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.

The 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. (#BlackMind) and co-developed with Debby Irving and Dr. Marguerite Penick (#DiverseSolutions). The plan has been adopted by Organizations, Associations, and Corporations all over the nation/world. Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. is the Director of the Privilege Institute in Green Bay, WI. Dr. Moore created the Challenge to not only help people better understand issues surrounding equity, inclusion, privilege, leadership, and supremacy, but also to do so in a way that would build a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days. We are excited to be offering you this 21-Day Challenge inspired by Dr. Moore’s work.

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.

Our next 21-Day Challenge begins May 3rd.

WEEK 1 – RACISM AS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

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

Last week, as part of our Stand Against Racism campaign, we worked with Outcast Theatre Collective to address racism as a public health crisis, to stand up to injustices in our community and to use our collective voice to create a more peaceful, more free world. Check out the recording if you missed. This week, we will continue our understanding about Racism as a Public Health Crisis. 

During this 21-Day Challenge, each day, you will get two options to move you deeper on your anti-racism journey. If a topic or theme is new to you, start with Raise Your Awareness – to learn more about the topic, seeking understanding with an open mind. Take Action is the space for you to do something – write a letter, confront an unconscious bias, have a conversation with someone – this is for you to act on the learnings of the day.

Welcome to the 21-Day Challenge, let’s build a better community, together.

Discrimination. Oppression. Racism. At YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, we are on a mission to eliminate racism. Spend the day learning about allyship when dismantling racism. In this action item, we challenge you to discover the differences between these three words and begin using them contextually.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Diversity and inclusion consultant and author, Jennifer Brown, reminds us that “allyship is not a destination, but a journey.” Your commitment to an antiracist journey by joining this challenge is important. Take some time to read or listen to The Ally Continuum to acknowledge where you are, where you want to go, and how to be the best voice for people of color, women, and other marginalized communities.

TAKE ACTION: To take action today, we challenge you to learn the differences between equality and equity. We will join you in making the conscious effort to update our vocabulary, by recognizing the differences between oppression, discrimination, and racism and being bold in our allyship towards injustices.

Healthcare as a civil rights issue developed out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Yet, as we learned yesterday, equality and equity are not the same. Structural racism continues to greatly impact social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Racially discriminatory governing policies and practices continue to contribute to social, economic, and health inequities that people of color face today.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Watch this video to learn about how social determinants, like poverty, access to water, and housing affect health outcomes.

Structural racism in the United States has led to far higher rates of acute and chronic disease in communities of color, and much higher rates of death from disease. People of color are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hepatitis, and hypertension) and infectious diseases (such as HIV/AIDS and COVID-19) as compared to their white counterparts.

TAKE ACTION: Review this Venn diagram of determinants of health. Determine which indicator is most noteworthy to you and your experiences, especially within your community across Phoenix. Join us in our Facebook group and let’s chat. What determinants are you seeing in your community? How can we shine the light on racism as a public health crisis based on these determinants? Join us in raising awareness on how racism impacts public health.

Stay tuned for Week 4 of our 21-Day Challenge as we discuss the specific healthcare and environmental inequities that are emboldened by the pandemic.

Racial tension is once again at a critical tipping point in the U.S. Many people are asking, “Why now? Why was the death of George Floyd the catalyst for this national reckoning on racial injustice?”

The truth is this movement is over 500 years in the making. Only now, with the widespread use of cell phone video and social media posts, has the awareness of injustices beyond our own doors become widespread and too prevalent to ignore.

While this has allowed for a collective response and an awareness that these are not isolated events, it has also served to re-traumatize people who witness the deaths of Black people at the hands of the police. This serves to fuel hypervigilance and mistrust of a system that vows to protect and serve.

If you are struggling with your mental health, here are some resources and support from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Listen and watch stories of how racialized trauma affects mental health, especially in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities, and how we can give ourselves permission to heal.

