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Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge

The Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge will provide an opportunity for the broader Rice community to develop a deeper understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and build more thoughtful habits around DEI efforts in personal and professional environments. All Rice alumni, parents, students and friends are welcome to take part in this learning and discussion series.


How It Works

  • Register for the Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge.
  • Beginning Sept. 13, you will receive daily emails that highlight research and resources from Rice faculty and other experts in race, gender and sexuality, religion, and disability.
  • Each day, take a few minutes to explore the resources and gain new perspective on DEI topics at Rice, in Houston and around the world.
  • Join Rice faculty, staff and fellow participants virtually for supportive Weekly Community Conversations to discuss and reflect upon the presented themes and ideas. While these talks are optional, we encourage you to participate so you can get the most out of your learning experience!
  • At the end of the challenge, you will receive tangible actions you can take to help improve equity issues in our community.

Content Calendar

Week 1: Power and Privilege

Day 1

Monday, Sept. 13

Do: Complete this online course: Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Part 1 “The Language of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice”

Watch: “We the People” TED Talk by Mark Charles

Notice: Discover what Indigenous lands you’re living on and research the tribes using this Native lands map.

Act: Invite other Rice alumni, friends, family and colleagues to take part in the Rice Alumni 21-Day Challenge with you!

Day 2

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Do: Complete this online course: Introduction to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Part 2 “Self-Understanding, Identity, and Power”

Watch: “Recognizing Privilege: Power to All People” TED Talk by Michael Yates

Notice: What is the racial mix of the authors of the last five books you read?

Day 3

Wednesday, Sept. 15

Read: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

Watch: “How to overcome our biases?” TED Talk with Vernā Myers

Watch: “Understanding My Privilege” TED Talk with Sue Borrego

Act: Share, email or post about articles, blogs, movies and parts of the Rice Alumni 21-Day Challenge that you find impactful.

Day 4

Thursday, Sept. 16

Watch: “Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety” by Christian Science Monitor

Watch: “How 'white fragility' reinforces racism” with Dr. Robin DiAngelo

Listen: Rice Doc Talks podcast “Episode 1: A Photo and a Mortgage

Notice: As you go through your day, take note of how you interact with marginalized groups.

Day 5

Friday, Sept. 17

Watch: “Bad White People” TED Talk with Travis Jones

Listen: Beyond the Hedges podcast Episode 4 “The Fallacy of Racial Colorblindess” with Anthony Pinn

Read: Struggling to Stay Home: Latino Renters in the COVID-19 Pandemic by UnidosUS

Day 6-7

Saturday, Sept. 18

Watch: “How Thinking about Religion Can Increase Racial & Gender Diversity in Science” presented by Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program

Read: The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity by Scientific America

Act: Continue educating yourself on a local level. Research racial justice speakers and see who might be coming to your local university, church, community center or speaker series.

Sunday, Sept. 19

On your own or with a friend, rest and reflect on the week.

Reflection questions: What did you learn this week? What surprised you? Did anything make you uncomfortable and why?

Week 2: Understanding Others

Day 8

Monday, Sept. 20

Watch: “On Empathy” by Brene Brown

Watch: “The urgency of intersectionality” TED Talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw

Read: After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History by Learning for Justice

Watch: “What Kind of Asian Are You?” by Ken Tanaka

Day 9

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Watch: “Systemic Racism Explained” by

Watch: “What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States” with Fernanda Ponce

Listen: Any episode of the All My Relations podcast, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation)

Listen: “I Didn’t Tell You” poem by Norma Johnson

Day 10

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Read: The Injustice of This Moment Is not an ‘Aberration’ by Michelle Alexander

Listen: Beyond the Hedges podcast Episode 3 “Racial Trauma" with Tony Brown

Read: Gifted and Black timeline by Rice Magazine

Act: Prepare yourself to interrupt racial jokes. Watch this video for advice on how to do so.

Day 11

Thursday, Sept. 23

Read: Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch by NPR

Read: Microaggressions are a Big Deal: How to Talk Them Out and When to Walk Away by NPR

Watch: “Decoded: What if White People Experienced Microaggressions?” by MTV

Read: Give Black Employees Time to Rest and Recover by Danielle King, assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice, working on resilience in the workplace

Day 12

Friday, Sept. 24

Watch: “I'm not your inspiration, thank you very much” TED Talk by Stella Young

Listen: Beyond the Hedges podcast Episode 2.2 with Alan Russell

Notice: As you move throughout the day, check to see if there are accessibility options for disabled people as you enter buildings, take public transportation, use bathrooms, etc.

