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Day 1: 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."  Martin Luther King, Jr.

To me, I couldn't imagine a better day to start a 21 Day Racial Equality challenge than Martin Luther King's birthday.  This challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore & Debby Irving, and is offered to our community as a way to support the commitment of learning, talking and taking action to address racial injustice.  I do not pretend to have the answers on how to make the world a better place, but for me, I believe a good place to start is to take the time to look at ourselves and our own perceptions and learn everything we can.  

For 21 days, I will provide prompts - and my own responses to the prompts in the comments section below - to allow us to think and talk about systematic racism and racial equality.  To post your responses in the comments section, please register as a user on the website (it's free and easy).  The 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge is meant to be a safe space for reflection, and we request that your comments be considerate and respectful.  Each of us are starting and coming from different places and experiences in our lives, and this challenge can be approached as an opportunity to practice holding multiple views and opinions with compassion and patience.   

Some guidelines to consider before posting:

  • Seriously consider what others have to say
  • Listen to understand rather than listen to reply
  • Realize that everyone is at a different place in this journey
  • Use "I" statements
  • Create a space that allows for emotions without having the emotions take over the space
  • Read our Rules and Guidelines for Posting

The first prompt is to think about why reflect on why you signed up for the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.

  • Name at least 3 reasons why you signed up.
  • What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
  • What are you hoping to give to this experience by participating?

Post responses in comments section below.  We encourage you to share on Facebook and/or Twitter, too, with hashtag #IDPEquityChallenge.

This special initiative is open to everyone and free of charge. As a not-for-profit organization, IDP is supported by the generosity of our community. Please consider making a donation at this link or becoming a Monthly Member at this link

 

 

 

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Comments

late to the game but here anyway

The college where I work raised awareness of "white privilege". In trying to understand this perspective and that of racism in general enough to explain it to others, I am signing up. I want to learn:
1. How to be aware of my own prejudices and unblind myself to them
2. Be able to speak to everyone around me in a nonoffensive, universal way to avoid unintentional discrimination.
3. Be sensitive to the longstanding hurts of other groups that resulted from discrimination in our country's history.

What I hope to give to this discussion is what I have learned being a thoughtful, observant citizen for over 5 decades and the additional cultural competencies I have learned working in healthcare.

Chris A.

Why

Name at least 3 reasons why you signed up.
I hesitated to sign up, although I have read and watched everything up to day 12 so far. I wasn't sure this was right for me since I am biracial and felt as though I had a pretty good idea of what racism was. I decided to sign up because I realized that there are people reading and learning from this because they want to reach a good middle ground and that I should be trying to reach out as well. I also want to learn more about the other side of this picture. Why people are racist and why some are willing to try to reach past that. I also realized there is more for me to learn no matter what, and that I may have my own privileges that I don't realize.
What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
A better understanding of other points of view.
What are you hoping to give to this experience by participating?
A chance for a different perspective. I realize that many of the people participating may be white, and may have grown up in areas without the chance to interact with people of other races. Many people only know what television portrays, and I think it's good for people to see there is a lot of variation out there. I may be Latina, but I grew up practicing Buddhism, have two degrees and absolutely love heavy metal music and punk and I am not alone in being so many conflicting things. Which of course all of us humans are a bunch of conflicting emotions, ideas, and experiences bundled into a temporary vessel.

Day 1: Why

Sorry for my late response!

3 reasons I signed up:
1) I know that racism is a conditioned/learned behavior that can be unlearned, and I want to do more work on unlearning.
2) I want to know how to better talk to other white people about racism.
3) I want to know more concrete actions I can take to fight racism.

I'm hoping to gain more knowledge, perspective, and patience by participating in this challenge.

I'm hoping to give compassion and full attentive listening to this experience by participating.

xoxo
Caitlin

Day 1

Three reasons why I signed up:
I want to learn more about ways I contribute to racism in all its forms.
I want to learn more about being an ally.
I want to hear lots of voices who are on a similar path.

I hope to gain new perspectives.
I hope to offer my persistence and curiosity.

Whole new perspective

Although I have long been aware that I am a member of the most privileged class in all of society (wealthy, white, heterosexual, land-owning males), I haven't spent nearly enough time putting myself in the shoes of others. No matter how hard I try to be sensitive and evolved, I still have that skewed perspective.

Like you, something like 90% of my social circle is white. I do have a lot of females, gays and transgendered people in my social circle but that only provides so much diversity.

For me, trying on new attitudes and consciously trying to see things from other perspectives is about personal growth; about becoming a better human being. So, being completely honest, I have only one main reason for taking up this challenge: to better myself. While I truly hope that some greater good comes of it, that requires other people to change their attitudes and that's something over which I simply have no control. So it would be a lovely byproduct but I can't really count it as a goal.

I guess in channeling Gandhi, I want to be the change I wish to see in the world but that's not a new goal. It's how I have tried to live my life for many years.

Is it selfish of me to want to do this primarily only for my own personal growth? Yes, but is a good deed done for selfish reasons any less good? I think it's all part of meeting people where they are and applauding even the smallest steps taken in the right direction.

Day 1- why

3 reasons that I am participating:
to listen
to learn
to act

I hope to gain perspective.

I hope to give my presence.

Thank you.

A call for unity

1. Name at least three reasons why you signed up:
• I want to heighten my awareness and understanding of privilege;
• I want to improve my confidence and arguments in responding to racial bias;
• I want to expand my sphere of influence on this issue.

2 What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
• Humility in understanding and advocating for racial justice.
• Self-knowledge and external knowledge about causes, history, and practice of racism.
• Expanding exposure to voices from people of color; I live in an overwhelmingly white community

3 What are you hoping to give to this experience by participating?
• The experience of 7 decades of living in a racist society
• A non-dogmatic socialist perspective

I have read disturbing comments from well-intentioned people about the upcoming Women's March on January 20th. Reacting to calls by black women to listen to black voices, some whites are opting out of the March. Isn't it essential that we pay close attention to black voices, as well as to other voices from people not like "us," whoever we may be?

We live in a racist, sexist, classist society, with all three afflictions deeply woven together in our economic and social culture. In anticipation of the challenges that lie ahead, my fervent hope is for unity on all three issues, but we can start with the issue of racism. We will have to listen to comments that may be unfamiliar and critical, and not let our commitments flag because we are uncomfortable.

My thanks to IDP for providing this forum.

Will

Why

Three reasons I signed up/started this
1) to learn more about how implicit bias has effected how I interact in the world.
2) to start a conversation with others around some difficult topics to learn from other's views
3) I want to be part of the change in the world.

I would like there to be a safe space where people of all views could talk about these complicated difficult topics. I would like to see conversations being more about curiosity on each other's views rather than attacking for different beliefs. It is my belief that we have to explore and understand these systemic issues so we can all heal and live in a better world.

Renée

Day 1 - Why

1. Three reasons I signed up:
- Want to understand how I can see racism and bias (in the world and myself) more clearly
- Would like to listen and hear how racism is experienced
- Want to learn steps I can take to end racism

2. I hope to gain greater understanding of the causes of racism, and how I can personally take actions to change them

3. I hope to give others support and encouragement in their own efforts to understand and end racism

Thanks Renee!

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