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Day 8: Segregation

Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-Day Equity Challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here.

This challenge is designed to push you out of your comfort zone, think critically about difficult topics, and grow in your understanding of the ways people and systems perpetuate (and have the power to eliminate) racism. We’re excited to invite you to this opportunity to dive deeper into racial equity and social justice.

View other challenges: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13Day 14

Day 8: Segregation

When you hear the word “segregation,” what comes to mind? Maybe it’s images of White-only drinking fountains in the 1950s. Perhaps it’s Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. When many think of segregation, they think of the past—something seen in history books. What we can fail to recognize is that the systems and effects of segregation continue to impact our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces today.

While segregation has been illegal in the U.S. since 1964, systems and behaviors that perpetuate it continue to exist. People of color whose parents and grandparents were forced into low-income neighborhoods have limited opportunities to build wealth and escape poverty, reinforcing the racial lines that divide our communities.

Those who do make it to higher-income neighborhoods are stigmatized by White neighbors, who often leave the community if it starts to become “too diverse.” Likewise, changes in policies around school zones have allowed parents to transfer their children out of more diverse schools, effectively establishing a new form of school segregation.

Though it may not be so explicit as white-only drinking fountains and businesses, segregation continues to affect our lives in ways that we may not always be obvious to us. Today’s materials will challenge you to see what segregation looks like in the modern world and give a glimpse of what we can do to dismantle it.

If you have…

Watch this video
about the lasting effects of redlining

Read this article
on the history of housing segregation in Fargo

Read this article
 on how to desegregate schools and see how your district compares

Want to learn more about segregation? Schedule a visit to the RACE Exhibit at YWCA Cass Clay Administrative Offices and find out more about the history of redlining in the United States.


Once you have completed today’s challenge, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect.

  • How did the challenge make you feel?
  • What is something you learned?
  • Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge?
  • Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information.

Share your thoughts on the challenge online using #YWCAEquityChallenge