A day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, his legacy can still be felt in the annual National Day of Racial Healing. Tuesday, Jan. 17, is observed as the National Day of Racial Healing, which is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort.

The eighth annual national event — recognized now for the fifth year in Arkansas includes virtual and in-person community events and watch parties across the country, bringing together artists, activists, faith healers and civic leaders. The day serves as an invitation for the public to engage in honest dialogue about how we can create an equitable society, with 2023 activities spanning the full week.

"As we enter our fifth year with this observance, we are fortunate that the momentum has continued to grow and we have had more and more Arkansans become interested and get involved," says Kwami Abdul-Bey, co-convenor of the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement (APJMM), one of the NDORH leaders in Arkansas.

Learn more about APJMM in our October 2020 cover story.


This year's observance is themed "Intentionally Creating MLK's Beloved Community Here in Arkansas," and there are many NDORH events around central Arkansas. Here are a few ways you can join in on the activities via APJMM:

Monday, Jan. 16

10 a.m - MLK Challenge 2023: "A Day On, Not a Day Off"


Tuesday, Jan. 17

9 a.m. - National Day of Racial Healing in the state of Arkansas press conference at the Arkansas Municipal League

10 a.m. - “Conversations for Solidarity & Equity” panel discussion featuring Jamal Gordon, Scott Hamilton, Brian Rodgers, Itzel Velazquez and Jaylen Smith (virtual)

11 a.m. - Messages of Love at UA Little Rock

1:40 p.m. - UCA Silent march

5 p.m. - Equitable Dinners Atlanta: Setting the Stage for Racial Equity (virtual)

6 p.m. - “The Movement, The Music & The Magic” concert featuring Desirée Roots and the Weldon Hill Ensemble (virtual)


Wednesday, Jan. 18

noon - “Human & Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities” Lunch & Learn / Meet & Greet at the CALS Rock It! Lab

noon - “Anti-Semitism: How to Combat It” panel discussion featuring Dr. Rebecca Anne Glazier, Rabbi Barry Block, Rabbi Mark Biller and Annabelle Davis Clinton Imber Tuck (hybrid)

6 p.m. - “Law of Racial Healing” Barbershop Talk (virtual)


Thursday, Jan. 19

11 a.m. - Advancing Equity Awards & Racial Healing Certification Convocation at the Clinton School of Public Service

6 p.m. - “Lynching in the South” community dialogue and panel discussion featuring Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, Dr. Guy Lancaster, Furonda Brasfield, Taylor Stewart and Clarice Abdul-Bey at UA Little Rock Downtown


Friday, Jan. 20

6 p.m. - Open Mic Night at UA Little Rock

6 p.m. - “Past is Present: A Virtual Fireside Chat Dialogue on Race in America” 


Saturday, Jan. 21

11 a.m. - Inaugural Civic Saturday Arkansas Gathering at the Arkansas State Capitol


Sunday, Jan. 22

11 a.m. - Racial Healing Devotional & Discussion (virtual)

4 p.m. - Equitable Dinners: Creating an Arkansas Framework (virtual)

Find a full list of events here.


For more information about the National Day of Racial Healing, click here. You can also learn more about APJMM on the group's website and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.