With our first challenge, people had been asking “What do I do now?” Our intention was to help people start along their journey towards greater awareness of systemic racism and racial justice allyship. With this challenge, we want to continue the learning together. With the focus on empowering women and racial justice, we have planned four weeks of learnings about the impact of women across Arizona.

In joining this challenge, you will be creating dedicated space and time to build more effective habits. Challenges such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, watching a video, and more will be the catalyst for your own journey to build more effective social justice habits, be an ally to those facing inequities, and to identify ways in your own community to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination. Download this tracker to assist yourself in the daily challenges. If you would like to sign up for notifications of when our next Challenge begins, please do so here.

Organizations/Groups:  YWCA can facilitate a 21-Day Challenge which includes a custom registration landing page and daily email to all participants for 21 days. For more information please contact us.

WEEK 1 – ARIZONA HERSTORY

Welcome to Day 1, we are so glad you are here.

Invite a friend to join us! Join our Facebook group! This week, we will be focusing on woman-power in Arizona and how Arizona women have impacted our entire country. Women get things done, women make things work, women are the backbone of our society. Today, we’ll focus on the women who fight for Arizona women every day, including the many women who have served as elected officials across our state’s history. But holding an elected office is not required for the women of Arizona, just the desire to do good.

As a bonus, there is a 45-minute podcast that talks about YWomenVote and how the stage is set for women to be driving force for the 2020 election. It’s a powerful listen.

Challenges

OPTION 1: By way of history, the 1997 and 1998 elections in Arizona would seat 5 female politicians and they simultaneously held the 5 highest public offices in Arizona. Read here about their legacies.

OPTION 2: In current times, Arizona just named 31 exceptions women across the state, highlighting their work, effort, and accomplishments. Spend some time getting know them now.

OPTION 3: Listen here as YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Castillo and Peggy Nagae talk about how women’s leadership styles are the most successful in times of crisis.

Much of what women have accomplished throughout history has been through their own resiliency and determination, being willing to face challenges in stride. Did you know it took nearly 100 years for the women’s suffrage movement to earn the right to vote? Or that the first Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1923 but hasn’t yet been ratified? Or that researchers project that the gender pay gap won’t be closed for another 257 years?

Today we highlight some of the work women in Arizona are doing to make our communities, and world, more equitable.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Take an hour to listen with Catherine Alonzo, about how changes in difficult times can be tough – yet showing up for each other can be a step in the right direction.

OPTION 2: Watch as Professor Akua Duku Anokye of ASU solves problems with the women of Ghana using interdisciplinarity.

OPTION 3: Read more about Professor Duku and her work on African Diasporic women activists as community mothers.

For the past 26 years, our Tribute to Leadership Luncheon and Awards event has been an annual celebration to recognize the accomplishments of leaders in our community who strive to improve the lives of women, girls, and people of color through leadership, advocacy, and community service.

For 2021 we have re-imagined the Luncheon to a virtual month-long celebration to reflect on 26 years of phenomenal Legacy honorees culminating in a virtual gathering to continue the legacy of celebration, togetherness, and to raise funds that are critical for us to stay resilient and stay strong for our community.

Learn more about the Legacy created by our Tribute to Leadership honorees and get ready to celebrate with us next March!

Challenges

OPTION 1: Revisit our 2020 Tribute to Leadership honorees by bearing witness to their accomplishments in their work to eliminate racism and empower women.

OPTION 2: Learn about the advances made to our Tribute event and how we will be honoring Legacy Leadership in 2021.

OPTION 3: We’re excited to catch up with two past honorees, Tina Brown and Diana Gregory.

We believe the studies and research that shows when women thrive, families, communities, and society thrive. However, Arizona women often lag, not only behind Arizona men in important areas, but behind women in other states. Today we shine a light on Arizona women who have made their mark on our state and our nation.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Get to know Ofelia Zepeda, Tohono O’odham poet, Regents’ Professor of Tohono O’odham language and Linguistics, and Director of the American Indian Language Development Institute at the University of Arizona and experience her poetry for yourself reading Proclamation and Smoke in Our Hair.

OPTION 2: Discover Guadalupe Huerta, a Hispanic activist and lobbyist from Arizona who fought to provide housing for some of our most vulnerable populations, seniors and those with disabilities.

OPTION 3: Learn how Sandra Day O’Connor made her mark in HERstory as the first women to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by listening to this NPR podcast.

Arizona women’s history was not as seamless as you’ve learned – join us today in learning that while Arizona was a leader in women’s suffrage, it was still a long fight for women and people of color, as well as Indigenous peoples across the state.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Arizona was a western state that passed women’s suffrage before the 19th amendment was ratified. Read about the work done by Arizona women, for Arizona women.

