The Journey Ahead for Our Racial Justice Work — A Letter from the CEO of Magoosh

The Journey Ahead for Our Racial Justice Work — A Letter from the CEO of Magoosh

Bhavin on June 10, 2020

Here at Magoosh, we’ve been outraged and heartbroken along with the rest of the world these past few weeks. We’ve been processing this internally as a team, and wanted first to be thoughtful in our support of one another—especially our Black colleagues—before drafting a response beyond our initial statement.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery—four Black Americans who were senselessly murdered at the hands of police officers and vigilantes this year alone. These murders, among so many others that have occurred over the years, are unequivocally unacceptable. This should not happen.

We at Magoosh stand with those protesting and with the Black community against racism and violence. We know that the U.S. systems that claim to support all individuals actually oppress and harm the Black community. We also acknowledge that racism has existed for many decades prior to this moment and sadly will exist into the future. The fight is long and difficult. We’ve been taking action, and we’ll continue to do so.

The Work We’re Doing Today

We’re donating to organizations that uplift the Black community and fight against racial injustice.

We’ve committed $50K towards organizations that uplift the Black community and fight against social injustice. More broadly, we donate at 1% of our revenue each year using a combination of employee donation matching and corporate philanthropy towards organizations that help with education equity and access. Later this year, we will share the organizations that we chose to support and why.

We’re building upon the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work already started.

We’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Representation matters.

We know that in order to achieve our mission, the makeup of our team needs to represent the diversity of our student base. Several years ago, we created specific and measurable diversity goals among several axes including race. Since then, we’ve heavily audited our hiring process: we increased the number of Black and under-represented applicants in our pool through active sourcing, anonymized and standardized steps in our hiring process, and shared with candidates what each interview would entail and how it’s representative of the role.

  • We also have policies that combat pay disparity such as structured approach to salary and equity and share those policies with candidates, including posting the salary range on the job description. These changes among many others have helped us attract and hire more Black employees who contribute to our mission and who help inform our policies.
  • Earlier this year, we engaged a 3rd party company (Peoplism) to conduct a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging audit to further review all our processes including hiring, performance, pay, and more. With the audit now in hand, we’re planning further changes to support our employees, especially those underrepresented in tech.

We’re committed to fully living out our mission.

Over ten years ago, Magoosh was founded to level the education playing field and solve for the inequities that have prevented so many underserved individuals from achieving their educational aspirations. We’ve created one of the most accessible and affordable test preparation products to help students overcome the barriers of standardized tests—and we know these barriers disproportionately impact Black students.

  • We offer free and heavily discounted prep to non-profit organizations many of whom serve the Black community, such as SMASH scholars, Oliver Scholars, and McNair Scholars.
  • Currently, we estimate that we serve 10,000+ Black students each year. We’ll continue to serve this population and challenge ourselves to do more and do better.

There’s More Work to Do Going Forward

We’re examining how we can do better for our employees, students, and community.

We know we’re lacking in a number of areas, and here’s some of what we need to do:

  • Create Employee Resource Groups for Black employees (and other groups).
  • Better support our Black and minority students by hiring instructors who are also Black and minority and who more accurately reflect the diversity and experience of our student base.
  • Proactively partner with organizations that are already experts in and actively pursuing diversity and racial justice work within our communities.

Lastly, and possibly most notably, we have no Black or under-represented minority representation in senior leadership. We recognize that diversity in our leadership team may be the most impactful way to create lasting change across all groups: employees, students, and community.

We’re actively working on these areas and know there’s a lot more work to do as well. We look forward to updating the Magoosh community on our progress.

What else are we doing (and what can you do)?

We realize each person experiences these tragedies and the associated trauma differently. As individuals and employees—particularly those of us with racial or ethnic privilege—we aim to do the following:

  • We need to listen to voices in the Black community and amplify and elevate those voices.
  • We need to educate ourselves and learn to become better allies—this burden should not be on the Black community.
  • We need to educate others, especially white and non-black people of color.
  • We need to discuss race and its implications at work and in our work.

Many of our employees are taking additional independent and collective actions. If you’re looking for guidance you can start with this resource compiled by the Magoosh Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. If you know of other actions or causes that support the Black community, or if you need support in providing test prep to Black and under-represented communities, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out in the comments below or email us at help@magoosh.com