WEEK 1: July 6-12
Today we are taking a look at the concept of privilege. Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of group membership and not based on what a person or group has done or failed to do. It is important to recognize that privilege is part of a reality that helps some while impeding others. The challenge activities for today will help us take a closer look at this concept.
WEEK 2: July 13-19
The ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 was a transformative cultural and political moment that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. Although 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of this pivotal milestone in the women’s movement, it is also a time to acknowledge that women of color who worked for suffrage were continually marginalized and their contributions were sidelined by history. Today, we will look back at these pioneering leaders and how they laid the groundwork for universal suffrage and the civil rights movement.
Today, we are looking at the history of voter suppression and how people of color have been systemically kept from the ballot box, as well as the challenges people of color have had to overcome in order to exercise the right to vote. These activities will provide important context for tomorrow’s challenge, which will show how voter suppression has changed over time and how certain actions and policies continue to disenfranchise marginalized communities today.
Today we’re focusing in on how racism impacts healthcare today with distressing and often tragic consequences, ranging from differences in treatment to a high mortality rate in Black infants. Additionally, the current COVID-19 pandemic has brought systemic inequities to the forefront of many conversations around healthcare, as the racial disparities in diagnosed COVID-19 cases have been well documented.
WEEK 3: July 20-26
Today we’ll be covering racism and housing in the United States. Housing disparities span generations and are the result of segregation, redlining, discriminatory financial lending, etc. These tactics have had a lasting impact on BIPOC’s ability to build wealth through owning their homes. For some insight into how redlining has impacted the current housing market in Utah, you can check out this interactive map. Our challenge activities take a closer look at this issue from both a historical and current perspective.
Yesterday’s housing focus set us up for today’s exploration of the racial wealth gap, which has been compounded over generations through policy, institutions, and individual actions and biases. The racial wealth disparity can be seen through income inequality, earnings gaps, homeownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, lopsided asset-building subsidies, etc. Our challenge activities today take a closer look.
Today we’re focusing on racism and homelessness. A disproportionate amount of BIPOC make up the homeless population in the United States, and our previous topics have offered insight into the barriers that exist for BIPOC in gaining and maintaining housing. Today’s challenge activities explore homelessness through the lens of race, both nationally and locally.
Today’s Challenge content focuses on exploring how law enforcement, in particular the police, are experienced by many BIPOC. This topic has taken center stage in the United States in recent months, as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked nationwide protests and calls for police reform; but the experience of law enforcement by BIPOC, particularly Black individuals, have deep roots in the history of police and biased policy as well as cultural narratives.
Today’s Challenge content explores alternatives to policing. The recent, widespread protests in U.S. cities have renewed and strengthened discussions about the role of law enforcement in our society, with the phrase “Defund the Police” becoming both a rallying cry and a threat to be opposed. Building upon yesterday’s Challenge activities, which made a case for changing the way law enforcement looks in the U.S., today we will consider what those changes might look like.
For the final two days of the Challenge, we are going to explore ways to build an equitable and inclusive culture. Racial equity and social justice will not just happen — we must take meaningful, intentional steps to build a culture that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable for all people. Today’s activities offer details and ideas about what this work may look like.
The final day of the 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge is focused on inclusion building. Creating a society which anti-racist and inclusive is a continuous process, but we believe it is possible. The work we have done during this Challenge — working to understand the history of racism, exploring what it looks like in today’s society, and how individuals may be complicit in perpetuating injustice — is a great foundation. Today’s activities remind us of why this is critically important work and present ideas about what this work may look like for our youth going forward.