OPTION 2: While Arizona led the country in voting equality for women, watch to see how the work was not done for folks of color.

OPTION 3: For many women in Arizona, the 19th amendment was only the beginning of a longer fight. Read how Indigenous peoples and folks of color still faced inequality for years to come.

Without a doubt, this week brought stories and experiences of EXCEPTIONAL women. YWCA is honored to lift their stories. And yet we wonder, what will it take for equal, powerful, unstoppable women and BIPOC* to be part of unquestioned societal norms as opposed to (more often than not) the “exceptions?”

We welcome your thoughts for discussion as we move toward Week 2: The Voting Experience.

*Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

WEEK 2 – THE VOTING EXPERIENCE

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. In 2016, Phoenix joined cities and states across the country in establishing today as an annual day of commemoration. In recognition of our Native American friends, today we lift up learnings that highlight their historic and ongoing fight for voting equality.

Use this tool to see who were the original custodians of the land where you live and which Indigenous peoples were affected by colonization.

Today is also the beginning of our second week of the challenge – The Voting Experience. Over the next five days, we will explore voting rights for marginalized communities and how we can all work together to ensure that all who are able are encouraged and empowered to vote.

Challenges

OPTION 1: While most recognized the 19th amendment as giving women the right to vote; the truth is it only gave some women the right to vote. Marginalized communities still had to wait years and sometimes decades to receive the same rights white women received in the 19th amendment.

OPTION 2: Watch how Native American people on the Navajo Nation are still fighting for voting equality today.

OPTION 3: Native American people have been in America since the start of time; their history will always precede the United States’.

This Land is a podcast series that follows the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. Murphy and whether a murder happened in Oklahoma or in Muscogee Nation. While jurisdiction starts the thinly veiled argument, the case turns into so much more. The series skims the surface on the many and vast injustices Indigenous peoples continue to face daily, and the problematic views society continues to use as reasonings to treat Tribes lesser than. Through this podcast, we are given a glimpse of many times where a court case being argued is less about the matter at hand and more about maintaining and protecting nontribal interests. If you only have time for one episode, listen to episode 3.

Women Suffragettes fought for nearly 100 years for the right to vote. However, for women of color, passage of the 19th amendment wasn’t the end of their fight, but the beginning. It wasn’t until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that all women received the right to vote. Today we uplift the women behind the suffrage movement, some you may have heard of and likely many you haven’t. Their courage, tenacity, and persistence laid the groundwork for the voter engagement and enfranchisement activities that are happening even today.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Review a history of women’s suffrage movement through the portraits and images of the women involved – movement leaders across races, ages, and fields.

OPTION 2: From the Declaration of the Rights of Women adoption at Seneca Falls to the passage of the 19th amendment, listen to this podcast which examines the 19th century of the women’s rights movement.

OPTION 3: Read about some lesser known stories of Women’s Fight for the Right to Vote Bonus: Read how Black suffragists were left out of the women’s rights movement.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the American’s With Disabilities Act was signed into law. Disability activists across the country fought for equal treatment and accommodations for folks with disabilities – especially at the polling place. Learn how their efforts shaped history and how to help someone you know vote!

Challenges

OPTION 1: In 1990, disability rights activists planned The Capitol Crawl and led to the passage of Americans With Disabilities Act – watch their work here.

OPTION 2: Learn about your rights and your loved one’s rights when it comes to voting with disabilities.

OPTION 3: Watch why it is important to vote for individuals with a disability. 

At YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, our community partners are so important to us. Aligned by our joint missions to empower women, we’re excited to work with All In Together for our voter engagement activities in Arizona.

All In Together encourages, equips, educates, and empowers voting-age women to participate fully in America’s civic and political life. Today, they help us with creating a voting plan, especially for folks who may need some extra assistance.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Read here about the power of local-level politics.

OPTION 2: Learn how to find your power and use your vote.

OPTION 3: Arizona is one of six states represented by 2 women, click here to see the gender gaps in representation.
BONUS: Arizona’s Address Confidentiality Program to protect survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking also applies for registering to vote. Learn More Here.

 

Join us for YWomen Vote: A Virtual Conversation on the Impact of your Vote in Arizona to transform and inform your voting experience in November. As our nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts on women, raising our voices is even more important.

Women are highly motivated and enthusiastic to advance shared personal and economic security interests in 2020. Eight in 10 women are enthusiastic and almost certain to vote in 2020! We will explore why women vote in Arizona, have specific talks about voting requirements, and connect your vote and the impact it has on your personal and financial security with guest speakers, experts in the field, and YWCA!

