What is the challenge?
The North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA) will celebrate Community Action Month with a 21-day challenge inviting the public to better understand and support a culture of equity.
Community Action Month—celebrated in May--highlights the successes of the Community Action Network. Community action agencies connect millions of children and families to greater opportunities, transform their lives and make our communities — and our nation— stronger.
The Equity Starts Here challenge is a four-week educational initiative to guide participants in learning more about equity, how it applies to the community, and how they can apply the term to their own lives. Each day of the challenge, participants will receive an email with that day's topic, learning material, and discussion questions. The challenge will run each Monday through Friday throughout the month of May. The challenge is designed for individuals to do alone; however there are materials on the website for those who would like to participate as a group.
“Equity is an underlying issue to many of the social issues we are currently facing,” said Sharon C. Goodson, executive director, NCCAA. “We believe that education is a crucial first step to changing some of the actions necessary to eradicate exclusionary behavior.”
What is Equity?
Understanding Your Biases
Practice critical thinking in everything you do. This week, question your feelings, your opinions and your world view. Questioning yourself does not mean you’re wrong and it doesn’t mean degrading yourself. Questions bring to light our inner motivations, thinking processes, experiences, and values.
The notion of privilege may be a sensitive topic for many people. Whether we speak of privilege in terms of race, socioeconomic status, education, or gender, there always seems to be someone more privileged. As a prelude to understanding equity, the concept of privilege must first be understood.
What Are Your Values?
At the core of every opinion and belief you hold is a value. Everyone has a series of values they hold such as family, faith, inclusivity, independence, ambition, thrift, success, among others. Although our values direct every decision we make and opinion we hold, most of us are unaware of what those values are!
Although a formal education is not always necessary to have a successful career, it is often a predictor for high-paying jobs and socioeconomic status. Your education isn’t always about learning math or science, education often exposes students to various career options, interests and hobbies.
Last summer, our country saw large and commanding protests regarding inequity in the justice system. From police violence to incarceration, there are many racial inequity issues facing our legal system. It's an outdated system that doesn’t work with our evolving society, and it is in desperate need of to change.
The Final Challenge
We hope you’ve come away with a better understanding of equity, your own beliefs and values, and what inequity looks like in our society. As with everything, the first step to change is understanding ourselves, changing our own behavior and then working to help others change theirs. We hope that as you shared your experiences regarding this challenge with your circle, you found great connection and allyship.