Let’s try out online DEIB course content!

The WordPress community has long advocated for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) training. Over the years, teams have explored various avenues, usually engaging diversity consultants. While this has been a valuable experience, extending such training to our vast and diverse community has been challenging, given our global community and the many timezones we cover. 

Today, I am excited to share that Automattic has added 100 licenses to their Paradigm Reach account for WordPress community members. While this isn’t a full solution, I am optimistic that it is a step in the right direction. Paradigm Reach offers a comprehensive suite of online coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. workshops, microlearnings, and resources created by professional experts from around the world. Their platform allows for customization of learning content for users. 

Some recognized limitations and future hopes

In reviewing Paradigm Reach, there are a few limitations I’d like to note. Firstly, only 100 licenses are available. However, the licenses can be reassigned, meaning that when a contributor completes assigned courses, their access can be removed and granted to another contributor. Second, because the usual audience for Paradigm Reach tends to be businesses and employers, some of the examples used are in a more corporate or work setting. However, the content itself is still valuable and principles can be applied to collaboration and engagement in the WordPress community. Lastly, the content is in English, and there are no translations of the material. 

While these limitations are very real, I still believe there is a net positive in introducing Paradigm Reach and that it will help the WordPress community get to a more conscientious and equitable future state. My hope is that through this initial online training, enough community members around the world are able to participate in high quality and consistent DEIB training, and begin to build shared language and understanding around DEIB. Then, a working group of members who have participated in this training can leverage what they have learned to create online DEIB training specifically for the WordPress contributor community, which can be translated and made available at any time, to any one. 

Some more immediate next steps

For starters, it makes sense to try out two courses, an “Intro to DEIB” and an “Advanced DEIB” course. Because the licenses are limited, I’d like to invite the following contributor groups to try out this async training:

  • Contributors who mentor or guide other contributors, like mentors for the Contributor Mentorship Program
  • Contributors who handle sensitive mediation work, like Incident Response Team (IRT) Members (all IRT members are required to complete DEIB training)
  • Contributors who communicate with large, international audiences, like Flagship event organizers
  • Contributors who want to provide DEIB training to others, like DEIB working group leaders
  • Contributors who have never experienced DEIB training previously

While the content should take no more than 3 hours to complete, participants will be given 8 weeks to finish assigned courses. Participants will also be asked to provide feedback on the content and recommendations for improvement. 
If you are interested in taking online DEIB training through Paradigm Reach, please fill out this form. Have questions or comments? Leave those in the comments below!