“The selection of Millsaps to serve as one of the inaugural Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers further supports our role as a leader in matters of justice and equality,” Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps College, said in a press release.
“Given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville and the broader conversations occurring around issues of race, we find ourselves in a unique and hopeful position of being a place that will engage our campus and community in honest dialogue about difficult topics,” Pearigen said.
In the press release, Millsaps officials noted their institution was chosen from more than 125 colleges and universities that applied for the program.
The other institutions selected include Austin Community College (Texas), Brown University (Rhode Island), Duke University (North Carolina), Hamline University (Minnesota), Rutgers University (New Jersey), Spelman College (Georgia), The Citadel (South Carolina), University of Hawai’i, and University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Millsaps will receive an initial award of $30,000 to develop programming to engage a variety of stakeholders and examine the underlying issues driving the current atmosphere of racial tension in the country, the press release said.
Institutions were selected based on competitive applications submitted to the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). Criteria for selection included, according to the AAC&U, an institution’s “ability to create positive narratives about race, identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities, envision communities without entrenched racial hierarchies, and pinpoint levers for change and key individuals to engage.”
“In the aftermath of the horrific, heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, we must not be silent. Instead, we must harness our collective intellectual, social and financial resources to transform words into action,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.
“AAC&U is thrilled to partner with these first ten outstanding institutions on our way to establishing 150 centers across the country to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.”