MIDDLETOWN — The Middlesex United Way is committed to ensuring individuals and families live in an anti-racist, equitable and inclusive community.
We believe that to achieve racial equity we must unite and take meaningful action. Together, we must reach a deeper understanding of how race and systemic racism impacts society, the devastating and far-reaching implications that have resulted, and actionable steps to build a more equitable and inclusive community.
We at Middlesex United Way call on you to join us on this journey. The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to further your understanding of race, power, and privilege. Created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., the challenge not only increases understanding, but does so in a way that builds a habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days.
You will be presented with daily challenges, such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience or other activities. Participation in an activity like this helps us discover how racial injustice impacts our community, connects with one another, and identifies ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.
Some examples of the daily challenges include listening to a podcast, such as “How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist or Longest Shortest Time Podcast,” or reading articles, among them, “America Wasn’t a Democracy Until Black Americans Made It One” and “The Case for Reparations” by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Together, we must reach a deeper understanding of how race and systemic racism impacts society, the devastating and far-reaching implications that have resulted, and actionable steps to build a more equitable and inclusive community.
At Middlesex United Way, we want to be part of the solution and have begun taking steps to achieve our vision. We have established a Racial Equity and Inclusion vision statement to guide our work and curated a resources page on our website to better equip individuals on topics related to race and equity.
We have started collaborating with a local consulting firm to assess where we are as an organization, create a strategic framework, and establish a three-year plan going forward.
We have conducted an initial equity and inclusion assessment of our 38 existing partners, and are expanding our community. During the height of the pandemic, we directed COVID-19 financial relief to communities of color due to the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people of color.
We know there is a lot more to grown and learn, and we hope you will join us on this journey of doing this work. Our challenge will conclude June 21, on our Day of Action, the longest day of the year, but the work will continue. If you would like to make a donation to support the work, please do so by visiting middlesexunitedway.org/give.
If you would like to sign up for the challenge, please visit our website at middlesexunitedway.org or email Amanda Furlong at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Wilhelm is president and CEO of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.