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What exactly happens during the 21 Day Challenge?

Participants will receive a daily email with learning objectives, supporting materials, action items, and reflection questions on a different topic for 21 days. We encourage participants to take 20-30 minutes per day to review materials. There will be optional Zoom sessions to help participants process and debrief the experience.

Every morning of the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge, you’ll receive an email prompt with readings, videos or podcasts that will take about 10-15 minutes of your time. There will be reflection questions each day.

Why the focus on race?

While diversity is a broad concept, this challenge focuses specifically on the topic of race.

There are strong ties between economic mobility and racial equity, which is evident across many areas. Communities can only reach their economic potential through resolving entrenched, often systemic and structural racism. Greenville County, and especially the City of Greenville, is thriving – but not for all residents. In fact, Greenville County is worse than almost every county in the nation for helping poor and minority children out of poverty and up the economic mobility ladder. United Way of Greenville County’s Racial Equity Index

The purpose of this experience is not to create divisions within our community, but to provide an opportunity for unity and connection. That unity cannot happen without an acknowledgement and understanding of the practices that hold many of our neighbors behind.

For some, this experience and work will sometimes be uncomfortable – that is okay. We will collectively work to normalize that discomfort so that we can move forward toward a more equitable and just community.

We hope to create an equitable region. The National Equity Atlas defines an equitable region as one where all residents — regardless of their race/ethnicity or nativity, neighborhood of residence, or other characteristics — are fully able to participate in their region’s economic vitality, contribute to their region’s readiness for the future, and connect to their region’s assets and resources.

Why should I participate?

This experience will deepen the participant’s understanding of racism and issues facing our black and brown neighbors. The challenge will prepare participants to participate in racial equity conversations within the Greenville community.

With a deeper understanding of the history and impacts of racism and how it shapes different people’s lived experience, we can all learn how best to do our part to make positive change in our community. This learning experience will also help participants to engage in racial equity conversations.

What about the debrief sessions?

Each week there will be 2 Zoom debrief sessions. These sessions exist to provide participants an opportunity to discuss what they are learning, connect with other participants, and discuss what they can do to take action to undo racism.

While these sessions are optional, we strongly encourage participants to plan to attend 1 of the 2 sessions per week.

What about weekends?

The weekend is a time for individuals to get caught up and reflect on what they have covered during the week. We will send weekend prompts on Saturday and Sunday to help you think about the content from the prior week, but there will be no new content on weekends.

Weekends are a time for participants to get caught up and reflect on what they have learned throughout the week.

Why 21 Days?

The Challenge is 21 days because studies suggest that it takes 21 days to form a habit. However, we want to emphasize that each participant’s commitment to social justice should not be confined to 21 days – the Challenge should plant seeds for a lifetime commitment to standing up for racial justice.

How can I make the most of the Challenge experience?

  • Spend 20-30 minutes per day
  • Engage in reflection
  • Attend the zoom debrief sessions

What if I cannot participate for the full 21 days?

It is important for participants to commit to the full 21 days of the Challenge. We encourage participants to try their best to find time each day to participate in the challenges. Maya Angelou once said, “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Our goal is to increase participants’ level of education to equip them and their organization to “do better”, to make their organization more equitable.

There will be 2 additional opportunities to participate in the Challenge later this year. If you are interested in participating in the Challenge but cannot commit to our Summer Challenge, we encourage you to register for one of our upcoming challenges in August or October.

Is there a fee to participate?

This experience is being offered for free thanks to the generous support of our sponsors – Jolley Foundation & Hollingsworth Fund.

What if I want to participate in the Challenge with a group?

We encourage individuals to participate in the challenge with their friends, family or colleagues. There are two ways to participate with others.

Participate with friends!

  • Register for the challenge and ask your loved ones to do the same.
  • Make a plan to regularly discuss the challenge and your experience.

Become a small group facilitator!

  • Recruit a few friends who you want to share this experience with.
  • Register for the challenge and ask your group to do so as well.
  • Download our facilitator guide – this will provide you with tools to hold meetings with your small group. Your group is more than welcome to also attend our weekly debrief sessions, but we encourage you to host weekly meetings with your small group as well.

What have past participants said?

“It was eye-opening. I discovered things about myself that I didn’t realize were unconscious biases. I learned about the struggles of inequity that I didn’t understand exist. I am ready to engage in conversations and learn more.”

“The zoom calls were a great opportunity to reflect and connect with members of the community who are committed to change. Without the zoom calls, a lot of the resources were discouraging but with the opportunity to reflect and know that others are committed to building a more equitable community, it felt very hopeful.”

How do I register?

You can register for any of the 3 challenges here. You will receive a confirmation email upon registering. Several days before the start of the challenge, you will receive a preparatory email and the first Challenge email will be in your inbox on the morning of Monday, June 21.

Acknowledgment: This content was compiled from the Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge and the United Way of Washtenaw County 21 Day Challenge. This Challenge is possible because of the generosity of the Jolley Foundation and Hollingsworth Funds.