Press Release

A Call to Colleges and Universities: National Day of Racial Healing on January 17

Washington, DC—To mark the seventh annual National Day of Racial Healing on January 17, the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) calls on higher education institutions 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 National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) is time for people and organizations to come together in their common humanity and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world. NDORH is part of 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.

“The National Day of Racial Healing is an opportunity for campuses and communities to mark our shared commitment to redress the historical and contemporary effects of racism,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “That commitment is central to AAC&U’s mission of advancing the democratic purposes of higher education and integral to aims of a contemporary liberal education.”

AAC&U calls on members of the higher education community to recognize NDORH on January 17 by engaging in efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias and build an equitable and just society where all individuals can thrive.

We encourage colleges and universities to plan and promote NDORH activities unique to each institution’s mission and context, such as:

  • organizing activities particularly related to racial healing connected with already-scheduled Martin Luther King Jr. Day events;
  • inviting and encouraging faculty members to connect course content to racial healing on that day or during that week;
  • coordinating stand-alone or integrated events on campus that address racial healing;
  • sharing stories, event details, photos, and video via social media using the hashtag #HowWeHeal.

Resources to help you plan and promote your NDORH efforts, including a set of action kits for students, educators, and others, are available at

“To prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to address racism in our society and to examine how the legacies of racism are represented at individual institutions, AAC&U is currently working with TRHT Campus Centers at 71 colleges and universities across the country,” said Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers. “In June 2023, AAC&U will hold the next Institute for TRHT Campus Centers with the existing centers and other institutions interested in hosting a center. The institute will include workshops, discussion and reflection sessions, racial healing circles, and a preparation process for new facilitators.”

Click here to discover what some TRHT Campus Centers are doing to promote NDORH on January 17.

About AAC&U

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy, and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year, and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit