May 17, 2021 (Ann Arbor, Mich.) -- United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) hosted its first 21-Day Equity Challenge in January 2020 to build our community’s awareness of the ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and lives. UWWC launched a Washtenaw Edition of the Challenge in January of 2020, followed by a COVID-19 Edition of the Challenge in May and a Michigan Edition of the Challenge in August. Due to the success of these prior events, they are launching the Challenge again in 2021. UWWC has a vision that by 2030, your zip code will no longer predict your opportunity in life. At present, in Washtenaw County, it does.
The Equity Challenge, launching on June 19th, 2021, is a virtual self-guided learning journey over 21 days 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.
Registration for the 2021 Challenge will open on May 10th, 2021. Participants can sign up and review the Challenge topics at www.uwgive.org/equity. 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.
“The 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 the United Way to identify actionable steps for ending racism and inequity throughout Washtenaw County,” notes Pam Smith, President and CEO of UWWC.
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.