Hello all!

NMC and United Way logosRecently NMC made the commitment to our students, employees and our community to make meaningful change in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI.) As part of that work, our new DEI Team has been exploring ways to build engagement and awareness in this area. We are pleased to announce a new opportunity to deepen our understanding of these important issues through a partnership with United Way of Northwest Michigan called the 21-Day Equity Challenge.

The recent release of the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and Black Households Data clearly illustrates the inequities that are deeply rooted in our national, state, and local systems and institutions. Over the 21-day Challenge, you will take a self-guided learning journey that examines the history and impacts of racism and how it shapes people’s lived experience in Northwest Michigan.

The Challenge is simple: you commit to deepening your understanding of and willingness to confront racism for twenty-one consecutive days. The Challenge will raise your awareness, advance your understanding, and potentially shift the way you behave. Along the way, you’ll also receive examples and tools on how to undo racism and build racial equity and justice.

Participants who register for this challenge will receive one email per day with a prompt that includes readings, videos, and/or podcasts. It is recommended that participants take an average of 20-25 minutes per day to absorb each day’s information as they reflect on what is learned each new day. Participants will have an opportunity to have check-ins with other employees to process and discuss the information, along with an opportunity at the conclusion of The Challenge to learn from one another as we reflect on the last 21 days.

The Challenge was originally developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Dr. Marguerite Penick-Parks and Debby Irving, who are nationally recognized experts on racial and social injustice. The Michigan Association of United Ways has committed to adapt The Challenge with the support of leaders across our Michigan United Way network. A special thank you to the United Way of Washtenaw County for their leadership and guidance.

We believe it benefits us all to have greater collective capacity and courage to identify and address the different ways that bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression show up in our work and lives. We hope you will consider joining with NMC in this invitation to this self-guided journey towards a greater understanding of ourselves, our community, and those we impact on a daily basis, including our colleagues and students.

Registration for this Equity Challenge will be open from October 1 through October 10. The Challenge will run from October 12 through November 1. Please sign up before 5 p.m. on October 10.

Register here: unitedwaynwmi.org/nmcequitychallenge.

Mark Liebling
AVP of Human Resources