For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

AAC&U Encourages Participation in National Day of Racial Healing

Jan 9, 2017

Washington DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) proudly collaborates with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and more than 130 organizations for the first-ever National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. To mark this date, WKKF and organizations collaborating in its Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise will carry out a variety of events focused on the TRHT goals of jettisoning the belief in a hierarchy of human value and engaging communities in transforming America’s racial narrative. The TRHT community, corporate, and nonprofit partners represent a collective network of nearly 300 million individuals.

“Institutions of higher education must play a leadership role in addressing the most pressing ethical, legal and social issues of the day, including racial injustice and the persistence of the color line,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “More than ever, inclusive excellence aimed at eliminating racial inequities must be seen as inextricably linked to the mission of advancing liberal education as a force for public good.”

AAC&U calls upon its members to recognize the National Day of Racial Healing by engaging in efforts to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic, and religious bias and build an equitable and just society where all individuals can thrive.

In particular, we encourage our member colleges and universities to select a manner, unique to each institution’s mission and context, in which to acknowledge the National Day of Racial Healing and to engage in an activity, strategy, or community function that promotes engagement around the issues of racism, bias, inequity, and injustice in our society. For example, an institution might

  • organize activities particularly related to racial healing connected with already-scheduled Martin Luther King Jr. Day events;
  • invite and encourage faculty members to connect course content to racial healing on that day or during that week;
  • coordinate stand-alone or integrated events on campus that address racial healing;
  • share stories via social media that define “who we are” and address issues related to race, equity, and justice.

To learn more about the National Day of Healing, please visit For AAC&U resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, please visit our website.

“Communities, organizations and individuals are being asked to acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, senior advisor and vice president for TRHT at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We have to come together to heal and commit to truth telling, engaging representatives from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understandi­ng, communication, caring and respect for one another.”

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. 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 nearly 1,400 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, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.