Thank you to all 6,000+ of you who participated in our special Summer 2020 edition!
Stay tuned for details about our next Challenge cohort.
*NEW!* You asked, they’re here! We have a limited number of Stand Against Racism/21-Day Challenge yard signs available. $10 each; contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Not local? Download a printable version HERE.)
About the 21-Day Challenge
The challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. This challenge was originally developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving and has been adapted by many organizations across the country.
We want to thank YWCA Greater Cleveland for inspiring this challenge. They, in turn, were inspired by Food Solutions New England — they were the first to adapt an exercise from Dr. Moore and Irving’s book into the interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, which they launched in 2014. They are now entering their sixth year of coordinating the Challenge with more than 3,000 participants
Participants will be prompted daily with challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experiences, and more. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, connect with one another, and identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.
This is an exciting opportunity to dive deep into racial equity and social justice. We hope you’ll join us and accept this challenge. Our special Summer 2020 edition of the challenge starts on Friday, June 19, and continues daily through July 9.
On Day 1, you will receive an introductory email explaining the purpose of the challenge and your Challenge Reflection Log – a tool to ensure you are taking full advantage of what the challenge has to offer. Follow the conversation using #YWCAEquityChallenge and #ABetterWayABetterDAY.
Thank you to our 2020 Challenge ambassadors!
2019 Challenge Participant
About Stand Against Racism
Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. In 2020, it was held April 23-26.
This campaign is one part of our larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism. Founded by YWCA Trenton and YWCA Princeton in 2007, Stand Against Racism quickly grew to a national presence by 2010, when an additional 80 YWCAs across the nation participated. In 2019, over 470 Stand Against Racism events were held nationwide, in nearly every state. Participants included over 180 YWCAs, as well as state and local governments, schools, nonprofit organizations, various companies and small businesses, houses of worship, and more.
21 Day Challenge FAQ
YWCA Dayton originally began hosting the 21-Day Challenge to further our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. We have been doing this work for 150 years. We aren’t new to this; we’re true to this!
As our communities continue to be outraged by the senseless violence and deaths of people of color in America, we received multiple requests to re-start the Challenge and make the content shareable. We know that to do better, we must first know better. The 21-Day Challenge provides not only the critical information and historical context to understand systemic racism; it asks participants to create a daily habit of carving out time and space to get up and advocate for peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
June 19 marks Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, also known as African American Emancipation Day.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was 2.5 years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was official Jan. 1, 1863. Later attempts to explain the delay varied; one story tells of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom, another says that the news was deliberately withheld by enslavers to maintain their labor force on plantations. Still another explanation says that federal troops waited for slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before traveling to Texas to enforce the Proclamation. Whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
Juneteenth is celebrated as a time for reflection and rejoicing; self-assessment, self-improvement and planning for the future. There is still so much work and learning to be done to truly create communities that are anti-racist, and participating in exercises like our 21-Day Challenge can start that conversation and lead to effective action and long-term change.
Starting on June 19, expect to receive daily emails at 6 a.m. containing your challenge prompts. (NOTE: You must sign up prior to 5 p.m. the night before to receive that day’s Challenge email. You only need to sign up once, and you will then receive all following emails.)
Tell others you’re participating and engage with other participants in the challenge by sharing your reflections on social media using the hashtags #YWCAEquityChallenge and #ABetterWayABetterDAY. You can also join the 21-Day Challenge Facebook group.
We also encourage participants to send us their thoughts at email@example.com to share on our blog.
And, we’ll be hosting virtual Challenge Meetups to unpack Challenge themes, discuss prompts, etc. throughout the Challenge. Stay tuned for further details once the Challenge begins.
First, check your SPAM folder(s) and do a keyword search of your inbox to make sure messages didn’t land in a hidden spot. Emails are sent FROM: YWCA Dayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> and the subject lines begin with the corresponding day of the Challenge (i.e., Day 1, Day 2, etc.).
Still looking? Contact us at email@example.com or 937-461-5550 x155 and we will help troubleshoot.
Yes! You can sign up at any point during the Challenge and will receive emails from the point of signup and onward.
Participating in the Challenge previously is not a prerequisite for participating this summer. New to the Challenge? Welcome. We think you will find it a transformative experience. Back for a second or third time? While you might recognize some of the themes or resources from your previous Challenges, the content is continually changing and being updated — especially for the moment we’re currently in — so you’re sure to learn something new.