The A&S Equity JumpStart
Equity won’t happen by accident — we have to be intentional and strategic as we move toward a more just and equitable world. As we march toward this goal, equity education and habit-building are necessary tools. Join the College of Arts and Sciences as we partner with the YWCA Greater Cincinnati to embark on the Equity JumpStart and 21-day Equity Challenge.
What is the 21-Day Equity Challenge?
The 21-Day Equity Challenge is a self-guided equity education and habit building tool. Created by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., founder and director of the Privilege Institute, the 21-Day Challenge is intended to walk participants through a series of topics that furthers our understanding of equity issues but also pushes us to deeply engage with building habits that lead to equity.
Throughout the 21 days, participants are encouraged to read something, watch or listen to something, and then do something each day. The goal is to engage with the ideas, concepts and materials for about 30 minutes each day, building a foundation for new habits and ideals around equity.
Why Participate in an Equity Challenge?
As you prepare to participate in the YWCA Greater Cincinnati’s 21-Day Equity Challenge, we have prepared a week’s worth of material that will introduce you to foundational concepts. Just as with the 21-Day Equity Challenge, each day you will read and watch something, and then do something. We hope that you engage with this JumpStart Challenge and register to join us as we walk through the 21-Day Equity Challenge with the YWCA.
Ready, Set, JumpStart!
A number of people often use the terms equality and equity interchangeably, but they are not the same. On this first day, we invite you to learn more about how these words differ and what a difference the meanings make.
- Read: Start by reading the article What Is Social Equity? from the Melbourne Social Equity Institute that explains the many types of social equity.
- Watch: Using a popular illustration on equality vs. equity, this dynamic video by Inclusive Communities clearly breaks down the difference.
- Do: Take this 10-question Equity and Diversity Awareness Quiz from EdChange. Find out how you did with this answer key. Reflect on how and why you scored the way you did.
We all have privilege, which is what makes this concept tricky and hard to grasp. For day 2 we invite you to take a deeper dive to understand how privilege works and develop a better understanding of your privilege.
- Read: The term white privilege can be triggering for some and lead to a defensive response. In this Huff Post piece, Gina Crosley-Corcoran discusses how white privilege is still a thing, even for poor whites.
We also invite you to check out this article from Well and Good which highlights the different types of privilege we all may have.
- Watch: Privilege is part of each day of our lives. Depending on how privilege affects you it may not be easy to understand. The scenario in this video should help.
- Do: The Identity Wheel exercise, from Nicole Clark Consulting, allows us to consider the role our identities play in how the world views us and how we view ourselves.
The topic for day 3 is bias. Bias is a normal part of the social experience, but it can be dangerous when left unmitigated. Learn more about how bias affects you and those around you.
- Read: Bias appears in every part of our lives and sometimes it can be deadly. This article from the American College of Cardiology discusses the importance of understanding bias through a medical lens.
- Watch: Do you understand how unconscious bias affects your everyday decisions? In this TEDx Talk, Kristen Pressener answers this question in her own life while offering tips and strategies to address bias in your life.
Bias is present in algorithms and systems as well. Watch Joy Buolamwini discuss these issues in How Do Biased Algorithms Damage Marginalized Communities?
- Do: Project Implicit uses an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to bring awareness of the implicit bias we all harbor as individuals.
Did you know the A&S Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Partnerships has a Bias Reporting Tool? It is designed to offer confidential resources and solutions for any experiences of bias.
One of the ways that bias manifests is through microaggressions. On day 4 we will be exploring the ways in which these subtle and sometimes unintentional acts cause harm and perpetuate inequity.
- Read: Let’s start with learning about the types of microaggressions.
- Watch: In her TEDx Talk, Eliminating Microaggressions: The Next Level of Inclusion, Tiffany Alvoid explores microaggressions using everyday examples that are all too familiar.
- Do: Can you think of a time when you experienced, or witnessed someone experience, a microaggression?
How did you respond? What are some ways you can respond in the future?
Play Killing Me Softly: A game demonstrating how it feels to suffer microaggressions and acculturative stress day after day. Reflect on your feelings as you move through the game and as you conclude.
Privilege, bias and microaggressions all impact equity, and have been built into the foundation of our society. On this last day of the A&S Equity JumpStart, we invite you to explore how inequities in one part of our social world and institutions build on one other to create a larger web of inequity.
- Read: Systemic inequality has led us to this place. Find out more when you look through the lens of systemic inequality in this article from the National Equity Project. Then read how systems created and perpetuated wealth gaps.
- Watch: Our existing social structures play a major role in how people experience social inequity. Learn more about how social inequity manifests in our everyday lives.
Watch this video, Adam Ruins the Suburbs, for a quick lesson on how inequity builds more inequity.
- Do: Thank you for joining us this week! We hope that you have learned something new and encourage you to register to participate in the YWCA Greater Cincinnati’s 21-Day Equity Challenge.
For your last activity please take some time and reflect on what you have learned over the last few days.
We want to hear from you! Post your reflection on social media using #ASEquityJumpStart and feel free to use our Insta Story Template that was created just for the A&S Equity JumpStart Challenge.
Thank you for taking this journey with us! We look forward to taking the YWCA Greater Cincinnati’s 21-Day Equity Challenge beginning March 1st as a community. Visit the A&S Equity site often for more resources and program updates.
Featured image courtesy of Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash