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woman with words 'stop racism' written on palms

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

–Maya Angelou

The Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge

Diversity scholar Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. created the 21-Day Challenge concept to promote deeper understandings of race, power, privilege, supremacy, and oppression. Why 21 days? It takes 21 days to create a habit and this initiative aims to support us in building “effective social justice habits” to effect meaningful change. We appreciate Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. for empowering communities and sharing this initiative as an educational tool. 

Through the Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge we explore anti-racism as a means to help one another begin to identify and confront the structural and behavioral norms that perpetuate civil injustice and systemic racial inequality. Our goal is to assist everyone in furthering their awareness, compassion, understanding, and engagement towards anti-racism, with a focus on anti-Blackness and the experience of Black people in America.

Anti-Blackness is pervasive throughout many forms of oppression (e.g. homophobia, transphobia, sexism, xenophobia, classism, ableism, colorism, etc.), and remains notoriously difficult for America to engage in meaningful discussion about this issue. Since the Black Lives Matter movement was reinvigorated over these last several months, we have observed increased willingness to have these difficult conversations and to learn how to better support our Black colleagues, friends, students, employees, and community members. Through the Challenge, UC San Diego is seizing this opportunity to connect as a campus community on how we, individually and as an institution, dismantle anti-Black racism and create opportunities for future exploration of the experiences of other historically marginalized communities.

This endeavor to center the Black experience must also be mindful of the interconnections with other forms of systemic cultural abuse, exclusion, or xenophobia. Such practice must consider the layers of one’s privileged and marginalized identities at work, including and not limited to: ability, age, class, culture, ethnicity, gender expression and identity, generation, immigration background, race, sexuality, and/or spirituality. 

We acknowledge that centering our challenge on Black Americans cannot capture all of the diverse experiences and opinions within the Black community nor for learnings at the intersections of socialized identities and environment. This evolving curriculum is a start to what we hope is an inspiring, insightful pathway of ongoing conversations that address the constructions of “race” and racialized others, supremacy mindsets, and accompanying identities.

The Challenge invites participants to complete a curriculum of 21 short assignments, including readings, videos, and podcasts, grounded in a social justice framework that situates structures of power, position, privilege, perception, and process. This initiative grounds us individually and collectively to differing modes of learning. Individual, collective, and structural change only happen by using this knowledge for positive change.

Completing the Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge:

  • Review all materials from beginning to end
  • Journal thoughts and observations; notice learning edges and points of discomfort; think about what the content is bringing up for you, your background, and your understanding
  • Watch the corresponding debrief webinars located below in the Recorded Webinars tab for each challenge section*
  • Use weekend breaks for rest and reflection
  • If you will be completing this challenge with a group, download 'Facilitating Your Own 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge' to help guide your group learning experience

Completion of the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge is the beginning, not the end, of your anti-racism work. 


Questions on the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge? See our FAQ section below. 


*All four webinars are closed captioned.  Email if you have questions regarding this educational program. 

Section 1: How We Got Here

protesters marching

I want American history taught. Unless I’m in the book, you’re not in it either. History is not a procession of illustrious people. It’s about what happens to a people. Millions of anonymous people is what history is about.

–James Baldwin

Welcome to Section 1 of the Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge. We are excited that you are committed to learning about the multifaceted Black experience and what steps you can take to help dismantle anti-Blackness.

Amid this global pandemic that has interrupted life as we know it, our nation finds itself reckoning with our history of anti-Blackness. Civil unrest has been raging since the tragic killings of George Floyd, Jr. and Breonna Taylor by police, and Ahmaud Arbery, by neighborhood vigilantes. Black transgender women continue to disproportionately die violent deaths, and rarely are their killers brought to justice. We've witnessed racially biased 9-1-1 calls to report Black people and people of color for their audacity to exist in public spaces and the "policing" of these communities in ways that harken to antebellum slave patrols1.

Anti-Blackness underpins many of the most prevalent issues impairing the Black community: the intractable impact of COVID-19, police brutality and the overcriminalization of Black people, environmental injustices, loss of generational wealth, and barriers to quality health care, education and economic opportunity, among others. 

The resistance to a more equitable America has come to a head and we recognize that something must change. Change is doing the work, engaging in difficult conversations, with our defenses down, and asking ourselves--how did we get here?