TAKE ACTION: In this interview on NPR, Resmaa Menakem, Author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (buy at local Phoenix bilingual bookstore), reflects on impacts of the Derek Chauvin trial on Black communities, and how our mental and physical health is related to racialized trauma. He discusses the impact on black bodies, white bodies, and blue/police bodies.

Help normalize the need for mental health support in your community, family, and workplace.  

Read My Grandmother’s Hands and seek to learn more about historical trauma and how you can heal from it.

America is the most dangerous wealthy country in the world to give birth. This is, in part, due to the dramatic racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. Toxic stress and bias in medical care mean that women of color are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications. Racism is a public health crisis and it is time to treat it as such.

Maternal mortality rates in the United States have hit a staggering rate and continue to rise: 700 women die each year in the US from pregnancy-related causes, more than 50,000 women experience a complication so severe that they nearly die, and more than 60% of those deaths and complications are preventable. In fact, the only countries with rising maternal death rates are the United States, Afghanistan, and Sudan.

Medicaid covers about two-thirds of births among Black, AIAN, and NHOPI women and six in ten births among Hispanic women, compared to one in three births among white women.

As a primary source of coverage for pregnant women and infants, particularly among people of color, Medicaid is key to improving maternal and infant health and reducing racial disparities. Read more here. To see what Medicaid is doing in Arizona, this graphic is helpful.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read this article on how the negative impact of institutional racism on maternal and infant mortality for Native American women closely parallels that of African American women.

BONUS: Watch Nona’s story.

TAKE ACTION: The maternal mortality rates among women of color in this country continues to rise and demands immediate action. It’s time for Congress to step up and address the maternal health crisis in America! Tell your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Black Maternal Health Omnibus Act (S. 346/H.R. 959) today!

BONUS: Join us and Outcast Theatre Collective tonight at 5:00 p.m. as we  co-create a Theatre of the Oppressed scene!

While YWCA declares Racism as a Public Health Crisis, doctors and frontline works across the country are dealing with this every single day. They see the racism within the system and unequal health outcomes for Americans based on the color of their skin.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Listen to Dr. Rhea Boyd, a California pediatrician and public health advocate, talk about structural racism in the healthcare system compounding to public health crisis.

TAKE ACTION: Write to your members of Congress and demand they declare Racism a Public Health Crisis.

To uproot systemic racial inequities, we must break down barriers and marshal resources to ensure people of color can access safe and affordable housing, quality education, jobs with fair work environments, reliable transportation, healthy foods, and environments free of contamination – all essential elements of  health and well-being.

WEEKEND WONDERING: Maya Angelou is often quoted, “Do the best you can until you know better.  And when you know better, you can do better.” YWCA assumes that participants in the 21-Day Challenge are here to do just that – know better and do better in our personal commitments to combatting systemic racism.  What did you experience this week that changed your knowledge?  How will this change influence your conversations with others? What additional questions are emerging with your understanding that racism as a public health crisis?

If you’re willing, we’d love to have you share in our Challenge Facebook Group!

WEEK 2 – SYSTEMS PERPETUATING RACISM

Welcome to week 2 of our 21-Day Challenge. Our world and our country are full of systems. Voter registration, open enrollment for schools, process to sign up for a checking account, or to apply for a mortgage. Everything has a system, likely created to streamline and “make things easier.” Systems intended to streamline though have a dark side. They allow for inequities to rage, they allow for isolation and exclusion, they allow for racism to be perpetuated under the cover of “that’s the way we have always done it.”

As individuals interested in learning more about racial equity, you’ve likely heard of the term “school-to-prison pipeline,” (if you haven’t check out this infographic made by the ACLU). Most notably this term is tied to the systems that funnel African American boys out of school and into prison at alarming rates. Today we will learn more about how school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect Black students. Of particular concern is the adultification of Black girls – the stereotypes and misperceptions, which view Black girls as older, more mature, and more aggressive.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: 

Learn about the school to prison pipeline. Out of school suspensions have doubled since the 1970s and continue to increase even though juvenile crimes have continued to drop. 

