Ever wonder why people of different racial backgrounds live in separate communities in the U.S.? Or why do most of our close friends share our race or ethnicity? 

We might think it’s all personal choice. However, racial separation was part of the American design, with colonization and enslavement setting the stage for centuries to come. The devastating effects of our separation continue today, with many communities of color cut off from access to essentials like jobs, transportation, safe housing, healthcare and good food.

The legacy of racism in the United States is multifaceted. It touches every community across all backgrounds and cultures, albeit in unique ways. The history presented here is by no means exhaustive, rather it represents several turning points that created the present realities faced by all people living in the U.S. today.

Explore Inspiring Stories of Racial Healing

  • In Charlotte, North Carolina, a coffeehouse chat made talking about race easier during National Day of Racial Healing 2022.
  • In the Keeweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan, early childhood educators focus on healing from the legacy of boarding schools by bringing Indigenous language and culture into classrooms.
  • In Battle Creek, Michigan, a community dinner created connections across race and culture during National Day of Racial Healing 2022.
  • In Richmond, Virginia community gardeners learned local history about separation and redlining while cultivating new greenspaces on vacant lots.
  • In suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Just Deeds Project helps homeowners remove restrictive covenants placed on their property titles during the redlining era, so a person of any racial background may purchase homes in the future.

Take Action Today

4 Ways to Create Connections on the National Day of Racial Healing:

  • Host a small relationship-building lunch, dinner or coffee chat for neighbors and friends using our Conversation Guide.
  • Find a cultural performance or exhibit featuring artists from a racial background/s other than your own. Bring the whole family!
  • Visit a local history museum to learn more about your community’s origins. Take the opportunity to tour museums that focus on the experiences of communities of color in your city or state.
  • Homeowners: Make housing more accessible to people of color in your area. How? Check your property titles for restrictive racial covenants placed by previous owners. Then, research the local legal process for removing them.