In alignment with the goals of its recently released LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan, United Way of Rhode Island has opened registration for its 21 Day Equity Challenge, which kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 24. All Rhode Islanders are invited to commit 15 minutes a day to equity with the goal of understanding how inequity and racism affect our lives, our communities, and our state’s ability to thrive.
“As we celebrate Black History Month, this is a powerful opportunity for everyone to join us in learning more deeply about the challenges that root inequity in our community,” said Adama Brown, Ph.D., director of research and data analytics for United Way. “Education and awareness are vital, meaningful steps to truly creating justice and opportunity for all, and realizing a Rhode Island that’s the best it can be. And this challenge puts that importance at the forefront.”
Rhode Islanders who sign-up for the challenge – available online – will receive an email daily beginning Feb. 24 and continuing for 21 days. Each email will feature a different racial equity topic, a brief introduction, and choices to select from to spend roughly 15 minutes learning, watching, reading, or reflecting about the day’s topic. The challenge is self-guided and done at each participant’s own pace. People may save emails for when they have more time, and anyone can sign up after Feb. 24 and begin their 21-day journey.
Topics will include personal racial identity, implicit bias, what is privilege, the impact of racial trauma, being an ally, tools for the racial equity change process, taking action, and more. There will also be a focus on the history of racism in Rhode Island and segregation in Providence.
“Broadening our understanding of the issues of racism and how they’ve held back Rhode Island is instrumental in our ability to move forward,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “It’s inspiring to think about the impact this challenge can begin to have if we all invest 15 minutes a day.”
When it unveiled LIVE UNITED 2025 in mid-January, United Way also announced a commitment to invest $100 million in Rhode Island to support the plan’s work over the next five years. Specific focus areas include advancing childhood reading proficiency among BIPOC youth, making housing safe and affordable for all, and altering policies that perpetuate inequities for people of color. Hundreds of Rhode Island businesses, organizations, and individuals have already signed on to support United Way’s mission, with the organization inviting all Rhode Islanders to join the pledge to build a Rhode Island where every individual has equal opportunity for justice and prosperity.
To learn more, visit unitedwayri.org, or follow the organization on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.