Equity Challenge Week 1 Monday Racial Identity

Welcome Today is the beginning of United Way’s 6 Week Race Equity Challenge. Starting on January 17th you’ll receive an email to guide your learning on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Challenge will be split into five focus areas and will include articles, videos, podcasts and other resources in these areas: 

  • Definitions & General Concepts 
  • Internalized Racism 
  • Interpersonal Racism 
  • Institutional Racism 
  • Structural Racism 

We hope you can spend 10-15 minutes each day diving into these topics. There’s so much to learn and explore, and we want everyone to digest this content slowly to avoid burn out and losing interest over the duration of the challenge. 

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

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. 

Articles

Race and Racial Identity are Social Constructs (3 Minute Read)  
Read this articleon how race is not a proven concept, but instead a social construct 
 
Key to Building Relationships of Understanding (2 Minute Read)  
Read this article to get a better understand on how to develop effective relationships 
 
What is Racial Equity (2 Minute Read) 
Read this article that describes what racial equity is. 

Video

Reframing Racial Identity (2:47) 
Watch this video to see an alternative way 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.