Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

What to expect from Cincinnati's National Day of Racial Healing event

head shot of woman looking into camera with chin on hand
All-In Cincinnati
YWCA Greater Cincinnati Director of Racial Justice and Equity Taylor Curtis.

The 2024 National Day of Racial Healing is Tuesday, Jan. 16. The focus of this year's event in Cincinnati is "What we've done and where we are going."

The two-hour program will include a state of race and racial equity in Cincinnati address, a moderated discussion, updates from Cincinnati and Hamilton County leaders, and artistic performances. Organizers says the event will offer a variety of perspectives from across disciplines and regions.

YWCA Greater Cincinnati Director of Racial Justice and Equity Taylor Curtis will deliver this year's address. She says people can expect an honest conversation about what it looks like to heal. Her message is the work must continue.

RELATED: Author Heather McGhee keynotes Cincinnati's 2nd annual National Day of Racial Healing

"I think that doing the work looks like a lot of different things. It looks like the internal healing of being able to decolonize your own perspective, of being able to unpack your own racial trauma, and being willing to take steps forward and strides forward towards your own personal healing," Curtis tells WVXU. "But then also, the work that (we) as a community have to do together to change the way that our community experiences things like race."

woman looks at camera head shot
All-In Cincinnati
Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate Yalie Saweda Kamara, Ph.D

Performances include a reading from Yalie Saweda Kamara, Ph.D., Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate, on her experiences with race, racial healing and advocating for equity for marginalized communities. Live music and dance will be provided by Vocalist Chaya Jones and Revolution Dance.

Kamara, also an assistant professor of English at Xavier University, says the event is important for all people and can help deal with feelings one might not otherwise have the language for. That's because there will be lots of people sharing varying perspectives that may help you find the words — or space — you need.

LISTEN: Cincinnati's inaugural youth poet laureate has plenty to say

"There's opportunity for exchange in synergy, and opportunity for people to learn, who maybe are outside of these issues but want to become advocates or allies. There's also space for thinking about how to become a stakeholder and understanding that it's not one person's problem; it's all of our issue if there's even one of us that's facing these types of setbacks and feeling the weight of discrimination and racism."

Curtis adds the first step is simply to be present.

The event is free and open to all at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (720 E Pete Rose Way #120, Cincinnati, OH 45202) from 6-8 p.m.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.