THE 21-DAY RACIAL EQUITY HABIT BUILDING CHALLENGE

For 21 days, we invite you to do one action daily to grow in your understanding of power, privilege, oppression and equity.

Being committed to anti-racism work is about building new habits and learning new things.  Setting our intentions and adjusting what we spend our time doing is essential. 

Sometimes it’s hard to just get started.  The good news is, there’s an abundance of resources just waiting to empower you to more effectively play a role in the quest for equity and justice. 

This plan, adapted from Dr. Eddie Moore’s 21-Day Racial Equality Habit Building Challenge© includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections. It can be done individually, with friends, family, a Sunday School class or small group. 

No book, article or video will be the answer, quick fix or comprehensive guide. But we encourage you to use these resources as education, encouragement, and as steps to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, in whom all are reconciled.

We hope you will join us in accepting this challenge as one of the ways we engage, learn, listen & grow together on our anti-racist journey.

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

About

Pick one of the resources listed below every day for 21 days.  

Diversify your understanding by selecting from resources in each category.

Track and reflect by using the tracking chart below.

Pray for the places you are challenged, for God to work in you and through you, and for those who you are learning about whose lives may be different than your own.

select one action every day for 21 days

We Have a Choice by Jonathan Walton – Dean of the Wake Forest Divinity School (8:23) 

Tyler Merrit Project: Before You Call the Cops (3:09)

A Conversation on Race, a series of short films about identity in America (all under 7 minutes) 

Racism is Real, A split-screen video depicting the differential in the white and black lived experience. (3 minutes)

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)

The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, An “Adam Ruins Everything” episode that quickly and humorously educates how redlining came to be. (6 minutes)

What Kind of Asian Are You? Humorous two-minute YouTube video that illustrates the utter silliness of the way many white Americans interact with Asian Americans. (2 minutes)

Being Black in America, ABC News correspondents and anchors share their experiences and discuss the many ways black individuals have learned to deal with racism throughout their lives.   (6 minutes)  

How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them, TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages work vigorously to counter balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear. (19 minutes)

Color Blind or Color Brave?, TED Talk by Mellody Hobson, makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society. 

How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time, TED Talk by Baratunde Thurston that explores patterns revealing our racist framing, language, and behaviors. (16:50 minutes)  

What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States, Fernanda Ponce shares what she’s learning about the misunderstanding and related mistreatment of the incredibly diverse ethnic category people in U.S. call Hispanic. (12 minutes)

The Danger of a Single Story, TED Talk by Chimamanda Adiche, offers insight to the phenomenon of using small bits of information to imagine who a person is. (18 minutes) 

Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film And TV, Conversation with a diverse range of Indigenous people by FBE about media depictions of Indigenous people, Columbus day, and Indigenous identity. (15 minutes)

Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo, talk done for the UMC General Commission on Race & Religion (20 minutes) 

Race: The Power of an Illusion, Three-part, three-hour film by California Newsreel exploring the biology of skin color, the concept of assimilation, and the history of institutional racism. (three 1 hour episodes)

Dismantling Racism: A Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment from the United Methodist Church (1:01:16)

Oberlin: A Village Rooted in Freedom

13th, Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between US Slavery and the present day mass incarceration system. (1 hour, 40 minutes) 

Birth of a White Nation, Keynote speech by legal scholar Jacqueline Battalora, offers a blow-by-blow description of the moment the idea of, and word for, “white” people entered U.S. legal code. (36 minutes)

Just Mercy, a film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama (2:16:00)

TED Radio Hour – Mary Bassett: How Does Racism Affect Your Health? host Guy Raz speaks with Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University

Scene on Radio – Seeing White Series, host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika  (a few of the episodes have some political statements and language that might make you uncomfortable. Please keep going. The hard work before us is the work of learning and listening).  

1619, a New York Times series on how slavery has transformed America  

Truth’s Table, Michelle Higgins, Christina Edmondson and Ekemini Uwan – three Black Christian women who love truth and seek it out wherever it leads them.

Code Switch, hosted by journalists Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji
(an especially powerful episode: A Decade of Watching Black People Die)

Pod Save the People, Activism. Social Justice. Culture. Politics. On Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson

NPR Morning Edition – You Cannot Divorce Race From Immigration journalist Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Black Americans Bear the Brunt of the Covid-19 Pandemic’s Economic Impact, NPR (3:00) 

Unlocking Us, Brene Brown interview with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist   

Test Your Awareness:

Take an implicit association test.

Check out this video that shows the importance of paying attention, and how much more we see when we are looking for particular things around us.  

Reflect on these questions:

  • Who is and is not represented in ads?

  • Who are your ten closest friends? What is the racial mix in this group?

  • As you move through the day (think pre-COVID), what’s the racial composition of the people around you? On your commute? At the coffee shop you go to? At the gym? At your workplace? At the show you go on the weekend? 

  • What percentage of the day are you able to be with people of your own racial identity?

  • Notice how much of your day you are speaking about racism. Who are you engaging with on these issues? Who are you not? Why do you think this is? 

  • What are the last five books you read? What is the racial mix of the authors? 

  • What is the racial mix of the main characters in your favorite TV shows? Movies?

  • What is the racial mix of people pictured in the photos and artwork in your home? In your friend, family, and colleagues’ homes?

  • Who is filling what kinds of jobs/social roles in your world? (e.g. Who’s the store manager and who’s stocking the shelves? Who’s waiting on tables and who’s busing the food?) Can you correlate any of this to racial identity? 

  • Who do you notice on magazine covers? What roles are people of color filling in these images?

Go and see the murals and resistance art that have emerged in downtown Raleigh.

Learn about and visit Raleigh’s historic Oberlin Cemetery.

Get to know and support black-owned businesses and restaurants in our community and/or research the positions of business where you spend your dollars.  

Pray – if you don’t have words, try praying A Prayer for the Church, by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism from UMC Discipleship Ministries

Sign the Summons to Witness, Protest & Promise, from North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church 

Take Seeing the Racial Water workshop with Dr. Robin DiAngelo (email Renae if you need a scholarship)

Journal your journey through this 21 Day Challenge.

Participate in a protest, march, vigil or time of prayer in person or online.

Follow leaders, activists and artists who are black, indigenous or people of color on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  (Some suggestions can be found on our anti-racism resources page.)

If you have kids, talk with them about race.  Watch How to Talk with Kids about Race, Video by The Atlantic (2:56 minutes)   (More resources about how to have conversations with children are on our anti-racism resource page.)

Support organizations doing racial justice work by donating your time, money, and other resources. Search and find ones that resonate with you.