21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

The Minorities in the Profession Committee and the Civil Rights Committee of the New Orleans Bar Association encourage our members to participate in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. The Challenge is not meant to substitute for a thorough examination of all issues of racism, but we hope that by participating in the Challenge you will gain a greater understanding of systemic challenges faced by African-Americans in our community. 

 As you review the materials, we invite you to share with us and your colleagues what you have learned.  If your review of these materials yields ideas for committee projects or programming, please feel free to share those ideas as well.  We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you find the Challenge illuminating.

Day 1

Nikole Hannah-JonesAmerica Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It OneThe New York Times (Aug. 14, 2019).

Dean G. Marcus Cole: 'I am George Floyd. Except, I can breathe. And I can do something.'

Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Fire this Time. Reflection on recent killings and protest. 

Day 2

How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist, Longest Shortest Time Podcasthttps://longestshortesttime.com/episode-116-how-to-not-accidentally-raise-a-racist/

Day 3

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations, The Atlantic (May 21,
2014), https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

Day 4

Danielle Cadet, Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They Are Okay – Chances Are They Are Not (May 2020),

Katy Waldman, A Sociologist Examines The “White Fragility” That Prevents White Americans From Confronting Racism, New Yorker (July 23, 2018),

Day 5

Megan Ming Francis, Let's get to the root of racial injustice, TEDTalks (March 21, 2016),

Day 6

Project Implicit, Implicit Association Test (IAT),
(This exercise requires navigating the sign up for the tests, which includes answering a series of questions for the researchers, but it is recommended that everyone do at least these tests: Race, Skin Tone, and Weapons-Race. Also, everyone is encouraged to add these tests if you are able: Asian American, Native American, and Arab-Muslim.)

Day 7

How microaggressions are like mosquito bites, Same Difference (Oct. 5, 2016), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDd3bzA7450

Heben Nigatu, 21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis: A photographer at Fordham asked her peers to write down the microaggressions they've encountered. Here is what they had to say, BuzzFeed (Dec. 9, 2013),

Essence Grant, 27 Workplace Microaggressions That'll Make You Ask "How'd They Even Get Hired?" In conclusion, adults can be wildly dumb, BuzzFeed (Oct. 8, 2017), https://www.buzzfeed.com/essencegant/workplace-microaggression-horror-stories

Ali Vingiano, 63 Black Harvard Students Share Their Experiences In A Powerful Photo Project, BuzzFeed (March 3, 2014),

Day 8

James McWilliams, Bryan Stevenson On What Well Meaning White People Need To Know About Race: An interview with Harvard University-trained public defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson on racial trauma, segregation, and listening to marginalized voices, Pacific Standard (updated Feb 18, 2019), https://psmag.com/magazine/bryan-stevenson-ps-interview

Day 9

Media Portrayals and Black Male Outcomes, The Opportunity Agendahttps://www.opportunityagenda.org/explore/resources-publications/media-representations-impact-black-men/media-portrayals

Day 10

Cheryl I. Harris, Whiteness As Property, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 106 No. 8 (June 1993), https://sph.umd.edu/sites/default/files/files/Harris_Whiteness%20as%20Property_106HarvLRev-1.pdf

Day 11

Scott Winship, Richard V. Reeves, and Katherine Guyot, The Inheritance of Black Poverty: It’s All About the Men, Brookings (March 22, 2018), 

Karma Allen, More than 50% of homeless families are black, government report finds, ABCNews (Jan. 22, 2020),

Day 12

Hannah Giorgis, Black Art is dangerous because it marries the personal and the political, The Guardian (Feb. 22, 2015)

Reggie Ugwu, Lena Waithe╩╝s Art of Protest: The “Queen & Slim” writer on mixing art and politics, the key to collaboration and those infamous comments about Will Smith and Denzel Washington, The New York Times (Dec. 2, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/movies/lena-waithe-queen-and-slim.html

Bryan Stevenson, "We can't recover from this history until we deal with it." legacy of slavery and the vision for creating the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum, Harvard Law School YouTube (Jan 30, 2019), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRJX5jvORzQ

