racial healing

Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Kalamazoo is among communities participating in the second annual National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 16th. The city has recognized the day with a proclamation, says Lanna Lewis of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, who is a guest today on WMUK's WestSouthwest (listen now, below). 

The day has local roots. Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation started it last year to focus the country's attention on combating structural racism as it launched its new Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation long-term initiative in 14 cities, including Kalamazoo.


Earlene McMichael | WMUK

When it was time for Kalamazoo College senior Kaylah "Kami" Simmons to choose a capstone project to do this year, she thought of a famous man she met in high school -- Hal Jackson. He's an African-American who broke the color barrier in radio in the '30s and is in several Halls of Fame. She didn't know his significance back then. Now a theater arts major with a media studies concentration who's contemplating a journalism career, Simmons wants more people to know about Jackson and this Saturday presents a reader's theater play inspired by his life. He died in 2012 at 96.


Publicity photo


Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society

Twelve years ago, Donna Odom's work at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum led her to form the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society to bring light to African- American history in the region. But soon it was clear that her new group was developing another calling: Racial healing. So now it's officially amending its name and mission statement at a public event on Wednesday, June 17th.


Pages