YWCA South Florida announces the return of the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge in honor of Black History Month, based on the community’s overwhelming desire to engage on issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership following the organization’s recent launch of the Until Justice Just Is campaign. For a century, YWCA South Florida’s direct services and public policy advocacy efforts have delivered measurable results on race and gender equity. The work must grow and, based on the idea that it takes 21 days to build a habit, YWCA South Florida is relaunching its 21-Day Challenge to continue heightening the collective community’s ability to end racial and social injustices, until justice just is.
From February 15 to March 15, YWCA South Florida’s 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge will create a neutral ground for participants to learn, grow, and discuss how racism and bias impact everyday life and communities at large. Participants can expect eye-opening content covering a wide range of justice topics, from education and criminal justice reform to public health and voting. Participants will unpack history and its ties to racism in our country daily to build an undeniable new base of knowledge. This year, challenge participants will see entirely new resources dedicated to the critical history and issues of Race and Economics, and, in collaboration with Univision Miami, YWCA South Florida will simultaneously launch 21 Días de Acción for South Florida’s Spanish-speaking community. Corporate and nonprofit teams who have accepted this year’s challenge, including Kaufman Rossin, BankUnited, rbb Communications, KPMG, and Gensler, YWCA South Florida anticipates the challenge will have an even greater reach than the initiative saw in 2020 with more than 4,500 participants across 153 cities.
“Racism can spread like a disease corroding the health of our community if it goes unchecked. Through the 21-Day Challenge, we are building up our community’s immunity against racism by developing a basic understanding and empathy on the implications of social inequality and racial injustice,” said Kerry-Ann Royes, CEO of YWCA South Florida. “In 2020, we ignited 22,000 conversations during the 21-Day Challenge, by the end of 2021 we hope to triple the number of conversations with the support of our generous partners and actionable programming that brings communities closer together to create an equitable and just environment for all.”
Registration is now open for individuals and businesses at www.ywcasouthflorida.org. In addition to receiving challenges over the course of 21 days, participants can take part in interactive discussions with others across YWCA South Florida’s social media channels:
- 21-Day Challenge Facebook Groups: Private Facebook groups in English and Spanish are exclusively accessible to participants to reflect and engage with other challenge participants on topics and materials
- Take Action Tuesday on Instagram Live: Royes hosts a weekly Q&A on Tuesdays at 11 a.m., with special guests and subject matter experts related to each week’s theme
- Forward Fridays Facebook Live Series: Every Friday at 3 p.m., YWCA South Florida also hosts moving conversations into action where special guests speak about actionable steps participants can take to improve their current circumstances
“YWCA South Florida’s 21-Day Challenge allowed our employees and management alike to deeply reflect on the topic of bias and race in our communities,” says Glenn Davis, director of risk advisory services at Kaufman Rossin and the first male board member of YWCA South Florida in its 100-year history. “What we learned has had long-term effects on our employees, and I’ve noticed a growth in awareness and empathy displayed across our company culture. Educating ourselves was the first step. Now, we need to do more.”
In that spirit, Kaufman Rossin’s CEO, Blain Heckaman, has signed on as the chair of the all-new YWCA South Florida Economic Justice Council and lead sponsor of the YWCA South Florida Workforce Pipeline Program. These new initiatives aim to successfully place 300 underemployed women, and/or under-represented groups, into the living-wage workforce in the next two years, recession-proofing them and their families from continued systemic discrimination.
Learnings and growth do not stop after 21-days. YWCA South Florida will continue to introduce one-week challenges throughout the year for continued learning on racism in sports, gender-based violence, environmental justice and more. To learn more about the challenge and how to get involved, visit www.ywcasouthflorida.org.
Hy-Lo News Staff Report
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