With this challenge, we want to continue the learning together. With the focus on empowering women and racial justice, we have reproduced this year’s four weeks of learning in this fall reboot.

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.


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

Eugenics is an ableist and white supremacist worldview that took shape in the late nineteenth century that advocated for the systemic removal of marginalized people from the population. Although Eugenics is most associated with Nazi Germany, it was and remains a common belief system. Many of Eugenics’ most vocal and earliest proponents were Americans in positions of power who targeted people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people, in particular for forced sterilization, institutionalization, and other violence. These resources will examine the role Eugenics played in shaping our country and how it continues to impact us today.


WATCH: this brief history of the policy of eugenics in the state of Oregon that would result in an array of individuals being institutionalized and/or forcibly sterilized under the law. Eugenics policies targeted those who were othered because of physical and mental disabilities.

READ: this article about the importance of centering the reproductive rights of disabled people in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, particularly in the context of America’s history of forced sterilization of disabled people.

READ: this article about Buck v. Bell, the supreme court case that allowed forced sterilization, and how the arguments made in the case continue to reinforce institutional racism and ableism, among other forms of systemic discrimination today.

The Disability Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s was one of the most impactful civil rights campaigns in American history but the ways in which it changed all of our lives are often overlooked and minimized. Today’s resources will take a deep dive into the history of the movement as well as how today’s disability advocates are continuing the fight for continued progress, accessibility, and belonging in a world systemically designed to marginalize people with disabilities.

Activist and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989 to describe the experiences of people who are marginalized by multiple forms of oppression. These resources center the experiences of disabled people of color and how racism and ableism have impacted their lives in ways that are different from how ableism impacts white disabled people or how racism impacts non-disabled people of color.


LISTEN: to this beautiful first-hand account from disability rights activists about their fight to get the U.S. government to enforce these important protections by launching the largest peaceful occupation of a federal building in U.S. history.

READ: the Example of Ability Privilege list.

WATCH: this Ted Talk featuring civil rights icon Judith Heumann, a lifelong disability activist discussing the long fight for disability rights and creating more accessible spaces. 

READ: this article about how marriage equality is still not a reality for many disabled people because getting married can mean losing access to critical disability benefits.

RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Meet disability rights activist Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community that amplifies disability media and culture. In this article, Alice shares her experience of growing up disabled and Asian American.

BONUS: Watch Alice’s story.

READ: this article about the disproportionate criminalization of African Americans with disabilities and why it is important to collect data across race, gender, and disability status to understand the impact of police violence on disabled people of color.

WATCH: this video about the experiences of Indigenous Americans with disabilities and the lack of accessible infrastructure in rural Indigenous communities.

LISTEN: to this podcast featuring Haben Girma, disability rights advocate and author of “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law,” and Vilissa Thompson, a social worker and disability rights activist, to better understand how police brutality affects the Black disabled community.

Week 1 – Discussion Questions 

1 What was the most impactful piece of content for you this week? 

2 What was the most challenging thing you learned this week? 

3 In what ways does your organization perpetuate ableism, intentionally or not? 

4 Prior to this challenge were you familiar with the history of eugenics in this country and how it continues to impact us? 

5 Why is it so important to include the voices of disabled people in conversations about reproductive justice? 

6 The medical model says that disability is an individual health issue. The social model says that disability exists when and individual attempts to interact with an inaccessible/ableist society. What does this contrast spark for you? 

7 Why do you think that the disability rights movement and the Americans with Disabilities Act are not often mentioned alongside other civil rights achievements? 

8 Do you think that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the conversation around systemic ableism? 

9 Why is it important to understand the intersection of race, gender, and disability? 

10 How has disability shown up in your life?

Week 1 – Action Steps 

1 Write your Senator or representative and encourage them to make a stand for marriage equality for people with disabilities and ensure that people with disabilities do not lose benefits when they get married. 

2 Contact your state senator or representative and encourage them to expand access to mail-in voting and ensure that polling locations are accessible to ensure that people with disabilities can make their voices heard at election time.

3 Use the ability privilege checklist as a jumping off point to evaluate how you can improve your company/organization’s policies to make them more inclusive for people with disabilities. 

Additional actions you can take. Click on any or all.

