GoUSF Racial Equity Challenge

colorful people

 

An Opportunity to Learn, Reflect, and Take Action

for Racial Justice


 

About the 15 Day Equity Challenge:

  • Register for the challenge.
  • The challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of inequity, racism, resilience, strength, and community.
  • Each week of the challenge has a theme and features resources and discussion questions related to that theme. The questions encourage you to explore your own experiences and biases and to reflect on inequities embedded in campus culture, policies and systems. Daily topics include What Does it Mean to be Non-Racist and Anti-Racist, Racism in Housing, Racism and Mental Health, Racism in Policing, and many more.
  • Participants will receive emails each Monday during the challenge. These emails will include information about the week’s theme and registration information for the Friday discussion topic.
  • The challenge will run 15 days from April 5-23, weekends not included. If you fall behind or miss a day, the links will stay live on this page so you are able to catch up or revisit a topic at any time.
  • Discussions will be held on Fridays during the challenge. All are welcome to participate. Pre-Registration is required.
  • Anti-Racism work requires continued work. This challenge is a beginning to the process.

Register for the Challenge


Racial Equity Challenge Daily Calendar


Week 1

Conversation around racism has increased dramatically in the last year. However, people often use vocabulary around racial injustice in different ways and with different understandings of what words mean. For example, some people hear the term white supremacy and think it is the same as white nationalism. Today, we invite you to explore resources that will help us to define a shared vocabulary for the duration of the challenge.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

  • Use the Racial Equity Tools glossary to read the definitions for the following words:
    • Racial Equity
    • Racism
    • White privilege
    • White supremacy
  • Commonly used abbreviations:
    • POC: People or Person of Color
    • BIPOC: Black Indigenous People of Color

Going Deeper:

  • Under our Skin | Seattle Times |  Explore videos with people of diverse political, social, and racial backgrounds sharing how they define terms around racial injustice. (Each video 4-7 minutes)

REFLECT:

  • An Examen for Racism |  Jesuit Conference of the United States and Canada (audio available) This Examen explores how our actions and privilege contribute to the destruction of the dignity and humanity of the Black community in the U.S.
    • Join our discussion on Friday, April 9, as Fr. Donal Godfrey leads us through the Examen and discussion. RSVP Here.
  • After reading the definitions, we understand that racism and white supremacy are systems and more than interpersonal niceness between people. All white people benefit from racist systems. Have you ever considered racism to include more than interpersonal interactions, and how do you personally benefit from racist systems?

ACT:

  • Invite a friend to join the challenge so that you have a conversation and accountability partner.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

A person claiming not to be racist is different than a person actively doing the work of anti-racism. Today's resources explore the critical difference between non-racist and anti-racist, and what that means in the context of faith and justice. Being anti-racist doesn't mean that you always know the correct action to take or what to say in every situation. It does require that you act and work against racism wherever it arises, especially in yourself.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • Lay Down Your Life  | Ignatian Solidarity Network
    • Often, we are afraid of naming when we are racist. As Peter's fear caused him to deny his friend Jesus, our fear prevents us fro naming for ourselves moments when we are complicit in and contribute to racism.

ACT:

  • In your daily life, who do you interact with, what media do you consume, where do you shop? Reflect on these and other daily and lifestyle choices-how do the ways you move in the world reflect being anti-racist?
  • Join SURJ Bay Area (Showing Up for Racial Justice) which is part of a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. There are over 150 chapters and affiliates nationwide. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice, with passion and accountability.

DIG DEEPER:

  • Review the Scaffolded Anti-Racism Resources and attempt to find yourself on the stages of white identity development. Complete one of the activities or "what to do next" steps in that category.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

One of Monday's resources, the Racial Equity Tools Glossary, helped us to better understand the meaning of the terms white privilege and white supremacy as they relate to our racial equity work. Today, we explore ways that whiteness and racism are integrally connected.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • How does denying the existence of racism and white privilege perpetuate racial inequality and unequal outcomes?

ACT:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Understanding anti-Blackness is central to understanding the social, economic, and cultural realities of race in the U.S. Today's resources will draw you into understanding and lamenting the historical and present day manifestations of anti-Blackness in our society and its systems.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

ACT:

  • Support a Black-owned business, either online or in your community.

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The Racial Equity Tools Glossary defines microaggressions as "everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership." Today, we explore the reality of microaggressions, along with colorblindness, which is problematic in that it denies the realities of racism.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • Prayer for Dismantling Racism  | Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods
  • When you realize you have used a microaggression, or are called out by someone for using one, notice if your first response is to jump to defensiveness, or to judge for yourself whether you thought the comment was racist or not. What is that? Is your defensiveness helpful in the situation?

