Of the 4,500 people signed up for the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, hundreds are Cole Society members. We asked Beth Keller from Habitat for Humanity, Richard Tyler from Rollins, and United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Lauren Rock to weigh in about their impressions of the 7-week self-guided learning experience.

How did you find out about the 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge and what made you want to sign-up?

Richard: I heard about it through the United Way email. I thought it would be interesting to see what the topics were and that I could learn some things and possibly share with others.

Beth: I found out about it from Ginneh Baugh at a Cole Women United Cabinet meeting. It is a simple way to educate myself in order to be a stronger advocate, empathetic ally, and a compassionate human-being.

Lauren: I had the opportunity to collaborate with United Way of Greater Atlanta leaders like Kim Addie and Ginneh Baugh to share my perspective and contribute content ideas for a meaningful challenge experience. My first challenge experience was with the YWCA, however, I learned about it at a conference from Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving, the educators who originally developed the program. Any opportunity that fosters my continued learning and journey to promote equity I will always sign up.

What lesson have you learned so far that you want more people to know about?

Richard: It has reaffirmed the unfortunate reality that so many things have been baked into our society that have put those already disadvantaged in an even more disadvantaged position, but that good-minded people have been and are still working to correct the courses when and where possible.  But also, that the situation in these aspects is not static but rather are dynamic – that other not so good-minded people are also constantly working to push back progress.

Beth: Redlining in the United States. White Flight in Atlanta. The history of systematic/purposeful housing segregation by the government in the United States and its lasting impact.

Lauren: I am always moved by the moments in history, most recent and distant past, that my fellow BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) brothers and sisters have faced. This challenge elevates how generations in Atlanta have faced inequities and other discrimination that we often do not read about in articles or see on social media. I’m grateful that this challenge includes these experiences.

The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives, our Greater Atlanta community, and the barriers it places on improving child well-being.

The 7-week self-guided learning experience explores the history and impact of racism and how it has shaped the well-being of our communities across Greater Atlanta. Topics include Understanding Privilege, History of Racism in Atlanta, Housing & Redlining, Intersection of Race + Gender, Allyship, Champions Leading Equity, and many more. Gain both local and national insights, get the tools for courageous conversations, access resources for healing, become an ally or level up your allyship, plus, make connections to a network of leaders working to create an equitable Greater Atlanta for all.

Join as an individual or sign up your company or organization to support the challenge and learn together.

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Racial Equity and Child Well-Being

Racial equity is central to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s work to improve child well-being so that children, families, and communities can thrive.  Disparities across race and zip codes are holding us back and limiting the opportunity for an equitable Greater Atlanta. Ending disparities has been the guidepost for United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Child Well-Being Agenda, which has focused on addressing the systemic issues that put Greater Atlanta at the bottom of the list of U.S. cities in terms of opportunity and mobility for low-income children and make a child’s zip code of birth their destiny. For two years running, Bloomberg has called Atlanta “the capital of inequality.”

The 21-Day Equity Challenge is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives, our Greater Atlanta communities, and child well-being. For the past five years, United Way of Greater Atlanta has worked closely with partners to collect data on 14 different measures related to the factors that help account for the wide disparity in child well-being by race and zip code. These communities of low and very low child well-being are in zip codes where the majority of residents (55-99%) are people of color.