LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared Jan. 19 as the National Day of Racial Healing in Michigan, in conjunction with other states around the country, according to a news release Tuesday.
“After the events over the past few weeks, we must take a hard look at the state of rising racial tensions in our country to enact changes and begin healing and transformation,” Whitmer said. “We each have a role to play in changing this state and country for the better. So, today I challenge you to leave Michigan a better state than where you found it, and make Michigan a more welcoming place for all.”
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist also encourages Michiganders to look at ways they can promote racial healing in their communities.
“This past year has reminded us that racism is not easily removed from our communities, but we must continue to work towards a more just and equitable Michigan,” Gilchrist said. “As we look to heal our nation through unity, our opportunity right now as leaders is to respond to this anxiety with action, to address this pain with purpose and to recognize and restore the respect that all Michiganders deserve.”
The governor’s office created the Black Leadership Council and the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities last year.
Whitmer also signed an executive order recognizing racism as a public health crisis and requiring all state employees to take implicit bias training to understand the unconscious preferences we experience without intentional control and how it can impact others.
The goal of the National Day of Racial Healing is to encourage reflection, conversation and action.