News and Commentary

University Of Wisconsin Campus Asks Students To Take 21-Week ‘Equity Challenge’

The program helps students “develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities.”
Bascom Hall on Bascom Hill, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is advocating that students participate in a 21-week-long equity challenge.

According to an email obtained by The Daily Wire, the Wisconsin school is asking students to capitalize on the “opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities.” The program began in light of Black History Month on Feb. 1 and will end on June 21.

“Weekly topics take participants through a journey that starts with understanding internalized racism and explores how racism permeates person-to-person interactions, institutions, and social structures,” the email reads.

“The experience is intended to deepen understanding, suggest ways to take action, and help launch what we hope will be a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our communities.”

The program was created by the nonprofit organization United Way. It advocates for a liberal policy agenda, particularly for the expansion of the Affordable Care Act. The organization partners with large companies such as Pepsi and Starbucks, as well as several NFL teams.

The organization has 1,800 affiliate chapters across 40 different countries. In Illinois, the statewide chapter offers the same 21-week program aimed at Illinois residents who want “to engage in racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding about the impact [of] systemic racism.”

Iowa’s United Way chapter offers a shorter, 21-day version of the challenge. According to the chapter website, each weekday has a different topic ranging from “understanding systemic racism” to “allyship.” Other days focus on segregation, “cultural competence,” Black Lives Matter, education, and the justice system.

New York’s United Way chapter hosted a similar 21-day challenge in August of 2020. According to the chapter’s webpage, day six of the program put a special emphasis on different kinds of racism. One graph showed the four levels of racism, which are systemic, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized. Systemic racism was described as “ongoing racial inequalities” in society and institutional racism was described as “discriminatory policies and practices within organizations.”

Following the completion of the 21-week program, participants are presented with a “Challenge Certificate of Completion” and are provided with action items and ways to improve equity in the community.

Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd, universities and nonprofits alike have committed to “equity” and “anti-racism.”

In the name of “equity,” schools, such as Loyola University in New Orleans, offered free two-week courses in areas of racial justice studies. According to Campus Reform, students were able to take courses such as “Race and Mass Incarceration,” “Environmental Justice and Equity: Case Study New Orleans,” “Making the Middle Ages: Myth, Misappropriation, and Reality,” “Say Her Name,” and others.

Like Loyola, the United Way program is free to participants. However, many programs like it — particularly on college campuses — cost a small fortune.

According to Campus Reform, at the University of Virginia, a racial equity task force released recommendations to invest nearly $1 billion of the school’s money into racial equity programs for students and the community.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  University Of Wisconsin Campus Asks Students To Take 21-Week ‘Equity Challenge’