A Note from Priscilla Chan


Preview screenshot of video about CarbonBuilt

Did you know that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the concrete industry? Concrete is part of our daily lives, but we don't often think about its impact on our planet.

Efforts to reduce carbon emissions — by investing in energy efficiency and phasing out fossil fuels in favor of solar and wind power — are key to addressing climate change. But to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must also remove carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.

And that's where CarbonBuilt comes in.

We’re supporting CarbonBuilt’s work to help concrete manufacturing drive large-scale emission reductions. Watch to learn more about their climate-friendly formula for concrete.

Tech at CZI
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At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we collaborate with students, teachers, researchers and community leaders to reimagine education. We equip teachers with the research, tools and partners they need to center students’ well-being in support of academic achievement and success.  


At our core, we are builders. We build tools to help teachers reach children where they are, enhance learning, and foster stronger relationships with their students. Together with Gradient Learning, we design educational experiences and tools, such as Summit Learning and Along, to help teachers connect with students and tailor learning experiences to individual student needs.

EdTech tool: Along
EdTech Tool: Summit Learning

Explore these stories to learn more about how we build enabling technology for educators and students.

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Research shows that strong relationships can help restore students’ readiness to learn and support student well-being. Meet Stacey Perez, Principal at Classical Academy High School, who shares how Along enabled her to strengthen the connections with her students.


Watch: Building Strong Teacher-Student Relationships With the Along Connection Builder Tool

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Meet the CZI Education technology team working on the Summit Learning platform to continuously improve educator and student experiences.


Read more: How CZI Builds Platform Enhancements to Deliver Up-to-Date Teaching Resources


A Note from Priscilla Chan

This summer, we’re taking every opportunity to celebrate our people and our communities. Last month was Immigrant Heritage Month, and we celebrated all the ways immigrants make this country strong. We also celebrated Juneteenth and Pride, and many CZIers shared moments that made them proud. We celebrate ourselves as individuals because those strengths allow us to be greater than the sum of our parts and power us to do our part in building a better future for everyone. Despite the many challenges of this time, we know we can make progress together for our communities, our families and future generations by staying focused on our work. 

Big news for us this summer is welcoming Steve Quake as CZI’s new Head of Science. I look forward to working with him as he leads a shared and comprehensive strategy across all of our work in science — including our science and science technology programs, the Biohub and Biohub Networks, and our new Imaging Institute. I cannot thank Cori Bargmann enough for her leadership over the past six years and am grateful that she’ll stay at CZI as “Distinguished Fellow and Head of Science Emerita” until the end of the year, before joining our Scientific Advisory Board.

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Building Tech For a Better Future

Building new technology is core to accelerating progress in science and education — and it’s one of the things that sets CZI apart from many other philanthropies. Our dedicated technology teams build tools with scientists, educators, and communities.


On our education tech team, senior software engineer Michael Chen is developing enhanced features in Along, a teacher-student connection builder designed to draw out meaningful, one-on-one reflections from students. One new feature enables audio-based student reflections, which provide even more choice to students about how they express themselves and connect.


Understanding Health and Disease Mysteries

At CZI, we drive real-world impact by bringing together experts across disciplines and giving them the tools they need to advance entire fields. One example of this in our science work is the groundbreaking Tabula Sapiens, an open-source atlas mapping more than 400 cell types in the human body, which has already helped scientists speed breakthroughs in cancer therapy and more — and was featured on the cover of Science Magazine.


Jonah Cool, our Single-Cell Biology Program Officer, wrote about how Tabula and other major research breakthroughs are part of a string of discoveries made using single-cell tools — showing us the field’s promise for increasing our understanding of health and disease. We’re already learning so much from the Human Cell Atlas, a particularly exciting collaborative, open-source, single-cell research effort we’re supporting, which is well on its way to mapping all 37 trillion cells in the human body.


