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.
“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.”