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Oz Equity Challenge

Spring 2024

The Triandiflou Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Transformative Practice invites you to participate in SUNY Oswego’s second annual Oz Equity Challenge, a three-week interactive program running Monday, February 19 through Friday, March 8, 2024. 

The Oz Equity Challenge is designed to help all of us dedicate time and space to building more effective social justice habits. Each day of the challenge features a module intended to raise our awareness about a different social justice issue, deepen our understanding, and shift our thinking and behavior. As a whole, the challenge will provide participants with tool kits and resources for building and elevating their social justice practices.


2022 Equity Challenge

2023 Equity Challenge


Challenge Structure

This year’s Oz Equity Challenge will provide short articles, videos, and activities to inform and connect our community around topics such as justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. 

We have organized the content of this year’s challenge into three pillars: 

  • Building a Foundation
  • Understanding Systems
  • Interrupting Injustice

Each week of this year’s challenge, Monday through Thursday, will consist of four days of  topics related to the week’s overarching theme. Each day will offer a few resources to review and reflection questions to consider as you explore the day’s topic. Resources are selected with brevity in mind, so each day of the challenge should require less than 20 minutes of your time. You don’t have to study every resource; choose the format that works for you and the content that speaks to you. Some days there will be more resources to consider than others. 


What are the key components of the challenge? 

Registered participants will receive daily emails that include short readings and/or videos, and/or resources along with discussion questions that we encourage you to process alone and with a pair/group of individuals.  There will also be self-reflective questions provided for each module, which will allow participants to explore their interpretation of the knowledge they’ve obtained from the content.


How to Participate

You can register to participate online, through the Spring 2024 Oz Equity Challenge webpage.. Registration will be open throughout the course of the challenge.

Each daily module will be shared via email (for registered participants), in Oswego Today, and posted to the Oz Equity Challenge webpage. The daily modules will also be archived for future reference.

The challenge is inclusive of all knowledge levels, so we hope students, faculty, staff and administrators of all identities will engage through the entire three weeks. Whether you are new to thinking about social justice and equity, interested in further building your knowledge, or looking for videos, articles, or activities to share with students or colleagues, this challenge is for all of us.

Register now!

Day 1:

Social Identity

By reflecting on our own identities, the experiences connected to our identities and how they define us, we can become better able to articulate our own experiences and by extension to understand the experiences of others.

Day 2:

Implicit Bias

Our function to hold biases is wired into the oldest part of our brains, the amygdala. Understanding that biases are universal, then recognizing how they function in our daily lives and actions, we can begin to address them and interrupt them when they hold us back or do harm.

Day 3:

Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is an important tool in building understanding and community. Marshall Rosenberg, who developed this model of communication, asserted that all emotions arise from met or unmet needs. NVC invites us to recognize our feelings and needs, share our lived experiences, and listen to and learn from each other.

Day 4:


Empathy as a concept is pretty easy to grasp, but it can be difficult to practice. It takes thought and intention to truly grasp the feelings and experiences of another person.

Day 5:


Equity in education requires practices, policies, and procedures to support academic fairness and inclusion. Inequities in education start early with lifelong impacts on children and communities. Gaps in educational opportunity stem from historic and current social and economic conditions. 

Day 6:


This week we will focus on health disparities and how systems of oppression create and maintain inequitable health outcomes for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)  and traditionally marginalized populations. 

Day 7:


Elements of a healthy, equitable community — such as affordable housing, parks, quality schools, a thriving economy, environmental quality, access to healthy food, and connected transportation systems — provide cumulative health and equity benefits.

Day 8:


The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Between 1970-2005 the U.S. population grew by 44% while the prison population grew by a staggering 700%. People of color represent over 60% of state prison populations. Multiple studies of these racial disparities identify three recurrent explanations: policies and practices that drive  disparity; the role of bias and stereotypes in decision-making; and structural disadvantages in communities of color which are associated with high rates of offending and arrest.

Day 9:


The concept of equity acknowledges that different individuals or groups may start from different positions and may require different levels of support to reach the same outcomes. It is often contrasted with the concept of equality, which assumes that treating everyone the same will lead to fairness. Achieving equity involves addressing systemic barriers and creating inclusive policies and practices to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Day 10:


Inclusion refers to providing equal access and opportunities to everyone, regardless of their identities. It involves actively recognizing, appreciating, and valuing the diversity of people in all aspects of life, such as education, workplaces, and communities. Inclusion goes beyond just tolerance; it's about creating spaces where everyone feels a sense of belonging and can fully participate without facing discrimination or marginalization. 

Day 11:


Empowerment refers to the process of enabling individuals or groups to gain control over their lives, make informed choices, and assert their rights. It involves providing people with the resources, skills, and opportunities they need to achieve their goals, enhance their well-being, and participate actively in society. 

Day 12:


Belonging is a core aspect of equity, emphasizing the creation of an inclusive environment where everyone feels accepted and valued, regardless of how they identify. It involves breaking down barriers, promoting diversity, and actively addressing biases to ensure that individuals can participate fully and authentically without fear of exclusion. It strives to establish a culture that celebrates differences, fostering a sense of community and contributing to the overarching goal of a fair and equitable society for all! 


From Challenge to Change

As we conclude this year’s Oz Equity Challenge, it's important to reflect on the incredible strides we've collectively made toward fostering a more inclusive and equitable community, not only in SUNY Oswego but even beyond the parameters of our campus. Your unwavering dedication, innovative ideas, and collaborative spirit have truly set the tone for positive change. I want to express sincere gratitude to each participant for your valuable contributions. Whether it's advocating for policy changes, proposing impactful initiatives, or sharing personal experiences, your voices have been instrumental.

Moving forward, we encourage everyone to stay involved, as the path to equity is one that is ongoing. May we commend the strides we've made and keep championing inclusivity in our community. Thank you for being agents of positive transformation!

Self-Reflective Questions: 

  • How has your understanding of equity evolved throughout the challenge?
  • What specific actions can you take to contribute to greater equity in your personal and professional life?
  • How can we build on the lessons learned and experiences gained from this challenge to shape future efforts?

If you have signed up for the Oz Equity Challenge and would like to receive a digital certificate for your completion, please submit the form below.