Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers

Posted by Association of American Colleges and Universities on June 12, 2017

Thank you for your interest in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) project for the development of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. We are pleased to invite your institution to submit a proposal and an institutional agreement of intent to participate.

With the generous support of funds from the Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ten institutions will be chosen as the sites of new TRHT Campus Centers. Through a competitive process, participants will be selected based on their proposal’s ability to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to uproot the conscious and unconscious biases and misbeliefs that have triggered racial violence and tension in American society.

Part of a national, community-based process designed to engage citizens in racial healing and catalyze efforts to address current inequities grounded in notions of a racial hierarchy, TRHT is an adaptation of some of the most recognized Truth and Reconciliation Commission models. At the foundation of TRHT is an imperative, described by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in its 2015 Annual Report, to connect racial healing to racial equity by developing “comprehensive programmatic approaches to addressing racism, including trying to heal perceptions, beliefs and attitudes.” Thus, the project will prioritize inclusive, community-based healing activities and policy designs that seek to change collective community narratives and broaden the understanding that Americans have of their diverse experiences.

Institutions chosen to participate will:

  • develop and implement a visionary plan to
  • create a positive narrative about race in the community
  • promote racial healing activities on campus and in the community
  • erase structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity within the economic, legal, educational, and residential components of the community;
  • identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities and the local history that has led to these realities;
  • envision what their communities will look, feel, and be like when the belief in a racial hierarchy has been jettisoned; and
  • pinpoint critical levers for change, key stakeholders, and others who must be engaged.

In addition to an initial $30,000 subaward per Campus Center, AAC&U will provide strategic direction to the selected institutions. A kick-off TRHT project meeting will take place in September 2017, and the first TRHT Institute will be held in Washington, DC, from Friday, January 19 to Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Both events will be held at the Westin Georgetown, 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 over 63,500 higher education leaders. In collaboration with AAC&U, Campus Center teams will identify evidence-based strategies that support the vision of the TRHT enterprise, and prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and critical thinkers focused on dismantling the belief in the hierarchy of human value.

Each Campus Center team will work with an evaluation consultant to design a framework for measuring progress and will be required to develop a sustainability plan outlining strategies for securing funding from institutional and community partners.

Dr. Tia McNair—AAC&U’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success—will direct the project, with the support of the TRHT advisory board, a network of national advisors and experts. The Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will serve in an advisory capacity for the project. The Campus Centers also will have access to a communications design consultant and the previously mentioned evaluation consultant.

To apply to participate as a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, please access and complete the online application on our website. The deadline for proposals is Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5:00pm ET.

For more information on this wide-ranging effort to heal racial divides in communities across the country:

We look forward to receiving your application. Please do not hesitate to contact John Veras, Program Associate in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, with any questions at

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