What is the Racial Equity Journey?
The 26-Day Racial Equity Journey is a chance to move from the question “what would I have done back then?” to “what will I do now?” You commit to raise your awareness, deepen your understanding and shift old patterns of behavior. We do this with the goal of creating a world of equity. Each week has a theme and each day you will be given materials to engage with and questions to ponder. At the end of 26 days you will have a wealth of knowledge to help you understand these issues, tackle difficult conversations and take action to effect change. The journey is available to all adults over 18 years of age and all genders.
How do I register for the journey?
You do not need to register or pay for this program. Simply scroll down this page to get started at anytime. You can choose to share your commitment by adding your name and location. If you prefer, you can remain anonymous and still add your location so that we can know how many people are joining the experience. No email or other personal information will be taken.
What is the purpose of the journey?
The purpose of this journey is to provoke thought and exploration, and to have a deeper conversation about racial equity. In Woman Within we believe that each person has their own answers - we are not here to give you a prescribed view on these issues. Our intention is to offer ideas and encourage you to stretch beyond what you already know and explore new territory, finding what you believe along the way.
How much time will this take?
We have provided materials for 26 days and you can choose to do the challenges at any time, however please follow the journey in order. It has been created with intention. Each day's challenge will take 30 minutes (plus reflection time).
Can I do this alone or with other people?
You can take the journey on your own, however this work is best done in community with others. We encourage you to find/create a group to discuss your experiences and reflections. This could be a circle of friends, family or even co-workers. Take a look at these Guidelines for circles to help you in forming your group. If you are a woman, you can also join our private Woman Within at Home Facebook Group visit the Units section where you will find the Journey and where you can share your questions/reflections and find/give support.
What if I feel overwhelmed?
If you feel overwhelmed or notice discomfort in your body, sit with it. It might be that you simply do not agree with an idea; it might be that it is pushing you into a new way of thinking about something; and it might be that it is touching a piece of racial pain/trauma that you did not know existed. This journey is a descent, and will take us deeper and deeper into understanding. It will be important to notice the sensations within your body and the emotions that arise. We’ve included an 8-minute guided meditation to help you sink into your body any time that you feel disconnection. There may be times when a challenge triggers something painful within you. If this happens, please know that you are not alone and take a look at this resource to help you in these moments. The work of racial healing can be hard, and with this in mind we’ve put together a short guide to self-care.
Who created this journey?
Our team, Natasha Taylor (Woman Within Facilitator), Rebekah Ramirez (Diversity Director) and Thessa Bos (Global Liaison), has worked to craft a deep and transformative experience that aligns with Woman Within’s core values of inclusiveness, respect and integrity. This has been an intercontinental/cross regional effort and we have worked hard to draw on different perspectives. Given its sheer size, a lot of useful material comes from America. Please consider each resource in the context of your own country. The original concept of the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge was developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks and Debby Irving, and it inspired this Journey.
Congressman John Lewis asked that the following be published on the day of his funeral:
“While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.
That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.
Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.
Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.
Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.
Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.
You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, though decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.
Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.
When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”