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Community gatherings and national livestream mark 2019 National Day of Racial Healing

Kathy Reincke, kar@wkkf.org

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – On Jan. 22, at community events and watch parties across the country, artists, activists, faith healers and civic leaders are initiating conversations as part of the third annual National Day of Racial Healing (#HowWeHeal). The activities are part of a widening circle of voices inviting people nationwide to engage in honest dialogue about how to create an equitable society in which all children can thrive. A national livestream event hosted and curated by visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay begins at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET and will feature artists, musicians, activists and celebrities, including Judd Apatow, Eva Longoria, Melissa Etheridge, Syncopated Ladies, Storm Reid and others.

“Healing is at the heart of racial equity,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) president and CEO. “Conversations like these – held in community spaces, in offices and living rooms – are an opportunity to widen the conversation. The National Day of Racial Healing is an opportunity to begin and a process to help all of us share stories and engage in authentic conversations. A partner like Ava DuVernay brings her artistic lens to the experience and invites more voices into the dialogue.”

“Those of us in the arts, media and entertainment industries play a critical role in shaping and shifting culture, which is why I’ve committed my own voice and platform to promoting racial equity and justice for all people,” said Ava DuVernay, award-winning filmmaker and founder of ARRAY Alliance. “In spite of the great challenges we face as a country, I’m motivated by gatherings like this one that drive meaningful reflection and action towards a more just and equitable world.”

Livestream watch parties are planned in many communities. Music performances, faith-based services, museum tours and other local events will take place across the U.S. on Jan. 22, 2019, as part of the National Day of Racial Healing. Last year communities from 24 states participated in healing activities.

The day was established by the Kellogg Foundation in 2017 to promote healing as a critical path for ending racial bias and creating a society in which all children can thrive. The annual outreach is part of WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, a national and community-based process designed to bring transformational and sustainable change to communities, while addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

Some of the community events happening on Jan. 22, include:

  • In the Kellogg Foundation’s hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, local high school students will participate in a day of learning and dialogue, one of nine events happening in the community
  • In New Orleans, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, the Foundation for Louisiana, TRHT Louisiana and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation will host a live performance featuring musicians Sunni Patterson, Donney Rose and Sol Galeano. The concerts are free and will be held at 7 p.m. CT at the Jazz and Heritage Center.
  • Organizations from across Albuquerque, New Mexico, will send representatives to break bread and engage in respectful dialogue together, along with Mayor Tim Keller’s office, at OneAlbuquerque, hosted from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. by the Los Duranes Community Center.
  • Free admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, beginning Saturday, Jan. 19, through Tuesday, Jan. 22, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and the third annual National Day of Racial Healing.
  • In Selma, Alabama, the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation, in partnership with the Black Belt Community Foundation, is hosting a MLK Day Learning Tour on Jan. 21. The bus tour, which goes from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., includes a stop at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and the Memorial for Peace and Justice, with a lunchtime conversation titled “How to Reclaim Selma’s Memorial.”
  • In Chicago, the Woods Fund is hosting an evening of storytelling, featuring first-time performers from diverse cultural backgrounds, sharing how racialized experiences have impacted them. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
  • Transformation Los Angeles plans a multi-day series from Jan. 22-25 of free, city-wide events called Hand in Hand, including capoeira workshops; an experiential exercise to introduce the epic historical narrative of indigenous people in North America; a demonstration of ancestral healing practices; and a live concert with jazz artist Georgia Anne Muldrow.
  • Richmond, Virginia, will observe the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown, Virginia, site of the origins of the North American slave trade with two days of reflective presentations, workshops and film screenings by more than 20 performers, historians and activists. The event, called “Something’s in the Water,” will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 21-22.
  • Communities Foundation of Texas in Dallas will host from noon to 1:30 p.m. a community visioning session and luncheon to re-imagine a Dallas without racism.

“We hope participation in the National Day of Racial Healing will grow and grow,” Tabron said. “Racism limits opportunities for children and families in all of our communities, and in reality it holds all of us back from real and authentic human connection. Each of us has a part to play in racial equity to create the society our children deserve.”

Follow the conversation on healing using the hashtag #HowWeHeal. To learn more about the National Day of Racial Healing and other events happening around the country, or resources for how to start a conversation, visit dayofracialhealing.org.


About the Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 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.

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