2023 Equity Challenge Day 6: Practicing Radical Self-Care During Your Equity Journey  

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Audre Lorde

American writer, womanist, radical feminist, professor, and civil rights activist.

Experiencing, re-living, having dialogs, and focused exposure through content like the 21-Day Equity Challenge on oppressive systems that impact people daily based on their identities (race, religion, gender, citizenship, language, sexuality, etc.) can be a deeply personal, challenging and emotional process. It often requires individuals to confront and dismantle their own biases, face internalized lived experiences and unpack systemic privileges.  

To achieve equity for all, we need each person to take actions that center equity every single day and be in community with one another to offer support and share this collective work. To have the resilience and stamina to keep working toward social progress, we must prioritize ourselves and take care of our mind, body and spirit. This means that our holistic health is an essential component of our equity journey. 

Today’s challenge quote comes from Audre Lorde’s 1968 anthology “A Burst of Light.”. The full quote reads: “I had to examine, in my dreams as well as in my immune-function tests, the devastating effects of overextension. Overextending myself is not stretching myself. I had to accept how difficult it is to monitor the difference. Necessary for me as cutting down on sugar. Crucial. Physically. Psychically. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Lorde’s work stressed the importance of Radical Self-Care focused on fully taking care of our bodies while in community with one another to keep pushing for change (Black Feminist Origins of Self-Care).  

You can create and prioritize a routine of self–care that is sustainable and meaningful for you. Like change work, self-care should also have a community center where we work to support and care for one another. 

Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself while learning, advocating and living through equity-centered work: 

  • Take breaks: Equity work can bring out trauma, previous experiences, and be altogether emotionally exhausting, so it’s important to take breaks when needed. During the challenge, this might mean breaking away from the material for a short time, moving your body, practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises or engaging in a hobby or activity that brings joy and relaxation. 
  • Connect with supportive individuals: It can be helpful to connect with others who are also engaging in the work. This can be a support group, a therapist, or even just a friend or family member who is willing to listen and offer support. 
  • Prioritize self-care: Engaging in self-care practices is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. This does not have to mean buying a candle or taking a bubble bath (those things are nice too). Self-care doesn’t have to cost money to truly be transformational. It could simply mean getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation. 
  • Recognize and validate emotions: You will feel a range of emotions throughout your journey. All feelings including anger, sadness, guilt and shame are valid. It’s important to recognize and validate these emotions, rather than suppressing or denying them. This might involve journaling, talking with a trusted friend or therapist or practicing mindfulness (a type of mediation with a focus on the present moment without judgement) 
  • Seek out resources and education: Engaging in equity work requires ongoing self-reflection and learning Look for resources like books, podcasts or courses, that provide a deeper understanding and multiple perspectives on systems of oppression. This can help to ground you in the work and provide a sense of purpose and direction. Remember, prioritizing radical self-care will not only support you in your personal growth but will also make you a more effective advocate for systemic justice. 





Reflect And Share

  1. How are you feeling after finishing week one of the Equity Challenge?
  2. How will you practice self-care moving forward during your equity journey?
  3. Who can you connect with to keep you grounded in self-care during your equity journey? 


Start the conversation. Send the tweet. Share your story. Make the Facebook post. Sharing what you learn and experience with your family, friends, and co-workers is the first step toward allyship.

Join thousands in conversation by using hastag #EquityChallenge or #TakeTheEC23