As you might imagine, researchers using these technologies are generating extremely high volumes of data — and just sorting through it is a major challenge. Chan Zuckerberg CELL by GENE Discover helps scientists browse single-cell data collections, explore gene expression, or download extensive datasets, while Chan Zuckerberg CELL by GENE Annotate expedites collaborative analysis of complex data by experts around the world.


We’re supporting new developments in imaging technology, too. We announced the founding scientific team of our new Imaging Institute: David Agard, Bridget Carragher, and Clint Potter will help launch this center and bring together the experts necessary to develop breakthrough biological imaging systems that will push the boundaries of what we can see and measure. Our imaging Program Officer, Stephani Otte, gave an incredible talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival to share the kinds of discoveries our grantees are making and how the Imaging Institute will build tech to visualize the biological underpinnings of health and disease. You can also read her blog post about why breakthroughs in biomedicine start with new imaging tools. 


For more on exciting imaging developments, follow along with a day in the life of Laura Waller — imaging scientist, mom, and founder of UC Berkeley’s Computational Imaging Lab, where she’s building microscopes that help neuroscientists understand the brain.

Additionally, Tania Simoncelli, our VP of Science in Society, also spoke at Aspen on the power of patient driven-research and participated in a discussion panel following the screening of a CZI-supported documentary, No Ordinary Campaign, about patient advocate Brian Wallach’s ALS journey and the movement he created to rebuild a healthcare system that puts patients first.

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Fostering Connection in Classrooms Around the World

I am inspired by how teachers and students have continued to navigate the challenges that COVID amplified. I recently had the opportunity to hear how valuable strong teacher-student connections have been during this period in our lives. You can watch the panel discussion at the National Charter Schools Conference to learn more about how Along, the teacher-student connection builder, is helping teachers ensure that every student feels seen and known.


As Dakarai Aarons and Julio Chow-Gamboa recently announced, we’re also supporting teachers and students with a $3 million grant to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). We’re honored to help NBPTS continue their core work of advancing the quality of teaching and learning for educators across the United States, including providing certifications for more than 128,000 teachers who met their high standards for what accomplished teachers should know. 


A key way to build connection in the classroom is to support educators of color. Research shows that all students — especially students of color — benefit from having diverse teachers and leaders. We’re proud to support many organizations that train and support diverse educators and promote teacher well-being, including FuelEd, The Teaching Well, and Profound Gentlemen. 

We’re also proud to witness incredible companies helping students around the world get the most out of their education. Through CZI Ventures, we support NewGlobe, an innovative educational system producing exceptional learning results among students in previously underserved Kenyan communities.

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Scaling Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies

to Address the Climate Crisis

Summer days can be a reminder of the heat extremes and droughts that are now likely to happen more often because of climate change. Scientists have noted that cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet, while absolutely critical, is no longer sufficient for slowing climate change — in tandem, large amounts of carbon dioxide must also be removed from our atmosphere. 

That’s why CZI supports organizations developing innovative and equitable approaches to mitigating climate change, including carbon dioxide removal. This interactive explainer highlights seven promising carbon removal technologies that have the potential to help us reach our climate goals.


Supporting Local Leaders Building Equity

in Their Communities

In June, we accepted applications for our 2023 Community Fund RFA to support community leaders and nonprofit organizations that are increasing access to the building blocks of social and economic well-being in San Mateo County. We’re excited to announce our grantees this fall and support their critical work.


One of the community leaders on the frontlines of this work is Fernanda De Velasco, Membership and Fundraising Associate at the Housing Leadership Council (HLC) of San Mateo County. HLC was founded by local leaders to address the housing crisis, and it works closely with the communities it serves — including families like Fernanda’s, who couldn’t find good, affordable housing when they moved from Mexico to the Bay Area. Read more about Fernanda’s story and her typical day at HLC.


We’re grateful for leaders like Fernanda, and all of our partners and team members who are building a better future for their communities. 


And we’re grateful for you, always. Thank you for being an integral member of our CZI community and for championing our work and our builders as we all strive for that more inclusive, just, and healthier future. On behalf of our entire team, I wish you a safe and sunny rest of your summer.


With care,

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