National Day of Racial Healing 2020 in Hillsborough

An evening of art, dialogue and learning tools to build racial literacy. On Thursday evening January 22nd, Community Conversations hosted an event from 7-8:30 at Hillsborough High School Library to commemorate the National Day of Racial Healing.


The night event was opened with a video intro about the National Day of Racial Healing and then shared with the audience the reason Community Conversations had put this together. We then got into small break out sessions where student facilitators introduced themselves and each person shared what they were hoping to learn.

Participants watching TED talk about racial literacyAs all of us got acquainted, we co-watched a TED Talk by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo on the importance of racial literacy in education. Since they are two former Princeton high school students, the talk was particularly inspiring and resonated with our community. 

Then we walked through the 10-step process of sharing a story about race and culture based on the book (by Priya and Winona) Tell Me Who You Are, which was written after their gap year of traveling across the 50 states to interview American’s on their view of race, culture and identity. Based on their experience, they created a 10-step tool kit for anyone seeking a safe approach to having conversations in an authentic environment about race, culture and identity. Using these principles as inspiration, some Hillsborough High School students created art to represent the concepts.


Student's artwork presented during the event

HHS students presenting artwork made for this day 

Among the questions we discussed: 

  • “How often do you think about the color of your skin?” 
  • “Have you observed an event where someone was mistreated due to their race?” 
  • “What are ways we can help build a more racially literate approach to things...”

Some feedback collected by participants:


“I want to ask people what their story is...I want to share more about my personal story and interact with others”

“Ask people questions and actually listen to what they are saying. Don’t be afraid to ask or talk about deep concepts it forms deeper bonds with other people”

“The town that we live in and the places we choose to frequent are deeper than just us. When we wait at the incredibly short traffic light at 206, it is important to remember that we aren't first and there are hundreds of people for over a century who are doing the same things I am right now. We are just one of many residents at HIllsborough”

After-event conversations lingered

“As a teacher of middle school students, I can bring the importance of making space for storytelling clear to my students. I would love to get my students involved in uncovering the stories of their community and feeling more connected”

“I will say a sincere Thank You to anyone who I have an interaction with- no matter how small”

“One things I can take into my classroom on Monday is that this event exists and steps to build our community to change the way people perceive their community”

A photo impression of the National Day of Racial Healing 2020 in Hillsborough is here on this site.