National Day of Racial Healing

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

To mark the eighth annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, AAC&U calls on colleges and universities across the country to engage in activities, events, or strategies that promote healing and foster engagement around the issues of racism, bias, inequity, and injustice in our society. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has created a NDORH digital toolkit that includes promotional resources and programming ideas that may be useful when planning campus and community events. This day provides an opportunity for people and organizations to come together in their common humanity and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.

In partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) effort—a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historical and contemporary effects of racism, AAC&U works with higher education institutions across the country to develop self-sustaining, community-integrated TRHT Campus Centers. Organized around the five pillars of the TRHT framework—narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy—the centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to address racism and dismantle the false belief in a hierarchy of human value.

Rx Racial Healing Circles

The TRHT framework, while informed by the well-recognized Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRH) model, is a unique process designed to reflect, embrace, and address the unprecedented diversity and unparalleled racialized history of the United States. Racial healing circles are a key strategy to connect people from a wide variety of backgrounds through story sharing and deep listening. In this video, learn more about the design and practice of racial healing circles from Dr. Gail Christopher, the visionary and architect of the TRHT Framework, as well as leaders and racial healing circle co-facilitators from current TRHT Campus Centers.

At a time when many campus leaders are experiencing moral distress from attempts to curtail academic freedom and to silence those dedicated to truth-telling, sharing strategies and promising practices from the lessons learned from the first five years of the TRHT Campus Center network hold the potential to promote both moral courage and moral resilience. Together, we can find the strength not only to persist, but also to thrive, as we shape a new landscape for the future—one grounded in the transformative power of racial healing.
/ Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U President; Foreword from McNair, T. B. (Ed.). (2024). Strengthening Campus Communities Through the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Framework. Routledge. Forthcoming Summer 2024.

2024 NDORH Events at Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers

Each year in recognition of the National Day of Racial Healing, TRHT Campus Centers across the country promote racial healing on their campuses and in their surrounding communities with events and activities unique to their institution's mission, context, and TRHT Campus Center vision. Discover how some of AAC&U's TRHT Campus Centers will honor the eighth annual National Day of Racial Healing on January 16th and beyond.

  • The National Day of Racial Healing takes place during Agnes Scott College's Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Commemorative Week of Human Rights and Social Justice. Agnes Scott College is hosting Dr. Durryle Brooks as our keynote speaker to honor both commemorations and speak to our community about Operationalizing Love. Dr. Brooks is an interdisciplinary researcher, scholar-practitioner, and the founder and CEO of Love and Justice Consulting. During his keynote speech, Dr. Brooks will center Black liberation theology and Black feminist thought as he guides community members through an interrogation of Westernized constructions of love, an analysis of how everyday notions of love operate as tools of oppression, and mapping out how to hold each other with loving accountability. Learn more.

  • National Day of Collective Healing with Civil Rights Poet Nikki Giovanni. Join us on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. for a transformative event featuring the renowned civil rights poet, Nikki Giovanni. This in-person and online gathering will take place at the McAllister Auditorium at San Antonio College. Immerse yourself in an afternoon of powerful spoken word poetry and thought-provoking discussions as Nikki Giovanni shares her experiences and insights on civil rights, social justice, and the power of healing through words. As an influential figure in the civil rights movement, Nikki Giovanni has been a voice of inspiration and change for decades. Tickets are available in person, and registration is available for online viewing. Learn more.

  • The BW TRHT Campus Center will hold "Jacket Circles" (Racial Healing Circles) in honor of the day. On Tuesday, January 16, the opportunity will focus on students. On Friday, January 19, an opportunity will be open for faculty and staff. BW's Celebration is also partnered with our Martin Luther King, Jr. Week Celebration and will support the selected theme: "It Starts with Me: The Quest for Peace and Justice 60 Years Later." Reflecting on a speech Dr. King gave when accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, our hope is to focus on how we all can wage peace in our individual and collective spheres of influence. Learn more.

  • Join us in person for a powerful healing circle event dedicated to fostering unity and understanding. One event is in Prestonsburg, and one is in Pikeville.

  • Coalition for the Common Good The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Centers of Antioch University and Otterbein University are collaborating to honor the National Day of Racial Healing on January 16, 2024. From morning until evening and from coast to coast, our teams of train facilitators will co-facilitate Racial Healing Circles.

