Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
Transcend operates in alliance with people and organizations working to ensure equitable, extraordinary experiences with and for all young people.
We believe education plays a vital role in fostering a strong democracy and a just society: it ensures that children’s futures are not determined by where they were born and teaches them how to understand the world and each other. Our values and beliefs underscore our organization’s deeply held commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. This commitment operates at every level of our work:
In student experiences and outcomes
Transcend believes learning environments must prepare all young people to thrive in and transform the world. We envision a world where children’s background or zip code no longer predict their educational outcomes. We use data to understand how children are doing, and focus not only on measurable outcomes but also experiences. Transcend’s 10 Leaps for Equitable, 21st-Century Learning outline how the experience of learning must change so all young people—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic background, or zip code—can maximize their potential.
In our approach to community-based design
Our work starts with and centers student, family, educator, and broader community voices in order to ensure a rich and diverse range of perspectives. We listen to what students and families want for themselves, and then we work with them to create schools where every young person feels challenged, loved, and supported.
In our approach to developing resources
We believe that diverse voices make for strong resources because they reflect the experiences of many communities. As a result, we seek out and incorporate a range of perspectives, types of information, and forms of insight when creating resources. We make all our resources free and open-source, ensuring all communities have access to actionable, accessible, rigorous, and equity-based knowledge.
In our partnerships with schools
We believe that all kids deserve extraordinary and equitable learning, and we acknowledge and act on the belief that race has particular salience in educational outcomes. To reach marginalized communities, the majority of Transcend’s school partners serve Black, Latinx, and low-income students: more than 65% of students identify as Black and Latinx students, and 70% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
In the composition of our team and board
Transcend is proud to be a majority people-of-color organization, with nearly 65% of our staff identifying as people of color. Our team is also nearly 80% female. Likewise, 65% of our board of directors identify as people of color. Transcend employs a rigorous and intentional hiring and leadership selection process to build and nurture a team that represents our partner communities.
In our culture and operations
Transcend builds an inclusive, warm community to foster belonging. This includes offering whole-group spaces that prioritize connection and regular, vibrant affinity groups. In 2019, we named 10 commitments for living into DEI values and launched a cross-functional DEI team to steward these efforts. We regularly audit our compensation policies and decisions through an equity lens with the help of our board, and use staff surveys and individual conversations to address gaps in experiences and perceptions.
We are a work in progress and will always have room to deepen and better live into our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Transcend is ultimately driven by a deep desire to lean into our core values as we continually evolve how we support school communities and each other.