One part of being at Epicodus is making it a place where everybody can feel like part of our class's community. Before class starts, read this article about the experience of a black woman after 13 years of working in tech:
"The Other Side of Diversity" by Erica Joy Baker
If you're a person of color, a woman, or another minority, you might find it helpful to hear about Erica's experience. If you're not a minority, use it as an opportunity to better understand how it might feel to be in that position, and what you can do to make everybody in our class feel like they fit in.
Like Erica Joy Baker's experience demonstrates, the tech industry has traditionally not been a diverse place. We at Epicodus are committed to changing that. Epicodus coursework includes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) curriculum to intentionally engage with important topics in DEI in order to encourage personal reflection and growth. If we are going to make a safe and inclusive learning community at Epicodus, and if we are going to work towards improving diversity in Tech, we need to approach it together, intentionally.
In this lesson, we introduce the five principle aspects of our DEI curriculum. All of these are outlined below.
DEI discussions can be emotionally charged and uncomfortable at times, so we created a set of community agreements to guide students towards a respectful and educational conversation. In the next pre-work lesson, we will review the community agreements in detail. You can also find the community agreements listed on Discord's #welcome channel, and at this location on LearnHowToProgram.com.
Also referred to as “DEI workshops”, these are quarterly events facilitated by Epicodus staff to discuss specific topics within diversity, equity, and inclusion. These workshops include a short presentation and a series of breakout sessions in which students group up and discuss prompts. The very first workshop will take place in the first few weeks at Epicodus, and it will orient you to the structure of the DEI workshops and establish community expectations. After that, upper and lower cohorts will be combined for the quarterly workshops.
Written DEI lessons range from topics on diversity and equity to preventing microaggressions. These lessons are integrated into the technical curriculum, appearing once in a section, or every other section. These give you the opportunity to learn more in depth about a particular subject. These are always listed as homework. Visit this link to see all of the DEI lessons.
For each DEI lesson, there is a corresponding reflective assignment in which we give you a prompt and ask you to write a short, reflective response to it. There’s no length requirement for these reflections. Rather, the goal is to give you an opportunity to reflect and engage with important DEI topics by yourself — so, write as little or as much as you feel inspired to. Completing these assignments is optional, but highly encouraged. You can learn more about writing reflections in this lesson.
At Epicodus, learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is an important part of our curriculum and we ask all students to take it as seriously as learning how to code.