DAY 1  

When one affirms that they are not racist, it does not absolve them from complicity in perpetuating racism. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, esteemed professor and bestselling author, contends that "[there] is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of 'racist' isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.'" In this interview for The Aspen Institute, Dr. Kendi discusses what it means to be an anti-racist.

WATCH or LISTEN:  How To Be Anti-Racist (June 26, 2019 | 55 min) 


DAY 2 

We are well aware that racism adversely impacts people of color--but has anyone considered the impact of white supremacy on white people? In the video, "Racism has a Cost for Everyone", Political commentator and strategist, Heather C. McGhee, shares the hidden cost of racism to our society.

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: Racism Has a Cost for Everyone (May 8, 2020 | 14 min) 

Racism Has a Cost for Everyone Transcript (PDF)


We learned early on in the pandemic that communities of color are being ravaged by the novel conoronavirus, with the Black and Latinx communities faring the worst. Dr. Cheryl Anderson, professor and founding dean of The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego, speaks with KPBS to explain these extremities in "How Redlining Contributed to Health Disparities". 

READ or LISTEN: How Redlining Contributed to Health Disparities (July 13, 2020 | 8 min) 

How Redlining Contributed to Health Disparities (PDF)


The National Equity Project, an organization focused on education reform, teaches us in "Don’t Talk about Implicit Bias Without Talking about Structural Racism", that we cannot begin to dismantle the structural inequities in education without checking both our biases and the systemic barriers sustained by these biases. 

READ: Don’t Talk about Implicit Bias Without Talking about Structural Racism (PDF) (June 13, 2019 | 12 min) 


DAY 3  

What we're experiencing in America today--from social inequities and violence against Black people to our country's administration--stems from our nation's unwillingness to accept that we have cultivated this climate. In an MSNBC panel discussion, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr., distinguished professor at Princeton University, attempts to answer host Nicole Wallace's question, what now

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: MSNBC: This Is Us (August 6, 2019 | 3 min)


Overcriminalization in the Black community has contributed to the disenfranchisement, scarcity of employment, economic hardship, housing insecurity, interruption to psychological well-being, wrongful incarceration and execution, and premature death of Black people in America2. In a video presentation produced by C-SPAN, Dennis Childs, associate professor of African American Literature at UC San Diego, discusses his book, Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary, which examines how the 13th Amendment succeeds in perpetuating modern day slavery. 

WATCH or LISTEN: Slaves of the State (2016 | 13 min) 


DAY 4 

We know race is a social construct, created to justify the power and privilege that is "whiteness" over those deemed to be "not white." It is also well documented in American history how European immigrants, from varying cultures, have gone from being marginalized to achieving "white status," while Black people are still striving to be equal. How do we begin to break through the ills of racism? In the video produced by Harvard Law with Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson speaks to our country's need to talk about racism. 

WATCH or LISTEN: We Can't Recover From This History Until We Deal With It (January 30, 2019 | 6 min) 


DAY 5 

The media continues to report on the protests for Black lives rippling throughout the country, with some news sources calling the Black Lives Matter movement the biggest movement in our nation's history3. While public ire and outcries in solidarity with the Black community are helpful in elevating these dire issues, support does not stop at protests and social media posts. Dr. Dayo Gore, associate professor of ethnic and critical gender studies at UC San Diego, speaks with ABC News 10 on what support looks like beyond words and marches. 

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: Ways to Help Combat Racism: 'Your Apology is Not Enough' (June 1, 2020 | 5 min) 

Ways to Help Combat Racism (PDF)


As we reflect back on everything we've read, watched, or listened to during this first week of the 21-day challenge, we come to understand from the research and data that the effects of anti-Black racism are real and deeply devastating. Despite it all, why is it still so hard for white people to talk about race? Dr. Robin DiAngelo seeks to explain this phenomenon in her article "White Fragility." 

READ: White Fragility (2011 | 17 pgs | 51 min) 



Section 2: Intersections of Power, Language, and Visibility

protesters holding up signs

It's not who you attend school with, but who controls the school you attend.

–Nikki Giovanni

It would be fair to look at America, in all its failings to afford "liberty and justice for all", and assert that it is broken--but in fact, quite the opposite is true. When we look critically at the policies that have governed this land over the last 244 years, and acknowledge that these policies are grounded in white supremacy, it becomes clear that America's current state is by design.

