Renaissance Learning - Renaissance Learning

Winner In:
Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Ed Tech

In 2020, Renaissance began to reckon with the impact systemic racism has on our communities, our employees, and our customers. Being passive in opposition to racism was no longer an option and did not align with our company values or mission. Our CEO Chris Bauleke hosted a companywide All Hands Meeting to center the voices and experience of Black employees, prompting conversations about the importance of DEI at Renaissance. This kicked off our formal DEI work, and we then built a strategy around three pillars of DEI: Equitable Talent Practices, Inclusive Culture, and Equity in Education. Renaissance’s Inclusion Council—a group of employees who represent different identities, locations, job levels, and functions—is helping to shape and execute that strategy. Since then, we have created a fully organized DEI ecosystem embedded within the very structure of Renaissance. Creating Employee Resource Groups, such as the Renaissance Black Employee Network, the Workin’ Moms of Renaissance, and Growing and Including Neurodiversity. Training senior leadership on topics such as managing unconscious bias, leading inclusively, addressing microaggressions, and practicing allyship. Facilitating dialogues and employee roundtables to better understand the experience of underrepresented employees at Renaissance. Building community and cultural awareness through virtual company events, webinars, and observances. Renaissance has partnered with several DEI consulting firms to improve the cultural competence of our team and the cultural relevance of our products. This includes working with Dr. Akuoma Nwadike, founder of Inclusivity Ed, to improve the cultural responsiveness and appropriateness of the content in our Freckle program. We have also worked with Dr. Darnisa Amante, founder of Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP), to provide DEI workshops for content leaders across Renaissance product teams. Renaissance submitted the winning proposal for the inaugural annual Equity in Assessment webinar hosted by the National Center for Measurement in Education (NCME). Our webinar will be a panel discussion with leaders from other institutions, including Howard University, Inclusivity Ed, WestEd, and Cognia. Additionally, we are assembling an external advisory committee of experts to review content across all Renaissance products for content appropriateness and provide feedback on initiatives. Across all Renaissance products, content leaders are conducting DEI audits to review the current state of the product regarding the representation of diverse populations and have developed a set of Renaissance-wide content guidelines outlining expectations for developing bias-free and appropriate content. While we have come a long way in the past year, there is still plenty of work to do. We are committed to creating a diverse and equitable workplace and supporting change across the world by weaving inclusion into every corner of our company culture.

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