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Background

In July 2020, the University of South Florida–St. Petersburg convened campus leaders in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County to explore collaborations to address inequalities in our city and county. One of the resulting recommendations was to create a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center.  With a planning grant from The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, USF St. Petersburg, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College and Stetson University College of Law began working together in October 2020 toward the goal of launching a collective center. 

2021 Milestones:

  • January – The consortium co-hosted a virtual panel discussion for the St. Petersburg community to consider the role of higher education in promoting racial justice.
  • July  – Consortium partners attended the TRHT Summer Institute, hosted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), resulting in an action plan.
  • September – Higher education institutional leaders met and endorsed the work of the SPHERE Consortium. See the letter of endorsement here. 
  • September 2021 – The SPHERE Consortium launched the Racial Justice Student Fellowship initiative aimed at preparing interested student to engage in the important work of focusing on systemic changes to dismantle racial hierarchies within their institutions, as well as the community at-large.
  • December 2021, AAC&U certified the SPHERE Consortium as an official TRHT center.

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

TRHT Campus Centers implement visionary action plans with the aim of erasing structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity on campuses, in our communities, and for our nation around the pillars of the TRHT Framework: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy. 

Learn more about the framework at www.healourcommunities.org.

Goals and Actions

Steering Committee

Community Partners

SPHERE is interested in forming partnerships with organizations and individuals who are working on racial equity issues and desire to impact future racial justice leaders and higher education administration, faculty and staff.  Being a partner with SPHERE means that you are willing to invest time, energy and/or other resources to help us achieve our mission.  To become a partner, please contact us.