United Way invites southwest Michigan to take a 21-day equity challenge
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — United Way of Southwest Michigan is launching an interactive digital “equity challenge” for individuals to deepen their understanding of and willingness to confront racism.
UWSM officials said they are proud to give the community the opportunity to take this self-guided learning journey to learn about the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in southwest Michigan while inspiring participants with resources and tools to build racial equity in their work and lives.
People from all over southwest Michigan will participate in the challenge, coordinated by United Way of Southwest Michigan to raise awareness, shift attitudes and change outcomes.
“As an organization, we are committed to understanding and undoing racism in our community,” said Anna Murphy, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan. “By taking the Challenge, made up of small daily email prompts delivered each morning, we can all easily participate in this transformative effort. We are not the experts in this space, and we are not owning this work, but we want to come alongside individuals, nonprofits, and businesses in this journey of learning. And we invite individuals, nonprofits, and business to join us and bring along staff, boards, and even customers.”
To join the challenge, visit uwsm.org and sign up with an email address.
For 21 days, participants receive an email prompt with a short reading or video or audio file. Participants are encouraged to take about 10 to 15 minutes each day considering the material in the prompt. Extra resources are provided in case they want to dig further into the day’s topic.
The daily prompts will explore many different facets of racism and how they intersect with other social and economic issues, as well as provide guidance on building a race equity culture and becoming an ally. The prompts also offer tools for the racial equity change process and ways to take action in the community.
Participants can capture daily reflections and actions using United Way’s activity log. Participants are encouraged to share reflections and “a-ha” moments using the hashtag #miuwequitychallenge.
The challenge got its start after the recent release of the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and Black Households Data that illustrated the inequities that are deeply rooted in national, state, and local systems and institutions, according to United Way.
United Way of Washtenaw County successfully issued the equity challenge, engaging more than 5,000 participants in January this year. The Michigan Association of United Ways adapted the challenge with the support of leaders across the Michigan United Way network, and now United Ways across the state plan to follow their lead.