United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) launched its latest 2021 Edition of the 21-Day Equity Challenge on June 19 to build our community’s awareness of the ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and lives. UWWC is an anti-racist, anti-poverty organization whose vision is by 2030, your zip code will no longer predict your opportunity in life. At present, in Washtenaw County, it does.
Much has changed since the first Equity Challenge, launched in January 2020. With the subsequent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor – and others. The Equity Challenge will be held annually to create a movement of informed people that are ready to be part of the conversation that creates solutions for a stronger community.
The new and updated Equity Challenge is a virtual self-guided learning journey that examines the history and impacts of racism and how it shapes our lived experiences in Washtenaw County. Each morning, participants will receive an email “prompt” with readings, videos and/or podcasts. They will be encouraged to take ten to fifteen minutes each day with the material, and also receive examples and tools on how to undo racism and build racial equity and justice. To support learning, reflection, and action UWWC is partnering with Nonprofit Enterprise at Work to host a series of community conversations during the Challenge.
“United Way can’t advance our vision alone. 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,” notes Pam Smith, President and CEO of UWWC.
Participants can sign up at any time and the Challenge topics are catalogued at www.uwgive.org/equity for people to go back to and refer to them. The 2021 Equity Challenge is sponsored by Toyota. Equity Champions include The Ann Arbor YMCA, University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Washtenaw Educational Options Consortium, and Washtenaw County Government.
UWWC Equity Challenges have brought more than 8,000 people together to uncover biases, learn about structural racism and how to take action to build an equitable community, and launched a movement across the country. To date, 17 Michigan United Ways and 12 states have led their own Equity Challenges inspired by UWWC’s work.
About United Way of Washtenaw County
As part of our 100-year history, the United Way of Washtenaw County brings people, agencies and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. Our focus areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability provide the building blocks to strengthen the community and create opportunities for individuals and families. Our virtual Volunteer Center is an easy, online way for people to connect with nonprofits in the community and our 2-1-1 helpline connects more than 8,000 people annually to critically needed services. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit uwgive.org.