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21-day ‘challenge’ teaches university students to ‘Defund the Police’ for ‘equity’

Ben Zeisloft, Campus Reform 

Students at the State University of New York at Cortland can learn to “Defund the Police” by participating in a 21-day “challenge” to demonstrate their “commitment to equity.”

The school invites “all members of the SUNY Cortland community, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, prior anti-racism work” to spend between ten and twenty minutes per day “reflecting and engaging” with various anti-racism activities. After the twenty-one days of the challenge, students and other participants will have formed “the beginning of a lifelong commitment to equity for all.”

“Change is hard, especially when we look at hundreds of years of structural and systemic inequality,” explains the initiative’s website. “The challenge is a way to become familiar with topics of privilege, oppression, equality and social justice. By challenging yourself to learn and grow, you can spark change in yourself — which can create a ripple effect in your family, workplace or school, community and beyond.”

The challenge is also meant to help students understand “power” and “equity” so that they can “better support Black and underrepresented colleagues, students and community members.”

Each day of the challenge carries a particular theme.

Day twelve fixates upon “Defund the Police.” Participants will read a statement from ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s, which says that “police are not appropriate or effective responders to homelessness, mental illness, addiction, school discipline, or any number of issues and activities that aren’t criminal and pose no danger to anyone.”

Day 14 informs students about “Microaggressions” — which, as defined by a CNN article linked by SUNY Cortland, “communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions to the receiver.”

Another day focuses on “Intersectionality” and the work of leftist professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who formulated the framework to “describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.”

After the 21-day period concludes, students are encouraged to review SUNY Cortland’s “anti-racism” resources — including clubs such as the school’s Black Lives Matter chapter.

Campus Reform reached out to SUNY Cortland for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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