Franklin & Marshall is now part of the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) new Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers.
Guided by a common vision, each TRHT Campus Center is developing and implementing a visionary action plan to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to uproot biases and to inspire the next generation of leaders and thinkers to advance justice and build more equitable communities.
“Franklin & Marshall’s designation as a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation center broadens our existing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, providing an even stronger platform to host meaningful events that yield measurable change,” said Gretchel Hathaway, F&M’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion.
AAC&U is currently collaborating with 71 institutions. The effort is centered around the pillars of the TRHT Framework: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law and economy.
Launched by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the TRHT effort seeks to help communities embrace racial healing and eliminate conscious and unconscious beliefs in a hierarchy of human value.
TRHT activities will commence on campus with a week of social-justice programming surrounding Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This weekend, College House advisers will learn how to facilitate racial healing circles in preparation for the National Day of Racial Healing Jan. 17. This method of dialogue centers on group discussion led by a trained practitioner. These adviser-led circles, open to all F&M students, will be held throughout the week of Jan 16.
“Training house advisers offers them lifetime skills,” Hathaway said.
TRHT trainers for F&M include Hathaway; Courtnee Jordan-Cox, assistant dean of student affairs and Roschel College House dean; Jorge Mena-Ali, visiting assistant professor of biology, director of faculty diversity initiatives, and Roschel College House don; Christian Perry, director of diversity, equity and inclusion; and community partner Stacie Blake, chief executive officer of YWCA.
Mena-Ali was recently invited as a panelist at AAC&U’s upcoming national conference focusing on F&M's launch of empathy circles, a method for effectively supporting meaningful and constructive dialogue.