Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We believe every child should have access to a quality education, to technology, and to diverse representations in media. This is critical for all kids to become empathetic, engaged learners and citizens who are supported by media, technology, and society rather than marginalized by it.
We believe that standing for justice and equity can only be achieved when we commit to addressing racism and bigotry throughout the media and technology industries. As a nonprofit dedicated to supporting all families as they navigate media and technology, we must ensure that our users see themselves reflected in our programs and our staff. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational to this work, and our original research informs our focus and how best we can serve diverse communities.
We are striving toward representation and equity among our staff and our users, but we acknowledge that we have more work to do. We need to be vigilant in helping to create a just, antiracist future and reaching and serving cultures and communities according to their needs. This is a summary of our work so far and our plans for the future.
In 2017, Common Sense launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion task force to chart a path forward for the organization; our role in the global marketplace of media and technology in schools and homes; and our workplace.
The task force has created comprehensive recommendations, guidelines, and checklists for making our workforce, products, programs, processes, and communications more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
Our HR department has changed our recruitment processes to facilitate hiring a more diverse workforce, and created job levels on the path to equalizing salaries and promotions.
Our workplace supports diverse family types and situations by offering flex time, remote work, and a private room for nursing parents.
What's next: Leaning into our strategies for retaining people of color, building a growth path for all employees, and building skills and tools for staff to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
Programs and Offerings
As an organization that was founded to advocate for children and families around issues of equity and access, we have known since the beginning that diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to our success. Our commitment manifests in our products, advocacy, and outreach with families and educators.
Common Sense has identified a number of opportunities to create better experiences for families as they navigate media and technology, from our content and product development to our advocacy work.
- Through our programs, we create and deliver free, culturally relevant resources that directly serve lower-income and underconnected families; people with hearing, vision, and physical disabilities; and kids with learning and thinking differences. Since 2015, we have focused on Spanish-speaking families through our Common Sense Latino Program, a robust offering for families with young kids that includes culturally relevant parenting tips, media and tech recommendations, and tools to leverage technology for learning purposes. We follow accessibility standards in our web and print design, and we reach audiences where they are with diverse marketing channels, delivering our bilingual educational and entertainment content through our text messaging program; talks, webinars, conferences, and events; and our cable and streaming partnerships.
- We advocate for industry reforms in media and tech, such as free access to privacy-protective, quality learning tools and online programming. Our media ratings and reviews and Common Sense Selection program highlight positive representations of diverse characters.
- We are leaders in calling for universal access to broadband by closing the digital divide. We have contributed to policy change to support learning online including E-rate, CIPA, SOPIPA, and COPPA.
What's next: Commissioning new research on representations of diverse races/ethnicities in media, expanding our work on identifying accurate, diverse representations in the media we review, and reaching new audiences with culturally relevant products, including ratings and reviews in Spanish.
Our research-backed and philanthropically funded resources for students and educators equip the next generation of digital citizens to be safe, ethical, and responsible online. Through our website Common Sense Education, we create and distribute our free, culturally relevant Digital Citizenship Curriculum, which is used by more than half of all U.S. K–12 public schools and includes family engagement resources translated into Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
More than 80% of U.S. Title I schools use our free resources. We offer free ratings and reviews of edtech tools, many of which are rated on privacy standards, and we offer free professional development and training for educators through webinars, talks, conferences, and events.
With over 80 national and community partners, we power Wide Open School, which curates and delivers free educational content in English and Spanish for students and teachers, including our comprehensive Resources for Teachers center.
What's next: Closing the digital divide for good by 2025, and offering underconnected families an offline content library for distance learning.