Fall 2021 Guidance/COVID-19 Information

Join the 21-day anti-racism challenge

02/09/2021

Join the 21-day anti-racism challenge

Campus community members have an added opportunity to immerse themselves in Black history and culture throughout the month by participating in the interactive “21-Day Challenge” throughout the rest of February.

Every day of the 21-day challenge has a theme and lists several options for reading, listening or watching. Individuals may choose at least one activity per day and are welcome to explore more.

The activity is new to the campus’ annual celebration of Black History Month.

The multimedia subcommittee of SUNY Cortland’s Anti-Racism Taskforce Multimedia Subcommittee created the webpage, Cortland.edu/21day, which gives students, faculty and staff a chance to track their participation, reflect on their daily activities and engage in discussion with others.

“The Challenge was created as a way to understand issues of power, privilege, oppression, equity and social justice,” said committee member Paul van der Veur, professor and chair of Communication and Media Studies and a faculty member in the Africana Studies Department.

“The goal is for participants to explore a daily activity and over the course of the 21 days to learn and, ultimately, be empowered to recognize and actively take a stand against racism,” he said.

The 21-day challenge is an opportunity to:

  • Learn and grow as individuals and as a community
  • Foster awareness, compassion and understanding
  • Encourage dialogue surrounding difficult topics
  • Begin to understand issues of power, privilege, oppression, equity and social justice
  • Learn how to better support Black and underrepresented colleagues, students and community members
  • Become empowered to confront issues of racial equality

“Unlearning your biases is an incredibly difficult task,” Van der Veur said. “You cannot become an anti-racist just by deciding you are one. We hope that the topics here will challenge and inspire you. Proceed with an open mind when you see an activity that might be at odds with your beliefs. Those may be the ones that spark the greatest change.”

In addition to Van der Veur, the Anti-Racism Taskforce Multimedia Subcommittee also includes Kathleen Lawrence, professor of communication and media studies; Michelle LoGerfo, assistant director of web and digital marketing; Ricardo Nelson, media services technician with Campus Technology Services; Christine Paske, instructor of health;  Jeremy Pekarek, Memorial Library archivist and instructional services librarian; and Andrea Robinson-Kuretich, associate registrar.