Miss a day? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re joining us late in the Challenge you haven’t missed out! We’ll be updating this page regularly to include links to each day of Challenge so you can catch up to revisit any previous content. If we’re missing a day, hold tight. Our small team is hard at work making sure this Challenge is the best it can be. We’re glad you’ve committed to joining us.
WEEK 1: The History of the Invention of Race June 21st—June 25th
For this year’s 21-Day Challenge, we’re going back to the beginning. What even is race? When and how was it invented? What does it mean when people say, ‘race is a myth”? Before we dive into this work, we encourage you to take a moment to download your reflection log, join our Facebook group, and most importantly, be open to change. It is first by transforming ourselves that we will transform the world.
Today’s topic centers around the invention of race. Contemporary scholars agree that “race” was a recent invention, a folk idea, not a product of scientific research and discovery. Race and its ideology about human differences arose out of the context of African slavery. Today’s challenge opportunities will take a closer look at how “race” came to be.
For today’s Challenge, we’ll be centering our focus on race as a social construction. Despite the overarching narrative that race is biological, scientists have proven that there is as much if not more genetic variance within any given racial group as there is between people of different races. Humans are more genetically homogenous than most species on earth.
So how did we get here? The creation of race is rooted in socio-political functions, and we have built systems to enforce these manufactured differences. Today’s Challenge activities take a closer look.
In today’s Challenge, we’ll be taking a closer look at racial classifications, including how they came to be, how they have changed over the years based on the social, economic, and political landscapes, and how they vary based on geographic location.
Despite their social construction, these categories have a real impact on the lived experiences of individuals. Today’s Challenge activities will unpack how this plays out today.
Today’s topic is centered on the concept of racial identity. Though race is a social construct, racial identity is very real. Who we think we are and who others think we are can influence how we navigate the world, think about possibilities, or take action. Our identities are complex and informed by various factors that can complicate how we experience the world around us: racial identity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, etc.
Today we’re turning our focus to gaining a deeper understanding of the levels of racism. You may already be familiar with the phrases “institutional racism” and “systemic racism.” These terms refer to the broader ways in which racism is perpetuated and upheld in our society. The following activities are great launching points to aid in digesting these concepts.
As a quick reminder, we’ve structured this year with weekends off. Most of us already have a Monday through Friday routine, but we hope that educating yourselves on race equity and social justice – the experiences of community and nation members – will also become a part of your regular routine and an ongoing process to continue the learning needed to advance racial equity and social justice.
WEEK 2: Interpersonal & Internalized Racism June 28th—July 2nd
As we head into week two of the Challenge, we will continue our journey to learn more about the core concepts of race equity. Today’s Challenge centers on the power of stereotypes. Despite having little grounding, stereotypes are pervasive in our society, held up by pop culture, implicit biases, policies, and more.
Racial stereotyping involves a fixed, overgeneralized belief about a particular group of people based on their race. When left unchecked, stereotypes may lead to discriminatory behavior and exclusion of others. They are often learned, which means they can be unlearned when a person actively engages in addressing their biases. Today’s Challenge activities will explore the impact and power of stereotyping.
Now that we’ve covered the power of stereotypes, we turn our focus today to microaggressions. Microaggressions are defined as verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory, or harmful racial slights and insults to the target person or group.
Microaggressions take place in everyday life, fueled by implicit biases, stereotypes, and more. They are a daily reality for BIPOC folks in the workplace, grocery store, restaurant, social gathering, etc. Today’s Challenge activities will unpack microaggressions and provide some actionable steps to address and intervene when they take place.
For today’s Challenge, we’re focusing on implicit bias. Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously. Implicit bias is pervasive across nearly all social interactions, and since individuals are often unaware they may have it, it can be challenging to spot.
Becoming aware of one’s implicit biases is a lifelong process, but the following activities are great starting points. We carry preconceived judgments of those around us, but we can begin to deconstruct them once we are aware of them.
For today’s Challenge, we will be unpacking the phenomenon of codeswitching. Codeswitching involves adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities.
Codeswitching has broad implications and is often necessary to help appease social norms and expectations to appear articulate, professional, or respectful. While it is frequently seen as crucial for professional advancement, code-switching often comes at a high psychological cost. Today’s Challenge activities will take a closer look.
For our final Challenge of the week, we’re taking a look at what we call ourselves. Many terms aim to provide a unifying label or term for individuals from similar backgrounds, cultures, and more, such as “BIPOC” and Latinx, which you’ve undoubtedly seen used before or may even identify with yourself.
What we call ourselves is complicated, informed by personal experiences, cultural ideologies, and much more. Today’s content features several shorter resources on this topic, so we hope you’ll take the time to explore a few.
