Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Jennifer Andrews
Project Director
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The UNH Sustainability Institute hosts and coordinates the six-state Food Solutions New England (FSNE) network made up of a wide range of organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals across the region. As part of the network’s commitment to build a more just, sustainable, and resilient regional food system, UNH staff help to create and deliver an interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge after having been inspired by the writings of Debby Irving, Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., and Dr. Marguerite Pennick-Park. Launched in 2015 in support of the network’s commitment to racial equity as a core value of our food system and regional sustainability efforts, more than 200 regional partners participated in the Challenge.

The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge has continued to be collaboratively designed and coordinated by staff at the UNH Sustainability Institute each year since it launched. In 2021, our seventh year offering the program, more than 9,000 individuals registered to participate, hailing from all fifty states, eight Canadian provinces, and more than 40 other countries.

Each day during the Challenge, held annually in April, participants receive a daily “prompt” via email with a short lesson, article, video or podcast. These daily prompts, updated for timeliness and context every year, form the foundation of the Challenge and continue to be used by individuals and organizations throughout the year to center racial equity and justice in their learning and work. Several other supporting elements have been added to the Challenge over the years. For example, a participatory Planning Team drawn from across our region and food system continues to assist in updating the twenty-one days’ worth of materials, developing an orientation webinar, convening Friday virtual dialog circles, building a digital racial equity resource library, and offering facilitator training to more than 130 individuals around the country who seek to foster greater organizational participation in the Challenge. This has all effectively extended the learning and community-building created by the Challenge.

In addition to individual participation, more than 900 “officially participating” organizations, businesses, faith communities, educational entities and other groups registered for the Challenge, committing to learn together about the history of race and racism in our food system and work on dismantling it in their own communities. Every year, hundreds of participants from the UNH community participate in the Challenge, along with hundreds of other university students, staff and faculty around the country. As an engagement tool, the Racial Equity Challenge has inspired other regional and national networks to adapt the UNH/FSNE interactive Challenge model; we are now seeing dozens of examples emerge each year from civic networks such as United Way, Junior League, and YWCA, as well as professional associations such as the American Bar Association, various Chambers of Commerce and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility; these networks are citing the FSNE 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge as a direct inspiration for their own adaptations of the Challenge.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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