21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge ©

“There is no social change fairy. There is only the change made by the hands of individuals.”

-Winona LaDuke

Have you ever made a successful change in your life? Perhaps you wanted to exercise more, eat less, or change jobs? Think about the time and attention you dedicated to the process. A lot, right? Change is hard. Creating effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of power, privilege, supremacy and leadership is like any lifestyle change. Setting our intentions and adjusting what we spend our time doing is essential. It’s all about building new habits. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. The good news is, there’s an abundance of resources just waiting to empower you to be a more effective player in the quest for equity and justice. Please use this plan just as it is, or adapt it to a sector, an ethnic/racial group, or interest area. *

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About the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge​ 

  • For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity 

  • Use the tracking chart provided below to stay on course. (drag to desktop and print)

  • Plan includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.

  • We think understanding white privilege and white supremacy is a powerful lens into the complexities of doing social justice work, so we’ve focused our resources on that specific issue.

  • Adaptable to all forms of social justice

  • Can be done individually, with friends and family, or organization-wide.

  • Like our Facebook page. Use it to get ideas as well as share your 21-Day experience with the 21-Day community.

* For adaptation ideas and examples of how communities are adapting the challenge to meet their specific social justice focus click HERE.

Suggestions are in the following categories:

Engage

Like our Facebook Page

  • Facebook

Use it to get ideas as well as share your 21-Day experience with the 21-Day community.

About

 

Read

 

By Quinn Norton

By Peggy McIntosh

By Gina Crosley-Corcoran

By Robin DiAngelo

By Amy Traub, Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Mescheded, & Tom Shapiro

By Rev. Edith Love

By Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi

By photographer Kiyum Kim, Heben Nigatu

By Amélie Lamont

By the Institute For Research And Education On Human Rights (IREHR)

By Natalie Morris

Listen

 

Hosted by longtime educators Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi, TWW’s podcast focuses on how whiteness shows up in the education sector and what anti-racist educators are doing to challenge that. Episodes feature different nationally renowned anti-racist educator guests. (any episode - times vary)

Hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) this podcast “explores indigeneity in all its complexity.” Episodes focus on issues such as DNA identity, appropriation, feminism, food sovereignty, gender, sexuality, and more while “keeping it real, playing games, laughing a lot, and even crying sometimes.” (any episode - one-ish hour each)

Hosted by journalists Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji, both people of color, this podcast is curated by a team of NPC journalists of color who navigate the complexities of race, both professionally and personally, daily. Episodes focus on a wide range of issues overlapping race, ethnicity,and culture.  (any episode - times vary)

Hosted by Gyasi Ross, Wesley ("Snipes Type") Roach, and Minty LongEarth, “a few Natives with opinions and a platform.” Episodes report on current events through an indigenous perspective. (any episode - one-ish hour each)

Host Dr. Alex Gee “invites you to experience the world through the perspective of one Black man, one conversation, one story, or even one rant at a time.” (any episode - times vary)

Host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika explore Whiteness over the course of 14 episodes. Where does it come from? What does it mean? Why does it exist? (Episode S2 E1: Turning the Lens - 16 minutes)

Host David Folkenflik interviews Tulsans about the 1921 “Black Wall Street” race massacre and recent efforts to integrate it into the Oklahoma education system. (46 minutes)

Host Guy Raz speaks with Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University about how and why race affects the medical attention you receive, your baby's chances of living, and even life expectancy. (12 minutes)

Host Jeremy Hobson explores with Edward Baptist, author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, how slavery establsihed the United States as a world economic power. (15 minutes)

Journalist Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas for a response to a story in The Atlantic, written by David Frum, proposing the U.S. cut legal immigration by half. (6 minutes)

Watch List

 

Short, Coffee Break Length

Dr. Eddie Glaude explains why blaming current racial tensions on Donald Trump misses the point. (3 minutes)

Host and producer of First Voices Indigenous Radio Tiokasin Ghosthorse explains the sequestering of two Iroquois chiefs to advise in the writing of the U.S. Constitution. (4 minutes) 

A split-screen video depicting the differential in the white and black lived experience. (3 minutes)

Explores why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us. (5 minutes)

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a person of color is like? Listen to this poem, written and spoken by Norma Johnson. (7 minutes)

Ibram X. Kendi reviews current history curriculum production and use across the U.S. (5 minutes) 

An Adam Ruins Everything episode that quickly and humorously educates how redlining came to be. (6 minutes)

Multiple videos with a range of racial and ethnic perspectives on the lived experience of racism in the US. (each video about 6 minutes)

Robin DiAngelo explains the function of white fragility in maintaining racial hierarchy. (7 minutes)

Excellent quick intro to how white supremacy shapes white lives and perception. (5 minutes)

Humorous two minute youtube video that illustrates the utter silliness of the way many white Americans interact with Asian Americans. (2 minutes)

ABC’s popular show explores the impact of racial and gender bias and prejudice at a family friendly park. Before this video, would you have anticipated this differential treatment?

