21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenges

text bubble reading Learn, Act, Reflect, Challenge 21 Days Racial Equity, Engage

In 2014, Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr and Debby Irving set out to create a way for people to make a habit out of anti-racist thinking and behavior. Within weeks of creating the original 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, they saw it take off among individuals and organizations eager to make a change and looking for just such a tool. Since then, Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks has joined the team and thousands of additional users have adapted the plan to fit their context. Additionally, the original challenge is now complemented by a variety of offshoots that offer different aspects of liberation from white supremacy. As of Fall 2022, over one million people across nine countries have used our challenges.

Thank you for choosing and using one of our challenges. If you want to stay connected, email 21daychallenge@theprivilegeinstitute.com. We'd love to know how it went for you and your group!

How to participate in a challenge

  • For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. This can be done within a group of friends, an organization or workplace, or on your own.
  • Each plan includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections, each tailored to the topic at hand.
  • Use one of the tracking charts provided to stay on course.
  • Like our Facebook page. Use it to get ideas as well as share your 21-Day experience with the 21-Day community.
  • Our hope is that on day #22 you don't say, "Whew, that's over!" We hope you'll say, "Wow, I'm on a roll. Now that I've discovered so many new ideas, new understandings, new skills, and new people to follow, I am inspired and have new agency in acting for racial justice!" And to that? We say, Yay You!

TEN Tips For Success

  1. Organizational leaders, jump to #7 for inspiration
  2. Individuals, start by choosing which tracking tool works for you.
  3. Check out our recommended Day #1 activity to help you think about the connection between comfort level and learning.
  4. Diversify your habits. The tracking chart encourages you to use resources across our many categories.
  5. Some resources are on subscription platforms. If you come upon a resource on a for-fee platform you don't have, just skip past it. We’ve loaded the challenge with free resources with that barrier in mind.
  6. You can do the challenge alone, though we strongly recommend doing it with friends and family, or organization-wide. Antiracism work is relationship work and this is a great tool to deepen relationships old and new.
  7. Click HERE to get inspired by seeing how institutions are adapting the challenge to meet their specific social justice focus
  8. Like our Facebook page. Use it to get ideas as well as share your 21-Day experience with the 21-Day community.
  9. Stay tuned for 21-Day swag and Moore!
  10. Repeat the plan annually! One-and-done's have no place in the ongoing process to create life, liberation, and justice for all.

21-Day Community Adapters

Take a look at the creative adaptations people are bringing to the plan to make it work in their communities! If you have one to share, please forward it to debby@debbyirving.com or emj@theprivilegeinstitute.com so we can add it to the list.

Cleveland YW and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 
Three things we love about this plan

  • The YW, a leader in racial justice, is collaborating with a high-profile organization not typically associated with racial justice.
  • It’s part of the national YW organization’s annual rollout of a 21-Day Challenge.
  • This group is in its FIFTH year, which screams commitment and momentum.

Blank Rome LLP 
Three things we love about this plan

  • They created a legal-sector challenge.
  • It’s super simple and clean.
  • In addition to creating a sector-specific challenge, they wrote an organizational blogpost to report back how it went.

ABA Wide 21-Day Disability Equity Habit-Building Challenge
Three things we love about this plan:

  • Each day offers multiple short (time-wise) resources which means multiple perspectives and modalities can be consumed in a single day.
  • Each day Includes a range of discussion questions.
  • Each day includes additional resources for those who want to dig deeper.

Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Habity Building Challenge
Three things we love about this plan:

  • This group launches their annual plan (in 7th year!) with a webinar in which participants got to hear from previous plan users how they’d used it and adapted it, and what the impact was on their communties as well as on them individually.
  • The plan’s daily prompts ask participants to make connections between racial equity and their sector, the food system.
  • The plan’s website offers participants an online forum to share their reflections publicly.

Pacific University School of Occupational Therapy
Three things we love about this plan:

  • Each of the 21 days names an antiracist attitude or behavior that the activity is intended to grow, such as —I seek out questions that make me uncomfortable.
  • The challenge names that it is especially developed for white people to do our work, to hold ourselves accountable.
  • Each of the 21 days offers two activities, one if you’re short on time, another if you have more time to invest.

Brewster 21-Day Equity Bootcamp
Three things we love about this plan: 

  • This was used as an educator PD curriculum over the summer.
  • Six 2-hour zoom calls were built in, allowing for a blend of asynchronistic and synchronistic learning and team-building.
  • The group liked it so much they’ve asked for a Level 2 version!

Holderness School 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge
Three things we love about this plan: 

  • Daily to-do’s are organized within a weekly theme.
  • Each day’s to-do is presented in a large, clean, bold, graphic combined with an enticing title.
  • The third and final week focuses on the conversational (or lack thereof) piece.

Juvenile Justice Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Three things we love about this plan: 

  • 32 network members developed the plan in teams, each designing and introducing via a taped video one of the 21-Days.
  • Their IT capacity enabled a highly engaged, moderated online discussion forum. See reflection here.
  • The challenge reached 880 registered participants from 40 US states, two Canadian provinces, Mexico and Brazil.

Sustain Dane’s 21 Day Eco Equity Challenge
Three things we love about this plan:

  • This group populated their plan with resources specific to racial equity in their sector, environmental sustainability.
  • The plan feeds participants a daily “to-do” suggestion.
  • The plan offers participants a shorter and longer time commitment challenge each day.

Charlotte Country Day School 21-Day Equity Challenge
Three things we love about this plan:

  • This group collaborated with their local online newspaper to invite community members to join in the challenge.
  • The plan offers participants the choice to use their daily “to-do” prompt or take a daily à la carte approach using from the resources they’ve provided.
  • The plan lives online for broad access.

The Founders

Dr. Eddie Moore Jr
Debby Irving
Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks