The current movement for racial equality in America provides an opportunity for us to consider how we — as individuals, as lawyers, and as a Section — are meeting this moment. Are we moving on with our daily lives, or are we willing to grow in our knowledge and understanding to help shape our profession? What responsibility do we bear? It is with these thoughts in mind that the ABA Section of Public Contract Law is sharing some resources and an opportunity for members to participate in a 21-Day Racial Equity and Habit Building Challenge© (the “21- Day Challenge©”). The 21-Day Challenge was conceived of several years ago by diversity expert Eddie Moore, Jr. to advance deeper understandings of the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy and oppression. Two other ABA groups have undertaken similar 21-Day Challenges — the Labor & Employment Law Section & the Judicial Division.
The goal of the 21-Day Challenge is for each of us to augment our awareness, empathy, compassion and determination to stand for racial equity. Your participation in the 21-Day Challenge is, of course, completely voluntary, and your participation shall not be construed as agreement with the views expressed in any of the assignments in the syllabus. You may opt out of participating along the way, or you may choose to complete the assignments at your own pace.
The 21-Day Challenge invites participants to complete a syllabus of short daily assignments (typically taking 15 – 30 minutes), over 21 consecutive days. In addition to certain readings focused on the Black American experience, including perspectives on Black history, identity and culture, and the experience of anti-Black racism in America, there are assignments that focus on the unique experience of Black lawyers in America, as well as assignments that explore how lawyers of all races can and must share in the work of bringing greater racial equity to the legal profession.
I encourage participants to form reading circles to check in weekly, as the content can be powerful and thought-provoking, and participants may find a benefit in discussing it. Anyone interested in being part of a discussion circle should email Dominique Casimir.
It is my hope that the 21-Day Challenge, as its name implies, will challenge each of us to step out of our comfort zones so that we can acquire greater racial literacy and a deeper understanding of the historical context of current events, and inspire us to become engaged in the fight against racial inequality in our profession.
21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge is the registered copyright of America & Moore, LLC. 2014