WEEK 3: Institutional & Systemic Racism July 5th—July 9th
Welcome back to week three of the 21-Day Challenge. For today’s Challenge, we’re discussing the concept of freedom. Throughout history and into the present, freedom is not something that is equally enjoyed by all people. A person’s racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and sexual identities impact their access to freedom.
Today’s content examines how marginalized communities and people have been denied the freedoms inherent in the American dream both historically and presently.
For today’s Challenge, we’re taking a look at racism in politics. Representation in politics is vitally important. The demographics represented or unrepresented in lawmaking positions affect our communities in very tangible ways, resulting in laws and policies that may not take the needs, interests, and unique experiences of communities of color into account.
Today’s Challenge activities focus on the unequal representation of BIPOC folks in local and national politics, the potential reasons for that inequality, and its impact.
For today’s Challenge, we will be discussing wealth, jobs, and more, considering the question: “What’s the value of a dollar?” This question has a multitude of answers based on a person’s race, national origin, education, and other circumstantial factors out of their control. The origins of the financial systems in the United States are complex, and in many ways, built and dependent on the exploitation of the labor of BIPOC folks.
The following Challenge activities will discuss this issue further, including the value of money and the valuation of jobs primarily held by BIPOC folks, complicating access to essentials like housing and healthcare.
In today’s Challenge, we’ll be taking a look at racism in the media. Though this is a complex and multifaceted topic, today’s activities provide a good introduction. Racism in the media occurs in various ways, including the underrepresentation or misrepresentation of BIPOC folks in casts, writing teams, executive positions, and award shows. This underrepresentation and misrepresentation can reinforce stereotypes and diminish the visibility of BIPOC folks, including the perpetuation of the idea of monolithic cultures and identities.
Today’s resources will look at racism in different areas of the media and help us look more deeply at how the media influences a dominant social narrative that impacts the way we understand race and racism in our society.
For today’s Challenge, we will be focusing on Critical Race Theory (CRT). In general terms, critical race theory contends that racism is a social construct that extends beyond an individual’s biases or prejudices and is embedded into our legal and political systems. The impact of such systemic racism is made evident by the disparate outcomes for BIPOC communities regarding housing opportunities, education quality, healthcare access, etc.
Today, our Challenge activities will help you better understand Critical Race Theory and provide a broad perspective on recent political activities made in response to CRT, particularly regarding the inclusion of CRT in education and training.
WEEK 4: Personal & Collective Transformation July 12th—July 16th
Today’s Challenge helps us examine how we talk about race. How we talk about race with our families of origin, friends and chosen family, our children and coworkers, etc., influences how we think about race and respond to racism. How we talk about race can also influence the attitudes and perspectives of the people we’re talking to.
Building on Day 14, today’s resources will explore why talking about race is essential and tools and tips for talking about race better.
For today’s Challenge, we will be exploring the concept of allyship, including what various terms mean and how they can evolve over time. You may have heard terms such as “ally” before and may even identify as one yourself, but did you know that identifying yourself as an ally is generally discouraged?
Today’s Challenge will introduce and explain various terms, including “ally,” “coconspirator,” and “accomplice,” as well as discuss the quality and type of actions of those who are engaged in anti-racist work.
For today’s Challenge, we will be discussing the concept and process of educating ourselves. Whether you are beginning the journey to learn about race and race equity or are further along in the learning process, we encourage you to explore just a few of the vast array of resources available for educating yourself even more about these issues.
From podcasts to books, virtual workshops to movies, you are invited to explore the myriad of engaging and informative materials at your fingertips. Today’s resources offer a few great jumping-off points.
In today’s Challenge, we’ll be taking what we’ve learned about racism and applying it to race equity at work. We spend over a third of our daily lives at our workplaces and there is an increasing demand for employers to consider and strategically design environments that are diverse and inclusive. We’ll be looking at how these differ and what efforts should be made in workplaces to amplify every voice and provide for the needs and experiences of workers.
Today’s Challenge activities will consider just how vital Race Equity practice is at work and actionable steps you can take to contribute to this work in your workplace.
For today’s Challenge, we’re going to talk about confronting racism. Confronting racism requires practice and is an ongoing process, including direct and indirect strategies for preventing and interrupting racism. Speaking up against overt and more subtle forms of racism can help us shift social norms toward anti-racism among our families, friend groups, and communities.
Today’s Challenge resources provide a few great strategies to use when faced with a situation where confronting instances of racism, including microaggressions, implicit biases, etc., are necessary.
WEEK 5: Stronger Together July 19th—July 21st
For our final day of the 21-Day Challenge, we’re turning our focus to collective care. Collective care encourages everyone to look out for each other, which means making authentic connections and supporting one another. Collective care encourages inclusivity and anti-racism by looking out for the BIPOC communities that continually face exclusionary and racist acts.
Today’s Challenge activities remind us of why this is critically important work and why we should take care of one another.