2021 National Day of Racial Healing

Jennifer Peterson /

The National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) is an opportunity for people, organizations, and communities to call for racial healing, bring people together in their shared humanity and take action together to create a more just and equitable world.

NDORH is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort - a national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

We put our heads together with the team leading NDORH to come up with some specific ways that libraries could encourage community participation in this year's National Day of Racial Healing, on January 19, 2021, the day after MLK Day.

The day was established in 2017 by more than 550 U.S. leaders who wanted to set aside a day to take action together and:

  • Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  • Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed, and
  • Commit to engaging people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

9 Ways Your Library and Community Can Recognize NDORH

  1. Promote relevant and inspiring books through displays and recommendations lists. Here are some lists to explore:
  2. Invite your library book club to select a book to read in honor of NDORH, or use the day to invite the whole community to begin to read the same book. Here’s how a book club in Battle Creek, Michigan got involved last year.

  3. Host a discussion at the library in collaboration with other local community organizations. Use the NDORH Conversation Guide (pdf)

  4. Host a film screening or other cultural event like storytelling or musical performances.

  5. Dedicate a space in the library for people to share their declarations, “I will promote racial healing by _____” or "My racial healing looks like _____.” Use a white board or wall, or see this example from a previous year of an invitation to post selfies on social media.

  6. Explore WebJunction's Access & Equity topic area to see how libraries and their communities are increasing inclusion and advancing racial equity. Begin with Racial Equity in the Library, Part 1 and Part 2.

  7. Submit your event or find another near you, via the NDORH website.

  8. Engage in social media with the NDORH Facebook page and on Twitter @WK_Kellogg_Fdn using this year’s hashtag: #HOWWEHEAL.

  9. Explore the multitude of other resources on the NDORH website, including resources for educators, an engagement guide, key messages, social media graphics, customizable poster template, NDORH signs, and proclamation texts that can be used by organizations or government officials (e.g., mayors and governors).