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The 21-Day Equity Challenge is a self-guided, online journey designed for Iowans to discover, learn, and grow together. 

  • 100% FREE and open to anyon
  • Topics include Implicit Bias, Child Care, Mental Health, Housing Disparities & Discrimination, Generational Wealth, and more
  • Participate individually, with friends and family, or with a company or organization
Join thousands of your fellow Iowans to develop a deeper understanding of what holds people back in our state — and what small steps you can take to help create a more equitable Iowa for everyone.


But you can still complete the challenge on your own timeline. 

Visit the United Ways of Iowa website or click the button below to view the content from all 21 days.

Explore Equity Challenge Content

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About the 21-DaY Equity ChallenGe

United Ways across Iowa have come together to create a 21-Day Equity Challenge to raise awareness about the particular ways racism, discrimination, and inequities affect our state. 

The challenge provides a dedicated time and space for Iowans from all walks of life to learn about the inequities and barriers to opportunities that many Iowans face.

Participants will develop a deeper understanding of important issues, reflect on their personal journey, and identify actionable solutions — large and small — that can create meaningful change over time.

The statewide program will bring thousands of Iowans together in shared learning and growth — an important step toward creating a more equitable state for everyone.

Have a question about the 21-Day Equity Challenge?

Contact Us


The 21-Day Equity Challenge is free and open to anyone. No matter where you are in your personal journey of understanding — the content and activities will inspire you to reflect more deeply about your personal attitudes and behavior, the experiences of other Iowans, and powerful opportunities for change. 

From September 1 - 30, you’ll receive an email each weekday about a specific topic, with links to videos, articles, podcasts, and more. You should plan to spend 15 - 30 minutes on each daily topic. We’ve worked hard to provide a range of content from multiple perspectives, designed for different learning styles. Consider engaging with at least one piece of content each day, and use the journaling questions to reflect on what you’ve learned — or discuss with others. 

Daily themes include:

  • Implicit Bias
  • Learning Disparities
  • Foster Youth
  • Child Care
  • Mental Health
  • Housing Disparities & Discrimination
  • Generational Wealth
  • Workplace

If you miss a day — or even a week — you can catch up with the content on the United Ways of Iowa website.

frequently Asked Questions

How much time does it take to participate?

Each weekday, plan to spend 15 - 30 minutes engaging with the content and reflecting on the journal questions. If you're taking the Equity Challenge as part of a group, you may want to schedule a weekly one-hour meeting to discuss that week's content.

Does it cost anything to register?

The 21-Day Equity Challenge is completely free to anyone who wants to participate. Just provide your email address, and you'll receive each day's content in your inbox at 7 a.m.

What will I learn about?

Each of the 21 days of the Equity Challenge features a different topic, with articles, podcasts, videos, songs, and more. The topics include:

  • Shared Language
  • Implicit Bias
  •  Privilege
  • Racism
  • Learning Disparities
  • Foster Youth
  • Child Care
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Physical and Maternal Health
  • Mental Health
  • History of Experimentation/Impact of COVID-19
  • Redlining
  • Housing Disparities & Discrimination
  • Generational Wealth
  • Workplace
  • Justice System
  • Issues Unique to Marginalized Communities 

What if I miss a day?

Although the topics build upon the knowledge and understanding you gain during the Equity Challenge, the content of any single day can be consumed on its own. If you start falling behind, miss a day or two, or accidentally delete an email, you can find the content on the United Ways of Iowa website. This is also an easy way to share the content with others who you think might want to see it.

What does the term "equity" mean?

According to Angelica Vannatta, a member of our curriculum committee, equity strives to give people what they need, when they need it, and how they need it — in order to achieve their best possible lives. Equity is different from equality, which involves treating everyone the same way, regardless of their circumstances, needs, or abilities. 

Can I participate with a group or company?

Yes, feel free to connect with others and discuss the content together, whether as a formal team of co-workers at your company or a casual group of family, friends, or neighbors. It's best that everyone in the group signs up for the challenge individually, so they can engage with the content throughout the week. Consider hosting weekly roundtable discussions to further reflect on your learning. A good place to start: Review the journal questions together.

How do I promote the challenge to friends, family, and co-workers?

We'd love for you to share the 21-Day Equity Challenge with others in your network. When you register for the challenge, you'll be taken to a page with a sample social post and graphic to share. Your confirmation email will include that, as well. We recommend "challenging" two friends on social media to join. Not a social media person? Just tell people to sign up at IowaEquityChallenge.org.

Do I have to live in Iowa to participate?

Although the United Ways of Iowa Equity Challenge is centered around Iowa experiences, perspectives, and attitudes, the content is largely universal. Anyone can sign up — all you need is an email address.

Why do you need to know my ZIP code?

We'll use your ZIP code to associate you with the local United Way in your area. You'll receive the 21-Day Equity Challenge emails from that United Way — and be invited to any related discussions or events they host.

Don't have an Iowa ZIP code? No problem! You'll receive the content from United Ways of Iowa

Curriculum Committee

The content for each day of the Equity Challenge has been curated by a curriculum committee composed of representatives from multiple United Ways who are experts on equity or have lived experience with prejudice and discrimination.

Emma Andeway Formal Headshot- SquareEmma Andeway
Director of Community Engagement

United Way of Wapello County



Michella - squareMichella Friesen
Executive Director

United Way of Mahaska County



Paula Paider Licht - squarePaula Paider Licht
Director of Community Building & Impact
United Way Of Dubuque Area Tri-states

Choua Sayaxang Headshot - square

Choua Sayaxang
Board Member
United Way of Mahaska County



Emily Schutz Headshot - square

Emily Schutz
United Way of Mahaska County 



Angelica Vannatta headshot - squareAngelica Vannatta
Senior Manager, Volunteer Engagement
United Way of East Central Iowa

What is the Equity Challenge?

Michella Friesen, United Way of Mahaska County

Why should I participate?

Choua Sayaxang, United Way of Mahaska County

What will the challenge cover?

Emma Andeway, United Way of Wapello County

What is equity?

Angelica Vannatta, United Way of East Central Iowa

Emma's Story

Emma Andeway, United Way of Wapello County

Angelica's Story

Angelica Vannatta, United Way of East Central Iowa

History of the Challenge

The original 21-Day Equity Challenge was created by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., Director of the Privilege Institute in Green Bay, WI. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies at the University of Iowa. Under his direction, his White Privilege Conference has become one of the top national and international conferences for participants who want to move beyond dialogue and into action around issues of diversity, power, privilege, and leadership.

Dr. Moore designed the challenge to not only help people better understand the issues surrounding equity and inclusion, but to do so in a way that would build a long-lasting habit of learning by stretching it over 21 days.


United Ways of Iowa - RGB - web

United Ways of Iowa is a membership association of local United Ways serving the state of Iowa. Our efforts focus on supporting the outstanding work of local United Ways across the state, and working as a network to further build upon our collective impact in Iowa.

Since 2005, United Ways across the state have collaborated on public policy, serving as a neutral voice and a go-to resource on health and human services as the state capitol.

In 2008, United Ways of Iowa expanded our efforts to build collaboration in areas such as professional development and community impact. In 2011, United Ways of Iowa began implementing a three-year strategic plan that focuses on achieving our mission: to bring together the power of United Ways and their local communities to drive impact in Education, Income and Health.


We're incredibly grateful to our sponsors, whose support has made the Iowa Equity Challenge possible.

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