In Section 2 we explore how power, language, and visibility (or lack thereof) converge to disenfranchise Black people.


DAY 6 

For Black people in America, their unalienable rights have never been an entitlement afforded by virtue of being human; their mere existence in this country has always been negotiated. In the video "We the People," Native American activist, author and public speaker Mark Charles breaks down what he asserts to be "the three most misunderstood words in US history" and challenges us to consider their inherent meaning.

WATCH or LISTEN: We the People (January 24, 2019 | 18 min) 


As Black Americans began to recover from the effects of slavery, their progress was met with resistance from white Americans who felt threatened by a perceived loss of power and economic gain. "A Timeline of Racial Progress in the US" presents a visual account of some of our nation's most pivotal steps forward to advance racial justice and the devastating steps back, stalling the betterment and contributions of Black people in America.  

READ and EXPLORE: A Timeline of Racial Progress in the US (July 8, 2020 | 10 min) 

A Timeline of Racial Progress in the US (PNG)


DAY 7 

When we are able to see and acknowledge a problem we can then take steps toward addressing it. But what if there is no way for others to begin to understand the challenges you are facing because no word exists for what you are experiencing? In "The Urgency of Intersectionality," Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, introduces us to the term "intersectionality" and how applying this lens makes the invisible, visible.

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: The Urgency of Intersectionality (2016 | 19 min)

The Urgency of Intersectionality Transcript (PDF)


DAY 8 

From the Black Lives Matter protests we’re beginning to see the emergence of Black Trans Lives Matter--an effort to bring the unique issues of Black transgender people to the national conversation about the treatment of Black people in America. Black trans women, especially, continue to lobby to be seen. In Time Magazine's, "Two Black Trans Women Were Killed in the U.S.," we dive into the troubling plight Black trans women endure. 

READ: Two Black Trans Women Were Killed in the US (June 13, 2020 | 15 min) 

Two Black Trans Women Were Killed in the US (PDF)


DAY 9 

Nearly half of all people killed in an act of police brutality, have a disability. Add to this the bias that Black people are seen as more criminal, and the risk of a violent altercation increases. In "Police Violence Against Black Disabled People Can’t Be Ignored Anymore," we learn about the experiences of our Black community members with disabilities and why some encounters with law enforcement become fatal. 

READ: Police Violence Against Black Disabled People Can’t Be Ignored Anymore (July 23, 2020 | 18 min)

Police Violence Against Black Disabled People (PDF)


DAY 10 

During this TedMED talk, "How Racism Makes Us Sick," David R. Williams recounts his dismay with the mortality rate of Black people compared to white people in America, and has made it his life's work "to understand why race matters profoundly for health." After being told that racism in health cannot be measured, Williams developed a solution for measuring how racism impacts the health of Black people and shares what institutions in the U.S. are doing to improve health outcomes and access to quality care.

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: How Racism Makes Us Sick (May 2, 2017 | 18 min) 

How Racism Makes Us Sick Transcript (PDF)


In the following two pieces, we hear from UC San Diego alums as we explore how the effects of structural racism impact medical education and what we know about medicine.  

READ: Commentary: Racism is a Public Health Issue (July 7, 2020 | 10 min) 

Commentary: Racism is a Public Health Issue (PDF)

READ: Commentary: I Experienced Racism at UCSD Medical School 50 Years Ago (July 7, 2020 | 10 min) 

Commentary: I Experienced Racism at UCSD Medical School 50 Years Ago (PDF)

Section 3: Black Joy as a Form of Resistance

black woman with headphones

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

–Audre Lorde

In Section 3, we explore Black joy as a form of resistance to anti-Blackness. Black joy is a breathtaking view of the Colorado mountains4, contemporary works from artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald or classic pieces from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Faith Ringgold, the iconic reflections of Nina Simone through song, or the enduring words of poet and author Langston Hughes. The Black experience is not all pain and struggle--it takes a whole lot of love and high spirits to persist through adversity. 


DAY 11 

In 2017, Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality published a pivotal report, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood. Using statistical analysis to assess the sentiments adults hold for Black girls, researchers found that adults believe that Black girls as young as 5 years old "…need less nurturing, protection, support and comfort than white girls of the same age." In "How Black Girls Aren't Presumed to Be Innocent," The Atlantic's Adrienne Green reviews the study and its implications that bias robs Black girls of their innocence and childhood joy.