Day 13-14

Saturday, Sept. 25

Watch: “Munroe Bergdorf on racism, trans activism and acceptance” by Channel 4 News

Watch: “The Pain & Empowerment of Choosing Your Own Gender” by Alok Vaid-Menon

Listen: Any episode of the Do the Work podcast, hosted by Brandon Kyle Goodman

Sunday, Sept. 26

On your own or with a buddy, rest and reflect on the week.

Reflection questions: What did you learn this week? What surprised you? Did anything make you uncomfortable and why?

Week 3: How to be an Ally

Day 15

Monday, Sept. 27

Read: Ally or co-conspirator?: What it means to act #InSolidarity by Alicia Garza

Read: Guide to Allyship by Amélie Lamont

Watch: “What if White People Led the Charge to End Racism?” TED Talk with Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler

Notice: Review the Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist with a small group of people at your workplace, faith institution, club or any organization you belong to. Where do you think the organization is right now? What can you do to take the organization to the next step?

Day 16

Tuesday, Sept. 28

Read: Infographic: What Is Tone Policing and Why Is It Wrong? by Shambhavi Raj Singh

Watch: 13th, Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between U.S. slavery and the present-day mass incarceration system

Day 17

Wednesday, Sept. 29

Read: How to Be an Active Bystander When You See Casual Racism by the New York Times (The Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge was made to be accessible to all, but this particular article requires a subscription to access. While it is a good resource, please do not feel obligated to purchase a subscription. You can begin Day 17 with the resource below.)

Listen: Breaking Green Ceilings podcast, amplifying the voices of environmentalists from historically underrepresented communities including Disabled, Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color and accomplices

Act: Make an action plan for how you will be an active bystander the next time you witness racism, sexism, homophobia or ableism.

Day 18

Thursday, Sept. 30

Watch: Documented, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas uses his personal story to convey the internal and external impacts of the broken immigration system in the U.S. Also available on Amazon Prime.

Read: Redlining Was Codified Racism That Shaped American Cities and This Exhibit Shows It Still Exists by Cristela Guerra

Act: Make sure you are registered to vote. Research upcoming local elections and make your voice heard.

Day 19

Friday, Oct. 1

Read: How White Churches Can Work for Racial Justice by Rice University’s Elaine Howard Ecklund and Rachel Schneider

Read: I’m Jewish and Don’t Identify as White. Why Must I Check That Box? By Kwame Anthony Appiah

Day 20-21

Saturday, Oct. 2

Watch: Allegories on Race and Racism with Dr. Camara Jones

Read: How one teacher's Black Lives Matter lesson divided a small Wisconsin town by Tyler Kingkade

Watch: REDEFINE Engineering Education: Toward Ubiquitous Inclusion by Rice’s Dr. Yvette E. Pearson at Rice Alumni Virtual Brains in a Bar

Sunday, Oct. 3

Reflection questions: What did you learn this week? What surprised you? Did anything make you uncomfortable and why?

Register for 21-Day Challenge Wrap-up!


Meet Monique Shankle ’86 and Alexander Byrd ’90
Thursday, Sept. 9

Get primed for the 21-Day Equity Challenge, learn what’s in store and meet fellow Owls, including Association of Rice Alumni President Monique Shankle ’86 and Rice’s Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alexander Byrd ’90, who will support you and be a resource as you embark on the challenge together.

Community Conversations

Each Thursday during the Challenge, further engage with the resources and research at our weekly Community Conversations. Ask questions, dig deeper into the material with Rice faculty and staff and share thoughts with fellow Owls in an open and supportive setting. Hosts will be announced soon.

Week 1
Thursday, Sept. 16

5-6 p.m. CT

Week 2
Thursday, Sept. 23

5-6 p.m. CT

Week 3
Thursday, Sept. 30

5-6 p.m. CT

21-Day Challenge Wrap-up
Monday, Oct. 4

5-6 p.m. CT

Wrap up the 21 days with a culminating Community Conversation. Reflect on what you learned and how you can implement these habits into your daily life.

About the Challenge

The Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge was spearheaded by the Association of Rice Alumni’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Committee in partnership with Rice’s Vice Provost of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is intended as a self-guided learning tool for Owls at all stages and levels of familiarity with DEI initiatives, and offers an open environment for discussion and reflection. We encourage you to learn alongside the Association of Rice Alumni Board in a continual effort to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. The Rice Alumni 21-Day Equity Challenge is inspired by Eddie Moore Jr.’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge.