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City of Palo Alto & Palo Alto Unified School District Launch 21-Day Equity Challenge

New program seeks to deepen community connections focused on race and equity

Palo Alto Unified School District and the City of Palo Alto launch a new, local 21-Day Equity Challenge, to engage and understand race and equity and how racism affects the whole community, beginning on February 1, 2021.

The Palo Alto community is invited to register to join the free 21-Day Equity Challenge, a program launched by Palo Alto Unified School District, in partnership with the City, Youth Community Services, the Human Relations Commission and the Palo Alto Parent Teachers Association Council. This challenge is a community guide to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and community.

"Equity is a pillar of the PAUSD Promise, yet the data tells us our historically underrepresented students lag behind their White and Asian peers" said Yolanda Conaway, Assistant Superintendent Equity and Student Affairs. "There is a real hunger for better understanding on these topics with students, staff and parents; we hope the 21-Day Equity Challenge can be an important part of expanding the capacity for courageous conversations about systemic racism."

After registering online at https://tinyurl.com/PAEquityChallenge, participants will be invited to complete a daily activity for 21 days beginning on February 1. The #PAEquityChallenge will provide online daily activities such as brief readings, videos, and more. that can be completed in 15 minutes or less. Each day will feature a different topic as a way to deepen community connections and further our understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, equity and belonging.

"As a black man, a resident of Palo Alto, a pastor and a community leader, I have been a victim of racial injustice" said Kaloma Smith, Chair of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission, "This Challenge is a powerful way for the community to look internally and externally at race and equity and realize that we have a lot of work to do to address the systemic disparities in Palo Alto and our region."

"On behalf of the City Council, race and equity continues to be a critical priority for the City of Palo Alto and we appreciate PAUSD leadership on co-developing local opportunities for the community to connect, learn, reflect, and act in thinking about how equity impacts all of us. I joined the #PAEquityChallenge to push myself to keep learning and I look forward to further dialogue," said Tom DuBois, Palo Alto Mayor.

An important aspect of the program will be opportunities for participants to connect to discuss learnings and at the end to celebrate with the Human Relations Commission our collective journey together. Topics being covered include Understanding Privilege, Housing & Redlining, Education, Justice System Inequities, Allyship, and many more. The content for each topic has been curated by a committee of local experts and leaders in our community. Discussion guides will be available for groups or individuals to help facilitate conversations with others in our community.

Join the #PAEquity Challenge today and share with community networks to go on this journey together. Invite a neighbor, colleague or friend to go on this journey with you.

Register for the Palo Alto Equity Challenge at https://tinyurl.com/PAEquityChallenge.

Learn more about the City of Palo Alto's race and equity framework, go to cityofpaloalto.org/raceandequity.

Learn more about the Palo Alto Unified School District Promise (race and equity efforts) here.

For the City of Palo Alto's website, go to www.cityofpaloalto.org.

For the Palo Alto Unified School District website, go to www.pausd.org.