We are in the midst of a time that portends great social change. As a company, and as individuals who work for a company, we all feel a responsibility to support these efforts.
But just issuing a message of support is not enough. Not this time.
From the launch of our first business, 360Biz, more than 15 years ago, we have always embraced the values of diversity and inclusion. The personnel at all of our companies are more than 50% non-white, and we are proud to have hired and advanced both men and women in executive positions.
This was a result of strategic direction as well as our resolve to hire the best and most qualified people for each open position.
So while we’ve always “walked the walk” when it comes to our hiring policies, the events of the past few weeks have inspired us to go beyond our internal practices, and help others toward a brighter future.
The issues of racial inequity and injustice are beyond the capabilities of one person or one company to solve. But if everyone does something to advance those causes, no matter how large or small, real change is indeed possible.
We believe education can and should play an essential role in this crusade. Education builds opportunity – it opens up worlds of possibilities that should be accessible to everyone regardless of their race or background. And the earlier that educational support is available, the more effective it can be.
For this reason we are funding a number of scholarships through Think Together, to help kids from disadvantaged communities get a quality education that prepares them for college and career.
"As a Hispanic, I understand that without the support of my family, my community and my educational system, it would have been hard for me to go to college and enjoy the life I enjoy now,” said 360’s cofounder Ron Zayas. “We want to make those advantages as available to disadvantaged communities as much as possible, and this is our small way of giving back."
Think Together started, as many of the best ideas do, at the grass roots level – not with politicians or celebrities but with a group of mothers who lived in the Shalimar neighborhood of Costa Mesa, California. Hoping to help shield their children from an unsafe environment of drugs and gangs, they worked with community leaders to open the Shalimar Learning Center, a safe space for the neighborhood kids to come after school and get help with homework. When it opened, more than 100 kids showed up on the first day.
Since then, Think Together has launched expanded learning and school improvement programs in over 400 California schools – from San Diego to San Francisco. We are proud to help them with this mission.
If you would like to find out more about Think Together, please visit their website.