by Aj Silva, staff writer
The Equity and Inclusion Office at PPSC began its 21-Day Racial Equity Learning Challenge on Feb. 1, with participation open to all staff members, faculty, and student workers at the school.
The challenge encompasses a series of brief online tasks and learning resources, with new options made available daily, followed by an online debriefing session for all interested participants to discuss and respond to the challenge. E & I intends for the activity to encourage individuals to approach the topics of race and intersectional identities more consciously and to cultivate effective behaviors capable of promoting social justice.
Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Tiko Hardy, conceived of the three-week activity to place a positive focus on race during Black History Month and to create a space whereby staff instructors can develop skills empowering them to promote diversity. Hardy says the challenge is a way “to challenge people to think about race every day for the next 21 days.”
While staff members can get involved by accessing any of the activity elements they have time for, Hardy added that staff members who are busy but still interested in the activity’s area of focus can, as she says, “be intentional about paying attention and reflecting on the things you’re doing” in regard to race and identity.
Hardy explains that this activity is taking place throughout Black History Month but celebrates racial diversity because “Black history is every day. Hispanic history is every day. Native American history is every day. I think as a country, as we continue to diversify, and we have a diverse group of folks, a diverse student body, that every celebration is vital to the survival of our institution,” she says.
PPSC has launched its first challenge of this kind to highlight the significance of race in social justice and the intersectional identities of individuals. Participants spend 15-20 minutes daily on online tasks, videos, and articles and can debrief with the challenge designers and peers via a Zoom session. The challenge has been well-received by the college staff, with over 50 already signed up for the debrief session and more expected to participate daily. Hardy describes the response as “encouraging.”