Supporting our Black Employees, Students, and Teachers: Jan. 2021 Update

1) Disaggregated Code.org student data by race and ethnicity

Code.org has historically reported student diversity by aggregating students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in a single group. We’ve begun a long-term process to disaggregate our data, to identify gaps in representation among specific racial/ethnic groups.

The racial and ethnic makeup of students with accounts on Code.org.

2) Analyzed race/gender intersection among computer science students

We’ve analyzed and published deeper data on race/gender intersectionality among Code.org students, College Board AP CS exam participants, and University CS degree holders. We published a complete report and published the first blog post in a series on this topic.

3) Made social justice a theme for the Hour of Code and CS Education Week

There are many parts to this:

  • As part of our spotlight Hour of Code: AI, we produced and promoted multiple videos focused on AI and Ethics (Ethics & AI: Equal Access and Bias, Ethics & AI: Privacy & the Future of Work), as well as an AI/Ethics lesson plan for classrooms, all of which have an emphasis on racial equity.
  • We hosted a live panel discussion about AI and Ethics during CSEdWeek, with an emphasis on racial equity
  • Our CodeBytes live lessons during CS Education Week included multiple CS for Good themes, including Apps for Good, a virus simulation, and AI for Good. Our marketing messaging around Hour of Code emphasized these themes.
  • As part of transitioning leadership of CSEdWeek to the CS Teachers Association, the 2020 CSEdWeek theme is #CSforSocialJustice.

4) Hosted company-wide hackathon with a focus on racial equity

We held a “Hack Days” event for our entire team to work on over 30 different projects with a focus on identifying and improving ways that the Code.org product, curriculum, and Web site can better reflect the racial diversity of students represented in our classrooms.

5) Measured participation by Black students in the 2020 State of CS report.

Aligned to our organization’s effort to disaggregate data by race and ethnicity, we performed a first-ever, full analysis of participation by Black students in CS, including intersection with gender, as part of the 2020 State of CS Report.

6) Changed language from “underrepresented minorities” (URM) to “underrepresented racial and ethnic groups” (URG)

Informed by research from our internal Equity Working Group, we’ve replaced “underrepresented minorities” language across our website, research, and marketing materials, to shift away from the word “minorities” and to use language that better reflects the diversity of the students we serve. You can read more about this change here.

7) Established an equity rubric for our government policy recommendations

We created an equity rubric for measuring the equity aspects of implementation of our nine recommended policies, and included the findings in the 2020 State of CS Report. The published equity rubric as part of our nine policy ideas evaluation can be reviewed here.

8) Facilitated listening sessions with Black employees

We contracted with external facilitators to engage the executive leadership team in five, multi-hour listening sessions with Black employees. The goal of these sessions was to assist us in identifying where we as an organization can better support an inclusive work environment.

9) Hosted internal inclusivity survey

We completed an internal survey using a third party tool, Culture Amp, to better measure inclusion and belonging in our workplace and how it varies by gender, race, and other demographic measures.

This is just a start.

As we wrote in June, this work won’t be limited to one day or one week or even one year.

  • A video campaign and a speaker panel to inspire Black students to try computer science (during Black History Month)
  • A third-party review of our curriculum to identify opportunities for improved cultural responsiveness (by race and gender)
  • A mentorship program for employees, with intentional support for our Black employees
  • A third-party study of employee pay equity (by race and gender) to address any wage gaps
  • Sharing the insights and any corresponding actions from our internal surveys and listening sessions.

Code.org was founded on the vision that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, and our work is not done until we reach balanced representation in K-12 computer science.

We look forward to reporting again on our progress in June or July.

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