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Queensborough Selected to Host Racial Healing Center

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has selected Queensborough Community College to host a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center.

The only college or university in New York City to host a TRHT Center, Queensborough will lead a multiyear initiative to educate, prepare, and inspire the next generation of leaders to transform limiting narratives about race and beliefs in the hierarchy of human value, which has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture.

“As the most diverse and largest urban university in the U.S., CUNY is uniquely positioned to address the structural inequities and systemic racism that persist in our country and city. We salute Queensborough Community College and President Mangino for this important selection and are proud of their commitment to help our communities heal, produce actionable change, and transform students' lives by making their paths toward social mobility more accessible and equitable,” says CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

“We are honored to be selected for this highly competitive partnership and privileged to advance racial equity and social justice in our city,” says Queensborough President Christine Mangino.

Joining institutions such as Brown and Duke universities, Queensborough students, faculty, and staff will work in partnership with AAC&U to also address historical and contemporary effects of racism, break down racialized practices, and promote transformational and sustainable change.

“It is our responsibility to find and lead solutions that change society's attitudes, beliefs and actions. Racial healing occurs when we—all of us from all races and all social and economic backgrounds—work together to reject hate, build relationships, and find strength and inspiration in our differences,” Mangino adds.

AAC&U selected Queensborough, one of the country's most diverse colleges, through a competitive process. There are only 49 designated Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers at public and private institutions across America. Twenty-six percent of Queensborough's nearly 13,000 students identify as Black, 25% identify as Latinx, 31% as Asian or Pacific Islanders, and 16% as white. Students come from over 117 countries and speak over 80 languages.

“As part of this national network of Campus Centers, and at the intersection of our many identities here at Queensborough, we will support racial healing by addressing the biases and misbeliefs that lead to inequitable outcomes and experiences in our community,” says Amaris Matos, executive advisor to the president for equity at Queensborough.

Matos collaborated with colleagues Laura Cohen, director of the Kupferberg Holocaust Center; Amawati Gonesh, director of the Advocacy Resource Center; Mercedes Franco, faculty in the mathematics department; and Danny Sexton, faculty in the English department, on the college's proposal to become a TRHT Campus Center.

“With divisions and distrust across and among racial and ethnic identities rising throughout our country, we felt as an institution of higher learning we must address the legacies and harm of racism and bias. Queensborough's strength is its diversity and as we educate ourselves, broaden the understanding of our lived experiences, and lead by example, we will help our community start to heal,” Matos adds.

The AAC&U's new TRHT Campus Centers are supported by funding from Lumina Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, Trellis Foundation, and Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley.

Source: Queensborough Community College