Equity Challenge Week 1 Monday Racial Identity

Welcome to Heart of Indiana United Way’s third annual 6 Week Race Equity Challenge.  We are so glad that you are joining us to grow together towards equity and justice. 

Over the last two years, we have embarked on a journey together towards unity. As we beging the 2024 challenege, we honor the work that has been done before us and are eager to continue sharing this experience with you. This special time unites us across our varied lived experiences, identitites and counties to commit to learning, engaging, reflecting, celebrating and putting action towards building a more equitable community. 

Starting today you’ll receive an email to guide your learning on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Each email will have curated materials with a few options, like reading an article, watching a video or listening to a podcast. Set aside 10-15 minutes to go through as many of the resources as you would like and take a moment to reflect on what you have learned. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We’re glad you’re here. Now let’s get started… 

Today’s welcome challenge is to use the available resources to stretch your equity muscle and
 practice coming back to your commitment to equity.

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.

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. We recommend taking a few notes as you go to have as reflection at the end of this first focus area. 


Read this article about Avoiding Burnout and sustaining yourself during a recomitment to community.  
What is Racial Equity (2 Minute Read) 
Read this article that describes what racial equity is. 

Five generations of a black family live across from a whites only development in Philadelphia’s Main Line. Read more about The White Picket Fence. 


Reframing Racial Identity (2:47) 
Watch this video to see an alternative way of looking at racial identity based on varying cultures. 


NPR’s Codeswitch discusses the legacy of Martin Luther King in this Podcast talks with Hajar Yazdiha about her new book “The Struggle For The People’s King: How Politics Transforms The Memory Of The Civil Rights Movement” is really about how the co-optation of Martin Luther King Jr.