Art credit: Jason Ford (@jfordtheartist)
In the latest example of Marymount University’s commitment to raising awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion issues, the institution has been selected by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to host a new Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center.
With $25,000 in funding to support the development of the Campus Center through March 2023, Marymount joins a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change while addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
“As a leader and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, we are delighted to add the TRHT Campus Center to our growing list of initiatives that will help make our institution a major hub for education, research and community work in social justice, ethics and multiculturalism,” said Dr. Hesham El-Rewini, Provost and Senior Vice President at Marymount University.
Established in partnership with AAC&U and hosted by colleges and universities across the country, TRHT Campus Centers pursue the shared goal of preparing the next generation of leaders and thinkers to break down racialized practices and dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value. These self-sustaining, community-integrated Campus Centers play a vital role in the national collaborative effort to confront racism and erase structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity on campuses, communities and across the country.
“We are so honored to be a part of the TRHT Campus Center family,” said Dr. Sara Hallisey, Lecturer of Literature & Languages at Marymount and member of the University’s grant application team. “This grant offers Marymount the chance to reclaim our past and create programming that will strengthen our community. We are looking forward to getting started with all the support we have here.”
“Receiving the TRHT grant from AAC&U was a true team effort, and I can’t thank our TRHT team enough. This racial healing work goes beyond Marymount – and the collective impact model of forming partnerships, mentorships and pooling resources is key,” added Dr. Camille Buckner, Professor of Psychology at Marymount and Co-Chair of the University’s committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). “There is power in this kind of collective action to bring genuine change. Receiving this funding and support will allow Marymount to live our values of inclusion more fully, break down barriers to inclusion in our own community and bolster relationships with community partners who are engaged in racial healing work. It’s a win-win-win situation, and we are thrilled beyond measure.”
Marymount’s grant proposal, titled “Unity through Diversity: Growing our Strengths as Saints,” includes goals for how the University will achieve success through the TRHT Framework. These consist of revealing the past, transforming Marymount’s culture and engaging the wider community. Grant funds will also support several initiatives, such as:
- Prioritizing truth and reconciliation via the DEI Center
- Fostering racial healing and relationship building in the Marymount and Arlington communities
- Strengthening the University’s designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution into visible means of support for Marymount’s Hispanic/Latinx communities
- Generating new support for undocumented students
AAC&U selected 18 other institutions to host new TRHT Campus Centers as well earlier this month, bringing the total number of Centers across the U.S. to 48. Other local institutions featured in this latest round of selections include Northern Virginia Community College, Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College.
“We look forward to partnering with these pathbreaking institutions in their efforts to promote racial equity and healing on their campuses and in their communities,” said Lynn Pasquerella, AAC&U President. “We’re grateful to our funders for their commitment to ensuring that higher education plays a leadership role in advancing racial and social justice in our society.”
“For the past four years, we have worked with a dedicated group of change leaders who are striving to make our institutions and communities more just and equitable,” added Tia McNair, AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Student Success and Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers. “We are inspired to expand our network with the addition of these host institutions.”
In addition to Dr. Buckner and Dr. Hallisey, Marymount’s TRHT grant application team included:
- Victor Betancourt (Assistant Vice President of Global Engagement and Co-Chair of the DEI Committee)
- Susan Grunder (Director of Ministry and Spiritual Life)
- Delario Lindsey (Interim Director of the DEI Center, Academic Director for the Global Scholars Program and Continuing Instructor in Sociology)
- Allana Taylor (Director of Student Counseling)