AAC&U selects 78 colleges for institute on racial healing

The four-day event will give higher ed leaders a chance to learn and collaborate to make change happen on campuses.
By: | May 19, 2021
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More than 70 higher education institutions have been selected to participate in this year’s 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers, a virtual event that will bring together college leaders for four days of intense learning and collaboration.

Run by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Institute will provide an opportunity for teams at each of the 78 colleges to gain knowledge about the structure of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation in an effort “to break down racial hierarchies and dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value.” The goal for many who partake is to be able to host Centers on their respective campuses in the future.

The virtual gathering is scheduled for June 22-25 and will involve 60 new colleges and universities, 14 existing institutions that boast Centers and four yet-to-be determined colleges from Texas.

“AAC&U is thrilled to partner with colleges and universities of all types and sizes across the country to advance the TRHT effort within higher education,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We look forward to the opportunity to learn with and from the participants in the 2021 Institute and to support their efforts to promote racial equity and healing on their campuses and in their communities.”

The Institute aims to assist those teams in forging long-term visions for their campus communities when equity has been achieved. The colleges and universities involved are tasked with developing an action plan that includes Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation ideals along with their own strategic planning (“evaluation, communications, engagement, and sustainability”) for implementation.

The AAC&U says the curriculum within those action plans targets the five components of TRHT: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy, according to the AAC&U. It is something all of the institutions involved want to address.

“The annual Institute reflects the intentional efforts and deep commitment of TRHT leaders from across the United States in addressing racism and eliminating racialized practices, systems, and structures,” stated Tia McNair, AAC&U’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Student Success and the Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers. “Without their partnership and collaboration, the progress we have made and need to make in building just and equitable communities wouldn’t be possible.”

McNair is part of a group of faculty, co-facilitators and speakers who will be on hand at the event. There are 20 mentors from existing Centers who work with each of the teams in helping them develop their strategies. There will also be workshops and question-and-answer sessions for participants.

The 14 host institutions that will take part include: Adelphi University, Agnes Scott College, Austin Community College, Big Sandy Community & Technical College, Dominican University, Marywood University, Oklahoma State University–Tulsa, Otterbein University, Rutgers University–Newark, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, The Citadel, University of California–Irvine, University of Cincinnati and University of Hawaii at Manoa

The 60 others that were selected include:

California: Brandman University, California State University Long Beach, California State University Sacramento, Holy Names University, Loyola Marymount University, Pasadena City College, Pepperdine University, Sonoma State University, University of California Davis Health

Connecticut: Middlesex Community College, Trinity College

Florida: Barry University, Miami Dade College, Rollins College, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus

Georgia: Albany State University, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Highlands College

Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Hilo

Illinois: Benedictine University, College of Lake County

Iowa: University of Northern Iowa

Kansas: Bethel College

Maryland: Maryland Institute College of Art, Montgomery College

Massachusetts: Suffolk University

Michigan: Hope College, Western Michigan University

Minnesota: College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, University of Minnesota–Rochester, University of St. Thomas

Mississippi: Tougaloo College

Missouri: Northwest Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State University

New Jersey: Mercer County Community College, Rutgers University–Camden, Seton Hall University, The College of New Jersey

New York: Bard College, CUNY Kingsborough Community College, CUNY Queensborough Community College, Iona College, New York University, SUNY Plattsburgh

Ohio: University of Toledo, University of Mount Union

Oregon: Portland Community College

Pennsylvania: Cedar Crest College, Delaware County Community College, Haverford College, La Salle University, Misericordia University, Penn State University, Brandywine

Utah: Dixie State University, Westminster College

Virginia: James Madison University, Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College