Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Michigan Virtual is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse workforce. We embrace different voices, faces, ideas, and backgrounds and believe human diversity, the seen and unseen, drives innovation and creativity. We are building a culture grounded in a climate where everyone feels included, respected, and valued and is comfortable being their full, authentic self.
What we want to achieve over the long-term and how we approach the journey of embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Michigan Virtual are inextricably linked. Rather than focus on rules, compliance, or rigid dogma of “political correctness,” our approach is growth-oriented: having candid conversations, offering recommendations, creating learning opportunities, inviting focus on ourselves rather than “them,” and celebrating the learning we do together about our differences.
We believe online delivery models can expand educational opportunities for all learners regardless of their physical traits, religious and cultural beliefs, or personal identity. For more than 20 years, Michigan Virtual has played a role in reducing the learning opportunity gap for structurally disadvantaged students. For example, we make available 23 Advanced Placement (AP) courses to better serve the estimated 40 percent of Michigan high schools that do not offer AP courses locally. Michigan Virtual believes that all students can achieve at high levels and that equitable learning environments are essential to their success. As Michigan’s largest provider of online professional development services for school personnel, we have also worked to significantly expand statewide access to free and low-cost professional learning on dozens of critical topics such as early literacy, teaching remotely during a pandemic, and social-emotional learning (SEL).
Unfortunately, disturbing inequities continue to leave children of color, LGBTQIA+ students, English language learners, students with special needs, and impoverished children seriously behind in academic achievement. In addition, racism in the United States continues to be a persistent problem that has impacted every aspect of society. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to further expose critical inequities in public education and widened the disparities. Michigan Virtual believes we can and must do more to eliminate barriers that prevent students and educators from participating in equitable and inclusive learning opportunities and environments.In 2019, as an offshoot of its Culture Committee, Michigan Virtual established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to help guide organization-wide conversations, awareness activities, and training efforts. In addition, the 2021-23 Michigan Virtual Strategic Plan approved by our Board of Directors includes an imperative new value statement: “Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Our journey with diversity, equity, and inclusion is expanding. We will lead by example to elevate our role as an employer of choice and quality educational services provider in the K-12 community.