Stockton to Host Racial Healing and Transformation Center

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Stockton University announces the college will go online for instruction for the rest of the semester. (Photo courtesy Stockton University)

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has selected Stockton University as one of 13 institutions to host a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center.

The new center will serve as a catalyst for facilitating community collaborations and dialogue that can question, break down and dissolve unhealthy racial narratives.

“Part of Stockton’s mission is to prepare our students to live and thrive in a multi-cultural society and become leaders in their communities,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said in a press release. “This initiative will pave the way for the next generation of strategic leaders and critical thinkers to advance equity and access.”

The AACU plans to establish 150 such centers across the country. The 13 announced this month join 10 approved in 2017, including Rutgers-Newark, the only other center in New Jersey.

The association provides strategic support and direction, including a summer institute. Financial support is provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort, the Newman’s Own Foundation and the Papa John’s Foundation.

“AACU is thrilled to partner with these outstanding institutions to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice,” AACU President Lynn Pasquerella said.

Carra Hood, associate provost at Stockton, said the initiative will involve faculty members, Stockton’s Center for Community Engagement and Office of Service Learning, as well as community and religious leaders.

Among the first goals of the Stockton team is to host community events on campus, in Atlantic City, and other locations to discuss the issues or racial hierarchies and racial healing.

“We look forward to working with our faculty, students, and community leaders to build shared narratives that dismantle racial hierarchies of human value,” Hood said.