GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has chosen Stockton University as one of 13 new institutions to host a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Center.
The new center will serve as a catalyst for facilitating community collaborations and dialogues that can question, break down and dissolve unhealthy racial narratives, according to the university.
“Part of Stockton’s mission is to prepare our students to live and thrive in a multi-cultural society and become leaders in their communities,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said. “This initiative will pave the way for the next generation of strategic leaders and critical thinkers to advance equity and access.”
AAC&U plans to establish 150 such centers across the country. The 13 announced this month join 10 approved in 2017, including Rutgers-Newark, the only other center in New Jersey. The association provides strategic support and direction, including a summer institute. Financial support is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort, the Newman’s Own Foundation and the Papa John’s Foundation.
“AAC&U is thrilled to partner with these outstanding institutions to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.
The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers have “the aim of moving the needle on the transformative goal of erasing structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity on campuses, in our communities, and for our nation around the pillars of the TRHT Framework: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy,” according to the TRHT website.
According to the WK Kellogg Foundation, the “TRHT Framework consists of five areas, and the first two: Narrative Change and Racial Healing and Relationship Building, are foundational pillars for all TRHT work. And, the remaining three areas are Separation, the Law and Economy.”
Carra Hood, associate provost at Stockton, said the initiative will involve faculty members, Stockton’s Center for Community Engagement and Office of Service Learning as well as community and religious leaders. Among the first goals of the Stockton team is to host community events on campus, in Atlantic City, and other locations to discuss the issues or racial hierarchies and racial healing.
“We look forward to working with our faculty, students, and community leaders to build shared narratives that dismantle racial hierarchies of human value,” Hood said.