As an institution dedicated to educating, learning, and growing, we should always challenge each other and ourselves to get involved and make a difference. We can become leaders for equity, inclusion, and justice in our community and throughout society, working to create an equitable world in which we all feel safe and valued regardless of race, color, gender, religion, ethnicity, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, citizenship, or any other legally prohibited basis.
I write today to emphasize my commitment to further equity, inclusion, and belonging at CSI, and to ensuring a welcoming environment for all. Part of that commitment means being able to come together and engage in open and honest conversations in order for us to grow and bring about positive change.
As part of this commitment, I am challenging everyone to participate in a 21-Day Equity Habit Building Challenge modeled after the 21-Day Challenge© designed and created by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. Dr. Moore built this model on the theory that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Thus, we are embarking on a journey to make a habit of listening to one another; sharing our thoughts, concerns, and experiences; and learning to respect each other’s differences, while building and forming positive relationships. This challenge is about deepening our understanding of biases and inequities, and our willingness to confront them. The only way to do that is to be accountable to one another to help develop a sense of trust and belonging, so everyone can feel safe to share their stories.
It is my hope that you will join us and challenge yourself to commit to learning, listening, sharing, engaging, and opening yourself up to making meaningful changes that will help create a more welcoming, equitable, and inclusive community.
Details on this challenge can be found on our Website. The Challenge will begin on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. There will be four weeks of challenges. Monday through Thursday of each week, you will be asked to complete one activity a day, which will include readings and/or watching videos. On the Friday of each week, there will be a Zoom session, where we will discuss what we learned that week and how we felt or what we thought about the material, as well as share relevant experiences with each other.
This challenge will culminate on the 21st day, Monday, Mar. 22, 2021, with a Zoom session hosted by me, where we will engage in thoughtful conversation and reflect on the overall experience. I am looking forward to honest, sincere conversations, and I am excited to get started.
Please be sure to visit our Website and get ready to begin the challenge on Monday. Each week, we will send out an email reminding you of the week’s agenda and a link to register for the week’s wrap up Zoom session. Students who participate in the Friday Zoom sessions can earn PG CLUE credits.
While this is only the beginning of the conversation, it is an important step in the right direction.
I hope that you accept the challenge.
By William J. Fritz