The Racial Equity Challenge
We began Delaware’s largest racial equity challenge with 8,000 worldwide participants in
September, 2020. Most of us were like children on the first day school; excited, not knowing what to
expect, but full of hope for what we would learn and share with others.
Our worlds were much different then, since the outcry of George Floyd’s murder brought riots, marches, and questioning all over the United States, including Delaware.
No one knew exactly how to feel or what do next; we all just knew we wanted something to change. Because we also knew insanity is doing the same things over again and expecting different results, and we didn’t want to bear the same burdens of our forefathers without making real change for future generations.
The Challenge in 2022
Since the month-long challenge in 2020, we continued the journey with monthly challenges in 2021, and quarterly challenges this year with thousands of participants including a cohort of high school students consumed with the desire to grow in their own understanding of race and racial issues, eager to explore how they can help make Delaware a more equitable place for all people.
Many will ask the question, where are we now?
How did this Racial Equity Challenge help and is it still needed today?
The outcomes and impact of the Racial Equity Challenge cannot always be measured.
How do you measure the impact on a 67-year-old white male who said taking this Challenge forced him to see
his own implicit bias and know he could do better? How do you measure that a 43-year-old white woman said she realized that she had books in her house that had black and brown faces for her 6-year-old mixed raced child, and that by taking the Racial Equity Challenge she realized the negative effect it could have on her child? How do you measure the impact of a 32-year-old black male’s statement that the Racial Equity Challenge helped him realize that institutionalized racism is real?
Will you Accept the Challenge?
The Racial Equity Challenge gives people easily digestible foods for thought around racial issues. It allows for self-discovery without being banished for not knowing or understanding topics that we sometimes think we should know already. It allows people to ask questions of themselves of how they can change and how they can change the world around them.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the people who make the Racial Equity Challenge possible, particularly the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative. On behalf of all of us, the fight for equity is a constant struggle. Your mission is to find your place in the movement, and you can start by simply taking the Challenge.
The Racial Equity Challenge is for all people of all colors and all ages who wish to understand the complexities of race in America. You can begin taking this quarter’s Challenge on Institutional Racism on September 19, 2022. Go to the website to sign up.
Vice President, Engagement & Partnerships
United Way of Delaware
Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative