Earlier this week, DiversityFirst announced Millette Granville—2U’s vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)—as one of its Top 100 Diversity Officers for 2021. Among those recognized, DiversityFirst also named five other 2Utes as Diversity Champions: the global chairs of 2U’s employee-led Business Resource Networks (BRNs).
On being honored by DiversityFirst as a DEI role model for creating and utilizing best practices, leading organizational change, and making outstanding contributions in the field, Millette says, “It’s humbling to be acknowledged like this alongside so many of my peers across the DEI leadership spectrum. I’m most proud of seeing the efforts of 2U’s BRN global chairs collectively recognized by DiversityFirst, too. They have been phenomenal thought partners in the creation and manifestation of 2U’s DEI strategy.”
Millette continues: “At 2U, we’re committed to building and sustaining a company culture that embodies diversity from all walks of life. We believe in the importance of lifting up, embracing, and celebrating all of the unique qualities our employees possess: different ideas, genders, ages, races, cultures, orientations, abilities, and more. We want every 2Ute to feel empowered by all the ways we’re different and all the ways we’re the same. I’m thrilled at how far 2U has come as a company and I look forward to continuing to work with the BRN global chairs—and all of our passionate employees—to strengthen our culture of inclusivity.”
As the BRNs look ahead with Millette, working together to build a stronger future for 2U and its employees, they also look back to celebrate their successes amid a very challenging 2020. All five of our BRNs made great strides for their respective communities and 2U at large last year—and upon being honored by DiversityFirst, each BRN global chair shared the accomplishments they’re most proud to have achieved in 2020:
Rachel Braunstein (she/her/hers), global chair, Womxn’s Alliance Network (W.A.N.)
Launched in 2019, W.A.N. is on a mission to educate and empower womxn and allies to energize their personal and professional spaces with stories that influence structural and cultural change at 2U.
“Over the last year, I am especially proud of how W.A.N. has really come together and shown support not only for each other, but also for members of our fellow BRNs, by creating more intentional intersectional events and welcoming all BRN members into our safe spaces. We have welcomed a new leadership team and have set an aggressive agenda for 2021 that has kicked off with a Womxn's History Month that reflects the trials and celebrations of womxn from all over the world. W.A.N. has grown to exceed 1,000 members and is nearing completion of a dozen different events in the month of March.”
Andres Rocha (he/him/his), global chair, TuGente
Launched in 2020, TuGente's mission is to build and foster a strong Latinx community and support system within 2U as well as our local and global communities and university partners.
“TuGente launched during a world pandemic, which was an accomplishment in and of itself. We hosted over 15 events from June through December, including a celebration of the first-ever National Hispanic Heritage Month at 2U, and grew our membership to over 200 members by the end of the year— 260 year to date and growing every day! TuGente provided input to our C-suite team during the George Floyd protests in June and hosted safe space sessions during the November election. After a year of so many challenges, our membership grew stronger by finding a community within 2U that they could identify with.”
Krys Tabujara (they/them/theirs), global chair, 2Q
Launched in 2019, 2Q is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Allies BRN. Also known as the Queer Resource Network, 2Q serves as a strategic partner with 2U to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion.
“2Q rolled out the ability to use pronouns (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, etc.) across 2U’s Salesforce platform, reinstated biweekly virtual Coffee Chats for three different time zones (East Coast, West Coast, and Cape Town), and even planned a fully virtual Pride Month in the third month of the pandemic, complete with great events and speakers. Getting 2U’s internal HR databases updated so that we can begin collecting some data on LGBTQ representation throughout the company was also a win. Finally, 2Q has hosted safe spaces for 2Utes who want to talk about attacks on Black transgender people, which hasn’t been getting the attention in the news that it should.”
Lauren Woodfork (she/her/hers), global chair, Black Engagement Network (BNet)
Launched in 2019, BNet offers a forum for networking, professional development, and belonging for Black/African Americans.
“BNet leadership played a pivotal role in guiding 2U leadership through the crisis response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, along with subsequent DEI action planning. To meet members’ immediate needs, the BNet leadership team also temporarily introduced ‘BNet Open Spaces,’ providing a vital support system for over 100 Black 2Utes per week to foster community across the globe during a difficult time. The Denver-based BNet leadership team also hosted a professional development speaker series featuring leaders from various departments to further expand BNet members’ networks. As a result, several of our members transitioned to new roles within the company after engaging with this series.”
Jeenie Yoon (she/her/hers), global chair, Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN)
Launched in 2020, APIN empowers, elevates, and engages all Asian Pacific Islander voices and experiences through equitable advocacy, intentional engagement, heightened awareness, and joyous celebration.
“APIN successfully built up a fully functioning leadership team, held a successful launch party, and nearly doubled its membership. We conducted a highly attended allyship panel discussion, amplified the voices and experiences of Black 2Utes last summer, and held ‘activism hours’ where employees were welcome to join a letter-writing and phone-banking campaign. APIN also participated in the BRN Anti-Oppression Speaker Series, held space for API 2Utes in light of anti-Asian violence, and wrote a letter on behalf of them encouraging self-care for API individuals and providing tips for leadership and allies.”
Congratulations to Millette, Rachel, Andres, Krys, Lauren, and Jeenie on raising the bar for what dedicated leadership looks like in a more diverse, supportive, and harmonious future.
You’ve gotten a glimpse into our culture of inclusivity. Want to learn more about what it’s like to work here? Check out Careers at 2U and join our team.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.