Day of Racial Healing Petition for the City of Phoenix, Beginning in 2020


“A Bridge to Hope”

WHEREAS, in El Paso, the crisis of conduct by a racially motivated citizen drew both national and international attention on August 3 , 2019, inspired by the tone of a President, whose words  were set in place in the shooter’s manifesto, resulting in constituents’ demand for Congress’ immediate return from their break to effect change” (Jon Meacham, August 19, 2019, “The power of a President’s words,” Time Magazine); 

WHEREAS, the rhetoric of the leader of our country has turned deadly;

WHEREAS, in addition, “ICE has requested the detention of 3,076 U.S. citizens from October 2002 to December 2018…It isn’t even about being born on American soil. It’s about our brown skin in America.” (Julissa Arce, August 19, 2019, “Our Brown Skin Makes Us a Target for Hate,” Time Magazine);

WHEREAS, “This brown skin will continue to glow against the darkness that has fallen in America because those in El Paso are seeing “hundreds lin(ing) up to donate blood, an Army Private leading several children to safety, and nearly a half million dollars being donated to scholarships for the undocumented to attend college;”

WHEREAS, El Paso has shown us the way, through its promotion of racial healing and its contribution “to building the equitable society our children deserve;”

WHEREAS, a vision of our country, such of that of El Paso’s, “to become a place where all children can thrive,” “despite perceived differences” (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.), is necessary across America for “shift(ing) our national discourse” (January 2017, “National Day of Racial Healing,” healourcommunities org);

WHEREAS, “it will take aggressive plans and action to tamp down the kind of hate that spawned the unconscionable massacre in El Paso” including “tamping down racist rhetoric” (August 16, 2019, “Abbott’s powerful message to racist domestic terrorists: Texas won’t stand for you here,”;

WHEREAS, Governor Abbot has made “a powerful statement: ‘Texas is stronger when we come together in pursuit of a shared goal;’”

WHEREAS, Arizona’s mayors of cities and townships can themselves join in pursuit of their shared dedication to “bring about the necessary changes in thinking and behavior to propel (our great state) forward as a unified force where racial biases will become a thing of the past” (January 22, 2019, “A Resolution of the Mayor and City Council, City of Minneapolis: A National Day of Racial Healing);  

WHEREAS, “we understand and recognize that there is a racial divide in our country and that we all must work earnestly to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious biases;”

WHEREAS, presently our city governments, supported by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (https//, have an opportunity, through this Declaration, “to take a first step in proclaiming that all residents are respected and protected,” by hosting an annual racial healing community event for the public in February which will have a “positive and profound impact on the entire state of (Arizona),”  (, January 22, 2019, “Mayor Tim Keller Recognizes National Day of Racial Healing in Albuquerque”);

THEREFORE, BE IT DECLARED that in order to remain steadfast to the mutual commitment of each city “to honor and create equitable communities in which all children and families can thrive,” the People Demanding Justice Community Coalition calls for all mayors in the State of Arizona to establish  “A National Day of Racial Healing” on the first Tuesday following Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, beginning on January 21, 2020.


Written and submitted by Joanne Scott Woods, M.A., M.Ed., Coordinator of People Demanding Justice Community Coalition (PDJCC) and Campaign Manager and Research Director for the PDJCC National Day of Racial Healing Campaign in Arizona, signed on October 2, 2019, as a Citizen Petition to Mayor Kate Gallego and Council. Co-signed in support by Kim Baker, Project Director of PDJCC and Project Director and Field Director for the PDJCC National Day of Racial Healing Campaign in Arizona.

Phoenix, AZ 85023                  

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