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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                CONTACT: Elana Needle, 201.248.9724
January 21, 2019                                                  Email: eneedle@unidosus.org

Groups Support NDORH with Prayer Vigil and Tele Town Hall

New York, NY – A broad-based collection of racial equity organizations funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, are uniting across difference to support a shared goal of racial healing. The groups — Advancement ProjectAsian & Pacific Islander Health Forum, DemosFaith in ActionNational Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Urban LeagueRace Forward and UnidosUS – today announced their collective participation in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s 3rd annual National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

The racial equity groups’ have a formal partnership that has seen them work collaboratively over the past 5-7 years to clear barriers to the ballot box, champion the humanity of undocumented communities and communities of color, organize to stop mass incarceration and end the criminalization of Native, Black and Latino communities. They will participate in the Jan. 22 National Day of Racial Healing by hosting an uplifting prayer vigil from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST and a tele town hall from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.

“Humanity, resistance, resilience and survival define the story of people of color in the United States,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “On the National Day of Healing, we recommit to take that story to its next chapter, and tear down systemic barriers to our freedom once and for all. We will build on the successes of our ancestors and our young leaders on the streets paving the path to victory — understanding that victory is inevitable when we fight. Now more than ever, we need to unite as a nation and lead the fight for racial equality.”

“We applaud the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s leadership on truth, racial healing, and transformation,” noted APIAHF president and CEO Kathy Ko Chin. “Our country has a long history of creating and sustaining policies and systems that negatively impact minority communities, including Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. On this National Day of Racial Healing and every day of the year, we must all continue to engage in dialog and actions that advance our collective journey towards a future where all communities are healthy and vibrant.”

“We must build communities that are based on our common humanity. Societies that value and celebrate racial and ethnic diversity reflect a true democracy,” said Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman. “In an inclusive democracy, there is no place for structural racism –  like segregation, inequitable access to services, discriminatory laws and lack of economic opportunities. The National Day of Racial Healing reminds us all to continue to have honest conversations, push for bold action and to champion transformative ideas that lead to lasting change.”

“Hundreds of thousands of grandparents, mothers and fathers, caregivers, students and others are working without pay while navigating in a country deeply divided along racial and political lines,” said the Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action. “In an atmosphere that is increasingly hostile to children, persons with disabilities, religious minorities, gender non-conforming peoples, people of color and undocumented immigrants, we are working to create a nation where all can thrive. The National Day of Racial Healing is about developing actionable initiatives that topple the divides separating the American people.”

“The need to recognize and respect the humanity of all of our fellow Americans is more critical than ever to the future of our nation,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “Although this administration did not create racism, the vitriolic, divisive rhetoric and raw emotions raging throughout the past few years pulled the scab off a persistent wound in the American psyche, bringing the issue of race front and center and exposing the divides in our society. For these challenges, America needs a new reality, grounded in racial healing so that the work of ending racial disparities can boldly move forward and all children have opportunities to succeed. It is time to focus our energy, resources and discourse on eliminating the false ideology of a hierarchy of human value so we can cultivate and grow what must be valued most: our common humanity.”  

“The division we see today in Washington reflects the division we see across America,” said Jefferson Keel, President, National Congress of American Indians. “We must replace our politics of partisanship and fear with a politics of bipartisanship and respect for the racial, cultural, and spiritual mosaic that makes this country great. Making that transition starts with healing, which can only be achieved by deepening our understanding of one another and our appreciation for the strength of our diversity — from America’s original peoples to its newest inhabitants. We all deserve our rightful place in this country’s future, and an equal opportunity to thrive.”

“As our nation grows ever more diverse, we are searching for new ways to negotiate our racial, ethnic and cultural differences,” Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “Many are tempted to close their eyes and pretend the problem doesn’t exist, while others lash out violently.  National Day of Racial Healing is an opportunity not only  to embrace the rich diversity that makes our country strong and vibrant but also to confront the biases inherent in our institutions. It is a time to, as Martin Luther King said, “to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” The National Urban League and the Urban League Movement are committed to working with our brother and sister organizations in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Racial Equity Anchor Institutions to lead the way toward a more inclusive and equitable nation.”

“The National Day of Racial Healing is not only a recommitment to racial justice, but also, a promise to exercise our collective action and power to advance racial equity,” said Race Forward President Glenn Harris. “Institutions, organizations, and individuals across the U.S. will be honoring our common humanity while also working to heal from the harms of racial division and violence that keep us from achieving a true multiracial democracy. Centering people of color, those most impacted by structural inequities, and coming together to define our futures by shaping policies that impact our lives — this is the core of democratic practice that leads to better outcomes for all.”

“The National Day of Racial Healing reminds all of us, from every background, of what we share as Americans, and as human beings,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguia. While it may be difficult to remember during these challenging times, history has proven that our country’s diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Only by engaging people from various races, ethnicities, and identities to break bread together, listen to one another, and honor each other’s experiences can we truly acknowledge, confront and, ultimately, heal the racial divisions in our society. And only then can we emerge united — unidos – to achieve Martin Luther King’s immortal vision of a country where all children have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.

The purpose of the National Day of Racial Healing is to:

  1. Reinforce and honor our common humanity, while noting and celebrating the distinct differences of our various communities.
  2. Acknowledge the deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed.
  3. Commit to engaging people from all racial and ethnic groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect.

The racial equity organizations have participated in the National Day of Racial Healing since its inception in 2016. The day was established by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation grantees and partners. The day is a call to action to mobilize communities, organizations, and individuals across the United States in support of truth, racial healing and transformation. To participate in local events, please check the National Day of Racial Healing’s websiteParticipate online by following the hashtag #NDORH, or joining the livestream.

The Advancement Project, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities — no matter the color of their skin — have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.

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