Supporting our Black Employees, Partners, Students, and Teachers: June 2021 Update

In June of 2020, when police brutality in the U.S. sparked global protests against racism, published a post outlining our commitment to support our Black employees, partners, teachers, and students.

We hosted a brainstorm for our entire staff, made a multi-year plan of action, and committed to public updates twice a year. (The January 2021 update is here).

Below are actions we’ve taken at in the last 6 months towards better supporting our Black Employees Students and Teachers (BEST) plan:

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The video received over 1 million views and 3,000 shares across different platforms. We thank our partners in this work: AfroTech, All Star Code, Black Girls Code, CodeCrew, Codehouse, ColorStack, /dev/color, The Hidden Genius Project, INTech Camp for Girls, Kapor Center, Khan Academy, National Society of Black Engineers, Scratch Foundation, SMASH, STEM NOLA, and Streetcode Academy.

For Black History Month, we published a page featuring inspirational pioneers in computer science, data on the inequitable access to CS education, and videos of role models to inspire students. Throughout the month, we used our social media reach to amplify these examples and other posts to support Black computer scientists.

We hosted multiple panels featuring celebrated educators and nonprofit leaders to bring focus to the importance of deliberate efforts to recruit Black students and teachers in computer science. Stay tuned for more!

Panel 1: Recruiting Black teachers and students into CS

Panel 2: Engaging Black students and teachers in CS

In the datasets for our App Lab tool (used in our CS Principles classrooms), and in our upcoming AI unit for CS Discoveries, we added datasets for students and classrooms to explore data through a racial lens, or to learn how training data may cause AI to perpetuate historical racial biases.

For example, in App Lab, we included a dataset with demographic data about the US incarcerated population, by race and ethnicity and region. Or, in our AI unit, students uncover how data used to train AI to make medical recommendations could be racially biased (a scenario based on real events).

We worked with Syndio to analyze compensation for all employees, to identify gaps in pay by race and by gender, with a commitment to address any wage gaps.

We were pleased that the Syndio study found that women at are paid equally compared to men in similar positions, and that people of color at are paid equally to white employees in similar positions.

Note: Our team was too small for Syndio to analyze whether there are any statistically-significant gaps in pay specific to our Black employees.

In January’s update we noted hosting a series of listening sessions for all our Black employees with our executive team, as well as a team-wide survey focused on diversity and inclusion. We’ve shared the survey results with all managers at and hosted sub-team discussions about areas for improvement, and we have shared the summary findings (“emergences”) from our listening sessions with our managers as well.

We hired a full-time Learning and Development Manager, as well as a consulting firm, who will work together to facilitate internal sessions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a goal to continue growing an inclusive culture for all employees regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or identity.

We audited our hiring approach to ensure we are following industry best-practices for attracting, identifying, and recruiting diverse talent on the team at We publish our team diversity numbers annually at

A look at’s internal diversity numbers. See more at

To commemorate and celebrate the day of emancipation and the end of slavery in the United States, we are making June 19 (today) an official holiday at, and using the opportunity to help our team learn and celebrate.

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. Over the next 6–12 months, our future roadmap includes many new efforts, such as:

  • Analyzing our classroom data to identify (and work to close) gaps separating Black students from their peers.
  • A third-party review of our curriculum to identify opportunities for improved cultural responsiveness or affirmation (by race and gender).
  • Taking focused action to increase participation by Black students in the AP Computer science Principles exam.
  • Expanding on the analysis above, to develop and track key measures of in-classroom inclusivity and learning to compare student classroom experiences by race, to identify and improve experiences for Black students.
  • Establish a mentorship program for our employees, with intentional support for our Black employees. 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 early 2022.

-The Team


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

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