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1,000 People Expected At Cincinnati's Online National Day Of Racial Healing Events

Tia Sherèe Gaynor, Founding Director for the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at the University of Cincinnati, and Denisha Porter, All-In Cincinnati Director"

As a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, two Black women were already wrapping up plans for Cincinnati’s online National Day Of Racial Healing events. They weren’t as surprised by the events as other people.

Tia Sherèe Gaynor, Founding Director for the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at the University of Cincinnati, says that while people in white robes may no longer burn crosses in yards, systemic racism and extremism in the country has never ended.

“We have historical and current evidence to demonstrate that that is exactly who we are as a country...This isn't new. Has it been heightened? Have people been emboldened in the last few years? Absolutely,” she says. “But the sentiment and the ideologies and the implementation of policies and practices that have made disparities worse in many aspects have always been there.”

Denisha Porter, All-In Cincinnati Director, teamed up with Gaynor to organize the daylong racial healing events in the city, happening Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

She says the events include speakers, panels, music, and yoga to give people the chance to address racism in the community.

“I really want the community to utilize this event as a catapult to really understand what their purpose is. Everybody is purposed to do something, and everybody should be purposed to do something around racial equity,” Porter says.

The two women expected maybe 100 people to sign up for the day’s events and were surprised to see nearly 1,000 people registered to attend. They say the interest may, in part, have been sparked by nationwide protests and demonstrations throughout the summer of 2020 as a result of policing practices that lead to the killing of  Minneapolis man Geroge Floyd.

Gaynor says the summer protests heightened people’s level of awareness about the different reality Black people live with on a day-to day basis.

“We’re finally understanding what it meant when people are talking about racism and white supremacy, anti racism. These are all terms that I hadn't heard been used in the way that they were used after George Floyd was killed,” she says. “So those moments really reiterated that this idea and this work was needed and it was impactful.”

The event is free to attend online and any donations accepted go toward funding All-In Cincinnati and the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. To register for the event, visit the Cincinnati National Day of Racial Healing website.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.