Supporting our Black employees, partners, teachers, and students

A note from CEO Hadi Partovi and Chief Programs Officer Jackie Smalls

After watching the horrific events of recent weeks, we’re emotionally drained. The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the experience of Chris Cooper evoke outrage, fear, and sadness. And we all know these events are just the latest in a very long history of injustice and racism in our country.

Social media brought mainstream attention to these injustices; however there are many undocumented incidents that are the daily reality for Black Americans. It pains us to see racism grip our nation and cause suffering in Black communities. This must stop. stands together with the Black community — our employees, partners, teachers, and their students — in the fight against systemic inequity, racism, and injustice in the United States.

Talk isn’t enough. We must act.

Our goal at is for every student in every school to have the opportunity to learn computer science, and to reach balanced representation in grades k-12. Addressing diversity and equity issues is core to’s work and carefully woven throughout our programs from curriculum to teacher professional learning to advocacy.

But we can do more.

Like many other organizations, we posted a statement on social media, and we plan to follow it up with action. We applaud the action plans posted by other technology companies such as Lyft or Stripe and by education organizations such as Girls Who Code, and we encourage other organizations to do the same.

Our first action will be to engage all our employees in a company-wide brainstorm and reflection, because the work we do won’t be limited to one day or one week, and we want all our employees to contribute to it.

In the context of our diversity-focused mission, here are some of the major steps we will take:

  • Creating a more supportive workplace for our Black employees. Only 7% of our full-time employees are Black. As we continue to work towards increased diversity of representation, we want to make sure our Black employees always feel welcomed, included, and heard. Our CEO has invited our Black employees to a forum for dialogue about how we can better support an inclusive culture. In the next few weeks,’s leadership will host discussions with all our employees to engage on this and brainstorm ideas and actions for change. This is an ongoing process. Every organization can benefit from listening to their employees to help identify further actions.

This isn’t by any means a comprehensive list, and relative to the problem of racism in the United States these are just baby steps. But even the greatest changes can begin with small steps.

We don’t have all the answers, and we are open to feedback and suggestions. Like so many other leaders in America today, we are encouraged and inspired by all the peaceful protests that have shown us that enough is enough, and it is time for change. Real change can only happen when organizations across the entire U.S. economy and society take action against racism and injustice, and we are here to do our part.

Hadi Partovi, Chief Executive Officer
Jackie Smalls, Chief Programs Officer


--® is dedicated to expanding access to computer science increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups.

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