Living out Cisco’s purpose of powering an inclusive future for all requires building partnerships that will drive innovation and progress in education and social justice.

We understand the inequities that exist in today’s world, and we believe that if not balanced, the divide between those with and without access and opportunities will create immense challenges for generations to come. Education is fundamental to helping young people gain the skills they’ll need to participate in the digital age and collaborate around creative solutions for the future. It’s more important than ever to keep students, educators, and administrators connected.

With this in mind, earlier this summer, Cisco was thrilled to announce a new partnership with YELLOW, a non-profit founded by Pharrell Williams – the noted Grammy winner, Academy Award-nominated Musician and Filmmaker, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. Together, Cisco and YELLOW will power an inclusive learning experience to take education to the next level.


Through our partnership with Pharrell Williams and YELLOW, Cisco is helping to reimagine education and open a new world of possibilities for historically underserved communities and under-resourced youth with the power of technology. Together, we will work to bring the heart of the YELLOW ecosystem to fruition through a new microschool model, YELLOWHAB, starting first in Pharrell’s hometown in Virginia.

YELLOWHAB offers a highly personalized and immersive education experience in its first campus in Norfolk, Virginia that knits together transformative learning opportunities at school, at home, online, and in the community. Powered by Cisco’s state-of-the-art technology solutions centered on connectivity, collaboration, and security, we will lead the way with elevated onsite and virtual education experiences for students, teachers, and staff.

YELLOW and YELLOWHAB’s mission is to “EVEN THE ODDS” for all students to be successful, which is fully aligned with our values, our Purpose, and our dedication to addressing social injustices.

The Future of Education

Education is changing. From barriers to access and a growing digital divide to resource constraints and financial challenges—today’s education environment requires innovative solutions and creative problem solving to help educators teach the leaders, dreamers, scientists, engineers, and caretakers of tomorrow without compromising trust, security, or privacy.

In a time of unparalleled digital transformation, Cisco is ensuring that learning never stops irrespective of location—in a classroom, at home, or anywhere in between. The Cisco Networking Academy, the world’s largest and longest running corporate social responsibility education program, has positively impacted over 15 million students in 180 countries to date. We also provide the technology tools to drive the next generation of student engagement, ranging from collaboration, security, and mobility architecture to data center and network infrastructure. Cisco’s partnership with YELLOWHAB is a natural addition and expansion of our commitment to innovative education initiatives.

Cisco’s Commitment to Social Justice

At Cisco, our purpose is at the heart of everything we do, and you can count on us to be bold, brave, and deliberate about our role and the actions we take in support of social justice. Uniting with YELLOW not only aligns with our commitment to education but also helps bring our Social Justice Blueprint to life through our commitments to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), supporting Black-owned companies, investing in innovation, increasing representation, diversifying partner ecosystems, and more.

In addition to our $150 million commitment to help HBCUs strategically flourish, Cisco is also providing access to capital, education, and customers for African American / Black-owned financing and created a 0% and six-month deferral offer for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Our partnership with YELLOW advances this effort, as the Cisco partner supporting YELLOWHAB is IP Consulting, a Black-owned company located in Vienna, Virginia, the location of the first campus.

Education Reimagined

As we create technology and invest in social initiatives that build bridges to inclusivity, we are turning the world’s greatest challenges into opportunities. Our partnership with Pharrell and YELLOW enables us to take education to the next level and help build a future where all students and communities can thrive, and people are connected. Through our partnerships and networks, we can amplify our impact and work together to realize an inclusive future for all.

Learn more about Cisco’s purpose and commitment to education:

Cisco Education Solutions


Additional resources

Cisco’s commitment to powering an inclusive future for all

Cisco Social Justice Beliefs and Actions

Cisco’s investment in learning and digital skills development



Francine Katsoudas

Executive Vice President

Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer