For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-888-0811 (office)

AAC&U Receives Grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Develop Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at Higher Education Institutions

Mar 23, 2017

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today that it has received a $399,763 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to support the initial development of ten Centers for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) at higher education institutions across the country. The Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise is a comprehensive effort, implemented nationally and in local communities, to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. 

The contribution of the Centers to TRHT will be to engage and empower campus and community stakeholders to break down racial hierarchies, to create positive narratives about all members of the community, and to prepare the next generation of strategic leaders to carry this work forward.

AAC&U will provide strategic direction to support the development of the Centers, including the creation of a related guidebook to support implementation, as well as launching a TRHT Institute to assist campuses in the development of transformative action plans to advance racial healing. The TRHT Institute is planned to be held in Washington, DC, in early 2018.

“The TRHT enterprise responds to the ways racism has affected our ability to know, relate to, and value one another and helps us address our biggest challenges so that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to thrive,” said Dr. Gail C. Christopher, senior advisor and vice president for TRHT at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “College campuses offer a productive place to examine and confront the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism. The Kellogg Foundation is optimistic that AAC&U will bring together critical thinkers and our next generation of strategic leaders to help us all abandon the belief in a hierarchy of human value and transform our society for the future.”

AAC&U will issue a specific call for proposals for institutions to submit applications to serve as hosts for the TRHT Centers in select cities later in 2017, working in coordination with the Kellogg Foundation’s other TRHT community-based and national efforts. Through this initiative, AAC&U seeks to help educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders to advance justice and build inclusive communities.

“We are honored to partner with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in advancing racial and social justice through higher education leadership,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “Bridging the divide between research and scholarship taking place at colleges and universities and the lived experience of individuals and communities beyond the gates of academia is more important than ever. We look forward to working together to create an ascendant narrative that destabilizes hierarchies based on race and other contingencies of birth.”

AAC&U is a partner in WKKF’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) enterprise, launched in January 2016, and reflects the association’s ongoing mission-level commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. AAC&U’s efforts related to TRHT are also supported by funding from the Newman’s Own Foundation, announced earlier this year.

“As we implement the vision of the TRHT enterprise, we realize that our success depends on our strategic and sustainable partnerships guided by our shared goals and commitment to eliminating the barriers that continue to divide us,” said AAC&U Vice President Tia Brown McNair. “AAC&U looks forward to working with all partners interested in translating the vision of truth, racial healing and transformation into reality.”

To learn about AAC&U’s TRHT initiative and resources, see:

To learn more about the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT enterprise, see:

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.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

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. For more information, visit