Challenges

OPTION 1: It’s not too late to sign up for today’s town hall!

OPTION 2: In the meantime, you can read the YWomenVote report.

There is no shortage of campaign advertising and every candidate wants to win your vote. YWCA strives to feature helpful tools, resources and information to make educated choices at the ballot box. Tell us – what information do you look for when casting your vote? How do you determine which candidates are committed to anti-racism? To protecting women and women’s rights?

Please share your strategies and “go-to” resources in the Facebook group as we look ahead to Week 3: A Week Without Violence.

WEEK 3 – WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. For more than 20 years, we have set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence – a week to raise awareness and engage action to end the broad spectrum of violence – as part of a global movement with World YWCA to end violence against women and girls.

Challenges

OPTION 1: The 1994 bill which created the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was a watershed moment, marking the first comprehensive federal legislative package designed to end violence against women. Learn about the history of VAWA.

OPTION 2: Annually, YWCAs across the country honor and recognize Week Without Violence. Listen to a special episode of our podcast, Organize Your Butterflies, to learn about our campaign to end gender-based violence.

OPTION 3: Read about the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, which affects some of the most vulnerable populations in our country and is going largely unreported and unrecognized.

With the pandemic, Phoenix in particular has seen a rise in domestic violence cases. An unintended consequence of being quarantined at home is reduced safety for womxn* in relationships that are dangerous. Spend today learning how this data is collected and how to help.

*womxn used by some feminists, especially in the intersectional feminist movement, is one of several alternative spellings of the English word woman. It is used to avoid the spelling woman (which contains and derives from the word men), and to foreground transgender and nonbinary.

Challenges

OPTION 1: We have seen a soar in domestic violence crimes during the pandemic, in fact, it is a 140% increase.

OPTION 2: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announces $350k from the Corona Relief Fund to support DV shelters.

OPTION 3: Watch YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Castillo, talk about how to help people who suffer from domestic violence during the pandemic.

Financial abuse is often a factor in relationships that are affected by domestic violence. It can prevent a womxn from leaving their partner safely, children’s well-being, and perpetuate the cycle of abuse. Today, learn about the signs, how the YWCA is working toward eliminating financial abuse, and how to help others.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Financial abuse comes in many different shapes. Learn about what financial abuse is and how to recognize the signs.

OPTION 2: Serena Williams advocates for financial abuse awareness and explains the warning signs in this video.

OPTION 3: Read about financial abuse and how YWCA is helping women recover from this form of domestic violence.

Bonus: This toolkit of education support for survivors of financial abuse.

For today, we have a three-part video series that can be used in conjunction with each other or in standalone discovery. Ending racism and oppression is crucial and necessary not only in anti-violence work, but across all communities and organizations. In these videos, you will hear from advocates and organizers who discuss their own experiences, perceptions, and journeys of practicing anti-racism as a means of ending gender-based and intimate violence. If you have time to watch all three, we invite you to do so.

Trigger Warning: Today’s challenges deal with violence, violence against women in particular.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Anti-violence work is rooted in ending racism. This video connects the dots of how the two are intertwined.

OPTION 2: Racism and oppression in anti-violence work is counterproductive, especially when microaggressions can perpetuate unfair systems. Watch this video to see the impacts it has on survivors and advocates.

OPTION 3: To begin your own personal work on creating a more inclusive environment for survivors, watch this video.

When we envision a world without violence, we begin to build a path to creating that world. Use today to help us raise awareness about gender-based violence, support survivors, and envision a world without violence.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Listen to this podcast discussing the work being done to end gun violence and the linkages between domestic violence and gun ownership, commonsense gun laws, and what resources are available to keep women safe and survivors healing.

OPTION 2: Take a Week Without Violence campaign selfie (or group photo) using one of our fillable signs. Share your photo on social media using the hashtag #WWV20, and then tag 5 friends and challenge them to do the same! Check out our useful Week Without Violence photo guide for more info and sample social media posts.
OPTION 3: Can’t or don’t want to post a photo? Support us! YWCA is the largest network of domestic services providers in the country, and your support is crucial to our work. 

Freedom from violence requires a deep and enduring sense of security. YWCA recognizes the myriad disparities impacting a sense of security – violence against women, exposure to COVID-19, risks of eviction and becoming unhoused, access to fresh food and produce, risks of deportation (for yourself or those you love) and risks of police violence among others (all mired with systemic racism). With this weighing on our hearts, we take a deeper look. Who among us benefits from national and local systems designed to provide security? Who does not? How do we reckon with injustice and ensure everyone has access to what they need to feel secure? As we approach Week 4: The Economics of Being a Woman, we’d love to hear your thoughts in our Facebook group.

