only supporting compliance, but also helping these remarkable institutions meet cybersecurity compliance standards while preserving their legacies. In addition to technology modernization, we are supporting HBCUs by:

  • Offering Cisco Networking Academy at approximately 50 HBCUs, with plans to introduce it at all 107 institutions
  • Joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge, a commitment to create strategic partnerships with HBCUs and hire HBCU graduates
  • Convening a Cisco HBCU Advisory Board to share best practices and engage community stakeholders

“Our intention is to make a lasting impact for HBCUs and their students for generations to come. We need to act now to help ensure that we are all doing our part to empower this community.” shared Maria Martinez, Cisco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

To learn more about the progress we’re making to power a more inclusive future, visit our Cisco ESG Reporting Hub, where you can read our 2022 Cisco Purpose Report.

Cover of the Cisco Purpose Report



Scott McGregor

Director, Social Justice Action Office

Social Impact Office