Week 1 – Self Care 

1 Check-in with your body. Are you hydrated, do you need to eat, do you need to use the restroom? You will be better able to focus if you take care of your physical needs first. 

2 After you log off of the SAR Challenge app, take five minutes to sit quietly and absorb what you learned. 

3 Research volunteer opportunities to help others in your area and commit to attending at least once. 

4 Write down 10 things that you like about yourself   


The practice of redlining, the systematic denial of services such as mortgages, insurance loans, and other financial services to residents of certain areas, was used to segregate communities based on race or ethnicity and was not outlawed until 1968. Violence was also routinely used to disrupt thriving Black communities as well as retaliate against Black families who moved into white neighborhoods. Redlining prevented African Americans in particular from building generational wealth through home ownership and ensured that neighborhoods would remain segregated even today. These resources will help you build your understanding of how redlining continues to shape our communities.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read this article to learn about the lasting impact of redlining and click the “explore your city” button to view a redline map of your own city.

WATCH: this video on how local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through the practice of redlining.

READ: this article about how hip-hop was a response to redlining and how we can take lessons from this innovative form of music to create more inclusive communities.

READ: How the effects of redlining are still being felt in South Phoenix 50 years later

BONUS: Read this article and/or watch these videos about Black communities that were destroyed by white supremacist terrorism.

Because wealth has been systemically stripped from communities of color, Black and Indigenous people in particular are more likely to experience homelessness because their networks are less likely to have the resources to support them if they face unemployment, intimate partner violence, a medical emergency, or another financially destabilizing crisis. The resources today will help you understand how race, gender, and homelessness impact each other and why there can be no “solution” to homelessness that does not address the role that racism plays in access to housing.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read this article about why Native people are more likely to be unhoused and how a lack of access to housing impacts Indigenous people’s health and safety.

READ: the key finding and policy implications of this study that examines how structural racism impacts housing outcomes.

WATCH: this video that examines the intersection of intimate partner violence, racism, and homelessness.

According to Forbes, arresting and incarcerating unhoused people costs taxpayers $83,000 per person per year. Yet, because of the powerful stigma against unhoused people, many communities choose to continue to criminalize houselessness rather than address its root causes, such as racism, lack of affordable housing, gender-based violence, homophobia, transphobia, and a lack of mental health care. Today’s resources explain the impact of criminalization on the lives of people experiencing homelessness, how incarceration and homelessness feed into each other, and what proposals those with lived experience support would help make homelessness rare and brief.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Watch this video examining how many Americans are caught in a cycle of incarceration and homelessness.

READ: this article that breaks down five ways that the criminalization of homelessness harms communities.

READ: a proposed homeless bill of rights in Cleveland to learn what kind of policies cities can put in place to protect unhoused people.

WATCH: Coming up close to homelessness.

LGBTQ+ people have long faced discrimination in the housing market and it wasn’t until 2021 that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would investigate discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity under the Fair Housing Act. Prior to this decision, 21 states allowed discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity. Today’s resources examine the barriers that LGBTQ+ people, and particularly LGBTQ+ people of color, still face to accessing stable housing.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Watch this video that highlights the disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ youth who experience homelessness.

LISTEN: to this podcast about queer and trans youth experiencing homelessness and how foster care can often seem like a pipeline to incarceration and homelessness. 

WATCH: this video that sheds light on the barriers LGBTQ+ seniors face to accessing housing and long-term care as they age.

READ: how Arizona has ‘critically low’ support for homeless youth, high rates of human trafficking.

Although overt discrimination in the housing market is no longer legal, there are still systemic barriers in place to prevent marginalized people from building wealth through homeownership or even achieving housing stability through the rental market. Disparities in the appraisals of homes owned by people of color, racial disparities in evictions, and the refusal of landlords to rent to people with housing choice vouchers all work to ensure that communities remain segregated in much the same way they were when redlining was still legal..


WATCH: this video about how a Black family increased the appraised value of their home by half a million dollars when they had a white person pretend to be the owner of their house.

READ: this article about how the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession have worsened existing eviction disparities, particularly for Black and Hispanic renters

READ: this blog post about the ongoing discrimination and barriers to homeownership in the housing market that Asian Americans continue to experience.’

