"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

– James Baldwin

Welcome to day 1

Topic: Language & Where to Start: Race and Racism

Challenge yourself to understand the difference between race and racism along with other key terms and definitions. Ground yourself in the historical foundations of race to help build the framework for the days ahead.

Reminder, no matter who you are or where you are on the journey, you will not be perfect. Try to digest the information slowly and go at your own pace. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressured to tackle everything.

We are excited to embark on this learning journey with you. As an organization, United Way of Greater Atlanta understands racial equity is central to our work to improve child well-being so that children, families, and communities can thrive. Disparities across race and zip codes are holding us back and limiting the opportunity for an equitable Greater Atlanta. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives, our Greater Atlanta communities, and child well-being.

As a reminder, this journey is at your own pace. The challenge is designed for you to spend 10-15 minutes a day learning and 20-30 minutes a week in discussion and reflection. Try to digest the information slowly. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressure to tackle everything. Thank you again for taking part!

Let’s first start with key terms and phrases to begin our journey together.

RACIAL EQUITY – This 21-Day Challenge is focused on racial equity. The Center for Social Inclusion defines racial equity as an outcome and a process. We are striving toward the outcome of everyone having what they need to thrive, regardless of their race or where they live. The process of equity requires breaking down beliefs, systems, policies, and practices that support systemic racism and racial inequity.

RACIAL IDENTITY – Identity matters. How do you think about your racial identity and its relevance to your work, volunteerism and studies? Who do you think you are? Who do others think you are?  How we think about who we are and how others think we are can have an influence on all aspects of our lives.

RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT – You may have heard the idea that race is a “social construct.” What does this mean? Race is not defined by genetics or DNA. Instead, society plays a major role in shaping our views of race and racial identity. With this comes social, economic, and political implications that have contributed to racial inequity in the United States for hundreds of years.

Additional Resources

Here is a resource to bookmark and reference throughout the Challenge. The Racial Equity Tools Glossary by Racial Equity Tools includes more than 20 key terms and quick definitions.
This glossary by Racial Equity Tools includes more than 20 key terms and quick definitions.

Challenge Menu

What’s the difference between race and ethnicity?

Four scholars offer quick answers to the question.

Race and Racism Are Social Constructs

Angela Onwuachi-Willig on how race is not a proven concept, but instead a social construct.

Historical Foundations of Race

Resources compiled by the National Museum of African American History and Culture that trace the roots of racial terms from before the 1600s to today.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Talking About Race

No matter who you are or where you are on the racial equity journey, you will not be perfect. It’s all a dynamic growth process. (12 minutes)

A Conversation on Race

A series of short films about identity in America from different racial and ethnic perspectives. (Varying lengths)

The Difference Between Us

Episode 1 of the series Race: The Power of an Illusion is broken into several short videos that examine and debunk myths that have been attributed to race. (2 minutes)

The Costs of Racial Color Blindness

In this Harvard Business Review research recap, Michael I. Norton presents a game similar to ”Guess Who?”. Norton explains that acknowledging race is useful for communication in the workplace and that being color-blind can often backfire and create tension. (5 minutes)

For Reflection

When did you first become aware of your racial identity?  What messages did you learn about race from your school or family early in life? When have others’ perceptions of your racial identity affected how they treat you?