Communities across the United States are marking the second annual National Day of Racial Healing on Jan. 16, 2018, with events, discussions and proclamations.
The observance is designed to allow civic, community, government and private organizations to highlight the need for healing the wounds created by conscious and unconscious bias related to race, ethnicity and religion.
Racial healing is a process we can undertake as individuals, in communities and across society, says Kellogg Foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron.
"At the Kellogg Foundation, we are committed to racial healing in order to create vibrant futures for children. The National Day of Racial Healing is a powerful platform for highlighting the healing work already underway and widening the circle of leaders committed to transforming their communities through this essential work."
The Kellogg Foundation established the National Day of Racial Healing in January 2017 as an extension of its ongoing Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) efforts. Through a wide range of events, discussions and activities, groups brought together by civic, community, government and private organizations will focus on healing the wounds created by conscious and unconscious bias (racial, ethnic and religious).
Among the cities and counties that have shared their proclamations with the National Civic League are:
- Montgomery, Alabama, Mayor Todd Strange
- Little Rock, Arkansas, Mayor Mark Stodola
- Chula Vista, California, Mayor Mary Casillas Salas
- Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf
- Aurora, Colorado, Mayor Steve Hogan
- City and County of Denver, Colorado, Mayor Michael Hancock
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mayor John "Jack" Seiler
- Leon County, Florida, Leon County Commission
- Tallahassee, Florida, Mayor Andrew Gillum
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mayor Brad Hart
- Boston, Massachusetts, Mayor Marty Walsh
- Fall River, Massachusetts, Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II
- Asheboro, North Carolina, Mayor David H. Smith
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mayor Jim Kenney
Along with public proclamations, concerts, museum events and storytelling are among the other activities planned for the National Day of Racial Healing.
In Cedar Rapids, the National Day of Racial Healing will be recognized at the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. event, where Mayor Brad Hart will present the proclamation to the City of Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission and the Cedar Rapids Branch of the NAACP. The City of Cedar Rapids and the Civil Rights Commission also will be hosting a movie night and a public sector job fair.
In California, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas will present the proclamation to the city’s Human Rights Commission during Tuesday’s city council meeting. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is presenting a proclamation to the Rev. Alvin Herring of the Kellogg Foundation. Earlier in the day, there will be small group discussions about race issues and building bridges across differences.
For local governments that want to participate next year, a list of activities has been created by the National Civic League. In addition to issuing proclamations, governments can:
- Organize a meeting with city department heads to discuss how the city could improve race relations and services to neighborhoods with a large percentage of communities of color.
- Honor an individual or an organization that has worked to improve race relations.
- Create or update the contact list of organizations that represent different racial, ethnic and religious groups and contact them with city openings and other important information.
- Create signage that city departments can put on city vehicles in recognition of the National Day of Racial Healing.
- Hang a large sign from city hall that says, “The City of _____ supports the National Day of Racial Healing”
- Hire a facilitator to have discussions about how to have effective conversations about race.
- Develop a racial equity impact assessment for use on government policies.
- Ask the city librarian to develop a reading list of books related to racial healing.
- Encourage city departments to host potlucks featuring ethnic foods, with the city providing paper plates, napkins, utensils.
- Make the National Day of Racial Healing a day of development for city supervisors on EEO laws and bias in hiring and promotions.
- Plan a day of service that would allow city employees to work for part of a day in a community organization that serves communities of color.
- Examine city board appointments by race to determine how the city is faring in broadening the perspectives gained on city
- Work with the city’s human relations or civil rights commissions to create a program that promotes racial equality and racial healing.
- Make the National Day of Racial Healing a part of King holiday observances by announcing the day and giving people signs they can hang on their personal residences, vehicles or businesses.
- Host a movie night at local libraries with documentaries related to race or the effects of racial bias and discrimination,
- Organize a meeting with police department officials and community members to discuss how to build trust and improve safety.
- Examine law enforcement data related to hate crimes and issue a report to city staff and local media and proclaim a commitment as a safe city for all.
To find resources and learn more about other events planned throughout the U.S. for the National Day of Racial Healing, visit http://healourcommunities.org/ndorh-2018.