21-Day Equity Challenge Concluded

United Way of Washtenaw County concludes 21-Day Equity Challenge with more than 2,000 participants


ANN ARBOR, MICH. – United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) hosted a 21-Day Equity Challenge (June 19 – July 9) to build community awareness on the ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and lives. Content in the Challenge was adapted in response to how our world has changed over the past year, including days focused on Asian American Pacific Islander discrimination, the criminal justice system, and how to talk with children about race and racism.  UWWC has hosted four equity challenges and since 2020 more than 10,000 people have participated.

“It is so important for United Way to continue to center the community around equity to ensure it is a movement and not a moment,” said Pam Smith, President and CEO, United Way of Washtenaw County. “This is a lifelong learning journey, and every time you engage you are in a new place to accept, discover and create change in how you think, feel and act.”

This year, over 2,000 individuals, 91 community partners, and 6 sponsors participated. Challenge pre- and post-survey results highlighted the following:

  • 86% of respondents reported learning more about themselves and their community as a result of engaging with the 21 Day Equity Challenge
  • 53% of respondents learned how to get involved with advocacy and making changes in their community as a result of engaging with the 21 Day Equity Challenge 
  • Survey respondents indicated Day 13, Talking to Children about Race, was the most powerful day of the Challenge
  • Respondents represented 124 different zip codes and five states


 To learn more, please view our highlights from the Equity Challenge pre/post participant survey.  

United Way of Washtenaw County pioneered the 21-Day Equity Challenge in Michigan, which was shared with the United Way Network and to date has engaged more than 100,000 people around the world.  The Challenge was originally developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks, and Debby Irving. 

The Challenge is a virtual self-guided learning journey over 21 days that examines the history and impacts of racism and how it shapes people’s lived experiences in Washtenaw County. Each morning, participants received an email "prompt" with readings, videos and/or podcasts. They are encouraged to take ten to fifteen minutes each day with the material. Participants also receive examples and tools on how to undo racism and build racial equity and justice. Content from all 21 Days is open source and available to view by accessing the 21 Day Challenge Catalog. 


“The Board and volunteers of the United Way are your friends, families and neighbors supporting the many efforts underway to dismantle racism and raise awareness to shift outcomes,” said Rich Chang, Chairman of the UWWC Board of Directors. “We appreciate those who have joined the Challenge and look forward to our next one in 2022 .” 

To learn more, visit uwgive.org/equity.


 About United Way of Washtenaw County

As part of our 100-year history, United Way of Washtenaw County brings people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. Our focus areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability, the building blocks for a good quality of life, strengthen community and create opportunities for individuals and families. Our Volunteer Center provides an easy, online way for people to connect with nonprofits in the community and our 2-1-1 helpline refers more than 8,000 people annually to critically needed services. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit uwgive.org.