A common theory you have probably come across is that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Often, 21 days are the duration of various fitness, dieting or even financial challenges. However, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan is adopting an atypical 21-day challenge.
In 2014, Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. created a 21-day equity challenge. Since then, many organizations, such as United Way, have adapted the model.
Beginning May 21, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan is encouraging everyone to participate in a 21-day equity challenge. It’s designed to make people aware of inequities that exist in the world such as racism, sexism, unfair housing practices, health care and childcare disparities and disability inequity. The challenge aligns with United Way’s identity.
“It emanates from our core values, our guiding principles,” said United Way for Southeastern Michigan Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Andre Ebron.
“Our mission is to create stable households and thriving children. Our guiding principles of people first, equity and inclusion, innovation, and collaboration. Outward facing and internally, we’re hoping that people don’t just wear it as a lens but make it engrained upon their heart as it governs their interactions with others.”
Every weekday before noon, participants will receive an email filled with content varying between articles, podcasts, videos, charts, and infographics. Then for at least 15 minutes, participants are encouraged to engage, reflect, and learn.
In addition to daily emails, United Way of Southeastern Michigan partnered with Strategic Community Partners, to provide a series of roundtable discussions led by trained facilitators. Participants are a part of the same cohort for each roundtable in an effort to maintain connectivity, strengthen equity journeys, and provide healthy tension and pushback.
“It’s definitely going to be a safe space that respects where everyone is in their equity journey and is conducive enough to where everyone can feel free to share,” said Ebron. “The challenge is a central focal point where we want to galvanize people to have that courageous conversation and carry it out to their community.”
Currently just under 4,000 people have signed up to take on the 21-day equity challenge. If you too would like to join, visit https://unitedwaysem.org/about-us/equity-and-inclusion/21-day-equity-challenge/ to register.
Even if you do not start on May 21, you can still be apart of the challenge.
“We have an open-door policy. No matter when you join in the challenge, you’ll get the information. Our central goal is to increase awareness…while some people may be starting at the surface of their journey, they shouldn’t be daunted or intimidated. We welcome you where you are. It’s a judgement free zone.”