ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County launched the newest edition of its 21-Day Equity Challenge on Juneteenth in order to build community awareness around the biases, privileges, prejudice and oppressions that emerge in our daily lives.
The nonprofit, which defines itself as an anti-racist, anti-poverty organization, has a vision that by 2030 zip codes will no longer determine one’s opportunity in life.
The first Equity Challenge was launched in January 2020, prior deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others that sparked global protests against police brutality. The new and updated event will be held annually to encourage community conversations around racial equity and justice.
Currently, the Equity Challenge is a self-guided, virtual learning journey that considers the history of racism and its subsequent impacts on the lived experiences of community members in Washtenaw County.
Every morning during the challenge, participants will receive a prompt via email with videos, readings and/or podcasts. They will be encouraged to spend 10-15 minutes with the material each day, and will receive tools and examples of how to address racism and build a more equitable community.
During the challenge, UWWC is partnering with Nonprofit Enterprise at Work to support learning and action through a series of community conversations.
“United Way can’t advance our vision alone,” said UWWC President and CEO Pam Smith in a release. “We need partners at every level of the County to work with us. We believe the 21-Day Equity Challenge offers the entire community an opportunity to collaborate with United Way to identify actionable steps for ending racism and inequity throughout Washtenaw County.”
Anyone can sign up for the challenge at www.uwgive.org/equity.
The 2021 Equity Challenge is sponsored by Toyota and is made possible with support by the Ann Arbor YMCA, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center, Washtenaw County Government and Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium.
More than 8,000 people have participated in UWWC Equity Challenges, and 17 United Ways in Michigan and 12 states have led similar challenges in the footsteps of UWWC’s work.