National Day of Racial Healing

As the country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in January, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, through their Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort, has declared January 16, 2018 as the second annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH). NDORH is an opportunity for people, organizations and communities to come together and take action and to speak about racial healing and equality. The day was established in 2017 by leaders across the United States who wanted to have a day to take action together.  It is a day where people of all ages can come together to:

  • Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  • Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed, and
  • Commit to engaging people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

**adapted from healourcommunities.org

How can you participate? You can invite your friends and colleagues to have a conversation about the purpose of the day. Since many of us do not know how to start these conversations, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has created conversation guidelines to begin these discussions and they can be found at:

http://healourcommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NDORH-Home-Conversation-Guide-final.pdf

While the East Lansing Public Library does not have specific programming planned, this year, on January 16 for National Day of Racial healing, we do have book displays on Dr. King and the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement; the January Social Justice Reading Group, geared toward children ages 4 to 11 years old, is on January 20 from 10:30am to noon; and we kick-off a month of programming for Black History Month on January 31 with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum at the library from 10am to 6pm. The Mobile Museum was founded by Kahlid el-Hakim.  It is an award winning collection of over 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to hip-hop culture. All are welcome to see the museum on January 31.

It is my hope that East Lansing community members begin these hard discussions on race and continue the conversations well into the future. 

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