Crescendo Curriculum Overview

We spoke to diversity and inclusion (D&I) advocates to learn why they became passionate and they mentioned two things: their own experiences and learning about the experiences of others.

These advocates would do hours of online research to find the stories of other people. The problem is many people won't dedicate this time and effort to expose themselves to diverse perspectives, so Crescendo does that work instead.

We've worked with community influencers and D&I experts to source engaging stories that share a valuable perspective with your employees. Here is an example of a Crescendo Curriculum.

Do you have questions about how we categorize and evaluate our content? See our FAQs below.

Sample Introductory Curriculum

Month 1: Getting buy-in

Week 1: Diversity at Google and why they are investing in diversity

Description: If you think diversity is just for PR, you're wrong. This is how Google uses diversity & inclusion to keep their competitive advantage (2 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: In a business to consumer (B2C) company, diversity means a better product for your customers. Looking at your team, what types of customer experiences aren't reflected?


Week 2: Flipping the script on racial microaggressions

Description: Ever wonder what things to not say to someone from a different background? Or why? This is probably the funniest way we can explain it in under 3 minutes. (2 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: If you're going to say something you think might be stereotypical imagine if someone was saying it to you. If it sounds ridiculous or out of place - it probably also does to the other person!


Week 3: Inclusion starts with I, Accenture. Focusing on what inclusion means

Description: What are you insecure about? This quick video will give you an insight into common fears that impact the workplace. Later, we’ll dive into how these insights impact performance and how to better empathize with them (3 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: Inclusion isn't just about race or gender. It’s about openly discussing the assumptions we have about our coworkers and customers. They come from our experiences but can affect the way we communicate with people.

What do you assume about the people around you? Try talking with them about it to see if its true.


Week 4: What kind of asian are you?

Description: At times it can be rather uncomfortable when you are faced with a question like "where are you from?" without knowing how to really answer it. This cheeky video shows what getting asked that seemingly harmless question feels like from the other side! (2 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: "Where are you from?" is a question that is often heard within a diverse working community. While it seems harmless, it often comes with the assumption that someone is not born in Canada.

Instead, try asking “Where did you grow up?” - it tells you a lot more about a person without assuming anything!


Month 2: Understanding Bias

Week 1: Unconscious Bias at Work affecting product at Google

Description: Our brains are literally wired to be biased. But how does that affect our products and goals? In this video, a few engineers from Google talk about what unconscious bias is and how it affects their everyday decisions at Google. (3 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: Unconscious biases affect our everyday decision. In the case of a company, it could make the difference between a standard product/campaign and an exceptional one.

If you haven't already, think about how your experiences influence who you think you're creating a product/campaign for vs. the different types of users that could be interacting with it.


Week 2: How bias is built into products

Description: Bias being built into products isn’t just people’s opinions, take a look at this racist soap dispenser (4min read).

 
 

Actionable Tip: When building technology that involves automation, we need to consider the implications it has on our end users. Does anything we’re doing take into consideration assumptions related someone’s demographics?

Next time you start building out your user personas, think about how someone’s gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability may impact your product.


Week 3: The effect bias can have on a marketing campaigns

Description: Not only does bias affect products, but it also impacts marketing campaigns. Look at all the backlash and negative press Snapchat got for this racist “yellowface” filter (3min read).

 
 

Actionable Tip: Before publishing something online, take a few extra seconds to think about how this might be perceived by others. Keep in mind that culture bias is, in many cases, impossible to remove completely – but you need to be aware of how you see the world, and the assumptions you’re making at each stage of the marketing process.


Week 4: To speak about inclusion, we need to speak up about inclusion

Description: Its often hard to admit that you stereotype, or that you have biases. But we all do it. This video will show you examples of how to talk about it: (4 min watch)

 
 

Actionable Tip: It's okay to admit that you have biases or that you stereotype. Being aware and being inclusive of others doesn't stop once you understand what intersectionality is. It starts when you start purposefully supporting others.


Our curriculum continues from here in multiple different paths, you can see the overview below. We are currently gathering feedback on the first two months of content before finalizing these next portions.

Month 3: Simple things you can do to be inclusive at work

Week 1: Changes you can make in meetings

Week 2: Changes you can make in email communication

Week 3: Changes you can make in social contexts

Week 4: Changes you can make in 1:1s

Months 4+: Experience Based Learning Blocks

From this point, we go into our “experiences” learning blocks which are not as linear, they are adjusted based on the user’s learning preference. These learning blocks dive into the experiences of specific groups of people, covering some history, common mistakes to avoid, things you can do to support, and language changes you can make.

We are constantly adding to these categories, but for the time being we have covered Women, LGBTQ, and Black. Future categories include:

  • Gender: Women, Men, Trans, Non-binary, etc...

  • Sexuality: Lesbian, Gay, Bi, etc...

  • Ethnicity: Black, Latinx, Native American, etc...

  • People with disabilities

  • Socio-economic status


FAQ

Q: How do you categorize your content and what are the categories?

A: Our content is divided into 11 main categories and 54 subcategories. The main categories cover gender, ethnicity/race, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and (dis)ability. The subcategories deal with complexity, target audience by department and seniority level, content style, and content format.

Q: How much content do you have right now?

A: At the time of the pilot launch we will have over 300 pieces of content categorized and developed into our curriculum, or what we are calling "Learning Paths". This number will increase to 1000 over the next 5 months, as we analyze trends in user engagement and adjust content delivery according to our findings regarding what type of content resonates across the spectrum of users.

Q: How do you evaluate the content’s quality? What are the criteria you consider?

A: Content quality is determined by:

  1. Freshness (how relevant the topic is to today's challenges)

  2. Length of content (no content is longer than 5 minutes in reading or watching length)

  3. Unique insight (does the content present a unique perspective that is not commonly accounted for)

  4. Actionability (does the article have key takeaways that can be pulled out)

  5. Relatability (does the author or format of this content relate to x type of employees)

All of our content is reviewed by our team of D&I experts in-house and placed into the most appropriate learning path according to our ever-evolving criteria and analytics reports.