As the nation approaches the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, our society remains conflicted on our ability to be united as a people. We find ourselves seeking relief from the divisiveness brought about by several events of the prior year: the civil unrest in many of our communities, the contentious rhetoric associated with the presidential campaign, and the demonstrations of intolerance against the LGBTQ and racial/ethnic communities. Many within our field are working to heal these divisions.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has called for a National Day of Racial Healing on January 17 as part of its ongoing project to promote Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) in America. Along with more than 130 organizations, WKKF is leading and promoting the National Day of Racial Healing to help heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias. This event will kick off a year-long effort to bring healing to the United States, build bridges, and ensure a more perfect union and oneness within our country.
“We are energized by the number of communities that are engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another,” says La June Montgomery Tabron, WKKF’s president and CEO. “The Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise and the National Day of Racial Healing is one call to action to address our country’s deep divides and to creatively build bridges toward unity.”
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to take part in the National Day of Racial Healing by connecting with others to increase mutual understanding and break down barriers. The National Day of Racial Healing comes just one day after MLK Day, a national day of service. Dr. King, who dedicated his life to helping his community, once stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” The National Day of Racial Healing provides each of us with the opportunity to better ourselves, our organizations, and our communities.
The Council on Foundations is pleased to support the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its National Day of Racial Healing. Over the course of the next year, we will embark on a series of events designed to educate our own staff and elevate discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion among our members and the broader philanthropic sector. We hope that January 17 marks the beginning of a transformative year for our field and the nation as a whole.