CARLSBAD, CA – With racial divisiveness rising in America’s urban, rural and suburban communities, today the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), together with more than 130 organizations committed to the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise, called for a National Day of Healing on January 17, 2017. On that day, activities by community, civic, government and corporate leaders will spur efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias and build an equitable and just society so that all children can thrive.
“As a nation, we must come to terms with the deep divides in our communities,” said WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. “Our nation is crying out for healing, which can only come with a shared understanding of our collective past and a sustained effort to dismantle the structures, policies, practices and systems that divide us, and perpetuate conscious and unconscious bias.”
Ms. Tabron said the National Day of Healing is a response to the broad call for healing following the contentious rhetoric, hate crimes, vivid expressions of racism and stories of children crying with fear and anxiety. Calls for healing have come from both President Obama and President-elect Trump, as well as 32 states.
“We envision that government, private sector and non-profit entities will join this call for healing to kick off a year,” said Ms. Tabron. “Let us remind ourselves that we are not a nation of demolition workers trying to destroy institutions, but rather a community of creative construction workers seeking to build bridges and commonality that will ensure a more perfect union and oneness within our country.”
A National Day of Healing will kick-off a year-long effort to bring healing to different parts of this country, in follow-up to this week’s TRHT Summit, where 570 representatives from committed organizations and communities gathered in Carlsbad, California, to discuss implementation of TRHT in communities, organizations and by individuals. Underscoring the widespread reach and influence of TRHT, the community, corporate and non-profit partners have a collective network of more than 289 million Americans.
TRHT will focus on transformation in America – the nation was conceived in the constitution and built on a belief in racial hierarchy, a collective national consciousness that has dominated the educational, economic, social and legal discourse for centuries. TRHT will provide a collective commitment and long-term determination to embrace a new narrative for the nation, a belief in our common humanity.
Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, honorary co-chair of TRHT, reiterated his support for TRHT and the National Day of Healing. In remarks at the summit, Gov. Winter said the healing day and TRHT efforts are “important from the standpoint of renewing in each of us the determination to see that the progress that we have made in terms of race relations and racial justice and racial healing is not permitted to slip backward…that will happen unless we take the responsibility to seeing to it that it does not happen. We have a huge job to do…”
In a video presentation at the summit, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, also an honorary TRHT co-chair, said “I respect and am enthusiastic about the effort because as a nation we need a healing. I am a great believer of integration. People don’t talk about it anymore or talk that way anymore. When I talk about integration, it’s not just the legal stuff, as important as that has been over the decades, (but) living integrated lives. I think it was King (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) who said, ‘We fear each other because we don’t know each other.’ Knowing each other means understanding each other.”
In the coming weeks, WKKF and TRHT collaborating organizations will offer recommendations on how communities might consider creating local activities and events for the National Day of Healing.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.