2024 Race Amity Day Highlights

2024 Race Amity Day Highlights

Well over 100 Race Amity Day celebrations were held around the country in 2024. Some included state, city or county proclamations, some involved local government or community leaders from many backgrounds. Some people focused on families and communities and held fairs or picnics, some focused on service and found ways to center it around Race Amity. Whatever people did, they did it with intention, passion and dedication. The following brief reports give a glimpse of the diversity and creativity of this year’s celebrations.

Greeting from President Biden

Pittsboro, North Carolina

One of the highlights of this year’s Race Amity Day celebrations was the receipt of a special greeting from President Joe Biden to the gathering organized by Partners in Racial Justice in Pittsboro, NC.  President Biden sent “his best wishes for a wonderful event” and noted, “The work you do truly matters. It’s proof we can build a democracy worthy of our loftiest ambitions… That’s what Race Amity Day is all about–choosing a path of light and love over darkness and division… You are a big part of the reason why I have never been more optimistic about the future of this great Nation. Keep the faith!”

Proclamations and celebrations in Illinois

Due to the tireless efforts of Illinois Citizens for Race Amity, 2024 saw a notable surge in momentum, with Race Amity Day proclamations at the state, county and municipal level, as well as picnics and celebrations in several communities.

Illinois State House: The resolution to proclaim Race Amity Day (HR 628) was adopted on May 3, 2024. Reps. Diane Blair-Sherlock, Rep. Cyril Nichols, and Rep. Sonya M. Harper were the chief sponsors.

Illinois State Senate: The resolution to proclaim Race Amity Day (SR 770) was adopted on May 25, 2024. Sen. Rachel Ventura and Sen. Karina Villa are cosponsors. Sen. Ventura issued a press release.


DuPage County Board: The DuPage County Board proclaimed June 9, 2024, as Race Amity Day in DuPage County. The proclamation was sponsored with the Board by Board Member Yeena Yoo and Vice-Chair Michael Childress. The Proclamation was read by Chair Deborah Conroy and was passed by voice vote. The Proclamation was then presented to Jim Percic and Bette Lawrence-Water, co-chairs of Illinois Citizens for
Race Amity. Both Jim and Bette spoke briefly to the Board, thanking them for their support.

Rockford, IL: On May 24, 2024, The Mayor of Rockford, IL, proclaimed June 9, 2024, as Race Amity Day in Rockford.

The Village of Northbrook and Northfield Township also proclaimed Race Amity Day.

From left to right: Bette Lawrence-Water, Illinois Citizens for Race Amity co-chair; Michael Childress, Vicechair, DuPage County Board; Jim Percic, Illinois Citizens for Race Amity co-chair, Deborah Conroy, Chair, DuPage County Board; Yeena Yoo, Member, DuPage County Board.

Race Amity Day Picnics

Picnics and celebrations were held on Sunday June 9 in Lombard, at Frontier Park in Naperville, and at Village Green Park in Northbrook. In addition, a picnic was held at Cobb Park in Kankakee on June 2.

In Edwardsville, the local Baha’i community held a Race Amity gathering at Southern Illinois University where some 20 attendees took turns reading quotes and prayers regarding race unity and then held a vibrant discussion on the readings and on which things individuals can do to bridge the divide.

Dublin, CA

A Race Amity Day event was held at Las Positas College in Livermore CA, part of the Tri-Valley within the San Francisco Bay Area in Alameda County. The event featured the reading of Race Amity Day proclamations from Alameda County and the city of Dublin, read by by Vice Mayor Sherry Hu. President of Las Positas College Dr. Dyrell Foster attended with his young son and also spoke.


LaPlace, Louisiana

The 8th Annual Race Unity Day celebration in LaPlace took place at local park on Saturday, June 8. Nearly 20 participants of all ages enjoyed prayers and inspirational readings as well as learning and coloring activities, fellowship and food. 

Amherst, Massachusetts

Amherst hosted a successful community fair with tables of community organizations and cultural groups. A representative of the town read the Race Amity Day proclamation, followed by a student performing some very powerful spoken word, a musical performance, and the presentation of the town’s Youth Hero Awards.

In addition, in honor of Juneteenth, a Race Amity poster was on display in the Amherst Town Hall for the entire month of June alongside a couple other panels featuring other notable members of the town’s African-American community. The town also asked for an information table about Race Amity at the Juneteenth event on June 15.

Concord, Massachusetts

A pot luck picnic was held at the Alcott elementary school in Concord, MA, on Saturday, June 8. The event was cosponsored by the Concord DEI commission, the CC human rights council, the Free public library, Communities Organized against Racism (COAR), Concord Public Schools and the regional school district of Concord and the Concord Baha’i community. A proclamation was read from the Concord select board. The Floor Lords, a hip hop dance company from the Boston area, performed and taught guests how to pop and move. The day was sunny and beautiful, and everyone had a chance to get to know one another as we broke bread together. Honored guests were Massachusetts State Rep Simon Cataldo and NCRA founder Dr. William “Smitty” Smith.

Hartford, Connecticut

Our event this year was held on the grounds of the State Capitol, and included presentations from a local tribal elder, a youth who works in the Governor’s office, a presentation from State Senator Saud Anwar (who sponsored the legislation declaring Race Amity Day as a permanent day in Connecticut) and recognition of the Hartford YWCA. Also featured was a traditional Indian dance, interactive drumming, presentation by a local poet and music from the Afro-Semitic Experience. Our day ended with time for socializing and friendship building while savoring ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s.

Pinellas County, Florida

Advocates for Race Amity in Pinellas county, Florida held a community festival with sponsors sharing information about community resources

Toledo, Ohio

On Sunday, June 9th at Wildwood Metropark Sycamore Shelter, at least 44 people of all ages enjoyed a joyful and unified celebration of interracial friendship and a free picnic on a beautiful breezy afternoon in Lucas County.

The program started with amazing African drumming and song provided by Mike Hayes, followed by a Prayer for America, a reading of a proclamation by the Mayor of the City of Toledo, Wade Kapszukiewicz, and a pre-recorded message from Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur.

A community art project provided by Unbounded Artists Development Community (UADC) and led by their Creative Engagement person Alecia Robinson enriched all generations in expressively painting a community mural and garden gnome flower pots for individuals to decorate and take home! Finally, participants had the opportunity to sign their names to a petition to support the establishing of Race Amity Day as a national commemorative day on the second Sunday in June.

Race Amity Day in Toledo was a wonderful celebration of interracial friendship and showcased the power of interracial partnerships to foster lasting and powerful social change!

Greenville, SC

A Race Amity Day picnic was held in Cleveland Park, Greenville, on Sunday, June 9. Forty-seven people attended representing all age groups and several ethnic backgrounds. In addition to drumming and outdoor games, there was deep discussion on spiritual matters with two of the guests, who shared their personal spiritual journeys.

Georgetown, Texas

The documentary film An American Story Race Amity and the Other Tradition was shown followed by a panel discussion on achieving race amity in Georgetown. A total of 49 people attended. The screening was promoted with ads in the Around Town section of the local paper and with an invitation to local religious organizations by the Georgetown Ministerial Alliance.

And many more!

Many additional reports were received from around the country, including New York, Virginia, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, New Mexico and more. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s Race Amity Day Celebrations!

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