Greater Cincinnati’s YWCA launches its second Racial Equality and Social Justice Challenge

The YWCA of Greater Cincinnati will be launching its 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge on March 1, as part of a national movement to engage communities in anti-racist work.


Last year, 19 YWCAs across the country presented the challenge. This year, that number has grown to 50.


“Interest is high and numbers are rolling in,” wrote Yvette Johnson-Hegge, executive coordinator at the Cincinnati YWCA in an email. “Locally the Cincinnati YWCA’s registration went live on February 4th and we already have almost 600 registered to participate.”


The Challenge originated in Cleveland in 2019, based on the work of Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., a national leader in challenging systems of white privilege and power, and Debby Irving, a racial justice educator and writer. On his website about the 21-day challenge, Moore asks people to “do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.”


This year’s themes are Reparations (for slavery and indigenous peoples), Racism in Sports, Gender-Based Violence (effects on women of color and the LGBTQ+community), and Environmental Racism.


“Those who engaged in last year’s challenge often noted the relevance of the materials distributed through the challenge to incidents and issues they were seeing in their own lives,” Johnson-Hegge wrote. “Some were horrified by the breadth of racism in this country after becoming aware of it. Many noted how the challenge made them really think and engage with others differently.”


She said they hope the challenge will not only raise awareness of racial and social injustices, but also help participants build the habit of educating ourselves on these issues.


Participants will receive a daily email directing them to articles, podcasts, or videos to help them in their understanding. The content will include fresh and timely information. For example, there’s a TED talk from Colette Pichone Battle on preparing for how climate change will displace millions. There’s also a YWCA podcast on ensuring safety for immigrant women and a Harvard article on allowing racist symbols on public land.


For more information and to register, click here.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Jan Angilella.

Jan Angilella is a freelance journalist, blogger, and publicist. She's been in the communications industry for more than 25 years. She's also mad about Italy. Read about her adventures there on her blog Remember: no 's' on cannoli.