ACT:

  • For white people: After learning about the different types of common microaggressions, reflect upon which ones you've overheard, witnessed, or even used yourself. How can you commit to using your privilege to intervene the next time you hear or see a microaggression being used?
  • For BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color): Use some time today to engage in an act of self-care, acknowledging that you bear the weight of microaggressions.

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Week 2

Today, we will explore the history of immigration and nationality in the United States as two of the dominant forces shaping our experience of race and racism today. While White Europeans have traditionally had an easier time assimilating into U.S. society, people of color have had a distinctly different experience.

In the United States, myths of racial differences were initially used to justify the enslavement and brutal treatment of Africans and Native Americans. Systemic racism created and maintained a separate America for people of color. Immigration policies both past and present have disproportionately affected people of color. And most recently, COVID -19 has sparked acts of violence targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout the US.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • White supremacy doesn’t just superiorize the dominant (white) culture--it normalizes it. Can you think of ways that you’ve participated in normalizing white culture, at the expense of other cultures?
  • How did “whiteness” shape the trajectory of different groups of immigrants in the United States?
  • How do you identify racially, ethnically, and/or culturally?

ACT:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

The remainder of this week, we will be exploring racial equity in relation to four systemic justice issues that are prevalent in our society-the Catholic Church, higher education, housing, and the environment.

 

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • A Catholic Cry for Black Lives Matter | National Catholic Reporter
    If we take that we are indeed a global church and if we take that all are God's children and if we take that each one of us, together, comprise the body of Christ, then we must admit that our body is broken. Our body is bloodied. Our body is being murdered.
  • Review the Examen for Racism.
    • Watch Eyes to See (AJCU Anti-Racism Examen)
    • Examen questions for self-reflection and break-out group discussion:
      • What feelings do the voices and images in the Composition of Place video elicit in me?
      • With what did I resonate?
      • With what did I experience resistance?
      • What experiences of racism have I had or seen on campus?
      • What stories about race stick in my memory and influence how I think of racism now?

ACT:

  • The father of Black liberation theology | Explore quotes from James Cone book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
  • Parish Journey for Racial Justice and Equity. How can your parish initiate or deepen your commitment to racial justice and equity? Join with lay and ordained leaders from churches across the U.S. to explore ways to bring racial justice work to life in your parish through reflection, conversation, prayer, and action. View the accompanying workbook at igsol.net/parish-workbook.

DIG DEEPER:

  • How can you better integrate racism as a life issue in your lived faith and in your faith community?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Today, we will explore the history and current state of higher education and the impact both have had on students of color. Higher education has long been seen as a pathway to financial and career stability and advancement for all. Historically, access to higher education for students of color was understood to be the primary obstacle in order to secure financial and career advancement. However, access, degree completion, and financing of higher education remain ongoing obstacles for students of color; so much so, it continues to impact their ability for financial wellness after graduation.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • How do your experiences in higher education differ or not differ from those of current students at USF?
  • What does your office/department do to actively welcome and support students of color and students of all backgrounds?
  • How do the policies, practices, and resources of your office/department impact the student experience at USF?

ACT:

  • Review and share with students, the CAPS' Discrimination and Racism Resources page
  • Revise your office/department polices to be more welcoming and supportive of students of color and students of historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Today, we learn that in our community and in many parts of our country, there is extreme housing segregation that is a direct result of a practice called "redlining," a form of lending discrimination that has disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and other people of color for hundreds of years. Home ownership plays a significant role in family wealth, enabling families to build equity that is passed down to future generations. The resulting racial wealth gap in the United States is staggering.

Contributing to the wealth gap are factors like income inequality, earnings gaps, home ownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, and inequitable asset building opportunities. This inequity in financial resources exists in our community, holding many back for decades, simply because of the color of their skin.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting started:

Going deeper:

REFLECT

  • How do you think housing policies have either benefited or harmed your family?
  • Is your neighborhood or community primarily made up of one racial group or ethnicity? If so, do you think discriminatory housing policies may have affected this? How?

ACT

  • Can you find a racial restriction covenant on your property? Where were there racial restrictions in your community?
  • Get involved with the The Coalition on Homelessness, which organizes homeless people and front line service providers in San Francisco to create permanent solutions to homelessness, while working to protect the human rights of those forced to remain on the streets.

