Code.org’s unifying approach in a divided world

Code.org’s mission is to give every student in every school the opportunity to learn CS, with a focus on young women and students from underrepresented groups. Code.org’s global role in the K-12 computer science movement is only possible because we use a unifying approach across diverse and often divided stakeholders. This principle is part of our values, and is reflected in many ways, such as in our advocacy efforts, in our approach to equity, and our policy on making public statements.

In our divided world, many people feel under constant attack. We acknowledge that pain, and we share it. Code.org’s leadership and broader team come from diverse backgrounds, many of whom have personal experiences of discrimination and fear. We support our employees, including their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, political identity, nationality, and other forms of identity. It is also part of our values that personal identity should not in any way limit opportunities for growth at Code.org.

At the same time, our organization needs to focus our collective passion and efforts behind our own mission in order to make large-scale impact and systemic change in primary and secondary education. Code.org's global mission to end unjust inequities in K-12 computer science doesn't encompass fighting other battles for social justice. As an organization, we don’t enter public debates, make statements, or take positions on issues unrelated to computer science. They distract and detract from our own mission. This focus and approach to unite supporters behind our mission has enabled us to make large-scale progress and help hundreds of millions of students. Code.org is a nonpartisan organization and has been by design since its founding. Our team members, students, teachers, and supporters have diverse and diverging viewpoints on different issues, and they are all welcome in our CS mission. Inside Code.org, we value diversity and inclusivity in order to benefit from diverse viewpoints. We aspire to a workplace that offers a level of inclusivity that the polarized world around us lacks.

Code.org’s values for equity, access, and opportunity say: “We believe every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, identity, family income, neighborhood, or where they are from.” As stated in our values, Code.org’s work opposes racism, sexism, homophobia, colonialism, and other inequities. Code.org does this in a unifying manner, not by succumbing to calls by one group to denounce the other, nor to slogans that unless you oppose X you uphold Y. We use our voice to talk about what we stand for, not what we stand against. We ask our team members, our teachers, partners, and supporters to accept our nonpartisan, inclusive “big tent” approach for students. What so many of us love about Code.org’s impact is only possible because of this approach. We thank you for supporting our mission, that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science.

- Hadi Partovi, CEO, Code.org