On January 19, 2021, the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, the State of Arkansas will observe the fifth annual “National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH).”
This will be the second consecutive year that this day has been observed by communities throughout the state of Arkansas. And, as part of last year’s inaugural observance, Governor Asa Hutchinson became this nation’s first governor to issue a gubernatorial NDORH proclamation, which was immediately followed by proclamations issued by Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde and the mayors of Cammack Village, North Little Rock, and Wrightsville, as well as Little Rock School Superintendent Mike Poore.
This year, Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement (APJMM) continues its role as the lead sponsor of the “2021 National Day of Racial Healing in the State of Arkansas,” which includes a statewide week-long schedule of several virtual events set aside to share truth, deepen relationships and build trust in order to create courageous environments where citizens can have difficult conversations about how the social construct of race has perpetuated structural violence within our state, leaving us all as victims, in some form or another, regardless of our racial identity, our historical familial connections, our socioeconomic background, or our political or religious affiliation. Once these conversations have
begun, access to continuing tools and resources will be provided to the participants with the expectation that they put into action what they have learned from those conversations and work together to build a more just and equitable world anchored in truth, racial healing and transformation.
Joining APJMM this year as co-sponsors (alphabetically) are: APJMM Pulaski County Community Remembrance Project, Arkansas Municipal League, Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP, Braver Angels Central Arkansas, Coming To The Table (National Office), Just Communities of Arkansas, UAClinton School of Public Service, UAMS College of Public Health, UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UCA Center for Community & Economic Development, Urban League of the State of Arkansas, Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts & Literacy Collective, and The Yarn Storytelling.
One of this year’s goals is to have Arkansas become the first state where ALL of its municipal and educational executives (mayors, city managers, city administrators, county judges, school superintendents, college presidents, and university chancellors) issue proclamations along with the Governor. Answering APJMM’s call were the mayors of the following cities: Blytheville, Conway, Crossett, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Greenwood, Hamburg, Hope, Little Rock, Mountain View, Mulberry, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Prairie Grove, Siloam Springs, Stephens, Sulpher Springs, Tontitown, just
to name a few of the many. The chancellors of UCA, UA-Fayetteville, UA-Little Rock, and ASUMidsouth, have also issued NDORH proclamations.
The schedule for this NDORH weeklong virtual observance can be viewed HERE. Arkansans can register for the limited amount of spaces available for the live virtual events. All events, except the film festival, will also be recorded and made available at www.APJMM.org the following week.
Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow will be featured on day one, Tuesday, January 19. He will join mayors from Mulberry, North Little Rock, Little Rock, Blytheville, Pine Bluff and Fayetteville.