On Jan. 16, communities across the country celebrated the National Day of Racial Healing (#NDORH) with events and activities as distinct as their participants. High school students, recording artists, civic leaders, teachers, librarians, college students and more came together in auditoriums, museums, libraries and churches, and on social networks.
“They are not immune to the effects of a racialized society, and it is vital that they too have the space to tell their truth, and in doing so, find commonality with their peers.”
La June Montgomery Tabron
The array of activities marked the second annual National Day of Racial Healing, established by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) in 2017 to promote healing as a critical path for ending racial bias and creating a society in which all children can thrive.
“The National Day of Racial Healing showcases commitment by a growing number of people in organizations and communities to put racial hierarchy in our rearview mirror,” says La June Montgomery Tabron, WKKF president and CEO. “The day creates space for people of all backgrounds to come together and begin taking steps in unity toward stronger and more equitable communities.”
The National Day of Racial Healing is part of WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, a national and community-based process designed to bring transformational and sustainable change to communities, while addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism. “It’s exciting to see how this idea is inspiring people to create events and activities around what’s real and needed in their communities,” Tabron says. “Gathering experiences like these get to the emotional core of changing hearts and minds. They are important groundwork for envisioning and constructing the equitable systems all children need.”
The National Day of Racial Healing touched every region of the country. In the Kellogg Foundation’s hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, more than 1,200 local high school students participated in an interactive art and musical performance by national and local artists including J. PERIOD, Isabel Delgado, Kinetic Affect and others, to help promote unity, elevate youth voices and motivate students toward positive action.
“Young people are the lifeblood of nearly every significant social movement that has transformed our country,” said Tabron. “They are not immune to the effects of a racialized society, and it is vital that they too have the space to tell their truth, and in doing so, find commonality with their peers. This experience will equip and empower students to continue the healing process to transform our schools, neighborhoods and community. And, our hope is that they will continue to engage in their local TRHT effort in Battle Creek.”
Tabron added, “These communities and organizations are demonstrating why the National Day of Racial Healing is so important. We can’t accept the divisions we see as permanent or the way things have to be. By working together, all of us can lead a transformation. And the expanding participation in the National Day of Racial Healing demonstrates that the transformation is well underway.”
For more info: healourcommunities.org.
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