United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) has teamed up with the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester and YWCA Yonkers to launch the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge for Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. The Challenge, which is part of a national movement to engage communities in anti-racist work, will begin on Monday, March 1, and continues (Monday –Friday) through Monday, March 29.
“Eliminating racism has always been part of the YWCA’s mission: we’re not new to this but we are true to this. The 21-Day Challenge addresses personal, institutional, and structural racism and will help individuals identify actions they could take to address racism,” said YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester’s CEO Maria Imperial. “Most importantly, the Challenge is a way to fortify an anti-racism community here in Westchester County.”
The 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge is a 21-day learning and self-discovery journey that aims to help develop more effective social justice habits around issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. There is no cost to participate in the self-guided Challenge; community members may register in advance at WestchesterEquityChallenge.org or HudsonValleyEquityChallenge.org.
“Taking part in the 21-Day Equity Challenge helps participants discover how racial inequity and social injustice impact our community,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of UWWP. “We are proud to partner with the YWCAs in encouraging our community to examine how structural racism and bias impact each of our lives, especially in the areas of education, health, and financial stability.”
Participants receive a daily email/text directing them to 3-4 curated activities such as: reading an article, listening to a podcast, watching a video, or reflecting on their own experiences. Each day’s content focuses on a different topic, and participants are encouraged to reflect on the information through a daily journal and discussion guide. Topics include racial identity, intersectionality, housing affordability and homelessness, legal system inequity, and allyship.
“The Challenge gives a voice to the voiceless and advocates for those at a disadvantage,” said YWCA Yonkers CEO Charlie Knight. “We hope it builds understanding, strengthens partnerships, and helps launch a lifelong commitment to improving equity and dismantling systemic racism in our community.”
At the end of the Challenge, a virtual reflection event will be held from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on March 29, 2021, with facilitator Tirza Barnes-Griffith, a trainer specialized in DEI, unconscious racial bias, and its effects. The event will bring together Challenge participants and subject-matter experts for a deeper dive into racial equality and will highlight shared knowledge gained from the Challenge experience.
Organizations and businesses interested in adding their name to the list of supporters helping to spread the word about the Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge should submit the form at www.WestchesterEquityChallenge.org/supporter.