The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently announced SUNY Oswego as one of 16 new Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers across the country.

TRHT Campus Centers play a vital role in a national TRHT effort to address historical and contemporary effects of racism by building sustainable capacity to promote deep, transformational change. Campus centers share the goal of preparing next generation leaders and thinkers to build equitable and just communities by dismantling the false belief in a hierarchy of human value. Each Campus Center also uses the TRHT framework to implement its own visionary action plan to create new narratives about race in their communities and to promote racial healing and relationship building through campus-community engagement.

“SUNY Oswego’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center aligns with our institutional priorities and will pair our campus’s ongoing structural work in policy and process with forward facing efforts around training, education and transformative practice,” said SUNY Oswego Officer in Charge Mary C. Toale. “A regional leader in equity and anti-oppression work, SUNY Oswego and staff in the James A. Triandiflou Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Transformative Practice will develop an action plan to inform and expand dialogue work already happening on campus.”

Toale added that this plan will inform ongoing efforts to explore the multi-dimensional issues of the social construction of racial identities, complex systems of oppression and privilege, and societal transformation as a means to develop campus and community action for racial healing and equitable change.

“There is a recognized need for members of the SUNY Oswego community and surrounding community to come together in dialogue and action in pursuit of racial understanding and justice,” said Kendra Cadogan, SUNY Oswego’s chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO) and interim director of the James A. Triandiflou Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Transformative Practice. “Participation in the TRHT Institute will offer an opportunity to develop our skills and engage campus and regional partners in meaningful, substantive interaction across social and cultural divides leading to personal, community, and systemic change.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with this new cohort of host institutions,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, “and we look forward to supporting their vital efforts to promote racial equity and healing on their campuses, in their communities, and through the fast-growing network of TRHT Campus Centers around the country.”

Beginning with the inaugural cohort of TRHT Campus Centers at 10 AAC&U member institutions in 2017, the TRHT Campus Centers effort has grown into a dynamic and diverse network of host institutions, including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, historically black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, faith-based institutions, and large research universities. The new centers announced in November bring the total number of TRHT Campus Centers to 71, continuing momentum toward AAC&U’s goal of establishing at least 150 self-sustaining, community-integrated TRHT Campus Centers at higher education institutions nationwide.