Minnesota university gets $30K to create a racial healing center

It'll be one of the first of its kind.

Hamline University will be one of the first campuses in the country – and the first in the state – to open a special center dedicated to racial healing.

The St. Paul liberal arts college was one of 10 institutions selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and will receive a $30,000 grant to develop a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center.

The goal of the center is to "engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies for transformative change," AAC&U says.

Other schools chosen for the grant include Spelman, Duke, and Rutgers. They were selected from 125 applications 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.
  • Pinpoint levers for change and key individuals to engage.

“Hamline has long taken the lead in matters of race, justice, inclusion, and equity,” Hamline President Fayneese Miller said in the release. “Events in Minnesota and across the nation have shone a spotlight on how much work is yet to be done. These events have also emboldened our work and reignited our commitment to bring communities together to educate, empower, and enact real and lasting change.” 

The $30,000 will help Hamline get its center started, but since it's such a new concept, what it will look like and how it will work hasn't been totally laid out yet.

Teams from the selected institutions will come together this fall for a project meeting to start mapping it out. Then they'll meet again in Washington D.C. in January to create action plans and to help design a guidebook to support future TRHT Campus Centers.

The AAC&U says it'll be a multi-year project, with the hopes of eventually developing 150 centers across the country "to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice."

Funding for the centers comes from the Newman's Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. A complete list of schools is on the AAC&U's website.

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