Despite the great strides being made in the United States to address inequality and discrimination, the effects of racism can still be felt across the nation. Recent election cycles have truly shone a light on the societal wounds left by racist ideology. Hate crimes still occur with regularity and conversations centered around race can be difficult. However, there is promising work happening across America to help close racial divisions. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Day of Racial Healing is a time to discuss how communities heal from the harms of racism.
Established on January 17, 2017, the National Day of Racial Healing was created by over 550 different leaders from across America. The intent was to create a day in which people, communities and organizations can come together to create a more hospitable world for people from all walks of life. Since then, the National Day of Racial Healing has been observed on the Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) hosts the annual observation in cooperation with Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) community partners.
How it Works
The work done to fully address racial healing is complex, with many different components. This also lends itself to different approaches in how racial healing occurs. However, it is not always easy to begin conversations surrounding racial issues. To help, in the weeks leading up to the actual day, organizations affiliated with WKKF and TRHT share their ideas on how to better bring racial healing to their sectors and how to simply discuss racial healing. The National Day of Racial Healing offers “action toolkits,” which offer ideas for events and activities to engage with people in specific settings. For example, one toolkit gives parents ideas on how to broach the subject of racial healing with their children and their wider social circle. Ideas include finding literature that is easily understood by younger children and that discusses concepts such as racial identity.
Action toolkits are available for students, educators, faith & spiritual communities and are also available for the health, business, and philanthropy sectors. This means that anyone, regardless of the space they occupy, can participate in the National Day of Racial Healing. At its core, this is what the day is about. Providing the resources and space for people to participate in racial healing. WKKF and TRHT both acknowledge that racial healing cannot occur unless there are proper spaces for people to cooperate and discuss their ideas. To truly begin healing, there needs to be space for all people to join in on the conversation.
The National Day of Racial Healing continues to be observed every year, and we encourage you to participate in the seventh annual observation on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. Watch the 2022 virtual event to be inspired and visit DayofRacialHealing.org to learn how you can host or participate in an event in 2023!