WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, more than 1500 people tuned in to a livestream as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation hosted their fourth annual celebration of the National Day of Racial Healing. The program featured Kellogg Foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron, actress Storm Reid, several youth activists and artists including Winter BreeAnne, Natalia Ancisco, Zyahna Bryant, Sara Mora and Connie Brownotter, as well as Central Park 5 member Raymond Santana, Baratunde Thurston and Jamilah Lemieux, among others.
In an event designed to inspire action toward unity and solidarity, young leaders shared how and why they are becoming role models and activists.
Storm Reid shared in her conversation with La June Montgomery Tabron: “Equity and civic engagement go hand in hand. Just because an issue isn’t affecting you, doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting other people.” She also spoke to her role as an artist and her life’s purpose. “I was put on this earth to not just serve myself, but serve others, to really be a force for change.”
In a panel of youth leaders discussing building trust and relationships, Connie Brownotter, a student at Montana State University, spoke to the importance of participating in Census 2020.
“I want us to be counted. To be seen. We are not invisible,” said Brownotter, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. “We are sometimes seen as static figures shown in history, but we are alive. We’re going to stay here. We have voices that matter.”
The day’s programming – broadcast from Washington, D.C. – centered on the truth telling and trust building that can lead to racial healing and a more just and equitable future for all people.
The event also featured video stories from four communities (Chicago, Selma, AL, Richmond, VA and Battle Creek, MI) implementing the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) process.
“Our invitation to you is one of solidarity. We invite you to open your hearts, minds and hands as we heal ourselves and as we heal the relationships we have with one another and within our communities.” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation.
The Washington, D.C., livestream event corresponded with more than a hundred events across the country including in Chicago; Los Angeles; Dallas; New Orleans; Cincinnati; Jackson and Biloxi, MS; Buffalo and New York, NY; Selma, AL; Little Rock, AR; Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Detroit, MI; Versailles, KY, and more. Visit www.dayofracialhealing.org for a complete list of events, along with tools and resources for racial healing.
The day concluded by challenging individuals and organizations to commit to taking action, think about ways to heal individually, in relationships with one another and in communities by continuing racial healing throughout the year. The audience shared highlights from the #HowWeHeal event on Twitter and Instagram.
Governors from states like Alabama and Arkansas, along with city leaders from Dallas, Selma, AL, Chicago and Evanston, IL, also honored the day by proclaiming Jan. 21, 2020 as the National Day of Racial Healing. These states and local municipalities join four other states and more than 60 local governments in the last four years who have declared their support and local acknowledgment of a National Day of Racial Healing.
To coordinate an interview with a WKKF spokesperson or National Day of Racial Healing panelist, please contact Nick Hatcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jacqueline Lara at email@example.com
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About National Day of Racial Healing
The “National Day of Racial Healing” 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 grew out of WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation 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.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur 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 attention 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.