Race Matters 28-Day Challenge | Social change starts with each of us, as individuals, and like other successful changes you've made in your life, it takes time and attention. Let's set our intentions and make supporting racial equity a habit.
The February 2021 Challenge has ended. Watch this page for updates and plans for future challenges.
How It Works
The core challenge started February 1st, 2021 and ended on February 28th. Until the next challenge begins, please feel free to use the structure and resources on this web page for our own learning journey.
- Registration Closed for February 2021 Challenge. For those who registered, you'll receive email reminders about the week's topics, upcoming discussion groups, prompts for discussion or reflection, and be invited to a raffle for those who complete the challenge.
- Get Started! Scroll down for recommended materials. Our discussion groups will focus on the weekly themes but what's most important is that you're engaged so start with whatever intrigues you most.
- Track Your Progress. Use this tracking sheet to inspire you to invest some time every day. You can download it and use it electronically or print it out.
- UC Davis Employees - Join a Discussion Group. You can start your own discussion groups or join one of ours - we'll host two during the challenge period.
Have content ideas or questions? Email Ann Foley.
Week 1: History
- Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true, by Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project, The New York Times
- The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an "Aberration." Michelle Alexander contextualizes the current state of racism/white supremacy in the United States as an inevitable outcome of a collective narrative steeped in denial.
- The Disturbing History of the Suburbs An Adam Ruins Everything episode that quickly and humorously explains how redlining came to be. (6 minutes)
- Segregated by Design. This short film, based on Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law, examines the forgotten history of how our governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. (17 minutes)
- Nice White Parents From Serial and The New York Times, a look at the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block. Includes reading list and discussion guide. (Episodes 1 hour)
- 13th, Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between US Slavery and the present day mass incarceration system. (1 hour 40 minutes)
As you move through the day, what’s the racial composition of the people around you and how does it vary by area?
What percentage of the day are you able to be with people of your own racial identity?
Week 2: Microaggressions & Implicit Bias
- 21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis. Using a series of photographs by Kiyum Kim, Heben Nigatu elaborates on the term “microaggression.” Note that Ibram X. Kendi, in his recent book How to Be an Antiracist, calls us to consider using the term “racist abuse” as a more descriptive alternative.
- Making people aware of their implicit biases doesn’t usually change minds. But here’s what does work, PBS News Hour
- How Do You Handle a Racist Joke (4min), a quick explanation from MTV Impact on the impact of racist jokes with tips on how to respond.
- What Kind of Asian Are You? (2min) Humorous two minute video that illustrates the utter silliness of the way many white Americans interact with Asian Americans
- How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them (19min), TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages working vigorously to counter-balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear.
- At work
- In stores
- On TV
Can you think of instances where you may have committed a microaggression? Do these videos and articles give you ideas of how to address microaggressions that you face or witness?
Week 3: Media & Race
- Media Portrayals and Black Male Outcomes, The Opportunity Agenda
- Louder Than A Riot This podcast reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration and explores power from all angles — the power the music industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game (episodes 1 hour)
- Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film And TV (15min).
- Representation Matters: Latinx in Mainstream Media (8min), Raquél Peréz, TEDxURI
Observe and think about:
- Who is and is not represented in ads?
- What is the racial mix of people pictured in the photos and artwork in your home? In your friend, family, and colleagues’ homes?
- Who do you notice on magazine covers? What roles are people of color filling in these images?
- What is the racial mix of the main characters in your favorite TV shows? Movies?
Week 4: Allyship & Action Steps
- Your Unconscious Bias Trainings Keep Failing Because You’re Not Addressing Systemic Bias, Janice Gassam, Forbes
- Guide to Allyship. Created by Amélie Lamont
- Ally or co-conspirator?: What it means to act #InSolidarity Alicia Garza shares ineffective and effective ways to be in solidarity
- Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’: Can you try too hard to be fair? Explores why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us (5 minutes)
- Entrepreneur Pharrell Williams and JAY-Z soundtrack set to rolling images and stories of Black entrepreneurs (5 mins)
- Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man. Hosted by Emmanuel Acho, this is a web series about racism to drive open and uncomfortable dialogue. (Episodes 8 - 15 minutes)
- Who are your closest friends? What is the racial mix in this group?
- Do you recall a time when you wish you'd spoken up? Knowing what you know now, what will you do next time?
- What are the last five books you read? What is the racial mix of the authors?
- What are actions you can take to be more proactive? Visit the Engage & Act section for ideas.
Some content drawn from Eddie Moore, Jr.'s 21 Day Challenge - visit his page for more great ideas!
- Movement for Black Lives | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: APIAHF | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Congress of American Indians | Twitter | Facebook
- Antiracism Center | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Racial Equity Tools | Twitter | Facebook
For Parents & Teachers:
- The Conscious Kid | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colours of Us | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Teaching While White | Twitter | Facebook
- Teaching Tolerance | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Museum of African American History & Culture | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- PBS Celebrating Black Leaders Play & Learn Resources
Engage & Act
"This can be the hardest part for people new to racial justice work. Engaging in racially mixed settings can trigger age-old power and privilege dynamics. The goal is to be a learner more than a knower, exactly the opposite of what dominant U.S. culture teaches us to be."
- Eddie Moore, Jr.
Here are some Engagement Tips to guide you:
- Support Black-owned businesses - use Yelp by typing "Black Owned" in Search or look for lists like this one focused on Downtown Sacramento. Buying a book for this challenge? Check out Underground Books.
- Donate time or money to non-profits that promote social justice.
Eddie Moore, Jr., author and educator, also recommends:
- Find a mentor within your own racial group to support and guide your growth.
- If you are white, join a Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) chapter in your area.
- Enter the process to practice mindful social habits like the ones below.
- Work to stay engaged even when your mind and body start sending you signals to shrink or walk away.
- Ask clarifying questions.
- Acknowledge what you don’t know.
- Validate others by listening closely and believing the truth and importance of what they are sharing.
- Share airtime so that multiple perspectives are shared.
- Step Up Step Back. If you are generally quiet, step up and practice speaking more. If you are generally a talker, practice stepping back and listening more.
- Notice your biases and judgments as they arise. These are gold for you to excavate your subconscious!
- Notice when you are uncomfortable. Reflect on why you’re uncomfortable and think about what you can do to build more emotional stamina in this area.
- Honor confidentiality. Though you can share what you are learning in general terms, do not repeat stories in a way that can be traced back to the person who shared it.
Race Matters' Favorites
Here are some of our favorite books and podcasts if you decide you'd like to immerse in one series or a book for the challenge month!
If you're buying a book, consider shopping at a Black-owned shop like Sacramento's Underground Books.
- Code Switch. An NPR program hosted by journalists of color that tackles the subject of race head-on. (Episodes 20-45 minutes.)
- Nice White Parents. From Serial and The New York Times, reporter Chana Joffe-Walt looks at the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block. Includes reading list and discussion guide, calls in/out white progressives (Episodes 1 hour.)
- The Daily. This is a news recap program from the The New York Times that doesn't focus solely on race but many episodes explore how race plays a part in everything we see and do. (Episodes 20-30 minutes.)
- How to Be An Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
- Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in American, by Melissa Harris-Perry
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates