UNC Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University and Queens University were given a $20,000 grant from Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) to create a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (THRT) Campus Center. This program hopes to bring together communities that have racial divides by creating space for people to safely voice their concerns and critiques.
23 institutions were selected to bridge the divide between American subcultures and to provide an open place for their communities to voice their perspectives on recent conflicts and discrimination.
Charlotte is unique in this effort with its three campuses collaborating in order to make the most of the city’s diversity. Charlotte also has a significant wage gap where 70% of African-American households earn less than $60,000 a year while 60% of white households earn more.
UNC Charlotte was initially founded to educate the veterans returning from World War II, JSCU is a private HBCU which is highly involved in the local area, and Queen’s university was a historically women-only private college.
Six students from each school were selected to collaborate on a year-long reflection on the history of prejudice in Charlotte and to host community healing circles. The circles provide a way for different people to share their experiences with discrimination and to work on a way to move forward with the support of the community.
The circles are scheduled to start in the late summer of 2020, though it is unclear how COVID-19 will affect these plans as of now. For more information on the THRT program, there is a page on the AACU’s website and an overview of UNC Charlotte’s contribution at inside.uncc.edu.