Community EngagementRacial Equity

Momentum grows for National Day of Racial Healing


Editor’s Note: We’re highlighting content about racial healing in anticipation for the upcoming National Day of Racial Healing. This year, we’re illustrating how racial healing is already yielding transformative results across the U.S. and to inspire everyday people to work towards racial healing and racial equity in their community. This content was originally published on March 17, 2022.

The National Day of Racial Healing is a time to contemplate our shared values and create the blueprint together for #HowWeHeal from the effects of racism. Intentionally held the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a day in which many engage in service, the National Day of Racial Healing offers a chance to pause, reflect and refuel for the year-round pursuit of racial equity.

Launched on Jan. 17, 2017, the community leaders who envisioned the National Day of Racial Healing hoped it would become a widespread, annual event across the United States. Five years later, momentum continues to grow for the National Day of Racial Healing. The signature livestream for the 2022 National Day of Racial Healing had 1.3 million views, and at least 500 media outlets mentioned the day, indicating a growing interest in healing work as a critical component of racial equity.

If you’d like to learn more about this year’s National Day of Racial Healing, check out some of the following stories:

  • Radio Bilingue featured an interview with Icela Pelayo, WKKF program officer, who spoke about the effort to make the National Day of Racial Healing a truly national event.
  • In an interview with Detroit’s WDET-FM NPR radio affiliate, La June Montgomery Tabron, WKKF’s president & CEO, discussed the transformative effect of affirming our collective humanity through racial healing conversations.
  • WWLTV in New Orleans spoke with Rhea Williams-Bishop, WKKF’s director of U.S. Southern programs, about whether we’ve taken steps forward or backward in creating a more equitable future for our children. She also spoke to the role of racial healing in that work.
  • In Selma, AL, Governor Kay Ivey proclaimed Jan. 28 as National Day of Racial Healing. Meanwhile, our TRHT partners hosted an online course called Beyond Divide and Conquer: Unite and Build Racial Equity Training and hosted a discussion with director Rachel Boynton about her documentary film, Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are).
  • At the University of Hawai’i in Manoa, the National Day of Racial Healing fell on the heels of the Jan. 17 anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. The TRHT campus center issued a powerful statement calling on the community to use the day to reflect on “racism, settler colonialism, and other forms of oppression that continue to shape each of us living in Hawai’i today.”
  • In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity hosted equity dialogues, which have been ongoing since 2018, with more than 300 Tulsa residents participating.
  • The First Lady of Pennsylvania, Frances Wolf, visited the town of Jenkintown for its National Day of Racial Healing. The theme was Symbol of Solidarity, which included a new mural and documentary with the same title. Public radio station WHYY covered the event and spoke with the mural’s artist.

2018 National Day of Racial Healing in Battle Creek, MI.

Be sure to join us for next year’s National Day of Racial Healing, which will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Want to plan an event for your home, neighborhood, school, place of worship, organization or place of business? Check out our action kits, which can help guide conversations on racial healing in your community.

Header Image: La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, with local youth and J.Period in Battle Creek, Michigan, at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium in celebration of the 2018 National Day of Racial Healing.


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