  • Dominican University welcomes Dr. Tameka Ellington, author of four books, including the award-winning TEXTURES: The History and Art of Black Hair and Black Hair in a White World. In her books, Dr. Ellington takes a critical and nuanced look at societal perceptions of Black hair, past and present. Her lecture will help us explore the cultural history, perceptions, and increasing acceptance of Black hair in the broader American society.

    Join via livestream:

  • In observance of the 8th annual National Day of Racial Healing, the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation will bring together partners from Duke, Durham, and Danville, VA, for a day-long Racial Healing and Coalition Visioning Lab. Duke University will facilitate racial healing and relationship building, share community challenges and successes, identify areas of synergy and opportunity, and guided by the TRHT Framework, determine the next steps and action items toward building an inter-generational Duke-Durham-Danville racial healing coalition. Learn more.

  • In recognition of the National Day of Racial Healing, Elizabethtown College will host a tabling event in our BSC Concourse on January 16, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. This is a time to connect, build relationships, and bridge divides. Stop by tabling in the BSC and describe a world free of racism: what conversations, policies, and collective efforts are needed for a future where everyone is seen, heard, and valued?

  • The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative @ Emory University is launching a 4-part series during the spring 2024 semester entitled "The Journey to Healing for One Emory." The Emory community and the Metro Atlanta area are invited to engage in safe, brave, and responsible spaces to discuss, reflect, experience, and imagine a process of healing. The kickoff event will begin on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, during a Livestream Lunch & Learn with Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for TRHT Campus Centers, American Association of Colleges and Universities. Following this event on Tuesday, the Emory community will participate in the Equitable Dinner of Atlanta for Emory. They will engage in an interactive theater production and dialogue on Thursday, January 18, 2024, 4:00–6:00 p.m.

  • Hope College will celebrate the 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance and the National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) with a weeklong series of events, including an educational/leadership Summit (registration here), the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture, a Racial Healing Circle (registration here), and a screening of the documentary film Black Man followed by a panel discussion with director/producer Jon Covington (information here, film preview here). The screening is free and open to the public. Throughout the week, the Kruizenga Art Museum will present the exhibit Deep Roots, New Shoots: Modern and Contemporary African Art from the KAM Collection, with a reception on Thursday evening from 5:00–7:00 p.m. (the museum is free and open to the public).

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 5:00–7:00 p.m. Lowell Campus, Federal Building, Assembly Room. Please let us know if you will be attending in person by registering here. MCC is joining efforts with Suffolk University to host a hybrid event to connect, build relationships, and bridge divides featuring a fireside chat with Actor, Director, and Playwright Jacqueline Parker, moderated by Felicia Wiltz. The National Day of Racial Healing is a special day to acknowledge the values we share, build trust in each other, form genuine connections, and inspire collective action that furthers #HowWeHeal from the effects of racism. Learn more.

  • On January 12, NOVA will host leaders from Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors for a special proclamation ceremony in honor of the National Day of Racial Healing. In addition, Fairfax County and NOVA will agree to work together to support adult students in the Country who are displaced from higher education due to gentrification efforts. Additionally, NOVA will host a special webinar on the importance of racial healing for faculty, staff, and students.

  • A virtual racial healing circle hosted by the only community college in the State of MN with a nationally designated Truth, Racial Healing, Transformation Center, led by Chief Diversity Officer Dr. "Eda" Rassheedah Watts. Through her international DEI work with the U.S. State Dept of Education & Cultural Affairs, this circle will include participants from Pakistan (9:00 p.m. PKT) and Scotland (4:00 p.m. UK). Join us for a memorable global healing circle. Requirements: Please have your cameras on and audio working and arrive promptly at or before the start time of 10:00 am CST, USA. To maintain the integrity of our circle, participants are asked to stay for the entire duration, and virtual doors will close soon after the start time to minimize disruption. Contact: [email protected]. Learn more.

  • Pepperdine University's Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Initiative, in collaboration with The Citadel's TRHT Center, hosted by the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston, is co-facilitating a VIRTUAL Community Belonging Circle/CitListen/Charleston Community Circle to celebrate the National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Pacific/6:00 p.m. Eastern. We invite everyone across the country and the globe to experience this highly participative community-building experience. Come ready to engage! Learn more.

  • PGCC, in collaboration with the Prince George's County Memorial Library System and the Prince George's County Office of Human Rights, will host a discussion with Dr. Gail Christopher on Saturday, January 13, entitled "Embracing Our Common Humanity." The event will take place at the Hyattsville Public Library from 1:00–2:30 m. On the National Day of Racial Healing, PGCC will hold events throughout the day, including a presentation of the Campus Climate Survey results and interactive workshops for faculty designed to address implicit and explicit biases. Learn more.

