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Organization aims to promote understanding, respect with National Day of Racial Healing

Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Team wearing Black t-shirts that read Dallas Was Built With Stolen Labor
Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation
Executive Director Jerry Hawkins (center) is joined by members of the Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Leadership Team.

Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation celebrates the 7th annual National Day of Racial Healing with four free in-person events throughout North Texas on Jan. 17.

Following the birthday and national observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday, the National Day of Racial Healing will take place in North Texas with a series of free events, hosted by Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (DTRHT).

First established in 2017 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the day is dedicated to promoting healing and understanding among all races.

DTRHT’s Director Jerry Hawkins explains the intent behind selecting the date.

"They want it to very specifically follow Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to create a longer time for us to think about, the work that we have to do as a country to know bring us all together," Hawkins said.

Dallas Truth, Racial, Healing and Transformation (TRHT) has hosted various events commemorating the National Day of Racial Healing, including virtual events in 2021 and 2022 featuring Nikole Hannah-Jones, autor of The 1619 Project.

Part of the organization’s mission is to create an inclusive city by addressing race and racism through narrative change, relationship building and equitable policies and practices.

Fort Worth Racial Equity Now cohort
Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation
Dallas TRHT hosted sessions racial equity training with eight Fort Worth organizations during 2022.

This year also includes events in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth organizations have been part of Dallas TRHT's Racial Equity NOW cohort, Hawkins said.

"We have been expanding our work into Fort Worth and Tarrant County," he said. "We knew that we definitely wanted to expand our reach, but we want to start in Fort Worth. So, we have community partners that were part of the cohort, Community Frontline and a community coffee shop that is connected to Community Frontline, Black Coffee."

The events kick off Tuesday morning at both Black Coffee in Fort Worth and Union Coffee in Dallas at 7:30 a.m. with a free coffee giveaway to community members interested in learning about DTRHT and the National Day of Racial Healing.

The event is followed by a lunch discussion with Dr. Michael Phillips, author of "White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841–2001." Lunch and a copy of Phillips' book will be provided to those who are registered to attend.

The day will conclude with an evening program at Moody Performance Hall. The event, An Evening with Angela Y. Davis, will begin at 7 p.m. with a musical performance by Dana Harper, followed by a panel discussion and book signing with Black feminist philosopher Dr. Angela Y. Davis.

For those who are unable to attend, Dallas TRHT encourages participation on social media to share and build digital solidarity where followers can respond to the prompt: What does racial healing mean to me?

Follow Dallas TRHT (@DallasTRHT) on Instagram for more information and add and follow the hashtags #NDORH #HowDFWHeals.

Got a tip? Email Brittany Stubblefield-Engram at bstubblefield-engram@kera.org.

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