BONUS: Across the country, Black girls are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Read this study to better understand how Black girls are being pushed out of school.

TAKE ACTION: Is there racial inequity in your neighborhood school? In the school by your office? Where your children or family members go to school?

Check out the school you are thinking of with this interactive map which examines racial disparities in educational opportunities and school discipline.

Research proves that the presence of law enforcement doesn’t create a safer school environment. So what does? Positive relationships between students, staff, and families. Take a look at the Safe Classrooms Pledge in partnership with the ACLU. Can you advocate for these practices?

Over the past few years, it’s become clear to many that the media is biased. For some, the bias is overt – certain outlets target specific demographics or viewpoints. For other media outlets, the bias is more subtle, but there nevertheless. Bias has played such a role in media within the last year – often driven by clicks and views. The media’s use of bias to create and amplify divisions can lead to something much more dangerous. Today, in consideration of the increase of overt expression of anti-Asian sentiment, along with the recent attacks affecting the Asian and Pacific Islander community, we are showcasing the role media plays in propagating anti-Asian sentiment in their work and reporting.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Within the Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community 3,795 hate incidents, mostly against women, have been reported in the last year.  While hate crimes in general have decreased, hate crimes against the AAPI community have risen since the beginning of 2020.

Create some awareness for yourself around the role of media in anti-Asian racism.

If you have time for an informed listen, listen to how this blanket hate and violence is affecting communities and individuals.

TAKE ACTION: Like we talked about in week 1, words matter. Take some time to learn about what Arizona based organizations are doing to ensure inclusivity within the Asian community.

PBS tells us 8 different ways we can take action to protect our Asian American community members. Do one today.

Unconscious biases often show up in hiring practices across industries. These unconscious biases perpetuate racism within corporate settings. Spend today taking in others’ experiences.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read about how Black job seekers describe the biases they still face in hiring practices today.

OPTION 2: Brenda, our Operations Director, talks about the ways that YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix has uncovered racist practices and brainstorms ways you can use these actions in your own space or organization.

Women of color are choosing to leave jobs, volunteer roles, board of directors positions or leadership roles in record numbers. Why? Their primary reason is that no one listened to them. It happens all the time, in every type of organization. Women of color get stereotyped, minimized and their talents are used to attack and demean them, not lift them up. Why do we allow our women of color leaders, with invaluable perspective and talent, walk away?

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: The display of white fragility and need for white comfort is harmful to the work we do, and the people of color we are working with. We need to do more to understand when it is happening, call it out, and end this practice.

We ask people of color to teach us, show us, and relive their trauma so that we can understand their ‘lived experience.’ Let’s do more to understand the weight of that work and learn how to do the work for ourselves to learn and understand racism, our white privilege and fragility.

TAKE ACTION: As a white woman, examine your privilege, and when have you asked for comfort when you faced an uncomfortable truth about racism?

Too often we rely on other people to call out and make change, in this TEDx, Brittany Packnett encourages us all to “be the domino” that is the catalyst for change. It is not only the role for women of color to fight for equality, but all women also need to stand and speak up!

As a woman of color, make a plan for self-care and opportunities to check in with others that share similar experiences as you.

BONUS: Join us and Outcast Theatre Collective tonight at 5:00 p.m. as we  co-create a Theatre of the Oppressed scene!

As if facing a lifetime of hurdles – from disparities in education to inequitable pay and biases in hiring to dangerous policing and murder by police – was not enough, Black Americans face yet another challenge. If they are fortunate enough to reach retirement, so much has been stacked against them for so long that the risk of being thrust into poverty and ending up unhoused is greater than for white Americans. Having had fewer opportunities to take high wage-earning jobs and save towards retirement, some much work longer into their later years, even at the expense of their health. Today we skim the surface on retirement by race.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: This quick video explains how retirement plans are designed to benefit those with higher incomes over those with lower incomes.