READ: How Black Girls Aren’t Presumed to Be Innocent (June 29, 2017 | 9 min) 

How Black Girls Aren’t Presumed to Be Innocent (PDF)


In her perspective piece, "My Daughter Reminded Me Black Joy Is a Form of Resistance," Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts shares the surprising moment of peace she experienced amid a pandemic wrecking Black communities and social unrest at the urgency to protect Black lives.

READ: My Daughter Reminded Me Black Joy is a Form of Resistance (June 19, 2020 | 8 min) 

My Daughter Reminded Me Black Joy is a Form of Resistance (PDF)


DAY 12 

Black joy is also creating virtual spaces for Black people5 to gather in community to advocate, mobilize and laugh in light of the struggle--not to minimize the impact of anti-Blackness, but to reaffirm our existence and find renewed strength to carry onward. The Root takes us through the last 10 years of Black Twitter in "How Black Twitter Changed the World." The video details the impact of Black Twitter on everything from popular culture to confronting racial injustice.

WATCH or LISTEN: How Black Twitter Changed the World (December 11, 2019 | 10 min)


In a piece by Smithsonian Magazine, "Black Tweets Matter," we look more closely at how vital Black Twitter is to elevating Black voices and issues impacting the Black community. The article looks specifically at online events that turned into national calls to action to support Black people and artistry.

READ: Black Tweets Matter (September 2016 | 22 min) 

Black Tweets Matter (PDF)


DAY 13 

Sonia Sanchez, a noted leader of the Black arts movement6 of the 1960s through the 1970s, said, "The black artist is dangerous. Black art controls the ‘Negro’s’ reality, negates negative influences, and creates positive images." In "Black Art is Dangerous," Guardian columnist Hannah Giorgis recounts how Black art is used as a medium for rebellion, political activism and self-love.

READ: Black Art is Dangerous (February, 22, 2015 | 10 min) 

Black Art is Dangerous (PDF)


Residents of Flint, Michigan have been fighting for their government to provide them with safe, clean drinking water since their local water supply was diverted from Detroit to the Flint River in 2014. The water has exposed residents to toxic levels of lead, fecal bacteria, and the "third-largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease recorded in US history"7.  Visual artist LaToya Ruby Frazier was commissioned to do a photo essay on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In this video, Frazier reflects on environmental racism in both Flint and her hometown Braddock, Pennsylvania, and how a collective of Black artists managed to bring clean water to a city in crisis.  

WATCH, LISTEN or READ: A Creative Solution For the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan (September 2019 | 12 min) 

A Creative Solution For the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan Transcript (PDF)


DAY 14 

Today, we invite you to engage with Black artistry through perspectives in poetry and musical selections that demonstrate the breadth of the Black experience with joy and pain. 

Poetry Selections

Musical Selections


DAY 15 

Day 15, the celebration continues! Today we get a brief lesson on the experience of Black Latinx Americans in music and explore a few overlooked Black Latinx artists. 

READ and LISTEN: 9 Overlooked Black Latinx Artists (October 2019 | 1hr 15min) 

9 Overlooked Black Latinx Artists (PDF)



Section 4: Allying, Action, and Accountability

medical workers holding Black Lives Matter signs

There must be a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.

–bell hooks

Hello friends, we are now entering our final week of the Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge. In Section 4 we discuss allyship, actions, and accountability--one must be willing to assume all of these to help advance racial justice.

As we learned in Section 1 of the Challenge, to support deep and lasting change, one must not simply be a "non-racist", but an anti-racist. To be an anti-racist is being confronted with various forms of racism--individual, institutional, structural--and choosing to speak out against these injustices rather than choosing to remain silent.


DAY 16 

In June 2020, the Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA) hosted a special webinar presentation in response to the public statements released by academic institutions regarding the killings of George Floyd, Jr., Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade. Their webinar, "Addressing Anti-Blackness on Campus: Implications for Educators and Institutions," explains how public statements become futile unless accompanied by meaningful action to prevent more harm to Black community members. A panel of experts came together to discuss viable solutions for confronting anti-Blackness in education.

