"Not seeing race does little to deconstruct racist structures or materially improve the conditions which people of colour are subject to daily. In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is disproportionately impacted by negative stereotypes about their race, and to who power and privilege is bestowed upon – earned or not – because of their race, their class, and their gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system.” - Reni Eddo-Lodge
Thank you for choosing to take part in A-B United Way’s 21-Day Equity Challenge. It is time for us to take a closer look at the inequities that are deeply rooted in our systems and institutions and work together to create an America where every individual has the opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion, immigration status, and identity. Over the several weeks, we will explore difficult topics, like structural racism, segregation, and privilege, to open up dialogue on how we can be champions of equity in our personal and professional lives.
Day 1: Defining Race and Racial Identity
To ensure that all participants have a shared understanding of the language and concepts that will be used throughout this challenge, we will be dedicating the first few days to Definitions & General Concepts. Today, we will define race as a concept. However, before sharing this definition we ask that you reflect on your personal understanding of race by answering following questions:

  • What is race to you?

  • Is race science based, or a social construct?

  • How does your race impact you on a day to day basis?

  • Are there any unique events that have occurred exclusively because of your race?

After thinking on the questions above, feel free to utilize the resources below to learn more about racial equity and the role that it can play in the lives of not only yourself, but your peers and coworkers as well.

Race: A socially constructed way of grouping people based on skin color and other apparent physical differences, which has no genetic or scientific basis. The ideology of race has become embedded in our identities, institutions, and culture and is used as a basis for discrimination and domination.
Race and Racial Identity are Social Constructs (3 Minute Read)
Read this article on how race is not a proven concept, but instead a social construct

What is Racial Equity (2 Minute Read)
Read this article that describes what racial equity is.

Reframing Racial Identity (2:47)
Watch this video to consider the complexity of looking at racial identity based on varying cultures.

A Conversation on Race (Videos range from 5-7 Minutes)
Available here is a video series depicting experiences surrounding race for people of multiple different backgrounds. We would recommend integrating these videos throughout the challenge to expose yourself to a variety of perspectives surrounding racial identities.

  • When did you first become aware of your racial identity?

  • What messages did you learn about race from your school and family? Did they align with what you’ve seen in your life?

  • When has others’ perceptions of your racial identity affected how they treat you?
Share the link to a resource from today’s topic on social media using the hashtags #unitedforequity, #ABequitychallenge and inspire others to reflect on their racial identity as well.

Forward this email to a friend, and have them join you in the Challenge. Folks can sign up anytime at abuw.org/equity-challenge.
Acton-Boxborough United Way mobilizes the caring power of community to drive positive, lasting change. United, we fight for the health, education, and financial stability of EVERY person in Acton and Boxborough.