National Day of Racial Healing


Kalamazoo Community Foundation is among more than 100 local organizational and individual partners working on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT), which includes the National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) on Jan. 16.

You can download this information in a .pdf here.

What is the National Day of Racial Healing?

  • Jan. 16, 2018 will be the second annual National Day of Racial Healing. The day was established in 2017 by more than 550 leaders from around the United States and events are being planned across the country. It will be the Tuesday after MLK day every year, chosen to link and continue the conversation.
  • NDORH is an opportunity for people and communities across the United States to acknowledge the deep and ongoing pain caused by racism and inspire collective action to address it.
  • Healing means different things for different people across different identities – learning and reflection through discussion for some, truth-telling, art, movement, and music for others.
  • The process of healing can happen on a personal, cultural, and systemic level. For communities to heal we must lead with justice, working toward systemic change and transformation as well as engaging with others from different backgrounds.
  • Everyone has a role to play as we start to recognize our shared humanity and how racism has harmed us all collectively in different ways.
  • NDORH is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort – a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. For more information, see www.healourcommunities.org
  • The Kalamazoo TRHT partnership will be doing visioning and getting input from people across the community who aren’t usually ‘at the table’ to lift those voices and perspectives up to help inform our local TRHT vision – in partnership with Rootead, KYDnet, Douglass Community Association, Welcoming Michigan, and others. There will be more of these types of activates in the future.

What you can do on the #NDORH in Kalamazoo?

City of Kalamazoo has formally recognized the National Day of Racial Healing at a recent City Commission meeting.  Others can make the proclamation too using a template for organizations or government entities. Here are some other things to do on the Day of Racial Healing and beyond:

Have a conversation

Anyone can have a conversation about racism with their family, friends, or in their workplace using the NDORH Conversation Guide.  Businesses, organizations, and individuals can hang a poster in a visible place to show support for the day. For anyone who can’t print themselves, packets with these documents can be picked up from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation on Thursday Jan. 11 and Friday Jan. 12 between 9am-5pm at KZCF, 402 E. Michigan Avenue.

Engage on social media

Use these images and share stories on social media using #NDORH.

Support MLK Celebration Weekend

We encourage everyone to participate in the MLK Celebration weekend events hosted the weekend before and beyond, more details here. The National Day of Racial Healing is a great time to reflect on how we can continue the MLK and civil rights legacy in our lives today.

Read along with KZCF staff and other TRHT partners

Some KZCF staff and TRHT places across the country are currently reading The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. A few others have been on the KZCF staff reading list in the past are Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, and A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley.

Attend an event

Attend free public events hosted by the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College (205 Monroe St., Kalamazoo). Details and updates can be found here.  RSVP for either by emailing RSVP to acsjl@kzoo.edu. 

  •  Reclaiming Native History and Culture film and discussion 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
  • Workshop led by nationally-renowned organizer, educator, and curator Mariame Kaba 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Engage beyond January 16

Efforts from the day will continue throughout the year. People can support the process by getting a County ID next month, volunteering with an organization or group that focuses on racial justice, commit to challenging assumptions about people from different backgrounds, to name a few examples.  To get updates about TRHT Kalamazoo, sign up here.

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