WATCH or LISTEN: Addressing Anti-Blackness on Campus: Implications for Educators and Institutions (June 25, 2020 | 1hr 45min) 


DAY 17 

Our Asian and Asian American communities are experiencing their own unique plight with "otherness", xenophobia, and anti-Asian racism in America. With the release of the George Floyd, Jr. video, many from the Asian community have come to express great disappointment and anger with the Asian American officer who stood by, failing to intervene. In "The George Floyd Protests: A Guide to Practicing Anti-Racism as an Asian Ally," we learn how Asians and Asian Americans can effectively support the Black community with their allyship.

READ: The George Floyd Protests: A Guide to Practicing Anti-Racism as an Asian Ally (June 3, 2020 | 20 min) 

Practicing Anti-Racism as an Asian Ally (PDF)


DAY 18 

We've seen the headlines; some celebrity or notable public figure gets "dragged" or is threatened to be "canceled" for falling short of expectations or an offense committed long ago. In her reflective piece, "What Is/Isn’t Transformative Justice?," author and Black feminist Adrienne Maree Brown urges us to be careful with how we direct our energy. We must seek transformative justice, which has long-term impact instead of the short-term gain that comes from seeing the fall of individuals, who are often just a symptom of a much deeper, systemic issue.

READ: What is/isn’t Transformative Justice? (July 9, 2015 | 14 min) 

What is/isn’t Transformative Justice? (PDF)


DAY 19 

Many Black people are navigating deep emotional waters right now, with many feeling especially vulnerable and unsafe amid social and mainstream media stories of violence against Black people. Best intentions are assumed of allies, and most understand concern comes from a place of care and desire to help their Black friends and colleagues. But a simple, how are you doing, could rouse more pain than support. In "Some Do's and Don'ts for White People Who Want to Discuss Racism at Work" and "Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They're Okay--Chances Are They're Not," we discuss how to effectively engage with your Black friends or colleagues during these sensitive times.

READ: Some Do's and Don'ts for White People Who Want to Discuss Racism at Work (June 1, 2020 | 4 min) 

Some Do's and Don'ts for White People (PDF)

READ: Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They're Okay--Chances Are They're Not (May 2020 | 10 min) 

Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They're Okay (PDF)


DAY 20 

Furthering the lessons from Day 19, we share a perspective piece by Kimberly D. Manning, MD. In this piece, Dr. Manning grounds us in an intimate look at how she, personally and as a physician, is experiencing the overwhelming effects of anti-Black racism as well as the devastation of COVID-19 on the Black community. She offers hospitals and leaders a starting point from which we can offer support to Black patients, colleagues, and friends during a time of heightened grief and sustain our support for their well-being. 

READ: When Grief and Crises Intersect: Perspectives of a Black Physician in the Time of Two Pandemics (June 5, 2020 | 15 min)  

When Grief and Crises Intersect (PDF)


On June 10, 2020, a group of physicists with Particles for Justice led a STEM and academic strike for Black lives in collaboration with ShutDownSTEM and VanguardSTEM. According to Inside Higher Ed, the group amassed over 4,500 pledges from faculty and students to stop research and meetings for one day in support of the issues impacting the Black community8. We link to an exhaustive library of resources, provided by Particles of Justice, for people interested in acting for Black lives and for Black people seeking support with self-care.

 READ and EXPLORE: Physicist Strike for BLM Resource List (June 10, 2020) 

Physicist Strike for BLM Resource List (PDF)


DAY 21 

In this Harvard Business Review article, "Academia Isn't a Safe Haven for Conversations About Race," we become familiar with terms like “invisible labor”, “inclusion tax” and “racism-evasive rhetoric” to understand how our deflection from problematic behavior perpetuates anti-Blackness and our inability to engage in meaningful dialogue on race and racism.

READ: Academia Isn't a Safe Haven for Conversations About Race (June 25, 2019 | 15 min read) 

Academia Isn't a Safe Haven for Conversations About Race (PDF)


Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Hampshire, shares with us "The Rules of the Diversity and Inclusion Racket." In this article, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein describes her experience as an "only" in the field of physics and astronomy and decodes (from her experience) "what white people really mean when they talk about diversity in higher education."

