Call for Proposals – Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers

Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, July 14th 2017, 5pm ET

TRHT Campus Centers CFP (all questions) (for review, not submittal).docx

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) invites proposals for institutions to serve as Campus Centers for the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation initiative. 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.

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—Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Both events will be held at the Westin Georgetown, Washington DC.

TRHT Campus Center Goals

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.

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, TRHT 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 TRHT 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 Centers also will have access to a communications design consultant and the previously mentioned evaluation consultant.

Developing and Submitting a Proposal

Broad thematic questions to answer in application

  • The goal of the TRHT enterprise is to create a positive narrative about race in the community; to promote racial healing activities on campus and in the community; and to erase structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity within the economic, legal, educational, and residential components of the community. Taking that into consideration, what is your vision for a community in which a belief in a racial hierarchy has been jettisoned?
  • How will your TRHT Campus Center work to create a positive narrative about race in the community?
  • How do the project objectives align with your current and future strategies for breaking down racial hierarchies and creating a positive narrative about race in the community?
  • How will the development of your plan promote racial healing activities on campus and in the local community?
  • What are some meaningful alliances that your institution can form with partner institutions in your community i.e. are there local community colleges and minority-serving institutions with which forming consortia would be beneficial?
  • Describe your institutional capacity to meet the aggressive three-year project timeline and objectives.
  • Please describe key leverage points for change, key stakeholders, and others who must be engaged.
  • Describe, in a short paragraph, your potential strategies to empower the next generation of strategic leaders and critical thinkers to engage with communities in transforming America’s racial narrative into an ascendant one.
  • In American history, there have been structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity within the economic, legal, educational, and residential components of the community. Explain the current realities of race relations within your community and the local history that has led to these realities.

Applicants will be required to fill out a Logic Model development guide, designed to help your institution organize its plan regarding your TRHT Campus Center. Please fill out with as much information as you can, using your answers to the broad, thematic questions as a guide.

Additional Proposal Items

  • Your TRHT Campus Center team and leaders
    • Teams should be composed of committed, representative, and leadership-focused individuals, of around 7-10 individuals
  • Supporting websites and items
  • Supporting community organizations and statements of support from them
  • Local media assessment
  • Background of your community
  • Plan for participant and organization engagement
  • Signed letter of support from your institution’s president and/or academic leader, demonstrating institutional support for a Center on your campus

Glossary of TRHT terms

“Vital to discussing the complex issues of race is a common vocabulary that helps prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Words can have different meanings to different people based on their experiences. The concepts and phrases below can help avoid misunderstandings. While not everyone may agree on the definition of each word, a common understanding of how words are being used in particular circumstances can help more productive conversations to take place.” (WKKF TRHT Implementation Guide, December 2016)

Please see the attachment for a glossary of terms that will be vital to the TRHT process and will aid you in the completion of the application. You will have to create an account with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation website in the download prompt for the resource guide. 

Additional Information

Only one proposal is permitted per campus. Proposals are limited to current AAC&U members, in good standing, that are American institutions. 

The deadline for proposal submission is Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5 pm ET. Upon submission of a proposal, the chief proposal contact should receive an automatic message indicating that AAC&U has received the proposal. If the contact does not receive this message (and it is not in his/her spam filter), please e-mail John Veras at trht@aacu.org

Notifications: The chief proposal contact will be notified via email of the decision on the proposal by Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

Institutional Agreements: A letter from the President or CAO, as part of your institution's application, will serve as the institutional agreement for the CFP process. The ten selected campuses will sign institutional agreements. 

Upcoming Meetings: We will have our initial TRHT project meeting in September 2017. Campus Center teams will be invited to our inaugural TRHT Institute meeting, Friday, January 19—Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the Westin Georgetown, Washington DC.

Proposal Questions: Please submit proposal questions to John Veras, Program Associate for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, at trht@aacu.org

Please click here for a list of TRHT Center application FAQs