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2021 Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge


The IU Libraries are engaged in ongoing conversations about how to support anti-racist work and broaden representation across their collections. Against this backdrop, we welcome you to our 2021 Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, a program that is intended to encourage participants to engage with items from our collections that may facilitate and deepen their awareness of a variety of social justice issues. The challenge will run until June 30, 2021.

One of our hopes is that, by participating in this program, people will encounter materials and subjects that they might normally overlook, and thereby get a glimpse into perspectives and experiences that differ markedly from their own. We also hope that participating in this "challenge" will help people realize that we are all in a world together, and that we have responsibilities to build a world that is representative of all of us.

The 2021 Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge is a collaboration between the library departments of Arts & Humanities and Teaching & Learning, with valuable support and contributions from colleagues across the IU Libraries.

The challenge

We challenge you to engage with at least 21 items from our longlist of materials highlighting the varied cultural, intellectual, and literary contributions of underrepresented groups in a variety of formats, including books, films, and audio recordings. Our only stipulation is that you should select at least one item from each of our nine categories (one novel, one short story, one poem, and so on).

We also invite you to help us expand our list of materials. Contact us to suggest materials.

Use our printable challenge log to record the materials you engage with. Share your progress with #iulibrarieschallenge.

Claim rewards after 11 and 21 items by sending us your challenge log. 


As part of the 2021 Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge, the Libraries will also host three virtual conversations centering on the materials selected by participants. Each conversation will depart from a particular theme: histories and lineages; the here and now; imagining forward. We hope that these sessions will provide an opportunity for participants in the challenge to explore connections between and across the items they have engaged with as part of the program. These events are free and open to the campus community. Register to receive Zoom information.

February 17, 3pm-4pm EST: Histories and Lineages

March 17, 3pm-4pm EST: The Here and Now

April 14, 3pm-4pm EST: Imagining Forward

Contact us

Do you have questions about or comments on our 2021 Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge? Do you have views on how we might modify or improve it? Do you spot any mistakes on these pages? If so, please contact Catherine J. Minter.