In the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a group of Wayne State University racial justice leaders collaborate every January to host a National Day of Healing from Racism
. This day-long event — free to attend and open to all — is focused on learning how to talk about racism’s impact and how to use practices to guide people on their journey of healing from racism.
Supplied / Detroit Equity Action Lab
This year’s event is on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wayne State University’s Student Center Ballroom, with doors opening at 9:50 a.m. The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at the Law School, will host this year’s event in collaboration with the WSU Office of Multicultural Student Engagement and the WSU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Their shared goal is to heal from and end racism, by telling the truth about past and current wrongs and addressing the consequences created by individual and systemic racism.
“We are thrilled to be back in person for this year’s event after successfully pivoting to a virtual format in 2021 and 2022," said Asandi Conner, DEAL's director. "We have a dynamic roster of practitioners, facilitators, faculty, and staff contributing to our collective effort to acknowledge and heal from racism’s wounds.”
This year’s event features a guided meditation led by Alejandra Villegas of Healing by Choice! and welcome remarks from Marquita T. Chamblee, associate provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer of Wayne State University.
During a fishbowl discussion, participants are invited to experience dialogue among a group of Wayne State staff and faculty as they explore the impact of racism in their lives facilitated by Senior Director for the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement Stephanie Hawkes and Intercultural Training Director Alex Boesch.
Breakout sessions will take place over lunch and include movement healing, art therapy, and in-depth breathwork. The afternoon program will include a ritual event, Talking to the Water, and a performance by the Freedom Players, an ensemble within the Black Theatre and Dance Collective at Wayne State University. Following a buffet dinner, the day’s events will close with remarks from Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights Director and A. Alfred Tauman Professor of Law Peter Hammer.
The National Day of Healing from Racism is a part of the National Day of Racial Healing led by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative – 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.
The event is open to the public and more information about the event is available at: events.wayne.edu