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National Day of Racial Healing takes digital stage for fifth anniversary

Kathy A. Reincke

Battle Creek, MI —  Today, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation hosted the fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing, a virtual afternoon of music, conversation and solidarity featuring community leaders, advocates, artists and influencers engaging in essential and timely discussions of racial healing, equity and justice.

“Today is about people, conversations and action,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “It’s about finding connection, sharing our truths and coming together to transform our communities. That’s the basis of racial healing.”

In her opening remarks, she acknowledged the anti-democratic events of recent weeks have caused many more people to ask, “What will it take for our country to heal?”

She added, “The common element is that racial healing is the first step on every path. It creates a space to acknowledge a person’s story. And it begins with a conversation.”

The 2021 National Day of Racial Healing sought to bridge divides, affirm our common humanity and inspire action by engaging individuals and influencers leading today’s important racial equity and healing efforts. The event included in-depth conversations focusing on righting historical wrongs and repairing the harms of racism, ensuring employment equity, and the impact of racism on the legal system.

Additionally, actor and “artivist” Storm Reid, during her third opening conversation with La June Montgomery Tabron in National Day of Racial Healing events, emphasized the need for ongoing conversations. “Racial healing is not something we’re doing in the moment or to get over injustices,” she said. “It’s about asking, how do we actually come together as a society and fix our core?”

And actor Yara Shahidi said, “Racial healing is integral to setting conditions for continual progress to occur.” She joined panelists in a conversation on righting historical wrongs and repairing the harms of racism.

The day also recognized the racial healing work of WKKF grantees in Kalamazoo, MI and Buffalo, NY, two places among several across the U.S. implementing the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) process.

Communities joined the event from cities across the country, and shared their experiences using the hashtag #HowWeHeal. WKKF resources (Conversation Guides, Action Kits and the Business Case for Racial Equity) were downloaded nearly 10 times more in the 2 months before the National Day of Racial Healing, than in 2020.

In closing, Tabron invited the more than 4,500 viewers  of the premiere to join in this work: “It’s the challenge of our time — the important work for children, families and communities that you and I and so many people are being called to right now. And it’s simply the path to unity — the way to move towards a common humanity, as so many are hoping we can in the year ahead.”

More than 90 events took place to honor the National Day of Racial Healing. Visit www.dayofracialhealing.org for a complete list of events including Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Selma, AL; New Orleans, LA; Buffalo, NY; Baton Rouge, LA; Battle Creek, MI; Flint, MI; Dallas, TX; Richmond, VA, and more.

To watch the recording, please visit: https://youtu.be/H7m0u8jJyN8.

To coordinate an interview with a WKKF spokesperson or National Day of Racial Healing panelist, please contact Aprill O. Turner at pd@megaphonestrategies.com.

A previous version of this article contained an error that’s been corrected in this version.


About National Day of Racial Healing
The “National Day of Racial Healing” was established by the W.K. 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 the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’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.

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