The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has issued a proclamation joining the State of Arkansas in designating Jan. 19 as the National Day of Racial Healing 2021.
“The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is committed to racial equality, and we acknowledge we must all work earnestly to create courageous and supportive environments that address the traumatic past; promote the healing of the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias; and build an equitable and just society so that our people can thrive,” Chancellor Christina Drale wrote in the proclamation.
The proclamation coincides with the State of Arkansas’s observance of the National Day of Racial Healing. UA Little Rock is a co-sponsor of a statewide week-long schedule of virtual events taking place Jan. 19-22 to share truth, deepen relationships, and build trust.
The UA Little Rock proclamation “urges all citizens to promote truth, racial healing and transformation in the ways that are best suited for them individually, as a means to work together to ensure the best quality of life for everyone.”
The lead sponsor of the National Day of Racial Healing observance is the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement. Additional co-sponsors include APJMM Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project, Arkansas Municipal League, Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP, Braver Angels Central Arkansas, Coming To The Table (National Office), Just Communities of Arkansas, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, UA-Clinton School of Public Service, UAMS College of Public Health, UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UCA Center for Community & Economic Development, UA Little Rock, Urban League of the State of Arkansas, Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective, and The Yarn Storytelling.
The week’s events include a Jan. 19 press conference to announce the National Day of Racial Healing along with gubernatorial and mayoral proclamations, the announcement of the 2021 Advancing Equity Award recipients by the Clinton School of Public Service’s Center on Community Philanthropy, Shelter-in-Place Virtual Film Series Mini-Festival, as well as a virtual community discussion on racial healing and restorative justice.
A Jan. 22 press conference on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol will announce the 28-day Arkansas Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, introduce proposed legislation to establish a statewide Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission, and submit a petition to fully exonerate all defendants of the 1919 Elaine Race Massacre.
A schedule of events for the National Day of Racial Healing weeklong observance can befound online, where Arkansans can register for the live virtual events. All events, except for the film festival, will also be recorded and made available at www.APJMM.org the week following the National Day of Racial Healing observance.