On January 19, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, people across the country are coming together in conversations on a National Day of Racial Healing. We invite you to attend the events and then participate by having conversations with the youth in your care.
As a nation, we are now more aware of the need for action to counter-act the systemic racism that was built over time by our government, communities, language, and perceptions. This National Day of Racial Healing is designed to open up and guide conversations and move forward together toward equity.
What Is the NDRH?
The National Day of Racial Healing is a call to action for racial healing for all people. Healing is at the center of racial equity. This initiative began in 2017 as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) efforts.
The national day is designed to bring people together in an experience in which we share our truths and stories with one another. On this day, people explore their common humanity and build the relationships necessary to create a more just and equitable world.
“It is not the responsibility of one person, one group, or even one organization to drive this work. The responsibility belongs to all of us to participate in these honest, powerful and moving experiences and, pursue this journey together. Through racial healing, we can all forge deep, meaningful relationships, lay the groundwork to transform broken systems, and create a world in which, together, we are a new force for positive change.” - National Day of Racial Healing website
The Call for Action
Everyone is impacted by racism, and we all have a responsibility to pursue the racial healing journey together. For our youth, we will choose healing over hatred, belonging over bias, and unity over division. Participation in storytelling and conversation will help heal this injustice for all our children and for future generations.
We all live in a world with a shared history of injustice. Because we have seen and cannot look away from the cruel effects of a racist system, we have the obligation and opportunity to act, to influence the youngest learners with deliberate anti-racist instruction that teaches love and respect for people of all races, genders, beliefs, and orientations. We all have something to give, some power to act, and we all know the healing power of love and justice.
Bring racial healing to your own community, however you define your community, with these ideas:
- Plan a virtual event or activity. The goals are to honor our common humanity while celebrating the differences that make our community vibrant, acknowledge deep racial divisions, and include people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase caring and respect.
- Watch and participate in the YouTube virtual event on January 19, 2021 at 12 p.m. PST/ 3 p.m. EST. [https://www.youtube.com/user/KelloggFoundation]. RSVP at one of the 13 national TRHT sites to participate in virtual and local events.
- Host group conversations with guided questions and tips.
- Take healing action with art, outreach, panels, social media, and family engagement.
- Read literature that features or is written by people of color:
In addition to conversations, we can learn from literature. While most picture books still feature primarily white people, the percentage of books that feature or are written by people of color continues to grow. Use book lists and guides to select books that feature diversity so all children see themselves in the books they read. Sharing stories, images, and conversation are powerful ways to activate empathy and understanding. Here is a link to books that can help adults and youth choose books that reflect diversity and inclusion.
Racial healing is a process that brings communities together to honor the value of each individual, and this healing process repairs the damage of long-term racism. We invite you to get engaged in the National Day of Racial Healing and continue your learning and engagement in 2021 and beyond.