READ: this article about how source of income (SOI) discrimination perpetuates racially segregated communities and neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.

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Week 2 – Discussion Questions

1 What was the most impactful piece of content for you this week?

2 What was the most challenging thing you learned this week?

3 Do you believe that the legacy of redlining is impacting your community today? If so, how?

4 What can we do to destigmatize experiencing homelessness?

5 Why do LGBTQ+ young adults disproportionately experience homelessness and what can your community to do better support young people?

6 Why is it important to address homelessness and systemic racism at the same time?

7 How does criminalization impact those experiencing homelessness? What can we do to break this cycle?

8 What are some ways housing discrimination continues to exist even though it is explicitly illegal?

9 “Homelessness is a policy choice.” Do you believe this statement is true?

10 A lack of safe, affordable, housing is a major contributor to homelessness. Do you know what the affordable housing market looks like in your community? 

Week 2 – Action Steps

1 Read the Homeless Bill of rights and encourage your local representatives to adopt this landmark legislation if they have not already done so.

2 Encourage your local representatives to support the creation of more affordable and permanent supportive housing in your community.

3 Contact your city or county officials and ask about your community’s nuisance ordinances and how they could potentially lead to the eviction of victims of intimate partner violence.

Additional actions you can take. Click on any or all.

Week 2 – Self Care

1 Breathing exercise: Inhale for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts (repeat at least 5 times)

2 Spend 5 minutes drawing or doodling, don’t worry about creating a finished product.

3 Move in a way that feels easy and fun: this can be anything, dancing, stretching, swimming, roller skating, walking, biking or even hopping on the swings at the park.

4 Give yourself a hug.

5 Cook or order your favorite meal, take at least one mindful bite, taking the time to savor and taste all of the ingredients


Welcome to music week! For generations, this powerful art form has brought us together to celebrate, grieve, protest, and gain a richer understanding of others’ experiences. Today’s resources will discuss the powerful legacy of several artists of color and how they used their voices to advocate for their communities, promote pride in their cultural heritage, and create space for other artists of color to thrive and make their voices heard.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read this article about how important music is to cultural identity and the Indigenous song keepers who are working to preserve their traditional music that white supremacy and colonialism tried to erase.

WATCH: Supaman and world champion dancer Acosia Red Elk team up on this visually stimulating video for the song called “Why” which is featured on Supaman’s album “ILLUMINATIVES.”

WATCH:  Kendrick Lamar discuss N.W.A.’s ability to make the world pay attention to Black culture and their status as role models as he inducts the group into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

READ: this essay about how Sam Cooke used his own record label SAR to promote Black artists in the early 1960s.

AND this article about how Nina Simone used her voice and songs to support the civil rights movement and speak out about crimes against Black people in America.

WATCH: N.W.A’s Ice Cube defines rock & roll in an inclusive manner during his acceptance speech at the 2016 Induction ceremony.

Today’s resources feature powerful first-person testimony from several generations of artists about how they believe racism has impacted their careers and the music industry at large. We hope that you can use these resources as a model for the kind of questions we should all be asking ourselves about how bias shows up in our personal lives, workplaces, and communities.


READ: this article featuring eight Asian musicians about their experience with the music industry, racism, and othering.

WATCH: this video of David Bowie calling out MTV for not air music videos from black artists in 1983.

WATCH: R&B legend Ruth Brown discuss discrimination in early rock & roll tours and the power this music had to desegregate and unite audiences.

WATCH: this interview with Darius Rucker where he talks frankly about racism in the country music industry and the impact of George Floyd’s death on his children.

In this section we will discuss cultural appropriation though the lens of music and entertainment.  These resources explore how appropriation and theft nearly erased many trailblazing artists of color. We will also be looking at how cultural appropriation in music continues today and how we can begin to understand the difference between appreciation and appropriation.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Take a dive into the life and musical impact of Willie Mae, famously known as “Big Mama” Thornton and her tremendous impact on musicians from Elvis Presley to Janelle Monáe.

READ: this article about how African American musicians were systematically exploited and not allowed to control or be compensated fairly for their work.

WATCH: author Alice Randall give a summary of LaVerne Baker’s life and career that spotlights the cultural appropriation involved in cover songs and the systemic racism she encountered.

