The Austin Community College District (ACC) is one of 10 institutions nationwide selected to serve as an inaugural site for a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. Formed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), TRHT Campus Centers are part of a multi-year initiative to educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders to break down racial hierarchies.
“ACC is honored to receive this recognition. The college is committed to ensuring all students, faculty, and visitors feel welcome regardless of ability, race, gender, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or religion,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “Together, we will build strategies for an equitable and inclusive community.”
The only Texas institution and only community college on the list, ACC was selected through a competitive process in which institutions submitted plans to create positive narratives about race, identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities, and pinpoint levers for change. “In the aftermath of the horrific, heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, we must not be silent. Instead, we must harness our collective intellectual, social and financial resources to transform words into action,” says Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U president. “AAC&U is thrilled to partner with these first 10 outstanding institutions on our way to establishing 150 centers across the country to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.”
The ten institutions selected as sites for the first TRHT Campus Centers are:
Each institution will receive an initial award of $30,000 to develop and implement visionary plans that engage campus and community.
“AAC&U received 125 applications for this first cohort of TRHT Campus Centers,” said AAC&U Vice President Tia Brown McNair. “The high level of interest and commitment from higher education institutions to engage in the difficult, yet deeply necessary, work to address racism within our communities is, in itself, a hopeful step in the process of transforming our country’s racial narrative and preparing students to be change agents.”
Initiated in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
The campus centers are supported in part by the Newman’s Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information about AAC&U’s TRHT initiative and resources, visit the website.