Your Guide to Group Participation
As with the 21-Day Challenge, this toolkit serves as a jumping-off point for engaging in this critical work as a group. The following toolkit features a collection of resources, tools, and tips to help you guide your group through this year’s 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. YWCA Utah does not endorse nor receive any benefit from the links provided. This guide is intended to be used as a collection of multiple resources which can support any inquiries you may have regarding leading, implementing, and supporting effective and meaningful engagement during the Challenge. We hope that this toolkit serves you well and that you find tools that work best for you and your community in their learning journey together.
Information is consistently changing and further debated, improved upon, or disregarded. Please let us know if links are dead, so we can update them. If in your research and preparation you find resources you’d like to suggest, please let us know so we can add them! If you have concerns or questions about a particular resource, let us know.
As you look to engage in the 21-Day Challenge this year, it’s critical to assess why you are engaging in this work, what you are trying to accomplish, and how to intentionally work towards that goal. There’s a variety of exercises and resources available to help your group in your efforts, including strategic planning, organizational assessments, reflection exercises, and daily practices you can incorporate throughout the Challenge.
ORGANIZATION & GROUP STRATEGY
Below you’ll find a collection of articles and resources to help you think about how Race Equity work fits into your organizational mission, vision, values, and therefore strategic direction and daily practices. If your organization already has a strategic vision regarding this work, then take a moment to reflect on how you plan to incorporate that into your engagement with this year’s Challenge.
Envisioning & Incorporating Equity
- Five Practices for Developing and Staying Accountable to Racial Equity Goals — Stanford Social Innovation Review
Envisioning Equity: Strategic Planning for Inclusive Organizations — Public Narrative
Hiring a Strategic Planning Consultant
- So You Want to Hire an Equity Consultant: A Guide for Leaders and Organizations — Equity in the Center
- Examples: Center for Urban & Racial Equity, Boston Consulting Group, Racial Equity Consultants
Examples of Race Equity Strategic Plans
- Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion — Washington Metro
- Race Equity Action Plan — Mission Partners
- Racial Equity Plan Manual — City of Portland
- Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan — King County
In order to meaningfully engage in this work, it’s critical to understand where you are and where you want to go. The Equity Audit is the standard-bearer for organizational growth on diversity, equity, and inclusion measures. The Equity Audit provides over 150 customized indicators to assess governance, operations, program, and culture of nonprofit, benefit corporations, and for-profit businesses.
Below we have also provided tools and resources that help you assess your organization’s racial equity.
- Self-Assessment Tools — National Juvenile Justice Network
- Organizational Assessment Tools and Resources — Racial Equity Tools
- Organizational Self-Assessment — Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Assessment Related to Racial Equity — Coalition of Communities of Color
- Racial Equity Assessment Toolkit — City of St. Paul
Another important step to meaningfully engage during the 21-Day Challenge is to determine your group’s philosophy. Establishing why this work matters to you and why your group is engaged in the Challenge this year will help ground you and provide valuable insight. A few questions to keep in mind include:
- Why is your group committed to race equity?
- Connect it to your organization/group’s mission, values, and vision.
- What impact do you hope the Challenge has on your group?
- Understand why you’re implementing the Challenge and what you want to gain.
The following sources are a guide to successfully achieve racial equity among groups:
- Seeing, Reckoning & Acting: A Practice Towards Deep Equity — Leadership Learning Community
- Do Your Employees Know Why You Believe in Racial Equity? — Better Workplaces Better World
- Race and the Work of the Future: Advancing Workforce Equity in the United States — PolicyLink
Engaging in race equity work requires a commitment to lifelong learning and reflection. While the 21-Day Challenge is a jumping-off point, it’s critical to identify what comes next after the Challenge concludes. Your group can develop the following ideas to continue the commitment to this work and to further the conversation.
- Today’s Affinity Groups: Risks and Rewards — Better Workplaces Better World
- Benefits of Having Affinity Groups at Work — Monster
- Bringing the Curtain Down on Affinity Groups — Diversity Journal
- Why don’t Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) Work? — In Diverse Company
- Establishing an Equity Team — Cultures Connecting
- Racial Equity Core Teams — Government Alliance on Race & Equity
Promote Racial Equity
- How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace — Harvard Business Review
- Recognize Heritage Months
- Partner with local organizations/businesses that serve and support underrepresented communities
- See Organizational Assessments
Integrate Race Equity Into Your Strategic Plan
- See Strategic Planning
- See Cultivating a Culture
Another key component of determining your organizational/group strategy is to consider how you will continue to hold yourself accountable for the commitment you’ve made towards race equity. Consider how you can collectively remain accountable to the work and how you’d like to celebrate the progress made throughout your journey.