READ: In a world that is more interconnected than ever, it can be challenging trying to decipher what appreciation looks like versus appropriation. In this article, you will learn the difference between the two and how they present themselves in music.

People have always used music to push boundaries and call for social change. These resources will discuss how gender stereotypes and expectations impact women in the music industry and how female artists have pushed back, how musicians have challenge binary ideas about gender and sexuality, and the lasting impact that women and LGBTQ+ artists have had on music.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: 10 protest songs by Metro Phoenix musicians that speak to the Black Lives Matter movement.

READ: how pop music broke the gender binary.

READ: this article about the importance and impact of 1960s girl groups, who influenced everyone from the Spice Girls to Adele.

WATCH: this video from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where panelists discuss what it means to be a woman in the music business.

LISTEN: Check out the NPR podcast where Lil Nas X speaks on his journey as a Black queer artist and how he has used his music to proudly express his sexuality.

When schools face financial stress, music programs are often some of the first to be cut. Today’s resources will talk about the racial gap in access to music education, why music education is so important at all ages, and the power of music to deliver important messages in a way that other forms of communications can’t.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Read how Bob Dylan’s “Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” Became a Protest Song of the Civil Rights Era.

READ: about the limited access to music and art classes in Arizona.

WATCH: songwriting and production team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis talk about the importance of music education during their acceptance speech at the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

READ: this article about how schools that primarily serve students of color access are less likely to offer music education.

Week 3 – Discussion Questions 

1 What was the most impactful piece of content for you this week? 

2 What was the most challenging thing you learned this week? 

3 Why is representation of marginalized people in the music industry so important? 

4 What makes music such a powerful tool for speaking out against systemic oppression? 

5 Which artists did you learn about in your music classes growing up? If you have kids, what artists are they learning about? Was there an effort to incorporate the contributions of women and people of color? 

6 What is the impact of musicians pushing against stereotypes about sexuality and gender? 

7 Artists of color have been historically underpaid and have often had their contributions overlooked or misattributed to white musicians. Do you believe reparations are an effective way to acknowledge and address this history? 

8 Is there an artist whose music helped you view an issue in a different way or inspired you? 

9 Do you believe that women female artists are taken as seriously as male artists? Why or why not? 

10 Do you believe that artists have a responsibility to address important societal issues in their music? Why or why not? 

Week 3 – Action Steps 

1 Attend a performance by a local artist or color or purchase music made by a local musician of color. 

2 Advocate for additional funding for music education at your local schoolboard meeting. 

3 Share the YWCA Racial Justice Playlist with three friends. 

Additional actions you can take. Click on any or all.

Week 3 – Self Care 

1 Make a playlist that reflects your mood. It can express how you feel or how you would like to feel. 

2 Sing, hum, dance, or drum along to your favorite song 

3 Draw an image inspired by a song that is relaxing or has meaning to you. 

4 Choose a tune and write new lyrics to it that help express how you are feeling right now. 

5 Practice meditating to music for at least 10 minutes


These resources will examine how mental health stigma has been used throughout history as a tool to justify violence and discrimination against people marginalized because of their race, gender, or sexuality. It is important to understand the many ways that bias was built into our mental health care systems from the beginning and how those biases continue to show up and impact the health outcomes of marginalized people.

Our bodies carry the trauma that we experience with us. Microaggressions (everyday experiences of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc.) discrimination, and witnessing or being a victim of violence can have a significant negative impact on the mental health of marginalized people. Too often, this trauma and its generational impact are minimized.

Black and brown people are less likely to be able to access mental health care and often have difficulty finding health care professionals of color or providers trained in addressing racial trauma. This lack of access and the other barriers to care only worsen mental health disparities. Let’s examine the mental health toll of systemic oppression.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: understand the status of mental health in Arizona.

TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of suicide. Read this article about the importance of discussing mental health in Latinx communities.

TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of suicide. Read this article about how Indigenous healers are working to center traditional Native American practices in mental health care to help Indigenous people heal from historical racial trauma and eliminate barriers to care.

READ: This article about the historical roots of racial disparities in the mental health care system, and how it has changed the way in which we conceptualize mental health to this very day.  

