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The 21 Day Challenge brings awareness to racial equity

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The 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge has been promoted around both campuses to encourage participants. Photo by Valeria Cisneros

The Equity and Student Success Committee at Cuesta College has sponsored the first ever 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge to encourage students and staff to participate in thoughtful conversations about racial disparities.

The event began on Feb. 24, though students and faculty can still join at any point during the 21 days of the event, which ends on Mar. 30.

The purpose of The Challenge is to provide participants with daily challenges and steps that will focus on different racial issues. The steps ask those participating to take some time to think about their own roles and hopefully encourage positive action.

So far, some have included watching short videos, such as The New York Times’ series A Conversation On Race.”

“The Challenge is one of many ways we invest in building the skills for our students, faculty, and staff to ensure that we’re doing what it takes to live up to our mission,” said Que Dang, Director of Student Equity and Success Centers at Cuesta College.

The tasks are meant to provoke thoughtful discussion and aim to promote an inclusive campus.

One of the main ideas is to correctly identify the differences between equity, equality, and justice. According to The Challenge, equity concerns the idea of being fair and receiving only the help that one needs. Equality relates to people being treated fairly while having the same amount of support. Justice is defined by removing the barriers from addressing the inequity.

The Challenge describes it as a process in which participants will be able to apply these racial discrepancies in our current policies and systems by analyzing them in order to identify the problems.

Sponsors of the Challenge hope that participants will be able to build positive habits and will eventually take action themselves. 

Along with the challenges, the committee includes a reflection log for participants to self reflect on each challenge.

Amid the current state of classes, The Challenge continues to be sent to participators and is an opportunity to learn about Cuesta College’s effort to combat racial disparities.