  • Racial trauma is an ongoing consequence of historical trauma. Through the sacred practice of storytelling, we begin to reconcile racial trauma by changing the narratives that have led to racism, racial injustice, inequities, and discrimination. This National Day of Racial Healing, we invite our community to participate in an intimate fireside chat with the Executive Director of the Who We Are Project, Jeffery Robinson, and star of the Netflix special Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America. Learn more.

  • In honor of the 8th Annual National Day of Racial Healing, the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center at Rutgers University – Newark will host and promote in-person and virtual community events, lectures, racial healing circles, film and panel discussions, and spoken-word and musical performances to foster discourse and facilitate greater understandings of what it truly means to be a “community.” Events are scheduled from January 16–26, 2024, highlighting the intergenerational voices of the Newark community and beyond as we engage with the theme of “Humanity and Healing.” More information is available on the Rutgers-Newark TRHT Campus Center and New Jersey Performing Arts Center websites.

  • Join the St. Petersburg TRHT Center for an immersive, in-person healing experience on Tuesday, January 16th at 5:00 pm Eastern, featuring dynamic panelists, engaging healing dialogues, creative expressions, and a call to action. The event is free and open to the public. Register via Eventbrite. Also, join The Well and community partners on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. Eastern for an immersive healing experience celebrating belonging featuring live entertainment and healing conversations around our collective well-being, safety, recovery, and liberation. This National Day of Racial Healing event is one of many community conversation and celebration spaces hosted in support of the St. Petersburg Center for Trauma Recovery and Healing Justice.

  • Coast to Coast Racial Healing Circle In honor of the National Day of Racial Healing, join us to make new connections, share personal stories, and practice the art of deep listening. Circle facilitators are located in Malibu, California, and Charleston, South Carolina. This is an open invitation to everyone around the country and globe to this virtual community-building experience. We invite everyone around the country and globe to this virtual community-building experience. This is a highly participatory program. Please come ready to engage! Hosted by the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston and the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Centers of Pepperdine University and The Citadel. Learn more.

  • Join us on Tuesday, January 16, 12:00-1:30 p.m., for "Healing Resistance: Trauma Healing and Social Change in an Era of Global Rupture" with author Kazu Haga. Explore how resistance movements can address collective trauma in these extreme times marked by a surge in social movements for justice and equality. As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, we'll reflect on the relevance of his teachings to today’s world. On Wednesday, January 17, 6:00-7:30 p.m., join our virtual Rx Community Building Circle, providing an opportunity to foster the Beloved Community and envision true peace collectively. Only together can we cultivate compassion and embrace the unity in our shared humanity.

  • As a TRHT Center and a campus committed to becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning, UH Manoa intentionally pauses each January to mark the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. During this time, we also honor the National Day of Racial Healing and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will collectively explore what it has meant, continues to mean, and could mean in the future to experience Hawai‘i as our home aloha, our beloved home. We will pause and engage together January 16–18, 2024, by sharing stories, listening deeply, creating art, making connections, building relationships, and sharing meals together. Learn more.

  • We will be holding our second annual Unity Walk to share the history of how our campus celebrates MLK Day which will lead into Chapel Service held by student leaders. A meal will be served following Chapel Service. Learn more.

  • In partnership with Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Centers at Mt. Holyoke College, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, and the Joseph Lowery Institute of Atlanta, the Sewanee Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center is pleased to announce a virtual collaboration, A Conversation with Clint Smith, to be held on Tuesday, January 16th, National Day of Racial Healing, 6:00–7:00 p.m. CT in Gailor Hall. Refreshments will be provided. Smith is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, the Stowe Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2021. He is also the author of two books of poetry, the New York Times bestselling collection Above Ground and Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Rx Racial Healing: A Guide to Embracing Our Humanity

Rx Racial Healing: A Guide to Embracing Our Humanity

Written by Dr. Gail C. Christopher

Published by AAC&U on the sixth annual National Day of Racial Healing in 2022, Rx Racial Healing: A Guide to Embracing Our Humanity by Dr. Gail C. Christopher is an excellent resource for institutions interested in exploring the Rx Racial Healing approach for transformational change in colleges, organizations, and communities as well as institutions seeking to deepen their racial healing circle practice.