What is your community doing to promote racial healing? We would love for your city to issue a proclamation, at the minimum, or pursue activities or actions listed below.
The observance offers opportunities for local governments, faith-based groups, philanthropic organizations, educators, businesses and individuals to get involved and demonstrate their commitment to racial healing.
For background, the National Day of Racial Healing is a grassroots initiative aimed at overcoming racial biases and unifying people in the United States to create an environment where all children can thrive. The day was called as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation enterprise, which is a comprehensive effort to address historic and contemporary effects of racism and bring about transformational and sustainable change.
The National Civic League has offered a list of actions or activities that local governments can take to recognize the day. Use this sample proclamation to be updated and refined to fit your city’s story. The foundation has developed a list of activities that business, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, educators and individuals can use. In 2017, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its 130 partners observed the day on social media using#NDORH #TRHT, #thedaytoheal, and #dayofracial healing. See a recap here.
Please help us recognize this important day in 2018. With the constant barrage of words and events that work to divide us, we all need to do our part to bring us together. Once you decide to observe this day, please let us know so we can add you to our list of cities identifying the need for racial healing.
Join All-America City Montgomery, Alabama in issuing a Mayor Proclamation for the 2018 National Day of Racial Healing to commit to racial healing and taking collective action to create a more just and equitable world.
FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
- Issue a city proclamation for the National Day of Racial Healing
Here’s one from State College, PA that could be updated and replicated: http://www.statecollegepa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/17543
- 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 and ethnic 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 or develop a racial equity impact assessment.
- 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.
FOR FAITH-BASED GROUPS
- Open the dialogue. Identify and invite other community-based faith-leaders and their congregants (of all denominations) to your place of worship on January 16.
- Reach out to interfaith groups working towards racial equity and social justice. Discover how you can participate. For a list of organizations visit: The Racial Equity Resource Guide
- Identify existing faith-based activists, not-for-profit organizations and others who are engaged in community racial healing. Invite them to support activities that you have developed or to create one of their own making. Don’t just preach to the choir – approach conservative faith based institutions too.
- Use existing events to help spread the word and to encourage others to take part in the National Day of Racial Healing on January 16th.
- Help get the message out that it’s important to come together. Make announcements on your day of worship and encourage congregants of all ages to create or join the initiative.
- Work cooperatively with the leaderships of other local congregations; assign delegates/goodwill ambassadors to visit those congregations. Make short presentations, solicit their input for event ideas, hosting their own event and invite them to join.
- Support a moment of silence and contemplation to be jointly held at a mutually agreeable time.
- Join the conversation on social networks using the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation),#TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing and encourage others to do the same.
- Connect with other local community foundations and enlist their help in developing a meaningful and memorable program.
- Create and invite other local foundations to sign a public pledge committing to investing in anti-racism initiatives. This would include a framework for strategies that favorably impact communities.
- Provide scholarships or grants to students of all ages to support meaningful activities related to the improvement of racial diversity.
- Start a letter/email and/or phone campaign to address problems related to how resources are allocated to diversity and racial healing initiatives. Invite your audience to take part in a local area event of your own creation or with an organization you have developed a partnership with.
- Take to social networks with a show of support using the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing
- Become an active part of the solution. Invest in educational programs directly tied to discussing and fostering a positive environment of racial healing.
- Buy advertising space in local publications (online or in print) to endorse the initiative. Ads can be simple e.g./ (YOUR ORGANIZATION'S NAME Supports the National Day of Racial Healing, January 16, 2018, or a lengthier article by your organization regarding support. Share your ad in many places such as your website and social networks where you enjoy membership (e.g./ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) and, don’t forget to use the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing so everyone can find it.
- Provide educators with a safe space where children can come to share stories. They can discuss their understanding of different races and offer suggestions for racial healing.
- Engage the support of local celebrities you know to take an active part in area initiatives.
- Connect with other teachers and suggest an activity that everyone can do from their classrooms. Include the parents of students who home-school in your outreach.
- Organize an age appropriate conversation with the children to first find out what they know about race. For example, the question might be as simple as asking what they know about Asian, African-American, White, and Native American people. Lead them into a conversation about making the world a better place. Emphasize caring about and respecting people of different races.
Elementary and High School Educators
- Facilitate conversations in school cafeterias (e.g./ Lunch & Learn – 10 Questions to Trigger Dialogue).