BONUS: Annuity.org published “50 Essential Retirement Statistics for 2020.” Some statistics to note are:

  • Only 61% of Hispanic Americans and 64% of Black Americans have some retirement savings, compared to 80% of white Americans.
  • Just 30% of Hispanic families and 34% of Black families have individual or employee-sponsored retirement accounts, compared to 60% of white families.
  • Black and Hispanic families’ net housing wealth averages $94,400 and $129,800, respectively, white families’ housing equity averages $215,800. 

In March 2021, National Council on Aging, published their findings that over half of Black and Hispanic seniors aged 65+ have incomes below 200% of the Federal poverty line. Black and Hispanic seniors are reaching retirement age with too little in savings or the risk of facing poverty or homelessness by retiring.

TAKE ACTION: At YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, we’re building just, equitable Arizona communities that embrace and celebrate each person’s inherent value.

From those facing racism, marginalization, and unjust barriers, to those seeking new understanding, YWCA exists to support and collaborate with them. For those who need direct aid and services, YWCA is here to uplift and support them through:

Prosperity Programs – Financial literacy workshops coupled with personalized and individual financial coaching for women in transition;

Senior Programs – Home delivered and congregate meal programs, wellness checks, and socialization for seniors living in Glendale; and

Equity Programs – Stand Against Racism, 21-Day Challenges, and YOU∙nity Learning Circles intended to raise consciousness and awareness of racial, social, and gender justice issues.

Please consider demonstrating your commitment to eliminating racism and empowering women with a gift to YWCA today. Every dollar is invested to enhance and then sustain our vital programs and services.

WEEKEND WONDERING: This weeks’ progression started with the experiences of youth in school systems and followed life experiences through adulthood and into retirement. Sharing her recent research, Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, found that the majority of white Americans experience life – cradle to grave – without developing meaningful and authentic relationships with People of Color. At YWCA we see that as a significant loss to our full humanity. How might the dismantling of systems (that seriously marginalize People of Color) be hastened if we lived in a society where deeply held cross-racial relationships were the norm?

WEEK 3 – ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM

Today, we learn about intentional architectural design decisions to make public spaces more uncomfortable for unhoused individuals to seek shelter in.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Learn how unhoused people are pushed out of spaces where they could seek shelter with the use of hostile architecture. Hostile architecture refers to architectural designs with elements that create physical discomfort or barriers that reduce shelter options for the unhoused.

BONUS: If you are wondering how this is an example of environmental racism, learn about the longstanding connection between race and homelessness on this timeline. As the home buying market across the United States continues trending increasingly competitive, more individuals and families are impacted by housing insecurity and homelessness.

TAKE ACTION: Observe how your city responds to homelessness. Where is hostile architecture more prominent? Are your city officials taking actions that perpetuate the issues faced by those who are unhoused or are they looking for solutions that compassionately address homelessness and uplift people in their time of need?

Affordable housing is imperative to ensure our communities are safely housed. The Arizona Coalition of Housing offers a toolkit for you to use to advocate. Check out page 18 to see how the City of Tolleson and the City of Flagstaff are leaders in affordable housing, and what you can do to be a part of the movement.

We will revisit the topic of homelessness next week as we explore inequities intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunger is a racial equity issue. The higher rates of food insecurity and poverty and the racial wealth gap are a direct result of systemic racial and gender discrimination in virtually every aspect of American life. Although the USDA says levels of food insecurity have declined and risen over the last 20 years, one trend that has continued to persist is the gap in the prevalence of food insecurity between people of color and white Americans.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Food justice advocates often use the term food apartheid, stating that it takes into account the systemic racism affecting the food system across our country. Over 17% of Americans live in food deserts with limited access to healthy, fresh food.

BONUS: If you’re more in the mood to listen, this podcast will talk about the connection between health inequities and food deserts.

TAKE ACTION: Farmers Markets are opportunities for food deserts to be addressed. In South Phoenix, Spaces for Opportunity has turned an urban farm space into a place for micro farmers and individual gardeners to come together and address the food insecurity they and their communities face.

