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A public school district in Michigan has encouraged its staff to participate in a 21 day ‘Equity Challenge’, exploring themes such as Identity and Intersectionality, Race and Class Privilege, Implicit Bias and Microaggressions.

The voluntary course began on November 1, with 21 days of different topics – based on the theory that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

They were provided with worksheets and reading materials, and encouraged to participate in discussion groups.

Among the articles was a 2017 feature that pointed out African-American children in Michigan fare worse in education than in any other state.

Staff are encouraged, as part of the 21 Day Equity Challenge, to participate in BLM protests

Staff are encouraged, as part of the 21 Day Equity Challenge, to participate in BLM protests

Staff are encouraged, as part of the 21 Day Equity Challenge, to participate in BLM protests

Harrison High School, part of the Farmington Public School District. The district has 9,000 students in 16 schools near Detroit

Harrison High School, part of the Farmington Public School District. The district has 9,000 students in 16 schools near Detroit

Harrison High School, part of the Farmington Public School District. The district has 9,000 students in 16 schools near Detroit

Alicia Guevara Warren, with the Michigan League for Public Policy, told NPR at the time: ‘We have to really target our resources and our policies in a way that’s going to start eliminating racial disparities, because Michigan will be a much stronger state when we take care of all of our kids, and not leave anyone behind.’

Day four of the plan, for instance, was titled: ‘Identity and Intersectionality’.

The staff were asked to consider ‘social identity group examples’, such as gender expression – ‘feminine, androgynous, masculine, gender queer, fluid, and gender non-confirming’.

On day six, participants would read ‘Ten things everyone should know about race’ – stressing that race is a modern idea, with no genetic basis.

‘Colorblindness will not end racism. Pretending race doesn’t exist is not the same as creating equality,’ the document states.

The 21 Day Challenge was created in 2014 by Dr Eddie Moore and colleagues, and has been widely used ever since

The 21 Day Challenge was created in 2014 by Dr Eddie Moore and colleagues, and has been widely used ever since

The 21 Day Challenge was created in 2014 by Dr Eddie Moore and colleagues, and has been widely used ever since

On day 18, the staff consider ‘microaggressions’, such as propagating the ‘myth of meritocracy’.

Microaggressions were defined as stating: ‘Men and women have equal opportunities’ and declaring ‘America is the land of opportunity’.

The message, according to the coursework, from the microaggressions is: ‘People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race. The playing field is even so if women cannot make it, the problem is with them. People of color are lazy and/or incompetent.’

Another microaggression is, they are told, ‘A person asking an Asian American or Latino American to teach them words in their native language.’

The message is: ‘You are a perpetual foreigner in your own country. Your ethnic/racial identity makes you exotic.’

On day 21, participants are invited to take action – described as supporting black-owned businesses, joining a Black Lives Matter or an affiliated protest, and addressing racism in their own workplace.

‘For media content about law enforcement, commit to challenging narratives that center the lives of cops, normalize/justify their use of force, present cops as having an infallible moral compass, and dehumanize “criminals”,’ the course urges.

School districts across the country have in recent years encouraged staff to participate in ’21 Day Challenges’ – following a course created in 2014 by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr, who provides diversity training through his company; Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks; and Debby Irving.

The course was subsequently adapted by many organizations..

Pittsford Schools in New York staged the event this year to mark Black History Month. In January, staff at Heller School for Social Policy and Management in Waltham, Massachusetts, embarked on the challenge.

Palo Alto schools embarked on the program in February.

Source: Daily Mail

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