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Equity Challenge Day 19

DAY 19: Tools for the Racial Equity Change Process

Over the past 19 days, we have learned how racial inequities permeate our communities on individual, institutional and systemic levels.

We are all impacted by the system of racism in our country and, therefore, all responsible for dismantling the structures that allow it to persist. Change is possible when we work together toward a shared vision of a more equitable and stronger Quad Cities. There are many tools we can employ, as individuals and organizations, to drive individual and community transformation.

We will highlight a few of these tools below, but encourage you to explore Racial Equity Tools, a comprehensive site of resources designed to support learning, planning, acting, and evaluating efforts to achieve racial equity.

Creating equitable outcomes requires us to unite our voices – speaking up and speaking out.

It requires that we change the way we talk about members of our community, to focus on their aspirations rather than their challenges. In practice, this is called asset-framing and uses narratives to change the unconscious associations ingrained in our society. The opposite practice of deficit-framing, or defining people by their challenges, encourages continued stigmatization of groups of individuals. 

Today’s Challenge: 

Option 1: Read this Beginner’s Guide to Asset Framing, to learn more about why how we communicate impacts our ability to achieve racial equity.

Option 2: Watch this “Together” video to hear the powerful voices of Aubrey Barnes and Delores Westbrook, local Quad Cities talent, and the song they wrote for United Way’s African American Leadership Society. Enjoy the music and learn about local inequities, what brings us together and a collective path forward for our community — remember to share it with a friend. (5 minutes) 

Option 3: One of the best ways to continue to build empathy and learn about race is to start a conversation. Read Race Forward’s 10 Ways to Start a Conversation About Race to learn more about how to start a conversation with friends, at school, at work, and more.

Option 4: Learn more about how the Skillman Foundation is using asset-framing in their work with Detroit Children, and watch videos from Trabian Shorters, founder and CEO of BMe Community, discuss how to put asset-framing into practice.