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United Way of Illinois Launches ‘21 Week Equity Challenge’

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United Way of Illinois Launches ‘21 Week Equity Challenge’
The statewide association invites all Illinois’ residents to take the learning challenge
Springfield, IL. – United Way of Central Illinois is partnering with United Way’s across Illinois for the United Way of Illinois ‘21 Week Equity Challenge.’ 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.”

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.

United Way of Central Illinois 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.

“Now is the time for our community to take action, said John Kelker, President of United Way of Central Illinois. “We know our place in this work has only begun and hope others will join us in taking the pledge to participate in the challenge”.

You can take the pledge today by visiting

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