- How to Hold Your Company Accountable to Its Promise of Racial Justice — Harvard Business Review
- Building Your Accountability Plan for Race Equality — HR Acuity
- How to Hold Your Company Accountable to Its Promise of Racial Justice — Harvard Business Review
- What it means to be an anti-racist organization — CNBC
- Celebrate & Benchmark — Portland Means Progress
- 18 Companies Celebrating Their Black Employees — Glassdoor
- Celebrating Heritage Months — Diversity Central
Before diving into this year’s 21-Day Challenge content, we hope you’ll take some time to look at the following resources, which aim to provide a helpful framework for engagement and this work. As a group leader, you may receive questions regarding concepts covered throughout the Challenge. Whether it’s your book club or employee affinity group, the following glossaries, toolkits, guides, and webinars will help you get the most out of this year’s Challenge.
- Our Shared Language: Social Justice Glossary — YWCA USA
- Racial Equity Tools Glossary — Racial Equity Tools
- Glossary of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Terms —Harvard Human Resources
- Glossary of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Terms — Diversity Best Practices
The following guides/toolkits have varying focus, from organizational, governmental, to community-focused.
- Race Equity and Inclusion Guide: 7 Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization — Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Racial Equity Toolkit: An Opportunity to Operationalize Equity — Government Alliance on Race and Equity
- Racial Equity Toolkit to Assess Policies, Initiatives Programs, and Budget Issues — Seattle Race & Social Justice Initiative
- Organizational Race Equity Toolkit — Just Lead Washington
Equity 101: Starting the Equity Conversation Webinar — National Equity Project
Race, Justice, and Equity in the Workplace and Beyond: A Call to Action — Center for Positive Organizations
Discussing Race and Racism in the Workplace — Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business
Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism, and Racial Justice — The Opportunity Agenda
- Courageous Conversations at Work: A Guide To the Discussion You Are Scared Of — Great Place to Work
- How to talk about race at work- Principles, steps and considerations for organisations on how to have conversations about race with their employees — CIPD
- Tips for having difficult, but critical, conversations about race in the workplace, with Humana’s Sr. VP of Workplace Experience — Houston Buisness Journal
- How to Begin Talking About Race in the Workplace — Wharton University of Pennslyvania
- A 5-part framework for talking about racism at work — MIT Management Sloan School
- How to have productive conversations about race at work — MIT Management Sloan School
It is essential to address current events to spark conversations, rather than avoid conversations. It will allow questions regarding concepts covered throughout the Challenge to be answered.
- Teaching Current Events: Racial Justice in the United States — Facing History and Ourselves
- Table Talk: Family Conversations about Current Events — ADL Fighting Hate for Good
Community building plays an integral part in engaging effectively with the 21-Day Challenge. There are actionable steps you can take to help cultivate a culture that champions learning, promotes discussion, and works towards better understanding. Actions, both from leadership and individual staff members, all contribute towards this effort.
WAYS TO ENGAGE
It is incredibly impactful to have the investment and support of leadership for Challenge participation. Having key leadership staff, such as the Chief Executive Officer, extend an invitation to employees to participate alongside them is a great way to engage.
Inclusive Leadership: Steps Your Organization Should Take to Get It Right — Center for Inclusive Leadership
- Sparking Transformative Change Through Leadership — Leadership Learning Community
- Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) — National League of Cities
- Why Inclusive Leaders Are Good for Organizations, and How to Become One — Harvard Business Review
- Ten Lesson For Taking Leadership on Racial Equity — The Aspen Institute
Recommended Books to Start a DEI Book Club at Your Workplace — She Geeks Out
Affinity Groups & Equity Teams
- See Next Steps > Finding Your Why
One way to engage your team during the 21-Day Challenge is by adding an Agenda item in team meetings throughout. This is a time to check in, not process and debrief. Some suggestions on starting the conversation and keeping it high level and avoiding debriefing the content:
- Start by sharing: “I want to take a moment and check-in and share a little how it’s going for me.” Has it been easy/hard to find the time? What has surprised you about the process? Have you learned anything new about yourself in terms of your own learning style, journey? Do you find the content difficult? New? What are your intentions for the challenge moving forward? How are you committing to keeping an open mind? To believing truths you do not live in? To exploring defensiveness that comes up for you?