WEEK 4 – THE ECONOMICS OF BEING A WOMAN

It’s no secret that there are policies across the scope of our government that disproportionately affect women and their lives. This week we will spend time looking at various ways women are affected by policies and practices, how to advocate for ourselves and others being unjustly affected and learn to spot the inequities.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Listen about how some states have repealed sales tax on menstrual products on the grounds it is unfair to women.

OPTION 2: Read this article about how the US tax code helps to entrench gender divisions and reinforce the patriarchy.
OPTION 3: Read this policy paper which examines how caring about gender equality and taxation can be good public policy for all.

The student loan crisis is now in the trillions and affects women and men alike. However, because women statistically hold more debt and have a longer road to pay off, the crisis will affect women and their families longer. Today, we focus on how student loans affect women and how to advocate for more just policies.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Women hold 2/3 of the entire national student loan debt. Watch this video to learn more about this crisis.

OPTION 2: Read about our partner, AAUW, and their policy recommendations on how to support ways to lower the student loan debt for women.
OPTION 3: If you have student loans, know your options and create a student loan payback plan that works for you.

Women spent centuries not being able to control the incomes they earned. Women of color spent an even longer time facing injustices. Use today to learn the timeline of how women became independent of men in regard to their money, and how to advocate for equity in the workplace.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Before 1847, married women had no control or ownership of their property and it wasn’t until 1900 that all white women across the Unites States benefited from the Married Women’s Property Act.

OPTION 2: Less than 60 years ago, women could not have bank accounts or credit cards. Read this article to learn more about the barriers placed on the financial interests of women.
OPTION 3: Read this article to learn some ways to advocate for equal pay throughout your workplace.

Because of the gender pay gap, Latinas were compensated 55% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2019. That means it takes Latina workers almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work in order to be paid what the average annual earnings of a white man. Retweet our tweet storm here.

Challenges

OPTION 1: What exactly is the wage gap? Check this video out to see it explained in five minutes.

OPTION 2:  54% of Hispanic women make far less than white non-Hispanic men at every education level.

Bonus: Latinos transformed Arizona into a presidential battleground state.
OPTION 3:  One “easy” way to close the gender pay gap – knowing your worth in the workplace. Salary negotiation can be learned and practiced with YWCA. Sign up for our next Wage Negotiation class on Nov 23.

Women in the workforce often face barriers, walls, and injustices throughout almost all industries. Today, you can discover how women are treated differently, often earn less, and how they have outside foci that often prevent professional growth.

Challenges

OPTION 1: Working in a male-dominated industry comes with challenges. Here are some takes about Women in Male-Dominated Industries and the Inequities They Face.

Bonus: Listen to When you Work in a Male-Dominated Industry podcast.

OPTION 2:  In an egregious example of workplace inequity watch this video about the US Women’s Soccer Team’s fight for pay equity.

Bonus: Latinos transformed Arizona into a presidential battleground state.
OPTION 3:  As the traditional and primary child caregiver, child care can keep women out of the workforce and can prevent women from progressing in their careers.

Reflecting on the past four weeks of this challenge, we see the incredible impact that can be made in the solidarity of womanhood. Yet womanhood is not experienced universally nor impacted in the same ways. YWCA is committed to practicing Intersectional Feminism*. What practices can you apply to your feminism to hold SPACE for the interconnected yet unique challenges among women – women of color, women with disabilities, women immigrants, trans womxn, women in poverty, women experiencing infertility, Muslim women, etc.? Consider where you hold privilege within your womanhood. How will you elevate the voices and causes of diverse women around you?

*a movement recognizing that barriers to gender equality vary according to other aspects of a woman’s identity, including age, race, ethnicity, class, and religion, and striving to address a diverse spectrum of women’s issues.

If you are planning on going to the polls tomorrow, please remember:

  • Find your voting location at Arizona.Vote.
  • Review and mark a sample ballot and bring your own pen.
  • Wear a face covering or mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other voters and poll workers.
  • Bring sufficient photo ID (see list at Arizona.Vote).
  • As long as you are in line by 7pm you will be allowed to vote, stay in line.
  • If you have any questions or complaints while you’re voting, please call the Secretary of State’s hotline at 877-843-8683.

As a reminder, if you are in line by 7pm, you are allowed to vote, and the polling place cannot close. If you are having trouble, you can call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (for Spanish language folks, call 888-VE-Y-VOTA).Thank you for joining our 21-Day Challenge to Eliminate Racism and Empower Women.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this experience. Please complete our survey today.

Get InvolveD

Your voice matters as we stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. Whether you have time, talents, or treasures to contribute, learn how you can plug in to the YWCA community.