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'Critical Discussions' Held On National Day of Racial Healing

PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) - It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Tampa Bay is hosting a number of events in observance. While some of those events are aiming to recognize today's important history, others are using it to push critical discussions on racism across the country.

"This parade's been in place more than 20 years. It started under the SCLC and has grown," said City of St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. Thousands of people lined the streets across Tampa Bay Monday to celebrate Dr. King. "What I felt today was a real sense of hope. A real sense among folks that we are going to make those positive steps forward so that the entire community feels part of the progress of our city. As the first parade coming back from the pandemic, it was great to see the folks out."

While crowds here in St. Petersburg intended to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, others advanced the conversation on racial equity and healing with a call to action for change across the country.

"The National Day of Racial Healing is a day that follows the Martin Luther King Holiday. And it is intentionally positioned after that day because we know that people are inspired by Dr. King's vision and we know that they want to act," said La June Montgomery Tabron who serves as President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The 6th annual National Day of Racial Healing is Tuesday and will be observed during a virtual event. Click here for more on how to join the conversation Tuesday.

"We've also learned that while people want to act, they don't quite know how," said Montgomery Tabron. "To share their common values, to build trust, to build trusting relationships so that people can take collective action to improve their communities and create equitable communities where children and families can thrive."

"This is a celebration of our city and I think it's a real celebration of our path forward and how we do that as a city, as a family, as a community," said Mayor Welch.

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