Keynote features professor who coined the term ‘Racial Battle Fatigue’
The Ohio State University recently hosted the National Day of Racial Healing, featuring the professor who coined ‘Racial Battle Fatigue,’ or ‘a systemic race-related repetitive stress injury.’
The National Day of Racial Healing is an annual observance hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which centers its projects on ‘commitments to advancing racial equity and racial healing.'
The Ohio State University (OSU) recently hosted the National Day of Racial Healing, which featured a keynote from the professor who coined the term “Racial Battle Fatigue.”
“The National Day of Racial Healing is a time to contemplate our shared values and create the blueprint together for #HowWeHeal from the effects of racism,” an event description reads.
“Racial Battle Fatigue,” the event’s theme, is “the cumulative emotional, psychological, physiological, and behavioral effects [that] racial micro-level aggressions and macro-level aggressions (microaggressions and macroaggressions) have on racialized Targets of Racism.”
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The keynote speaker, Dr. William A. Smith, “summarizes this definition by saying it is a systemic race-related repetitive stress injury,” according to the event description. Smith is the Chief Executive Administrator of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah and a co-editor of The Racial Crisis in American Higher Education, which will release its third edition in 2023.
A summary of the book says that it explores why “predominantly white colleges and universities continue to be settings where people of color feel unwelcome and marginalized.”
“The contributors to this volume dissect a variety of structural and attitudinal factors that are prevalent in the higher education community, organizational constructs and value orientations which seem to hark more to the past than to the future,” the summary continues.
“They comment on the political, social, and economic factors that have shaped academic culture, and buttressed its quietly efficient maintenance of racially discriminatory practices.”
The National Day of Racial Healing is an annual observance hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). The foundation funds projects based on the directive of “breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur W.K. Kellogg,” according to its website. Kellogg directed the original trustees in 1930 to spend funds in a way that “promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.”
WKKF’s 2023 grants include $180,000 to Grand Valley State University to “[d]evelop an updated landscape study and research on giving circles to support broader investment and impact for racial equity.”
Another grant of $1.5 million to the Foundation for the Mid South, Inc. will “[b]uild racially just and equitable communities in Mississippi by advancing the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation [(TRHT)] framework.”
TRHT is a framework that has been implemented by cities across the U.S and involves hosting discussions and creating a plan of action to “address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.”
[RELATED: Illinois requires public universities to implement ‘equity plans’]
The National Day of Racial Healing “was created with and builds on the work and learnings of the [TRHT] community partners,” according to OSU's event description.
Racial healing is central to WKKF’s projects. “Embedded within all we do are commitments to advancing racial equity and racial healing,” WKKF says in a description of its priorities.
One priority area, Equitable Communities, reads, “Advancing racial equity and racial healing, engaging communities in solving their own problems and developing leaders capable of guiding change on this scale is essential to creating vibrant, equitable communities.”
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.