Check out their Instagram, they are transforming a food desert into a food oasis. Their Instagram also highlights their hours and days open. Supporting small farms across the Valley directly impacts those living with food insecurity. Let us know which fruits and veggies you pick!

BONUS: Mark Your Calendars! Join us Thursday as a continuation of our Stand Against Racism event to see the final scene co-created by our YWCA Community and Outcast Theatre Collective. Take Action by practicing your allyship and build the muscle of what you would do when you encounter racist acts.

Recent environmental studies have affirmed what communities of color have long known – people of color face disproportionate risks from pollution, and that polluting industries are often located in the middle of their communities.

In 2018, even as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continued a plan to dismantle many of the institutions built to address these disproportionate risks, researchers embedded in the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment released a study indicating that people of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. Specifically, the study found that people in poverty are exposed to more fine particulate matter than people living above poverty.  Today we explore the impact of the climate on marginalized communities. 

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Watch this introductory video to learn about environmental and climate justice across the United States.

BONUS: NAACP article about how race is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country.

TAKE ACTION: Read through the principles of environmental justice, as presented by Green Action. Determine which principle you can take action around – how can you show up as an ally in this space? Join us in the Facebook group to chat with us about which principle you chose.

BONUS: Mark Your Calendar! Join us tomorrow as a continuation of our Stand Against Racism event to see the final scene co-created by our YWCA Community and Outcast Theatre Collective. Take Action by practicing your allyship and build the muscle of what you would do when you encounter racist acts.

While climate change affects all of us, the impacts are not shared equitably and actions often speak louder than words. Prioritizing profits over people fuels the climate and environmental injustices towards the Indigenous people who live on the land impacted by pipelines.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: While the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline in January of 2021 was celebrated, the work is not done. Read about the activist work being done to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline – a pipeline that is currently operating without a permit and in violation of key environmental laws.

TAKE ACTION: Write to your elected officials to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Join us today as we continue our Stand Against Racism conversation to see the final scene co-created by our YWCA Community and Outcast Theatre Collective. Take Action by practicing your allyship and build the muscle of what you would do when you encounter racist acts.

Examples of environmental racism across the United States are tragically easy to find. For instance, up until 1978, all five of the Phoenix-owned landfills were in Black neighborhoods.

Environmental justice embraces the principle that all communities are entitled to equal protection, in part, of housing, transportation, employment, and energy.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: The pollution of the United States continues to be segregated. As a sociologist, Robert Bullard talks about environmental justice and the impact of pollution on minority communities in Houston.

TAKE ACTION: Educate present and future generations on social and environmental issues. 

Hold elected officials accountable by demanding them to be ethical and responsible with the use of land and renewable resources.

Tell President Biden: Pollution-free Cars, Trucks, & Buses This Decade!


WEEKEND WONDERING: Dr. Beverly Tatum uses the visualization of the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. For more detail (we promise – it’s short!) Unless we are walking ACTIVELY in the opposite direction of the walkway and at a speed faster than the belt…we can be carried along with the racism itself. In what areas of your life do you see – AND TAKE – opportunities to walk in the opposite direction and faster than the speed of racism? What additional tools, resources, collaborators do you need to build stamina and endurance in the work of anti-racism?

WEEK 4 – INEQUITIES INTENSIFIED IN THE PANDEMIC

According to the CDC, long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. Some of the main factors that contribute to the inequities faced by People of Color during the pandemic include healthcare access and utilization, occupation, educational, wealth, and income gaps, and housing…in other words…straight up discrimination. These inequities have long put People of Color at a higher risk. This week we will take a look into inequitable determinants and try to create some change.

The education system has served white students better than students of color for a long time. Learn what is known about how the pandemic intensified this disparity further and Arizona’s unique position. Then, think about the effects that will surface years down the line.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, part 1 states:

“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”

Read this report on COVID-19 and learning loss. One of their findings was that by Spring 2020, white students were starting the school year one to three months behind, while students of color were starting three to five months behind in learning. 