- Devote classroom time to teach and/or discuss an issue related to racial healing.
- Connect with the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
- Find or develop sample lessons for fellow teachers by Teaching Tolerance/ADL/ Facing History and Ourselves.
- Conduct healing circles in every classroom.
- Organize a contest. Have youth come up with their own slogans, quotes that inspires racial healing.
- Connect with other universities already organizing activities for MLK day, for example, approach them about integrating racial healing day in to the existing platform
- Conduct outreach with the Office of Community Engagement at local colleges and universities.
- Enlist student organizations (e.g./ fraternities, sororities, clubs etc.) in developing a special event program.
- Work with Housing and Residence Life in creating programs for dormitories hosted by Resident Assistants (RA’s).
As an Educator, there are many other things that you can do:
- Activate your network of professionals and friends; reach out to everyone you know.
- Speak at faculty assemblies.
- Outreach to school Superintendents, Principals, educational associations, higher education, teachers unions, student affairs, student government, community leaders.
- Make a commitment to continue teaching principles of racial diversity at least one month of every school quarter. Encourage your colleagues to do the same.
- Send proposals to school districts, parents, youth groups and others inviting them to sponsor events.
- Plan a social media strategy that reaches young people and, don’t forget to use the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #thedaytoheal, and #dayofracialhealing so everyone can find it.
- Create and encourage families to participate in special activities related to racial diversity (e.g./after-school program activity).
- Connect with as many other organizations as possible including local area businesses, Business Associations, Unions, Minority Professional Organizations and others to schedule joint activities such as a lunchtime gathering (e.g./ a quarterly series of Lunch and Learns aka Learn at Lunch); your goal is to create a friendly, informal and safe environment for sharing reliable information, inspiring engaging conversations, brainstorming solutions for workplace implementation and eventual measurement.
- Enlist local area businesses and associations such as your local Chamber of Commerce and others to help sponsor a space for an event held on the January 16, 2018.
- Tap internal employee resource networks (e.g./ work based social clubs) and encourage them to create a fun and meaningful activity that both encourages participation and highlights everyone's commitment to workplace racial diversity and equity.
- Create a Diversity Proclamation and invite businesses you are aligned with to sign; encourage all participating businesses to frame and proudly display the proclamation at their place of business.
- Buy advertising space in local publications (online or in print) to endorse the initiative. Ads can be simple e.g./ (YOUR COMPANY NAME Supports the National Day of Racial Healing, January 16, 2018, or a lengthier article by your company outlining your support. Share your ad in many places such as your website and on social networks where you enjoy membership (e.g./ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) and, don’t forget to use the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing so everyone can find it.
- Join the conversation/share your ideas - inspire others by letting them know what you’ve already accomplished to improve racial healing at your place of business. Utilize social media to participate by creating and posting your “solution stories” to common problems related to implementing racial diversity.
- Connect with the Mayor’s Task Force with a focus on issues related to diversity and plan a cooperative project.
- Make a dollars and cents (sense) argument that companies/businesses who have implemented culturally appropriate/racially equitable strategies are profitable. Use the WKKF Business Case for Racial Equity
- Host a healing circle at home and invite your family members, friends and associates to participate. Whenever possible, invite people from different cultures.
- Host a “Walk for Racial Healing” and invite as many people as possible to participate. Be sure to make your event user friendly for disabled children and adults.
- Create an activity via social media and other methods and then invite your friends.
- Make a positive statement by creating signage:
I SUPPORT THE NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING on JANUARY 16, 2018
- Display your sign on your front door, on your snowman, in a window or on your porch and just about anywhere it can be seen by your friends and neighbors.
- Take a picture holding your sign then make it your temporary profile picture on your social networks leading up to the date. Get your friends involved in doing the same. Or visit our Facebook page and use one of our graphics.
- Take to social networks with a show of support using the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), #TheDayToHeal, and #DayOfRacialHealing.
- Create large posters where people write answers to questions like – ‘My Racial Healing Looks Like _____.
- Create a short video addressing why racial healing is important to you and post it on YouTube and other social networks.
- Support organizations in your area that work towards racial healing.
- Host a “Jump Rope Marathon or Contest” to bring awareness. Ask local area businesses to support you by donating prizes (which could be as simple a gift certificates).