Press Release

AAC&U Supports the Creation of a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT)

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) today announced its strong support for the creation of a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT). On February 25, Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Cory Booker reintroduced in the US Congress a resolution urging the establishment of this congressional commission to “properly acknowledge, memorialize, and be a catalyst for progress toward jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value; embracing our common humanity; and permanently eliminating persistent racial inequities.” The resolution was originally introduced in the House of Representatives on June 4, 2020, and in the Senate on December 3.

“A national commission to advance truth, racial healing, and transformation is more critical than ever for making progress toward racial equity in America and for strengthening our democracy amidst growing partisanship and polarization,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.

In addition to endorsing the congressional resolution, AAC&U serves as one of more than 240 organizational supporters of the US Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Movement, which was formed in November 2020 to build momentum for establishing a US TRHT Commission and to advance racial equity and healing at all levels of society.

Within higher education, the TRHT effort is being led by a growing number of community integrated, campus-based centers established in partnership with AAC&U and hosted by colleges and universities across the United States. Gail Christopher, the visionary architect of TRHT, has recognized that these “TRHT Campus Centers are vital contributors to the continuum of change as colleges prepare the leaders and workforce of the future—educators, doctors, social workers, nurses, law enforcement officers, business leaders, and lawyers—as well as parents of future generations.” With the shared goal of preparing the next generation of leaders and thinkers to break down racial hierarchies and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value, each campus center uses the TRHT framework to develop its own visionary action plan to promote racial healing through campus-community engagement.

To date, twenty-nine colleges and universities serve as host institutions for TRHT Campus Centers:

  • Adelphi University (NY)
  • Agnes Scott College (GA)
  • Andrews University (MI)
  • Austin Community College (TX)
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College (KY)
  • Brown University (RI)
  • Dominican University (IL)
  • Duke University (NC)
  • George Mason University (VA)
  • Hamline University (MN)
  • Jacksonville State University (AL)
  • Marywood University (PA)
  • Millsaps College (MS)
  • Oklahoma State University–Tulsa (OK)
  • Otterbein University (OH)
  • Rutgers University–Newark (NJ)
  • Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville (IL)
  • Spelman College (GA)
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina (SC)
  • University of Arkansas–Fayetteville (AR)
  • University of California, Irvine (CA)
  • University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (HI)
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (MD)
  • The Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium (University of North Carolina Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University of Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, and Johnson and Wales University of Charlotte) (NC)
  • University of Cincinnati

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,200 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

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