- Ask: Are you participating? How can I support you to participate? How are you feeling in general about the challenge? How can we support each other in learning new things?
- Color Brace Space – How to Run a Better Equity Focused Meeting — Fakequity
- How to Structure Virtual Team Meetings for Inclusion and Equity — eLearning Industry
- 7 Tips to Make Your Meeting More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive — Fast Company
- The NEW Team Habits: Fostering a Culture of Belonging Through Meeting Check-Ins — Education Elements
- Other Resources:
- Group Agreements — Americans for the Hearts
- Community Agreements for Productive Conversations on Race — Just Lead Washington
- Leading Courageous Conversations on Race Equity — Nonprofit New York
- Discussion Guides
- See Panels & Story Telling > Cultivating a Culture
- Book Clubs, Race Affinity Groups & Equity Teams
- See Next Steps > Finding Your Why
Similar to team meetings, you can engage employees by adding an agenda item to supervision meetings, using this time to give space to hear about the process. Do they need help with time management? Have they decided not to participate? Why?
For continuing race and equity discussions during check in’s, here are a few more resources:
YWCA Utah provides a Facebook group as a space for participants to share initial feelings each day of the Challenge. Similarly, some groups and workplaces may choose to provide a workplace “space” to debrief and discuss ongoing. There are many pros and cons to providing such a space. Consider your workplace and your group’s journey and growth so far in discussing race equity and other hard social topics. If you haven’t engaged in difficult topics and brave conversations before – an open forum can be a very dangerous place.
If you choose to provide a space consider posting group agreements, having a moderator, and how you will deal with any difficulties and problems that arise from this space (from hurt feelings, etc).
- Tips for Creating an Inclusive Virtual Space — Aspen Institute
- What it Really Means When We Call Someplace a ‘Safe Space’ — Well and Good
Storytelling and human connection are powerful tools in the learning process. Consider providing space for multi-racial staff panels to share their experiences, while paying special attention to not exploit or tokenize folks.
Additionally, or alternatively, your group may want to explore hosting a panel of professionals and experts, with or without a moderator. With so many community leaders in Utah with terrific public speaking skills, bringing in a diverse group of folks who have engaged in race equity at work or as work to serve as a panel/event for your staff can be incredibly impactful. You may also opt to include senior leadership at your organization.
See other 21-Day Challenge discussion guides from across the nation:
We often have too much to do and too little time to do it. Fortunately, our 21-Day Challenge allows folks to dedicate as little or as much time as they have space to learn and engage. You can support employees or group members by sharing group tips for managing their time to complete the daily Challenge. For example, give everyone an extra “15 minutes” at lunch to engage in the Challenge, can help ease the worry of making time on their own to engage.
While the challenge should be voluntary and in some sense self-motivated or community-motivated, there are some tactics you can use to create excitement and cultivate a culture around taking the Challenge together. It’s a fine line between bribery and pressure. Some examples include:
- 21-Day Challenge Bingo
- Daily/Weekly Challenge Questions & Prizes
- Launch Party
- Swag (T-shirts, Buttons, Stickers, etc.)
As you go through the 21-Day Challenge, it’s important to consider how this Challenge may be affecting your staff of color. The content of the Challenge is not just academic, but the lived experiences of communities of color.
The work isn’t done when the Challenge ends. Many organizations and groups that go through the 21-Day Challenge are left with more questions than they began with. Being prepared for, and welcoming, further discussion, and reflection help the lessons of the 21-Day Challenge set in. Below you’ll find some ideas for how you can support your group in engaging further.
TOOLS FOR REFLECTION & FURTHER ENGAGEMENT
Questions to explore could include:
- How did the activities make you feel?
- What actions have you taken based on the activities?
- What actions would you like to take?
- What further resources (reading, research, tools, and/or strategies) do you need
- to take action?
Use our conversation guidelines as a way to help people feel safe when discussing their personal experiences:
- What you share within the context of the group is confidential, honored and respected.
- Use “I” statements; no one speaks for another or for an entire group of people.
- Avoid critiquing others’ experiences; focus on your own experiences.
- Be honest and willing to share.
- Listen with curiosity and the willingness to learn and change. Resist the desire to interrupt.
- Be brief and share time equally.
- Suspend judgment. Be open to the kernel of truth in each person’s story.
The YWCA Utah 2021 21-Day Challenge Reflection Log is a great way to facilitate your own individual reflection during the Challenge. Checking in daily is a great way to remain centered and grounded.
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