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Brandman leaders to attend racial healing conference

May 22, 2021

The following content first appeared on the news page while UMass Global operated under its former name of Brandman University.

Brandman University is set to be one of nearly 80 U.S. colleges and universities that will virtually send a delegation to the 2021 Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Centers. The event, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, promotes the establishment of namesake centers “to prepare the next generation of strategic leaders and thinkers to break down racial hierarchies and dismantle the belief in the hierarchy of human value.”

“AAC&U is thrilled to partner with colleges and universities of all types and sizes across the country to advance the TRHT effort within higher education,” AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella said in a May 18 press release. “We look forward to the opportunity to learn with and from the participants in the 2021 Institute and to support their efforts to promote racial equity and healing on their campuses and in their communities.”

Brandman will be represented during the event by Saskia Knight, executive vice chancellor for enrollment and student affairs; Jalin B. Johnson, vice chancellor of equity and inclusion, Nakisha Castillo, associate professor of psychology and psychology field director; Donald B. Scott, director of advising and retention; and Justyn Howard, director of student conduct and compliance. The virtual event is scheduled for June 22-25.
 
“With the support and encouragement of Chancellor Gary Brahm to apply for consideration, we were elated to be selected,” Johnson said. “Our participating team, representing Academic Affairs, Student Services and senior administrators, brings together a diverse group of participants, representing leadership, faculty and staff.”
 
A 2018 article from the AAC&U reports how the first 10 universities that adopted Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Centers carried out programs and activities in line with the centers’ purpose. The article notes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation built the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation model. The model’s five-part approach to improving race relations involves crafting new narratives around racial matters, recovering from racial injuries in order to form healthier relationships, responding to the legacy of segregation and other regimes of racial separation, understanding structural economic inequality, and confronting unjust laws.
 
By participating in the virtual event, Brandman’s team will be able to learn more about how to accomplish the model’s goals of improved racial relations and the implementation of Rx Racial Healing Circles. The circles, as explained by AAC&U, are activities during which members of a diverse group of participants meet for one-on-one conversations before having an opportunity to listen to others’ perspectives in a group setting.
 
Following June’s event, members of Brandman’s delegation plan to share what they learned with Chancellor Brahm in mid-July, Johnson said.

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