“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us.” From the poem “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

This week, we commemorate Social Justice week and honor those across the globe who stand for it. Fight for it. Have lived – and died – for it.

It’s humbling to think of those who have come before us in this struggle. And despite their sacrifices, it is an undeniable truth that wherever we look we still have hills to climb. We still have work to do.  The achievements of our companies, our communities, and our countries in overcoming injustice and inequity have not yet risen to the level of our aspirations.

But when we stand in truth – and we allow ourselves the audacity of hope – what stands before us is the possibility of a future of fairness.  For all.

Some say hope is not a strategy.  I say hope is at the heart of every strategy worth achieving.  Hope is what moves us beyond despair. It’s what lifts our gaze towards the future we are creating.  Gives us the courage to take bold action. And inspires us to keep climbing.

Last September, Cisco publicly unveiled our Social Justice Beliefs and Our Commitment to Action as an invitation to those who share our passion for bending the arc of the universe towards justice.

This month, we are a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business – a global coalition that brings together 48 multinational companies across 13 industries. The mission is clear:  eliminate racism in the workplace and set new global standards for racial equity.

For Cisco, the coalition is an exciting new opportunity to collaborate with leading companies to better understand the root causes and the impacts of systemic racism.

Together, we can share data, ideas, and insights.  Help each other reach higher. Climb faster. Create lasting change.

To those who have climbed before us and for those who choose to climb today, this week is in honor of you.

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


Shari Slate

Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer

SVP of Inclusive Future & Strategy