The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has issued a proclamation joining the State of Arkansas in designating Jan. 18 as the National Day of Racial Healing 2022. UA Little Rock will join communities and campuses across the state in celebrating a weeklong schedule of events in observance of the National Day of Racial Healing.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation started the National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) in 2013 as part of its new Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) initiative aimed at revolutionizing the way that foundations fund nonprofits working on social issues.
The UA Little Rock proclamation urges “all citizens to promote and engage in honest conversations about racism and racial healing. Transformation and change require us to commit to a vision that centers inclusion and equity; this means working together to ensure the best quality of life for everyone.”
The proclamation coincides with the State of Arkansas’s observance of the National Day of Racial Healing. This will be the third consecutive year that NDORH has been officially observed in communities throughout Arkansas due to the organizing events of the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement (APJMM), which is a partnership between the Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective and Just Communities of Arkansas.
“While we all need to be fully engaged in the act of seeking truth and racial healing, no matter what demographics describe us, this transformational work is not for us,” said Kwami Abdul-Bey, co-convenor of APJMM. “It is for the next seven generations.”
UA Little Rock is joining APJMM, Arkansas Municipal League, the Association of Arkansas Counties, and the University of Central Arkansas to co-host a unique week-long schedule of virtual events planned across the state.
In 2019, Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued the first-ever gubernatorial proclamation proclaiming a statewide observance of the National Day of Racial Healing in Arkansas. That same year, Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore also issued the first-ever public school district-wide proclamation. Since then, nearly 150 elected mayors, county judges, university chancellors, college presidents, and school superintendents have joined to issue annual NDORH proclamations.
This will also be the first time that UA Little Rock is hosting National Day of Racial Healing events. The Racial Barriers Committee, in partnership with UA Little Rock Downtown, the Student Government Association, and the Graduate Student Association, has planned several virtual activities throughout the week to commemorate the National Day of Racial Healing.
“The Racial Barriers Committee is very proud of the events we have planned in conjunction with UA Little Rock Downtown,” said Chrissy Jones, chairwoman of the Racial Barriers Committee. “Our hope is that these events break down racial barriers to bring healing and promote unity on campus. Our purpose is to show our students, staff, faculty, and the world that the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is not just a place for some, but for everyone.”
The lineup of events includes a virtual lecture with Dr. David Tell, author of “Remembering Emmett Till,” on Jan. 18, a panel discussion on the state of diversity and equity in Arkansas on Jan. 20, and a virtual open mic night with a theme of racial healing on Jan. 21. Visit this website for more information about UA Little Rock’s 2022 National Day of Racial Healing events.