For Immediate Release

Contact:
Anne Jenkins
Senior Director for Communications
202-884-7422
jenkins@aacu.org

AAC&U Selects Ten Institutions as Sites for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers

The first ten TRHT Campus Centers will engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies for transformative change
Aug 16, 2017

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the ten institutions selected to serve as sites for the first Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. With generous support from Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AAC&U will guide the development of the TRHT Campus Centers as part of a multi-year initiative to educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders to advance justice and build equitable communities.

Through a competitive process, institutions were selected based on their proposals’ ability to create positive narratives about race, identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities, envision communities without entrenched racial hierarchies, and pinpoint levers for change and key individuals to engage. The institutions will receive an initial award of $30,000 to develop and implement visionary plans that engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to uproot the conscious and unconscious biases and misbeliefs that have exacerbated racial violence and tension in American society. Over the course of the multi-year project, AAC&U will provide strategic direction to the Campus Centers with the support of the TRHT advisory board, a network of national advisors and experts. 

The ten institutions selected as sites for the first TRHT Campus Centers are:

  • Austin Community College (TX)
  • Brown University (RI)
  • Duke University (NC)
  • Hamline University (MN)
  • Millsaps College (MS)
  • Rutgers University—Newark (NJ)
  • Spelman College (GA)
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (HI)
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (MD)

In the aftermath of the horrific, heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, we must not be silent. Instead, we must harness our collective intellectual, social, and financial resources to transform words into action,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “AAC&U is thrilled to partner with these first ten outstanding institutions on our way to establishing 150 centers across the country to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.”

Teams from the selected institutions will participate in a kick-off TRHT project meeting in September 2017 and attend AAC&U’s inaugural Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Institute in January 2018 in Washington, DC. At the TRHT Institute, the Campus Centers will develop transformative action plans to advance racial healing and will be involved in the creation of a related guidebook to support the implementation of future TRHT Campus Centers. This guidebook will be available to AAC&U’s network of more than 60,000 higher education leaders. In collaboration with AAC&U, Campus Center teams will identify evidence-based strategies that support the vision of the TRHT enterprise by working with an evaluation consultant to design a framework for measuring progress. Teams will develop a sustainability plan outlining strategies for securing funding from institutional and community partners to ensure that the next generation of strategic leaders and critical thinkers are prepared for and focused on dismantling the belief in the hierarchy of human value.

“AAC&U received 125 applications for this first cohort of TRHT Campus Centers,” said AAC&U Vice President Tia Brown McNair. “The high level of interest and commitment from higher education institutions to engage in the difficult, yet deeply necessary work to address racism within our communities is, in itself, a hopeful step in the process of transforming our country's racial narrative and preparing students to be change agents.”

Initiated in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historical and contemporary effects of racism. TRHT seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism—the main one being the belief in a “hierarchy of human value.” This absurd belief, which has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture, is the perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics, or place of origin.

To learn more about AAC&U’s TRHT initiative and resources, visit http://www.aacu.org/trht.

To learn more about Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, visit: http://healourcommunities.org.

To read AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella’s full statement regarding recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, visit: http://www.aacu.org/about/statements/2017/charlottesville.   

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges. Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at www.aacu.org.