Heart of West Michigan United Way launches Equity Challenge

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The local chapter of United Way is inviting the community to take its Equity Challenge.

Heart of West Michigan United Way (HWMUW), based in downtown Grand Rapids, is taking part in a nationwide Equity Challenge, which offers an opportunity for individuals to discover how issues of race and privilege impact the community and people’s everyday lives, whether they realize it or not.

“The goal of the challenge is to build long-term habits that empower you to take action in the fight for social justice,” HWMUW said.

Participants will start each day with a new theme and a selection of related articles, podcasts, videos and more to choose from. There also will be occasions when they will be encouraged to focus on personal reflection or engage with organizations in their community.

Two options

  • The 5-Day Challenge — The 5-Day Equity Challenge was built to introduce people to some basic concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion by offering daily content in the form of videos, articles, podcasts and more.
  • The 21-Day Challenge — This version of the Equity Challenge is designed to take participants through a state and local level exploration of the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in this community.

The Equity Challenge is completely free to participate in, and everything needed is delivered to participants’ inboxes.

The next challenge starts Monday. Registration is available here.

History of the challenge

In 2014, Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. and Debby Irving created the 21-Day Equity Challenge as a way to educate people on the issues surrounding equity and inclusion, as well as encourage others to develop anti-racist behaviors and ways of thinking. That same year, Food Solutions New England in Durham, New Hampshire, first implemented the challenge. Its mission is to “unite the food system community around a shared set of values — democratic empowerment, racial equity and dignity for all, sustainability and trust.”

Since then, many people and organizations have created their own adaptations to inspire action and change in their communities. United Way of Washtenaw County in Michigan was the first to introduce the challenge to United Way.

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