National Day of Racial Healing celebration Jan. 21 in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO COUNTY -- For the fourth year, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo is celebrating National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) on Tuesday, Jan. 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Girl Scouts Building, 601 W. Maple Street.

This year's event is a family-friendly community celebration featuring local artists and a Truth Talk with youth and community voices. Attendees can also learn more about how TRHT Kalamazoo connects racial healing and systemic change in Kalamazoo County and beyond.

As a part of NDORH 2020, the public is invited to participate in Racial Healing Circles. Healing Circles will be held at the Girl Scouts Building on Jan. 21. The morning session is from 8:30 a.m. to noon; the afternoon session is from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Each session holds 20 participants. Those interested can RSVP at trhtkzoo.org.

"This is the first time we're offering public Healing Circles at our National Day of Racial Healing celebration," said Sholanna Lewis, director of TRHT Kalamazoo at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF). "Truth-telling is necessary in moving toward healing. Healing Circles allow individuals to share their truths and stories in an effort to reaffirm humanity and increase consciousness, awareness and empathy for each other."

Advance registration for the celebration is also required. For more information about the NDORH and to register for the event, please visit trhtkzoo.org.

In addition to attending the local celebration, individuals can watch the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's national livestream event from 9 a.m. to noon EST on Jan. 21 at healourcommunities.org/2020. Community members can also download the Individual Action Kit for ideas and resources for celebrating NDORH.

Background
National Day of Racial Healing, recognized on the Tuesday following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is an opportunity for people, organizations and communities across the United states to call for racial healing, bring people together in their shared humanity and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.

In 2017, over 550 leaders from around the United States created National Day of Racial Healing as a day to celebrate the differences that make communities vibrant, acknowledge racial divisions that must be overcome and engage in efforts to increase understanding and respect among people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Both the City of Kalamazoo and the City of Portage have recognized NDORH with proclamations encouraging the community to promote racial healing and transformation.

TRHT Kalamazoo, hosted by KZCF, is a community-based movement to bring about transformational and sustainable change to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. Kalamazoo is one of 14 TRHT locations nationwide, and one in four in Michigan (the others include Flint, Lansing, and Battle Creek). Learn more at trhtkzoo.org

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