In light of recent events, Atlassian employees have “put their money where their mouths are” and committed nearly USD 250,000 to the “Atlassian Fund for Racial Justice”, as well as many other organizations fighting against racial injustices in the United States. The Foundation will be matching this, dollar for dollar, along with any donations our employees make to other organizations in this movement.
To further show our support, the Atlassian Foundation will be making an additional contribution for the total amount raised by Atlassians – currently USD 250,000+ (up to AUD 1 million) – distributed among 8 organizations working at the intersection of education and racial justice, selected in consultation with experts in this space and key Atlassian constituencies.
Essentially, this means that for every dollar that Atlassians have donated to causes related to racial justice, Atlassian will be donating another two dollars.
The Foundation has a longstanding focus on education and we believe education has a critical role to play in combating systemic violence and racism.
Systemic racism is deeply woven into the fabric of the American nation – black and brown Americans have suffered at the hands of racist policies permeating the education system, financial and housing markets, healthcare system, and the justice system.
The viral video of 12-year-old Keedron Bryant singing “I Just Want to Live” is a powerful call to all of us – our students shouldn’t have to plea for their lives. There is no shortage of hard work that needs to be done to address systemic racism – from police reform, to access to economic opportunities – and we believe education has an important role to play.
When it comes to dismantling structural racism, education is a key lever. All students deserve meaningful access to high-quality learning that provides them with teachers who look like them and have high expectations of them and that funds their schools fairly. Students like Keedron deserve a world in which they can live, learn, and grow into the leaders who can shape a better tomorrow.
We cannot be complicit in perpetuating the systemic racism inherent in the criminalization and marginalization of black children by policies and practices ranging from discriminatory discipline, to curriculum tracking and school segregation, inequitable school funding (money matters), to the disparate impact of school closures related to COVID-19.
Education exists within countries’ unjust realities. Without deliberate efforts to pursue equity and racial justice in education, our education systems will not simply reflect the broader injustices but exacerbate them. The future of our world is in our classrooms today. This is our opportunity to support education that creates a pathway for economic opportunity, shapes world views of future leaders and creates communities embracing diversity to create the future we want and need.
Accordingly, we are making new grants of at least USD 250,000, to be shared by the 8 organizations below. In identifying the organizations below, the Foundation has sought guidance from our networks and experts working on racial justice and consulted with Atlassians. Recognizing the urgency and importance of this moment, we know we have a responsibility to respond. We are doing so with a learner’s mindset – we have been doing a lot of listening in recent weeks and have been learning from others with deep, longstanding experience on the frontlines of efforts to dismantle systemic racism. We authentically want to be part of an enduring solution and recognize that this is just a single step in that journey.
In selecting organizations for funding, we have an eye towards supporting organizations that may be less well-known; deepening our support to smaller organizations working in this space with whom we have partnered in the past; and supporting a range of organizations, from those working directly with young people of color to close opportunity gaps to organizations leading national efforts to drive systemic change.
Additionally, the Foundation is committed to continuing our work globally to support organizations like code.org, Teach for All and Room to Read, among others, in their work around educational equity and ensuring that disadvantaged youth around the world have access to quality education.