READ: this article about how psychiatry created and encouraged hostility towards LGBTQ+ people and how falsely labeling queer people as mentally ill played a significant role in creating an environment of hostility.

READ: this article to learn how gender discrimination plays a role in women’s mental and physical health outcomes. 

READ: this article about the dramatic disparities in access to mental health care in black and brown communities and the importance of recruiting and supporting health care providers of color. 

READ: our Thought Partner report from Year One of our Systems Change Initiative. The team explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of older adults and LGBTQ+ young people across the West Valley.

WATCH: this video that highlights how racism, particularly microaggressions in the workplace, impact Black Women’s mental health. 

WATCH: this video that unpacks the “crazy” woman stereotype and the intersection of mental health stigma and sexism.

WATCH: this video featuring Therapist and Author Resmaa Menakem on how our bodies carry racial trauma and it’s impact on mental health.

WATCH: this brief video to learn about mental health from the perspective of Asian Americans, as well as the barriers AAPI people face to accessing care.

Racism has an impact on the mental health of children of color starting at a very young age. The Doll Study, created in the 1940s by Kenneth Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark, asked Black children to describe the personality and traits of white and Black dolls revealed high levels of internalized racism in black students and the emotional pain that internalized racism was causing. Today, Black children participating in the same study still associate positive traits with the white doll and negative traits with the Black doll. Today’s resources will talk about the impact of racism on children’s self-conception and how schools can support students’ mental health.


RAISE YOUR AWARENESS: Take a dive into this article to learn how experiencing racism and/or antisemitism impacts the mental health of college students.

READ: this article about how the COVID-19 pandemic worsened anxiety disorders, particularly for young people of color, and highlighted a need for more mental health care professionals of color. 

WATCH: Everyone needs a mental health break! A concept that should be even more ideal for our children, watch this video about how prioritizing mental health in schools actually yields phenomenal and long-lasting results.

READ: 2022 KidsCount Data Show Arizona Children are in Crisis.  

Over the past couple of years as transgender and non-binary people have become more visible in media, their basic right to exist in public spaces has been turned into a dangerous culture war fight that is having a detrimental impact on the mental health of LGBTQ+ people as a whole. Today, we will be discussing the consequences of having your identity debated in the public sphere, the importance of gender-affirming care to trans people’s mental health, and the harm that this recent wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is doing to queer people and communities


TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of suicide. Read this article about how the recent flood of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and anti-Transgender legislation in particular, has significantly negatively impacted the health of LGBTQ+ young people.

MEET MAMA GLORIA. Chicago’s Black transgender icon Gloria Allen, now in her 70s, blazed a trail for trans people like few others before her. Emerging from Chicago’s South Side drag ball culture in the 1960s, Gloria overcame traumatic violence to become a proud leader in her community.

READ: An Arizona Republican state senator broke with his party this week, blocking legislation that would have banned gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

LISTEN: In this podcast you will learn about what gender-affirming care means and how it can positively impact the mental health of transgender and non-binary people.

Week 4 – Discussion Questions 

1 What was the most impactful piece of content for you this week? 

2 What was the most challenging thing you learned this week? 

3 How does experiencing bias and marginalization impact mental health? 

4 What can schools do to better support students mental health, particularly the mental health of students of color. 

5 What role does gender play in how one may be perceived by mental health professionals? 

6 How does your cultural background impact the way you think about mental health? 

7 What are some barriers that people of color face when it comes to receiving resources for mental health? 

8 Do you believe that it is difficult to have discussions about mental health? Why or why not? 

9 Why has labeling entire identity groups as “mentally ill” been such an effective tool of marginalization? 

10 LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to have poor mental health outcomes if their families are not accepting. What is your response to this? 

Week 4 – Action Steps 

1 Have a conversation with a loved one about mental health and make a plan to check in with each other regularly. Engaging in conversation about mental health helps to combat stigmatization. 

2 Think about what changes you would make to your workplace’s HR policies that would benefit employees’ mental health. Discuss these strategies with your co-workers. 

3 Contact your local school district or attend a school board meeting and ask how they are implementing mental health programs in schools, particularly to support marginalized students.

Thank you for dedicating your time with us to further build your social awareness! Let’s keep the conversation going!

Additional actions you can take. Click on any or all.

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