TAKE ACTION:  Watch this brief conversation between two former Arizona educators breaking down Arizona’s unique education system. They discuss how the decentralized nature of the school system in Arizona has both allowed for a nimbler response to COVID-19 while also revealing and intensifying disparities.

What can you talk to your school district or city council member about after watching this video?

SAY THEIR NAMES

Today is the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Today we honor him and the 16 other men of color who were killed by police officers since May 25, 2020.

On March 3, 2021 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280) and took a critical step towards the future of policing and public safety in this country. 

It’s time for Senators to step up and build upon the successes in the House-passed H.R. 1280 to truly protect and ensure the safety of Black and Brown communities. Police violence and racial disparities have no place in America and it’s time we make our voices heard.

Challenge

TAKE ACTION: Join us and speak out for justice and accountability now!

Vaccine equity across Arizona is directly related to the social determinants of health that predict a community’s well-being. Vaccine access and appointment scheduling systems are leaving out vulnerable and marginalized populations. Vaccine administration equity in Arizona is sorely lacking and we need to be doing better to meet folks where they are.

As of April 23, 2021, the Latinx community is 2x more likely to contract COVID-19 compared to their white counterparts.

Learn how the Latinx community is feeling this impact and how you can make a difference.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: The Arizona Public Health Association has some startling facts about the vaccine administration equity across Arizona, especially as it relates to our Latino community. For instance, the Phoenix zip code 85009 is reporting the lowest vaccination rate and is 82% Latinx. 

As COVID vaccines become more and more available, how do you envision getting these vulnerable populations to trust and sign up for a vaccine?

TAKE ACTION: Volunteers are still needed for the COVID vaccine sites. While most volunteer shifts have moved inside for the summer, volunteers are still needed to partner with the community to get Arizona vaccinated.

BONUS: NPR talks about 5 things we all can do to make the vaccine roll out more equitable.

Corporate philanthropy is a beautiful thing. This is when a business of any size decides they will utilize their resources to support their local community through:

  • Time – Volunteering hours, days of service, etc.
  • Talent – Using their expertise to benefit a cause
  • Treasure – Financial contributions (big or small)

Today we examine how to build equity into the relationship between funders and nonprofits.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read more about making philanthropy more equitable using a tool called the Equitable Grantmaking Continuum

TAKE ACTION: How can you take one of the three big T’s to your organization?

BONUS: Funders, take this assessment and see where you fall on the Equitable Grantmaking Continuum, then share it with colleagues and board. Nonprofits, feel free to share this with the organizations that fund you.

The COVID-19 intensifies the issue of homelessness for communities of color. Learn the facts and help address the issue.

Challenges

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the inequalities in the housing market and racial pay gap contributed to disparities in homeownership and homelessness for communities of color. As we learned in Day 11, communities of color experience homelessness at disproportionate rates as compared to their white counterparts. The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty’s fact sheet documents how the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified homelessness and housing insecurity in communities of color.

TAKE ACTION: The fact sheet from The National Law Center on Homelessness provides advocates, activists, and policymakers with specific ways to help address this issue. At a local level, the unhoused community faces the added risks to their health that comes with extreme heat. This summer, as you keep yourself and your loved ones sheltered from heat, consider dropping off a case or two of water to a City of Phoenix Human Services Department Family Center or making donation to provide water and heat relief for the unhoused community in Phoenix. 

WEEKEND WONDERING: At this point, after 20 days of learning about the challenges within racial justice, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the work that lies ahead. In those moments when the weight is too much to bear, we urge you to remember the beauty and power of a sustained note from a choir.  This sustained note is only possible when many voices are singing together. Intermittently, individuals are able to pause, have a breath and then return… allowing the note to last longer than anyone could sing alone.  YWCA invites you to join our community in the sustained work of racial justice. How will you care for yourself so that you can stay in it with us for the long haul?

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.