Medium, Lunch Break Length

TEDx talk by Jay Smooth that suggests a new way to think about receiving feedback on our racial blindspots. (12 minutes) 

Fernanda Ponce shares what she’s learning about the misunderstanding and related mistreatment of the incredibly diverse ethnic category people in U.S. call Hispanic. (12 minutes) 

Conversation with a diverse range of Indigenous people by FBE about  media depictions of Indigenous people, Columbus day, and Indigenous identity. (15 minutes)  

TED Talk by Baratunde Thurston that explores patterns revealing our racist framing, language, and behaviors. (10 minutes)

TED Talk by  Kimberlé Crenshaw that asks us to see the ways Black women have been invisibilized in the law and in media. (19 minutes) 

TED Talk by Chimamanda Adiche, offers insight to the phenomenon of using small bits of information to imagine who a person is. (18 minutes)

TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages work vigorously to counter balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear. (19 minutes)

TEDx Talk by Dr. Bettina Love, explains how students steeped in Hip Hop culture, often seen as deficient, actually bring the very characteristics deemed necessary for 21st century success. (15 minutes)

Long, Sit On the Couch Length

Four-part Netflix series by Ava DuVernay about the wrongful incarceration and ultimate exoneration of the “Central Park Five.” (four 1+ hour episodes)

Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between US Slavery and the present day mass incarceration system. (1 hour 40 minutes)

90 minutes PBS documentary challenges the idea that slavery ended with the emancipation proclamation. (90 minutes) 

Seven part documentary by California Newsreel that explores  the impact of racism on health and US healthcare. (4 hours total, episodes have variable lengths)

Keynote speech by legal scholar Jacqueline Battalora, offers a blow-by-blow description of the moment the idea of, and word for, "white" people entered U.S. legal code. (36 minutes)

PBS documentary about the Native American boarding school movement designed to “kill the Indian and save the man.” (56 minutes)

Three-part, three-hour film by California Newsreel exploring the biology of skin color, the concept of assimilation, and the history of institutional racism. (three 1 hour episodes)

Notice

 

Once people start to learn about white privilege and America’s systems of oppression through history, they often ask, “Why didn’t I see this sooner?” It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for. Once you understand the phenomenon of selective noticing, take yourself on a noticing adventure.

1) Start by watching the Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

2) Then…go out in the world and change up what you notice. Here’s some of what you might look for:

  • Who is and is not represented in ads?

  • Who are your ten closest friends? What is the racial mix in this group?

  • As you move through the day, what’s the racial composition of the people around you? On your commute? At the coffee shop you go to? At the gym? At your workplace? At the show you go on the weekend? 

  • What percentage of the day are you able to be with people of your own racial identity?

  • Notice how much of your day you are speaking about racism. Who are you engaging with on these issues? Who are you not? Why do you think this is? 

  • What are the last five books you read? What is the racial mix of the authors? 

  • Who is filling what kinds of jobs/social roles in your world? (e.g. Who’s the store manager and who’s stocking the shelves? Who’s waiting on tables and who’s busing the foods?) Can you correlate any of this to racial identity? 

  • If you’re traveling by car, train, or air, do you notice housing patterns? How is housing arranged? Who lives near the downtown commerce area and who does not? Who lives near the waterfront and who does not? What is the density of a given neighborhood? Can you correlate any of this to racial identity? 

Connect

 

Once people start to learn about white privilege and America’s systems of oppression through history, they often ask, “Why didn’t I see this sooner?” It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for. Once you understand the phenomenon of selective noticing, take yourself on a noticing adventure.

Google who’s who in your area by typing in ‘Racial Justice” or “Anti-Racist” + name of city/town, organization, or sector. A few website visits, emails, and phone calls later, you’ll likely have an idea of how to get on the mailing of one or more organizations in your area who are addressing issues of power and privilege. Once you connect to one, it’s easy to connect to many!

Join your Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) organization if there’s one in your area.

