New Campus Center to Focus on Racial and Diversity Awareness

New Campus Center to Focus on Racial and Diversity Awareness
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas is one of 23 institutions across the country chosen by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to host Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers. The center will focus on creating transformative and sustainable change in areas relating to diversity and inclusion.

The university received a $27,200 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities to help start the center within the IDEALS Institute with the goal of it growing into a self-sustaining, community-integrated program.

The Campus Center will host programs focused on creating awareness about the effects of racism on individuals and communities as well as provide support for diversity professionals who work to create diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces.

“We are thrilled to be selected to host a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center at the U of A,” said Yvette Murphy-Erby, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “Our university is uniquely positioned to enact meaningful change through impactful programming that heals and unifies our communities as we work to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community and state. We are pleased that the Association of American Colleges and Universities recognized the transformative potential of the IDEALS Institute and our university to lead these important efforts.” 

The Campus Center initiative is built around a framework of five pillars – narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law and economy – aimed at preparing a new generation of leaders to confront racism and promote equity.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities will provide strategic direction for the U of A’s Campus Center with the support of an advisory committee comprised of national advisors and experts.

Institutions were selected based on their vision for their Campus Center, the demonstrated commitment of leaders on campus and in the community to the goals of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework, and their ability to provide evidence for the need of a Campus Center in their community. 

“Being named to host a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center will bolster the IDEALS Institute’s programming and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in our region and state,” said Elecia Smith, executive director of the IDEALS Institute. “This center will strengthen our communities and drive difficult but necessary conversations toward creating a more just and equitable world.”

The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center project is administered through the American Association of Colleges &  Universities in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


John Post, director of communications
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