DIG DEEPER

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Today we will explore environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national original, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

 

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • What issues of environmental injustice exist in your community? 
  • What steps can you take to begin addressing environmental injustice?

ACT:

  • Explore California's  climate change research
  • The EPA has developed a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN  to better meet the agency's responsibility to protect public health and the environment. EJSCREEN is based on nationally consistent data and combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports.

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Week 3

Today we will examine how overall health is dramatically impacted by racism and discrimination. Social determinants of health-the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age-account for 80% of a person's health and wellness (while just 20% is attributed to clinical or medical care). Some examples of social determinants of health include economic factors like job status, income, and medical bills; living conditions including housing, access to transportation, safety, and access to parks and playgrounds; educational opportunities like early childhood support, literacy, and access to training; access to health food; social support and levels of stress; and quality of healthcare. With social determinants of health being impacted by racism at every turn, health status is challenged and life expectancy is drastically lower for communities of color than for their white counterparts.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • Think about access to healthcare in your community. Is it easy and affordable to visit a doctor? If not, what barriers prevent people in your community from receiving the healthcare they need?
  • Have you ever struggled to get the healthcare you needed? What would it be like for you to need healthcare, but not receive it?

ACT:

  • Self-Care | National Museum of African American History and Culture; The work toward anti-racism is a life-long process in which we need to sustain ourselves. Complete one of the practices mentioned in this article to help sustain you in this continued work.

DIG DEEPER

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Racism is traumatic. It is painful, violent, harmful, and deeply felt by those on the receiving end. The lasting effects and trauma of experiencing racism can show up in emotions, behaviors, and in many other ways.

Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy, Professor at Drexel University and consultant on the topics of cultural and racial diversity, trauma and oppression, suggests that rather than asking, "What is wrong," a trauma-informed approach would be to question, "What happened to you?" Numerous studies show that racism and discrimination are forms of trauma, and the lasting psychological effects can be similar to those of veterans who have experienced combat. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is becoming more commonly diagnosed in marginalized communities as racism and discrimination continue to create psychological, emotional, and physical harm. It is important to understand this trauma to be able to move forward.

Did You Know...

81% of Black people reported experiencing discrimination. 1 in 10 developed symptoms of PTSD due to racism and discrimination - American Psychological Association

4 in 10 Latinos say they have experienced discrimination in the past year, such as being criticized for speaking Spanish or being told to go back to their home country - Pew Research Center

 

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • Can you think of a time when you attributed a negative behavior to a person rather than what they might have experienced? How could you think or react differently in a similar situation in the future?
  • If your community and/or school are racially segregated, has this resulted in fewer interracial friendships? What are some of the consequences of missing out on cross-racial friendships?

ACT:

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Studies show that racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in prison and jail populations, relative to their numbers in the general population. Similar disparities are found at earlier stages of the criminal justice process, beginning with investigatory stops and arrests by the police. Today we will learn about the damaging and often fatal effects of bias and over-policing.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting Started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

  • Notice how you feel when you hear terms like "defund the police." Take time to note any strong emotions that arise.
    • For white people: how does your experience with the police differ from what you've learned is the reality for Black people?

ACT:

  • Review the Ignatian Solidarity Network/Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology Action Alert : Support Meaningful Policing Reforms
  • Research where protests addressing policing and racism are happening in your local community. Consider joining or supporting these and organize your church, school, or other community to join you. 
  • Volunteer for the Anti-Police Terror project, based in Oakland

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Today we discuss the impact of racism in the incarceration of communities of color in the United States. Building on our discussion on education and the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration of targeted demographics has an effect not only on the incarcerated individuals but on entire racial groups, their communities, and future generations.

Today's CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following...

LEARN:

Getting started:

Going Deeper:

REFLECT:

ACT:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Thank you for being a part of the 15-Day Racial Equity Challenge and for your commitment to advancing racial equity. How will you put your new commitments into action, starting as soon as today? What kinds of support do you need? Do you have those supports or can you organize them into being with help from others?

How can we improve this challenge? Take this anonymous survey to tell us what you learned and what we can do to improve the Racial Equity Challenge for next year.

REFLECT:

  • What commitments are you making to stretch your learning from these 15 days to the rest of the year? What actions have you taken, or will you take, as a result of this experience?
  • There is work to do on your own, but much of the change we need will happen in collaboration with the community. Who are your potential partners at USF, at home or in your community?
  • How does racism manifest itself in the institutions of USF? What can you do in partnership with the community to challenge institutional and structural racism at USF?

ACT:

DIG DEEPER:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES


Share that you have joined the challenge:

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