I share the sadness and anger felt by so many regarding the tragic killings of un-armed Black men and women in the United States. The recent killings of George Floyd and many others have re-surfaced long-standing grief and pain around systemic racism and injustice in the Black community and have left an indelible mark on us all.
On behalf of our Blackboard team, I emphatically state that we stand against racism and injustice in all of its forms. We stand for human rights and are committed to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our company and across the global education community that we serve.
What We Are Doing
Like many of you, I have been engaging in dialogue with family, friends, and our Blackboard team to explore what more we can and should be doing to affect change. As an EdTech company with a mission focused on advancing learning, we sit at the intersection of education and technology – two powerful tools that can open doors, expand minds, and change lives. We recognize that racism and other forms of discrimination permeate many aspects of our society, including the quality of and access to education that one receives.
At Blackboard, we feel a strong obligation to relentlessly pursue our mission and deliver positive change across the global education community and in turn throughout societies worldwide. In support of our global client base, we serve a broad and diverse set of learners and educators. We know that to be our best in advancing learning, we need to continue to be better educated and develop a deeper personal and organizational understanding broadly with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and specifically with respect to racism and how we as individuals and as a company can take action against it.
To facilitate our ongoing internal development, we are holding learning sessions across the company to enable a dialogue promoting awareness and understanding and opposing racism. We know that these learning sessions will cause discomfort and surface a variety of emotions for many, but we also know they are necessary to learn from one another. Just this week in a townhall with our employees around the world, I was deeply moved and inspired by the candid conversation, engagement, and courageous sharing from our team. We talked about recent events, personal experiences, and the role we can play in opposing racism and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce and within the education community.
Our ongoing internal dialogue puts us on a journey to become a better-informed Blackboard team. This internal journey, though, is not the end goal. It is a means to an end of driving enduring, transformational change globally by bringing a deeper understanding and awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion to enhance our mission of advancing learning.
We are passionate about the journey ahead and we are committed to doing this work. We will keep you posted on our progress.