Introduction – Why Take the Challenge?
The Bar Association of Erie County is committed to progressing diversity, equity, and inclusion for its members and the community at large. In 2021 we kicked off the 21 Day Challenge and this year, we continue to put our words into “ACTION.” These past few years have been incredibly challenging. In just this year, our beloved city has seen its fair share of racial disparities—The Jefferson Avenue Tops mass shooting, the educational fallout of the pandemic, the death toll of the Blizzard that disproportionately affected the East Side, the list seems to go on. . During the month of February, as we celebrate Black History Month, we invite you to take the 21 Day Challenge. We have to continue to work together to learn cultural responsibly and humility, each step and each change we make can have such a great impact.
American activism became global activism, as thousands of demonstrations and public campaigns were held worldwide. Meanwhile, the eyes of allies turned inward as they made long-awaited reflections on their own communities and internal biases. If we did not yet know, we have now learned, that silent allyship is insufficient – it is simply not enough to not be racist, one must be actively anti-racist. In order to decimate the racially unjust social constructs that have cocooned many of us for so long, such that they may never again be revived, one must actively work towards change and equality.
Where does one individual start when the issues seem so large and ingrained that one person could not possibly make a difference? They say that “change is the end result of all true learning” and self-education on the topics of racial diversity and injustice is indeed necessary to implement the changes that these past few years have shown us we so desperately need.
How the Challenge Works
Following the work of Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. who originated the challenge, participants are provided with various media formats covering a wide range of structural, institutional and cultural aspects of racial diversity and injustice faced by Black Americans, to be consumed over 21 consecutive days. Though we are commencing the Challenge to coincide with Black History Month, you may begin the Challenge at any time. Be sure to sign up using the form below to let us know you’re participating, and we encourage all those who complete the program to sign your name at the bottom of this page!
All Are Welcome to Participate!
No matter who you are, or what walk of life you come from, the breadth of information provided as part of our 21 Day Diversity Challenge should leave each participant with demonstrated tools to continue their own self-reflection and education, as well as resources to take and support a more diverse and racially just workplace and community. We hope that this program is both a rewarding and thought-provoking step on your journey.
Begin the Challenge
Take the Pledge to Challenge Disparity and Build Diversity. Click here to take the Diversity Pledge.
Invite friends, families, and colleagues to begin the Challenge and take the pledge along with you.
Register for upcoming Events:
Black History Month Calendar | https://www.michiganstreetbuffalo.org/2023-black-history-month-talks
Black Doll Exhibit, Merriweather Library | https://stepoutbuffalo.com/event/the-black-doll-exhibit-we-are-beautiful-an-evolution-of-black-dolls/
LeRoi Johnson Exhibit | LEROI Living in Color | https://burchfieldpenney.org/exhibitions/exhibition:leroi-living-in-color/ https://burchfieldpenney.org/art-and-artists/people/profile:leroi-johnson/
Resistance Is Necessary: How Black Resistance Benefits Everyone | https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r8Y3ucQgQLywmHj1l–THg
Buy a book from a Black bookstore or retailer.
Suggested Local Bookstore:
1382 Jefferson Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14208
Suggested Books: Black Joy & Black Boy Joy – Both available at www.secondchapterbookstore.com
Buy a banned or challenged book written by a Black Author. Click here to see the top ten banned books.
Recently, there have been discussions on books and banning some books throughout the country in various school districts, read about it here.
Support a Local Black Owned Business
Don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions:
Commit to being proactive
Prepare yourself to interrupt racial jokes. Click HERE for some advice about how.
Talk to a young person about race: Get some tips here.
Take the Project Implicit tests on Race, Skin Tone, and Weapons Race. Additional tests that you might take include Asian American, Native American, and Arab-Muslim
Listen to and catch up on OPEN Buffalo’s podcast centered around advancing racial, economic and ecological justice in Buffalo: https://openbuffalo.org/news/article:open-buffalo-podcast-relaunch/
“Buffalo, What’s Next? unapologetically confronts the reasons why the May 14 mass shooting occurred in Buffalo. Each hour-long episode is hosted by WBFO Senior Reporter & Host Dave Debo, WBFO Managing Editor Brigid Jaipaul-Valenza, and WBFO Morning Edition Host Jay Moran, and will amplify voices that have traditionally been marginalized. The show provides a forum for open, honest, and candid conversations about what happened, what’s next, and what role each of us can play in solving the problems that caused it”
Buffalo, What’s Next? Podcast https://www.wbfo.org/podcast/buffalo-whats-next
- Suggested episodes:
- December 12: Buffalo City Ballet, and Lost Jefferson Avenue
- December 15: The Unseen Jefferson Avenue, and Art and Economic Justice
- January 13: Producer’s Picks
- January 31: Analyzing Blizzard Deaths in the Black Community
Video (6 mins) – ‘We Cant Recover From This History Until We Deal With It’
Video 3mins – ‘If Microaggressions Happened To White People’
Microaggressions Explained Through Movies – https://youtu.be/bjzWENcW6NQ
Video (20 mins) – Let’s get to the root of racial injustice – Megan Ming Francis – Ted Talk (https://youtu.be/-aCn72iXO9s)
Watch a CLE “OnDemand” from the Erie Institute of Law on Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias https://eriebar.org/continuinglegaleducation/prerecorded-cle-programs/?filter_cle-credit=diversity-inclusion-and-elimination-of-bias
Watch the Goldman Sachs webcast with Richard Rothstein, author of the The Color of Law, discussing housing policies that shaped American cities in the 20th century.
Watch WKBW’s video on Buffalo’s history with ‘redlining’
A Conversation with the Descendants of Plessy v. Ferguson | Click to view flyer for more information