Day 13

Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls Childhood, YouTube (June 27, 2017), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKzEF22fK24

Adrienne Green, How Black Girls Aren’t Presumed to Be Innocent: A new study finds that adults view them as less child-like and less in need of protection than their white peers, The Atlantic (June 29, 2017) https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/black-girls-innocence-georgetown/532050/

Day 14 Perspectives in Poetry:

Richard Wright, Between the World and Me: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/between-the-world-and-me/
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/richard-wright)

Langston Hughes, Harlem: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46548/harlem
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/langston-hughes)

June Jordan, Poem for Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer:
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/june-jordan)

Audre Lorde, Who Said it Was Simple: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42587/who-said-it-was-simple
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/audre-lorde)

Claudia Rankine – “You are in the dark, in the car . . .” - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/56848/citizen-you-are-in-the-dark-in-the-car
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/claudia-rankine)

Alice Walker, The World Rising: https://alicewalkersgarden.com/2015/09/the-world-rising-2015-by-alice-walker/
(author bio: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/alice-walker)

Perspectives on Change:

The Beatles – Revolution #1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLGzRXY5Bw) v. Nina Simone – Revolutions 1 and 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2_NVX-T8iM) & Mississippi Goddam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghhaREDM3X8)

Day 15

Peggy McIntosh, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege,

Day 16
George Johnson, White gay privilege exists all year, but it is particularly hurtful during Pride, NBC News (June 30, 2019), https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/white-gay-privilege-exists-all-year-it-particularly-hurtful-during-ncna1024961

Laverne Cox Talks about Intersectionality at Harvard (Video clips) (March 11, 2014):

D-L Stewart, Black Trans Lives Matter (TEDxTalks) (April 22, 2019):

Day 17

N. K. Jemisin, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? The Toxins of Speculative Fiction, and the Antidote that is Janelle Monae, Blog (Sept. 30, 2013) http://nkjemisin.com/2013/09/how-long-til-black-future-month/ (music videos optional)

Day 18
Sam Dylan Finch, 9 Phrases Allies Can Say When Called Out Instead of Getting Defensive, Everyday Feminism (May 29, 2017), https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/05/allies-say-this-instead-defensive/ (Short read and video)

Day 19
Jolie A. Doggett,4 Questions About Hair that Black Girls Are Tired of Answering, HuffPost (Feb. 14, 2020), https://www.huffpost.com/entry/black-hair-annoying-questions_l_5c5b3d71e4b08710475a3daf

Jessica Moulite, Exclusive: Rep. Ayanna Pressley Reveals Beautiful Bald Head and Discusses Alopecia for the First Time, The Root (Jan. 16, 2020), https://theglowup.theroot.com/exclusive-rep-ayanna-pressley-reveals-beautiful-bald-1841039847

Hair Love, Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full), Sony Pictures Animation, YouTube (Dec. 5, 2019), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNw8V_Fkw28&feature=youtu.be

Day 20
National Conference for Community and Justice, Colorism (History, Facts, and Videos), https://www.nccj.org/colorism-0

Natasha S. Alford, Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose ‘White’ on the Census: The island has a long history of encouraging residents to identify as white, but there are growing efforts to raise awareness about racism, The New York Times (Feb. 9, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/us/puerto-rico-census-black-race.html

Day 21

Karyn Lacy, How to Convince a White Realtor You’re Middle Class, New York Times (Jan. 21, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/21/opinion/black-discrimination-study.html

Who is "Karen" and Why Does She Keep Calling the Police on Black Men?, On the Media (Podcast) (May 29, 2020),


Extra Resources

“The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture today launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.”

Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D, Critical Racial and Social Justice Education: List of Resources, https://robindiangelo.com/resources/

Verna Myers, How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them, TED Talk (video) (Dec. 15, 2014), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYyvbgINZkQ

John Biewen, Seeing White (14-part series podcast, 2017), https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/

Janice Gassam, Your Unconscious Bias Trainings Keep Failing Because You’re Not Addressing Systemic Bias (Forbes, Dec. 29, 2019),

Michael Harriott, How to Be a Better White Person in 2020, The Root (Jan 9, 2020),