Iowa Equity Challenge Day 3

Day 3 of 21



"The language of the heart is [humankind’s] main common language.

Suzy Kassem, “Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem”


Sharing a common vocabulary can help us better understand one another, communicate our emotions and ideas, learn from others, and grow as a person.
Despite their limitations, words help us talk about topics we would not otherwise be able to discuss, and they allow us to understand things we would not otherwise be able to comprehend. A word is a candle held up in the darkness to help us move forward.
Although a word may be used by millions of people, it could mean something slightly different to each of them. Developing a shared understanding of language can help us create more equitable spaces for everyone.
During this 21-Day Equity Challenge, it’s important for all of us to be on the same page. This is where shared language comes in. Today, we offer the definitions of a few key terms we’ll be using in this challenge. You can find this glossary under the Read section below.



  • Identify three new terms you are not familiar with or don’t completely understand.
  • Learn why shared language is important.
  • Understand how others may misinterpret your words.




Choose one or more of these daily activities to learn about today’s topic. Plan to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to complete the activities and journal about your thoughts and feelings. 








Watch “Great Presentations - Use Inclusive Language” (4:06) from Tyrone Holmes to learn how to minimize assumptions and to discover how people interpret things differently.


Listen to the song “Michelle” (2:42) by The Beatles, a tale about a man trying to win over his French lover without knowing much of the language.


Read through this glossary of terms, which defines many of the words that will be used during the 21-Day Equity Challenge. Save this PDF so you can return to it later when you need a refresher on certain words.

Capture what you learned by writing down your thoughts and feelings about today's content.

  • What was your “aha moment” (moment of surprise or new information)?
  • Does this information change your perspective?
  • How will you use what you learned today to create more equitable spaces?
  • What new words did you learn today?

Download a free journal page for today.



Share your reflections on today’s topic on social media using the hashtag #IowaEquityChallenge.



Next Topic: Shared Language