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About The Challenge

Illustration: multi-colored hands piling together

Palo Alto Unified School District is pleased to invite you to join our 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Forming Challenge! We appreciate the community partners who joined us to launch this Challenge:  The City of Palo Alto, Youth Community Service and the Palo Alto PTA Council.

We cannot achieve equity and justice for all Palo Alto residents, students and employees without challenging our belief systems about the origins of the concept of race, how it influences us as individuals and as an organization, and how it functions to preserve inequity in our education, laws, institutions and systems.  This is a powerful opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and our community.

Join the Challenge:  Learn.  Reflect.  Act.

  • For 21 days during Black History Month, you are encouraged to do one activity to deepen community connections and further our understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. 

  • Each daily activity is ~15 minutes:  short, engaging & thought provoking.  You will have access to additional resources and to a discussion forum. 

  • No cost to participate; open to anyone who is interested in building a community that is inclusive and accepting of all individuals regardless of the color of their skin or background.

A Safe and Brave Space

Your registration and participation in this event confirms your agreement to PAUSD’s Non-Discrimination Policy*. When you engage in the discussion fourm; you will help create a Safe and Brave space by honoring these community guidelines: 


  • Stay engaged: Staying engaged means “remaining morally, emotionally, intellectually, and socially involved in the dialogue” 

  • Experience discomfort: This norm acknowledges that discomfort is inevitable, especially, in dialogue about race, and that participants make a commitment to bring issues into the open. It is not talking about these issues that create divisiveness. The divisiveness already exists in the society and in our schools. It is through dialogue, even when uncomfortable, the healing and change begin.

Speak your truth: This means being open about thoughts and feelings and not just saying what you think others want to hear.


  • Expect and accept non-closure: This agreement asks participants to “hang out in uncertainty” and not rush to quick solutions, especially in relation to racial understanding, which requires ongoing dialogue.

  • Calling People In: Developing racial and equity awareness is a lifelong journey that we are all on together. It is important to recognize that where you are in your journey may not be where someone else is in theirs. When someone missteps, we encourage you to call them in, with kindness and care, in order to support everyone’s individual growth. 


Behavior, posts, or comments outside of the community guidelines, or that violate Palo Alto Unified School District’s Non-Discrimination Policy, will result in deleted posts and/or restricted access to event activities.

Ready?  Sign up now to commit to the #PAEquityChallenge


  • Palo Alto Unified School District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression; or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

Quick Tips for a Successful Experience

  1. Keep an open mind

  2. Recognize opportunities to grow

  3. Get comfortable with some discomfort

  4. Explore and jot down your feelings

  5. Own your own biases

  6. Reflect on YOU first, before others

  7. Push yourself to your growing edge

  8. Don’t keep it to yourself, invite others into your conversation

  9. Take positive action toward racial equity

  10. Be courageous

Additionally, on behalf of the Palo Alto 21-Day Equity Challenge Team, we hope you will utilize this 21-Day Equity Challenge reflection form as you engage with your learning each day over the next few weeks, in order to maximize your growth and awareness of racial equity issues in our community and beyond. 

Santa Clara County Crisis Hotline


Santa Clara County Crisis Hotline:


Confidential, English/Spanish, 24/7 support for:


Different forms of crisis, emotional or situational distress, a need for ongoing support, a need for general information or referrals.


Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message.


Crisis Text Line: Text "RENEW" to 741741

Thursday Night Live!


Participants registered through Eventbrite for the Palo Alto 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge will be provided with information about how to join the weekly events: Thursday Night Live! 

These virtual, live events highlight multiple guest speakers who will build on the themes of each week through conversation. 

2/4 - Guests: Julie Lythcott-Haims and Jeannie Lythcott, A Black Woman and her White Mother in a Frank Talk About Race.

2/11 - Guests: Palo Alto Unified School District Equity Leadership Team in conversation with City Leaders.

2/18 - Guests: Kaloma Smith in conversation with surprise guests!

2/15 - Culminating event to celebrate the journey! Guest: Joe Truss, Sustaining the Work

Joe Truss will be blogging during each day of this event. See his daily reflections and review the resources on his website for additional ideas and content.

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