READ: The Rules of the Diversity and Inclusion Racket (15 min) 

The Rules of the Diversity and Inclusion Racket (PDF)

Recorded Webinars

Section 1: How We Got Here   
August 14, 2020

Featured Panelists: 

Anthony King
Director of Communications for Arts and Humanities
LEAD Fellow

Dr. Marisa Abrajano 
Professor of Political Science

Pamela Frugé
Chief Administrative Officer, College Business Office
LEAD Fellow

Dr. Edwina Welch
Director, Cross Cultural Center


Section 2: Intersections of Power, Language, and Visibility  
August 21, 2020


Featured Panelists: 

Dr. Makeba Jones
Associate Professor of Education Studies

Ayelet Ruppin-Pham
Patient Education Coordinator, UC San Diego Health
Lead Fellow

Jessica Martinez
Assistant Director of Education, Women's Center
LEAD Fellow

Maribel Gomez
Assistant Director of Education, LGBT Resource Center

ASL Recording Link


Section 3: Black Joy as a Form of Resistance 
August 28, 2020


Featured Panelists: 

Porsia Curry
Director, Black Resource Center

Charles Stanley
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Sixth College

Sadé Graves
Manager of Communication and Special Projects, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

King James Britt
Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Music

ASL Recording Link


Section 4: Allying, Actions, and Accountability 
September 4, 2020


Featured Panelists: 

Dr. Dontarie Stallings
Assistant Teaching Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Mardestinee Perez
Director, Faculty Development and Diversity

Dr. Shaun Travers
Director, LGBT Resource Center

Dr. Lawana Richmond
Organizational Development Manager, Transportation and Services

ASL Recording Link

Continuing Your Anti-Racism Work

Completion of the Challenge is the beginning, not the end, of your anti-racism work.


Over the course of 21 days, you have explored a variety of educational pieces chosen to provide you with a deeper understanding of how we as members of American society - individually and collectively - unknowingly sustain systemic racism or perpetuate harmful biases in our daily lives.  You might be wondering, what do I do next with my newfound knowledge of anti-Black racism? 

This is an important question to consider because meaningful and lasting change in our communities, at UC San Diego and beyond, will require the individual and collective actions of us all. Individually, each of us must commit to doing the self-work to identify our personal biases and knowledge gaps, and make the sustained effort to unlearn and relearn.  

It starts with personal reflection and being honest with yourself about your thoughts, choices and actions. Do they perpetuate racism, do they reflect a passive non-racism, or do they advance anti-racism?

  • Ask yourself, where can I grow? And, how can I do better? Commit to identifying and interrupting your own biases.
  • Commit to participating in on-going racial justice work by partnering with organizational leaders and allying with people of color.
  • Develop professional development goals that turn your new knowledge into active skills that you can use in the workplace.
  • Consider your spheres of influence to identify where you can make a difference. For example, you might:
    • Advocate to change practices and protocols that create barriers to success for Black students, staff, and faculty.
    • Focus on the Black experience in strategic planning, policy review and development.
    • Review your hiring practices and work to eliminate unconscious biases.
    • Consider who you are choosing to mentor, who you nominate for awards, who you promote and with whom you are choosing to collaborate.

We hope that the foundational knowledge you received from the Challenge inspires you onward with confident humility, knowing that your work will never be done, but each step you take brings us closer to a vibrant society and a university that allows us all to flourish. The change we need is dependent on your individual commitment to ongoing self-reflection and action. 

Works Cited

1.Hassett-Walker, C. (2019, June 10). The racist roots of American policing: From slave patrols to traffic stops. Chicago Reporter. 

2. N. (n.d.). NAACP | Criminal Justice Fact Sheet. NAACP. Retrieved July 21, 2020, from 

3. Buchanan, L. (2020, July 8). Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History. Https://Www.Nytimes.Com/#publisher. 

4. Packnett, B. (2018, January 28). I’m an Activist, and Joy Is My Resistance. SELF. 

5. Paige, D. (2020, February 27). Black memes matter: How Black people drive social media culture. The University Daily Kansan. 

6. - Academy of American Poets. (2014, February 18). A Brief Guide to the Black Arts Movement. Academy of American Poets. 

7. Denchak, M. (2018, November 8). Flint Water Crisis: Everything You Need to Know. NRDC. 

8. Inside Higher Ed. (2020, June 11). Scientists strike for black lives, a more inclusive academia.

Frequently Asked Questions on the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge


Where did the idea for a 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge come from?

The Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge was adapted from the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge© developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., diversity scholar and Director of The Privilege Institute and The National White Privilege Conference. Dr. Moore created the 21-Day plan to help individuals establish a starting point to learn and build "effective social just habits". Dr. Moore encourages organizations to use and adapt his plan to meet their specific education goals and objectives and showcases how others have used his 21-Day plan to support their learning goals. 


Is UC San Diego suggesting that this Challenge will end racism?

The purpose of the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge is to promote anti-racism. As you will learn during this Challenge, to not be racist is a passive and complicit approach to racial injustice. Through this Challenge we are encouraging our campus community members to be anti-racist, which is to recognize racial injustice--whether it be individual, institutional, or systemic--and challenge these behaviors, processes, or policies to eradicate them. While undoing over 244 years of white supremacy cannot be accomplished through a 21-day learning curriculum, we can count on those who are willing to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of what racism looks like beyond the individual level and commit to do their part to help dismantle structural racism.


So after 21 days people can go back to being racist? Why would we stop at 21 days?

The intent of the Challenge is to engage those who have never thought about how racism disadvantages people and entire communities on personal, institutional, and systemic levels, over 21 days. Completing this Challenge is the beginning, not the end, of one's commitment to being anti-racist.


Does UC San Diego think racist people will actually participate?

We are encouraging all students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate in this initiative. Many campus community members look forward to learning what they can do as individuals to effect meaningful and lasting change, in their spheres of influence, through anti-racism work. The more anti-racism we can inspire, the more campus community members we have that are willing to call out racist behavior or practices and actively pursue equity and liberation.


Why are we using the word "Challenge"? Racism is not a game.

"Challenge" is the word used by the creator of this personal development program, and UC San Diego is honoring that.

Challenge in this sense, is a testament to one's ability to take in some uncomfortable truths about the behaviors and ideologies they hold that sustain racism and anti-Blackness, and be counted on to change them. The anti-racism challenge is a personal one--to engage in behaviors that create a habit that supports a better outcome, and it’s grounded in psychology.


Why are we doing this Challenge now?

Race and anti-Blackness remain notoriously difficult for Americans to discuss. To engage in meaningful dialogue about race and anti-Blackness, white and other racialized people must acknowledge their privilege and how they have benefited from a society designed to advantage white people and disadvantage Black people--and this is hard for many white and non-Black people to do. We dive into the psychology of this phenomenon in Section 1 of the Challenge.

While the world was at home on government stay-at-home orders, we were all tuned into the deeply disturbing and soul crushing stream of media reporting on unjust killings, violence and racism against Black people. Those who have had the privilege of never having to think about race were confronted with the disproportionate amount of injustice and violence Black people experience.

The Black Lives Matter movement regained momentum, large numbers of white people were noticeably present alongside Black people and allies of color, with nearly 95% of Black Lives Matter protests being majority white. The New York Times partnered with Dr. Edwin Chow of Texas State University to conclude that the Black Lives Matter movement is the largest movement in American history.

We are doing this Challenge now because a majority of our country – and our campus – is asking, what now? What do we do after the protests end? How do we keep advancing racial justice? This Challenge is just a start to a lifelong journey of work. But it is important to note that UC San Diego can educate the campus community and do the work to advance inclusive excellence at the same time. The more allies we have championing anti-racism and challenging anti-Blackness, the bigger strides we can make as an institution.

Through this Challenge, UC San Diego is seizing this opportunity to connect as a campus community on how we, individually and as an institution, dismantle anti-Black racism and create opportunities for future exploration of the experiences of other historically marginalized communities.


I am unable to attend each webinar, will they be recorded and made publicly accessible?

Yes. The webinars will be recorded and posted within 72 hours to the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge page.


I would like to share the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge at my workplace. What are the guidelines for sharing UC San Diego's content and materials? 


We are delighted that you are interested in leading your workplace in conversation and personal reflection on anti-racism. UC San Diego's Vice Chancellor Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion content is covered by the Creative Commons License, allowing for sharing and adaptation, provided the work is:


  • Properly attributed to UC San Diego - Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    • Link back to UC San Diego's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge landing page 
    • Indicate if changes were made to the original curation and/or our content
  •  For non-commercial use 


Content produced by external sources will be clearly attributed to the copyright owner other than UC San Diego. This material is not subject to the Creative Commons license.