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Black History Month Racial Equity #BeTheChange Challenge

January 31 - February 27, 2022

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Donate to the Barney Ford Fellowship Fund

The University of Colorado Leeds MBA Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee invites you to participate in a racial equity habit-building challenge to celebrate Black History Month. Hosted by the Center for Inclusion and Social Change, the #BeTheChange Challenge includes daily engagement with music, articles, podcasts, and films to learn about current and historical issues of racial inequity and ways to be part of the solution. This event also supports the Barney Ford Fellowship Fund for Diversity, a scholarship promoting diversity at Leeds School of Business. See daily activities below.

About the Challenge

During the daily #BeTheChange Challenge, we will explore articles, podcasts, music, movies, and books on topics including mass incarceration, reconstruction, lethal force in policing, climate justice, arts and the disproportionate impact of COVID on Black businesses. We will also have a self-paced book club within our respective teams reading How to Be an Anti-racist by Ibram X. Kendi.

How the Challenge Works

Support the Barney Ford Diversity Scholarship

Please support diversity at Leeds through the Barney Ford Fellowship Fund. The Barney Ford Fellowship Fundraiser and Annual Gala funds a scholarship for diverse Leeds MBA students. Barney L. Ford (1822-1902) was a former slave who became a leading Denver businessman. The Annual Barney Ford Benefit is a way Leeds MBAs collectively maintain a tradition that serves to carry on his legacy.

About the Organizers

The University of Colorado Leeds MBA Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is a student team of first year and second year MBA students that promotes inclusive excellence in the Leeds School of Business MBA Program. The committee members are Shay Cardenas, Arianna Gianakopoulos, Amy Gillespie, Galen Kuney, Thaala Loper, Michael Mendoza, and Charlie Wasson.

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Mon 3/31 Music Mondays Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing Listen to the African American National Anthem. Set your zoom background to the African American individual you are honoring. 7 min Freedom music
Tue 2/1 Read 44 African Americans who Shook Up the World Explore a list of 44 African Americans who shook up the world to learn something new about someone you have heard of, or to learn about someone completely new.  15-30 min Black influential contemporary and historical leaders
Wed 2/2 Share Courageous Coffee Chat Contact 2-3 friends and invite them to join you in the challenge. 15 min  
Thu 2/3 Connect Connect with your team Get together with your team to set your intentions for the challenge. 1 hr  
Fri 2/4 Watch 13th (Film) Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on mass incarceration of African-Americans. (Netflix) 1 hr
40 min
Race, justice and mass incarceration
Sat 2/5 Reflect Implicit association test Take the Implicit Association Test on Race and Skin Tone and reflect and journal on the content from the week. 15 min Implicit bias
Sun 2/6 Listen The Urgency of Intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw Kimberlé Crenshaw's discusses "intersectionality" to describe the impacts of "standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion" such as race and gender. 18 min Intersectionality of race and gender

Mon 2/7 Music Mondays Perfect Way to Die by Alicia Keys As part of the 2020 protests, Alicia Keys released this song that "alludes to Sandra Bland and Michael Brown, but in a fabricated narrative about an unremarkable day that descends into violence, chaos and grief." 7 min Music and lethal police force
Tue 2/8 Read Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Business Owners Hardest By Lauren Leatherby This article discusses the disproportionate impacts of the Coronavirus on Black owned businesses. 5 min Health and equity
Wed 2/9 Share Courageous Coffee Chat Talk to a friend, family member, or co-worker about why you are participating in the #BeTheChange Challenge. 15 min  
Thu 2/10 Connect Connect with your team Connect with your team to talk about your experience in the challenge. 1 hr  
Fri 2/11 Watch Reconstruction: America After the Civil War Part 1 - Hour 1 (CU Library Student Access, PBS) “Reconstruction” was the 12 years immediately following the Civil War (1865-1877) which was a transformative period, categorized by loss, destruction, and social change, as millions of former slaves and free African Americans struggled to strive for equality. (PBS) 56 min Reconstruction era
Sat 2/12 Reflect Dear anti-racist allies: Here's how to respond to microaggressions Overt racism can be easy to spot, but racism occurs everyday in more subtle ways that are harder to notice and easier to brush aside. This type of stereotyping is often described as a microaggression. This article includes a list of common microaggressions and the messages they communicate, and tips on how you can respond effectively when you hear friends, family or colleagues say them. 10 min Microagressions and allyship
Sun 2/13 Listen Black Lives Matter and the Climate Black Lives Matter is the largest movement in U.S. history, and it has had environmental justice as part of its policy platform from the start. This How To Save a Planet episode discusses why the fight for racial justice is critical to saving the planet, and what the broader climate movement can learn from the Black Lives Matter movement. 45 min Climate justice and racial equity

Mon 2/14 Music Mondays Black History Month Playlist Listen to Black History Month Playlists on Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify. 30 min Music and lethal police force
Tue 2/15 Read 'The Prophets' imagines what's missing from Black queer history A review of Robert Jones Jr.’s debut novel about two enslaved teens who fall in love on a Mississippi plantation in the antebellum South. 5 min Intersection of race, religion and sexual orientation
Wed 2/16 Share Courageous Coffee Chat Call a friend, family member or coworker and talk about what you are learning by going through the challenge. 15 min  
Thu 2/17 Connect Connect with your team Connect with your team to talk about your experience in the challenge. 1 hr  
Fri 2/18 Watch John Lewis: Good Trouble The film explores Georgia representative John Lewis' 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration. (Amazon Prime) 1 hr
37 min
Civil rights, voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform and immigration
Sat 2/19 Reflect How to raise a Black son in America Poet Clint Smith details a heart-wrenching encounter he had with his father, who reacted with fear and anger after he discovered that Clint was playing with water guns with his white friends in a parking lot one night. 5 min Black boys and "the talk"
Sun 2/20 Listen Why you should not bring your authentic self to work - Jodi-Ann Burey Many people of color and members of underrepresented groups are often told to “bring your authentic self to work.” However, many of these professionals then face backlash for “not conforming.” Burey discusses the impact this has and ends with a call to action to those in privilege to help create more just and equitable workplaces.  15 min Race in the workplace

Mon 2/21 Music Mondays

Celebrating Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Revelations Soundtrack

A short documentary celebrating the 50th year anniversary of Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” which has been described as “a celebration of the past, present, and future, Revelations is a sensational work that encapsulates Black tenacity and human spirit.”

5 min +
37 min

African American music and performing arts
Tue 2/22 Read A VC's Guide to Investing in Black Founders by James Norman Black founders receive roughly 1% of VC funding. James Norman explores four common mistakes venture capitalists make that cause them to miss out on the opportunity to invest in Black entrepreneurs, and suggests ways they can find and support Black founders more effectively.    Equitable access to capital
Wed 2/23 Share Courageous Coffee Chat Call a friend or family member to talk about your experience during the challenge. 15 min  
Thu 2/24 Connect Call To Action Connect with your team to talk about what you commit to doing in the future to support racial equity. 1 hr  
Fri 2/25 Watch The Antidote A selection of heartwarming stories depicting the hope that humanity can survive even amid a rapidly deteriorating society. (Amazon Prime) 1 hr
52 min
Intersectional identities of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, education and religion
Sat 2/26 Reflect #BeTheChange Reflect on how you will #BeTheChange to fight for racial justice.   Call to action
Sun 2/27 Celebrate The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem speaks of unity, healing, grief and hope, the painful history of American experience and the redemptive power of American ideals. 5 min Unity, hope and healing