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Washtenaw United: 21-Day Equity Challenge Offers Personal Journey Into Understanding Systemic Racism

Aug 31, 2020

#UnitedForEquity
Credit United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

As the search for an end to systemic racism continues to grow, some of the best advice is to first look inward.  Toward that end, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) is offering another 21-Day Equity Challenge.  With support from the University of Michigan's Ginsberg Center, the UWWC joins other United Way chapters from around Michigan in raising understanding and awareness of racism. 

UWWC development and communications manager Ebony Robinson and Sara Saylor, the Ginsberg Center's assistant director for community engagement, discuss the issues and opportunities with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Washtenaw United."


WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.'


ABOUT THE GUESTS:

Ebony Robinson

United Way of Washtenaw County Development and Communications Manager Ebony Robinson.
Credit United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

In her role at the United Way of Washtenaw County, Ebony implements the annual workplace giving campaign plan and timetable, develops and deploys year-round communications plan and organization wide strategy, and other collaborative initiatives.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

Sara Saylor

Sara Saylor, Assistant Director for Community Engagement at the U-M's Ginsberg Center.
Credit The Ginsberg Center / ginsberg.umich.edu

In her role at the Ginsberg Center, Sara develops and stewards partnerships with non-profits, schools, government institutions and other social sector agencies.  Through active engagement with the local community, Sara works to connect community priorities and needs with U-M teaching, research, students and other resources.  In addition, she supports Ginsberg's Community Advisory Board, provides oversight to the Connect to Community volunteer portal, serves on the Washtenaw County steering committee for summer youth employment and co-chairs the Student Life Beyond University Sidewalks (B.U.S.) program.  Sara began working at the Ginsberg Center in 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communities & Social Justice from the University of Michigan and a Master's in Education from Harvard University, where she focused on the risk and protective influences impacting youth.  She also has taught middle school, worked with girls in the juvenile justice system, and served as an AmeriCorps member.

RESOURCES:

21-Day Equity Challenge: Michigan Edition

UWWC STATEMENT:

United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC), has a vision that by 2030 your zip code will no longer determine your opportunity in life.  At present-- in Washtenaw County and our State-- it does.  In response to newly available data on the wellbeing of households in our State who are Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed (ALICE), United Ways across Michigan are launching a special State Edition of the 21 Day Equity Challenge.  This version of the Equity Challenge is designed to take participants through a state-level exploration of the history and impacts of racism and how it has shaped the lives of people in Michigan.  Along the way, participants will be equipped with resources and tools to take action for racial equity in their work and lives.  UWWC launched a Washtenaw Edition of the Challenge in January of 2020, followed by a COVID-19 Edition of the Challenge in May.  This is the first time the Challenge has been launched by multiple United Ways with state-level data.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu