By Sharla Hooper
Voluntary program seeks to help build knowledge and skills for effective inclusive leadership practices
University of Phoenix Office of Educational Equity hosted its second annual 21-Day Equity Habit Building Challenge, a voluntary program aimed at supporting faculty and staff in the development of inclusive leadership practices. The University challenge was modeled after the “21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge©,” conceived by diversity expert Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to advance deeper understandings of the intersections of race, power and privilege. Dr. Moore’s program was adapted for the University of Phoenix and designed to help provide participants with the tools and resources to become more aware, compassionate, constructive and engaged in the quest for racial equity.
“The challenge is a natural extension of the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” Director of Student Diversity & Inclusion Tondra Richardson shares. “This year’s challenge focused on giving participants the practical resources needed to develop inclusive leadership skills. This year we also gave participants the opportunity to earn the Inclusive Leader: Commitment to Equity Badge, which allowed participants to demonstrate a tangible commitment to putting empathy, compassion, and curiosity into action.”
This year, participating employees and faculty had an opportunity to earn a digital badge highlighting the skills obtained. Focus areas for the challenge included allyship, disability, education, healthcare, interpersonal and institutional racism, understanding privilege and more. Challenge participants had daily writing and reflection goals for each topic and were encouraged to interact with one another and share meaningful experiences relative to the focus areas.
“Working at University of Phoenix and seeing the importance of equity and inclusion solidified that I really want to be a part of the culture here,” shares Jodi Pope, national account manager for the University’s Workforce Solutions Group. “I love the 21-day challenge because it highlights the importance of talking about race and how it affects people of color. I appreciate the opportunity that the challenge gave me to slow down, reflect on my words and actions, consider biases, and hopefully grow as a human and as a community member."
University of Phoenix Marketing Project Manager Ivy Wong found the challenge to be both insightful and valuable. “I am amazed by how much I learned over the past few weeks,” Wong says. “It is a rare opportunity to take a step back to reflect on my own inherent bias, as well as my social and cultural conditioning. After these few weeks, I have more self-awareness and know what I need to unlearn and relearn."
The University of Phoenix Office of Educational Equity fosters cultural awareness, thought leadership and community alliances to promote and sustain educational equity and diversity initiatives. The office supports students and faculty year-round with programs like the Educational Equity Webinar Series, Inclusive Leadership Summit and an internal offering for staff and faculty, The Inclusive Café. The next Inclusive Café will be held on January 11, 2023, and will recap the 21-Day Equity Challenge and promote the National Day of Racial Healing which occurs each January. The next Educational Equity Webinar will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2023, entitled, “Equity is not a Trend: How to Continue Your Commitment in 2023.” Interested persons may register here to attend the webinar.
Learn more here about the Office of Educational Equity at University of Phoenix.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.