Research racial justice speakers and see who might be coming to your local university, church, community center, or speaker series.

Take a course or workshop. Community Colleges and Adult Education Centers are a great place to find a course about social justice issues.

Though many people want to jump to action sooner instead of later, action without a vigorous self-education and self-reflection practice can unexpectedly reproduce the very power and privilege dynamics we seek to interrupt in this work. Here are a few actions that you might consider:​

Engage

 

This can be the hardest part for people new to racial justice work. Engaging in racially mixed settings can trigger age-old power and privilege dynamics. The goal is to be a learner more than a knower, exactly the opposite of what dominant U.S. culture teaches us to be.

Here are some Engagement Tips to guide you:

  • Enter the process to learn and bridge knowledge gaps.

  • Enter the process to practice mindful social habits like the ones below.

  • Stay engaged even when your mind and body start sending you signals to shrink or walk away.

  • Ask clarifying questions.

  • Acknowledge what you don’t know.

  • Validate others by listening closely and believing the truth and importance of what they are sharing.

  • Share airtime so that multiple perspectives are shared.

  • Step Up Step Back. If you are generally quiet, step up and practice speaking more. If you are generally a talker, practice stepping back and listening more.

  • Notice your biases and judgments as they arise. These are gold for you to excavate your subconscious!

  • Notice when you are uncomfortable. Reflect on why you’re uncomfortable and think about what you can do to build more emotional stamina in this area.

  • Honor confidentiality. Though you can share what you are learning in general terms, do not repeat stories in a way that can be traced back to the person who shared it.

  • Find a mentor within your own racial group to support and guide your growth.

Reflecting and Journaling is a crucial piece of the challenge. Plan to take time everyday to reflect on what you choose to do, what you’re learning, and how you are feeling. Difficult emotions such as shame and anger, though uncomfortable to feel, can guide you to deeper self-awareness about how power and privilege impacts you and the people in your life. At the very least, use the “Reflect” space on the below tracking tool.

Act

 

Though many people want to jump to action sooner instead of later, action without a vigorous self-education and self-reflection practice can unexpectedly reproduce the very power and privilege dynamics we seek to interrupt in this work.

Here are a few actions that you might consider:​

 

  • Invite friend(s), family, and/or colleagues to do the 21-Day Challenge with you.

  • Prepare yourself to interrupt racial jokes. Click HERE for some advice about how.

  • Interrupt the pattern of white silence by speaking openly with family, friends, and colleagues about what you’re doing and learning in the 21-Day Challenge.

  • Invite friend(s), family, and/or colleagues to join you for one or more of your daily “to-do’s” for a low-threshold invitation into the work and introduction to the 21-Day Challenge.

  • Find out if your school, workplace, or faith group has an Equity Committee. What can you learn from them? Are they open to new members? Join if you can. Support in other ways if you can’t.

  • Find organizations such as The Privilege Institute, your local YWCA, and other non-profits doing racial justice work and support them through donating your time, money, and other resources. 

  • When the status quo is racist, disrupt it. No matter how big or small put yourself out there to create change. No need to wait until you are comfortable disrupting; it may never get comfortable, though you will get better at managing discomfort! Examples from participants include: 

    • Requiring administration to change the name of a dodgeball team from “The Cottonpickers” 

    • Improving the representation of books in the library by raising funds and purchasing hundreds of new books 

    • Conducting an equity audit within the organization

    • Creating learning communities to set goals, objectives, and action plans

    • Disrupting inappropriate language by offering alternative language you yourself are learning

    • Speaking, emailing, and posting about articles, blogs, movies, and this 21-Day Challenge that you find impactful. Let people know you are not neutral!

Reflect

 

Reflecting and Journaling is a crucial piece of the challenge. Plan to take time everyday to reflect on what you choose to do, what you’re learning, and how you are feeling. Difficult emotions such as shame and anger, though uncomfortable to feel, can guide you to deeper self-awareness about how power and privilege impacts you and the people in your life. At the very least, use the “Reflect” space on the below tracking tool.

Stay Inspired

 

Create a Soundtrack4Justice playlist that fuels you and/or can serve as a conversation starter with people of all ages.

Check out ours:

Planning Tool

 

USE THE PLANNING TOOL BELOW TO STAY ON TRACK

Tip: diversify your habits by doing some of each.

Sample Chart

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Get started by downloading your own 21-Day Challenge chart.

“I am and always will be

a catalyst for change.”

-Shirley Chisholm