United Way of Illinois Launches ‘21 Week Equity Challenge’

21 Week Equity Week Challenge

The statewide association invites all Illinois’ residents to take the learning challenge

Joliet, IL. – The United Way of Will County, in conjunction with the United Way of Illinois is launching a ‘21 Week Equity Challenge’ this week. Following a year of unrest and strife, this free, online learning program will provide lessons and resources for Illinoisians to learn about racial issues and systemic inequalities, together.

“Our association, in partnership with local United Ways, is so excited to be taking this journey with our communities.” said Eithne McMenamin, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for United Way of Illinois.

“This is an excellent opportunity to learn — personally and professionally — have necessary conversations and equip our communities to engage meaningfully in the work of racial understanding and healing.”

United Way of Will County is proud to join United Way of Illinois and 43 other local United Ways across the state to embark on the 21 Week Equity Challenge. United Way staff and leadership will participate, as well as corporate partners, volunteers, and donors.

“The critical work to create equity across our country starts with every person in each community,” said United Way of Will County Board Chair Tom Hernandez. “The United Way of Will County is proud to support and participate in this important initiative.”

The United Way of Illinois 21 Week Equity Challenge encourages individuals, families, friends, and co-workers to have racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding about the impact systemic racism and inequality have on our state and in our local communities. United, we can help create a stronger, more equitable Illinois economy and stronger, more inclusive Illinois communities.

From Martin Luther King Jr. Day (1/18) to Juneteenth (6/19), participants will complete weekly learning assignments about equity, racism, bias and more. The 15-minute assignments include readings, videos, and questions for participants to consider. Upon completion, they’ll receive a digital certificate and tips and tools to help continue the conversation in their local community.

The 21 Week Equity Challenge is supported by Healing Illinois, the State of Illinois, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Illinois. The weekly curriculum was designed by United Way of Champaign, using evolving content originally created by United Way of Washtenaw County in Michigan. New challenge content will be released on a weekly basis.

You can take the pledge today by visiting www.unitedwayillinois.org/equity-challenge.