The Fountains United Methodist Church is sponsoring a “The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge.” Developed by a diversity educator, it is a program that provides a curated list of links to readings, podcast excerpts and video clips that, over the course of 21 days, aims to help participants deepen their understanding of racism and examine their own biases.

“Our country and state – even our Town of Fountain Hills – has work to do,” explains the event announcement. “Many of our fellow citizens are regularly faced with being shut out, denied justice, told to wait, disrespected, given second best, threatened, mistreated and live in fear of being killed – all because of the color of their skin. As this reality continues to sink in to culture’s consciousness, thoughtful people are seeking ways to examine issues of power, privilege, supremacy and how to confront systemic injustice.”

Participants will be invited to begin the challenge on Monday, July 20, and continue for 21 days. Links to an adult track and a youth track will be available at weputlovefirst.org.

“While undertaking this challenge on your own can be very effective, we are also providing an opportunity for dialogue with others,” continues the event announcement. “The daily material will be reinforced with optional weekly Zoom video-conference conversations.”

Facilitators will include the Rev. Kimberly Scott of Cross Roads United Methodist (the first African American woman elder ordained in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church) and Emmalee Shenah, Katherine (Kari) Harper, Rory Wilson and Sherifa Momoh, members of Fountain Hills TWC group (organizers of the recent “Together We Care” march in Fountain Hills).

The Zoom conferences for the adult track will be Sundays at 7 p.m. on July 26, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9. The youth track conversations will be Sundays at noon on July 26, Aug. 2 and Aug. 9. To participate, email welcome@weputlovefirst.org and request a link and password for the 21-day challenge.

“Change is hard,” continues the announcement. “Creating effective social justice habits, particularly those confronting deeply imbedded cultural injustices, requires intentional work. The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge is a tool that will help you gain a deeper understanding of racism, white supremacy and the experience of being Black in America. Together we can help bring about the change that is necessary to make America’s promise of liberty, justice and true equality for all a reality.”

For more information call 480-837-7627 or email welcome@weputlovefirst.org. The Fountains offers online Sunday celebrations at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday and various virtual gatherings throughout the week.