Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

21 Day Challenge

The Challenge Starts June 23, 2020

Take the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association invites our members and anyone in the general public to join us on a 21-day quest to explore and deepen our awareness and engagement in issues of racial equity (with full credit to the Bar Association of San Francisco, upon whose work we have built in issuing the CMBA’s challenge).

To accept the challenge, simply commit to the reading/viewing option(s) listed each day in the following curriculum, consisting of articles, podcasts, or videos aimed at deepening our understanding of inequity issues, from microaggressions to systemic racism. When you accept the challenge between now and July 31, 2020, we invite you to share your commitment with co-workers, friends and family as a way to encourage others to follow your lead.  

Action stems from understanding; it is our belief that anti-racism education will lead to anti-racism efforts. To our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members, we acknowledge that your lived experience has already familiarized you with the information here, and hope you will continue to lead and share resources and feedback that will shape this discussion for years to come.

The syllabus, curated by the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Leaders Circle and supplemented by the CMBA, focuses on the experiences of Black Americans and serves as an introduction to further exploration. The syllabus and the challenge have since been shared widely across the legal community nationwide.

We are excited to join you on this journey: we hope it will spark conversations, insights, and new questions, as we continue our work, as individuals and your local Bar, towards anti-racism, fairness, and equity.

At the conclusion of the challenge, we will ask you to take this pledge:


  • To continue good faith efforts in understanding the perspectives of those different than ourselves;
  • For those of us in positions of privilege: To commit to seeking further anti-racism resources, understanding it is our responsibility to educate ourselves, and not that of BIPOC friends, families, and community leaders to undertake our education unless they so choose;
  • To uplift and signal-boost the voices of those experiencing racism, following their leadership as experts;
  • To commit to further understanding the role systemic racism plays in our lives, our communities, and the legal profession; and
  • To commit to long-term anti-racism efforts in the ways that best suit our abilities and resources.




Day 1
Let's get to the root of racial injustice, Megan Ming Francis, TEDTalks (March 21, 2016)

America Wasn’t a Democracy, Until Black Americans Made It One, Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times (Aug. 14, 2019); PDF version
Day 3
How microaggressions are like mosquito bites, Same Difference (Oct. 5, 2016)

63 Black Harvard Students Share Their Experiences In A Powerful Photo Project, Ali Vingiano, BuzzFeed (March 3, 2014)
Day 6
Implicit Association Test (IAT), Project Implicit
(This exercise requires navigating the sign up for the tests, which includes answering a series of questions for the researchers, but it is recommended that everyone do at least these tests: Race, Skin Tone, and Weapons-Race. Also, everyone is encouraged to add these tests if you are able: Asian American, Native American, and Arab-Muslim.)
Day 7
The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic (May 21, 2014)
Day 9
Media Portrayals and Black Male OutcomesThe Opportunity Agenda
Day 10
Whiteness As Property, Cheryl I. Harris, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 106 No. 8 (June 1993)
Day 11
The Inheritance of Black Poverty: It’s All About the Men, Scott Winship, Richard V. Reeves, and Katherine Guyot, Brookings (March 22, 2018)

More than 50% of homeless families are black, government report finds, Karma Allen, ABCNews (Jan. 22, 2020)
Day 15
Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege, Peggy McIntosh, National Seeds Project
Day 16
White gay privilege exists all year, but it is particularly hurtful during Pride, George Johnson, NBC News (June 30, 2019)

Talks about Intersectionality at Harvard (Video clips), Laverne Cox (March 11, 2014)

Black Trans Lives Matter, D-L Stewart, TEDxTalks (April 22, 2019)
Day 18
9 Phrases Allies Can Say When Called Out Instead of Getting Defensive, Sam Dylan Finch, Everyday Feminism (May 29, 2017)
Day 19
4 Questions About Hair that Black Girls Are Tired of Answering, Jolie A. Doggett, HuffPost (Feb. 14, 2020)

Hair Love, Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full), Sony Pictures Animation (Dec. 5, 2019)
Day 21
How to Convince a White Realtor You’re Middle Class, Karyn Lacy, New York Times (Jan. 21, 2020)

Who is "Karen" and Why Does She Keep Calling the Police on Black Men? On the Media (Podcast) (May 29, 2020)

Extra Resources

  • Talking About Race - The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture today launched Talking About Race, a new online portal designed to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.


Section & Committee News

{{#if blogEntries }} {{#blogEntries }}
  • {{#if featuredimages.XSmall.url}}{{{featuredimages.XSmall.url}}}{{else}}/userimages/Default%20Images/default-sectionblog.png{{/if}}
  • {{{truncate blogTitle 55}}}
  • {{#if blogCategories.[Sections]}}{{blogCategories.[Sections].[0].categoryname}}{{else}}{{blogCategories.[Committees].[0].categoryname}}{{/if}}
{{/blogEntries }} {{/if}}

See more


  • {{#if groupmembers}}{{#groupmembers}} {{firstname}} {{lastname}}
    • {{mc_combinedName}}
    • {{mc_extraInfo.Member_Spotlight}}

    {{/groupmembers}}{{else}} {{/if}}
  • {{#if groupmembers}}{{#groupmembers}} {{firstname}} {{lastname}}
    • {{mc_combinedName}}
    • {{mc_extraInfo.Member_Spotlight}}

    {{/groupmembers}}{{else}} {{/if}}
  • {{#if groupmembers}}{{#groupmembers}} {{firstname}} {{lastname}}
    • {{mc_combinedName}}
    • {{mc_extraInfo.Member_Spotlight}}

    {{/groupmembers}}{{else}} {{/if}}