ANR employees, along with other UC locations and thousands of other people across the US and beyond, are committing to deepening understanding of, and willingness to confront, racism for 21 consecutive days.
Diversity scholar Eddie Moore, Jr. created the 21-Day Challenge to encourage a deeper understanding of race, privilege, supremacy, power, and oppression. People at Food Solutions New England Sustainability Institute (FSNE) were inspired by his work and the work of Debby Irving and Dr. Marguerite Pennick-Parks to adapt the 21-Day Habit-Building Challenge to their food system network. FSNE has been organizing and hosting the Challenge every year since 2015.
Why 21 days? Some say it takes 21 days to create a habit. The intention of this initiative is to support ANR employees in developing “effective social justice habits” to effect meaningful change. ANR has adapted FSNE's February 2020 21-Day Equity Challenge to make it easy for employees to independently dive into their own examination of the program or to create a cohort of ANR employees with whom to share the experience.
Through a look at the food system challenge developed by FSNE, we will distinguish that racism is expressed through institutions, cultures, and behaviors instead of flawed personal character defects. Uncovering inequities and injustices will assist each of us in broadening our understanding and compassion and grow our engagement towards anti-racism and towards the experiences of Black Americans.
In examining the Black experience, we will consider our own personal layers of privilege and those of all marginalized people, keeping in mind marginalized colleagues, clientele, community members or maybe even family members. Marginalized people include and are not limited to those marginalized by age, class, ability, immigration status, race, sexuality, spirituality, gender, gender expression, ethnicity, culture, identity and generation.
Most importantly the challenge will help us discover the many ways we can individually and collectively promote a more just and equitable food system for all. It will also prompt us on ways we can work as individuals, with others at ANR, with marginalized clientele, and within our communities and families to dismantle these systems everywhere.
Please visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/UC_ANR_21-day_racial_equity_challenge/ to learn more about participating in this important challenge.