By Amanda Hagood, The St Pete Catalyst
At a time when cultural and political upheavals in our country call for drastic changes, slowing down to focus on building a collective truth and healing racial division may not feel like the most immediate or intuitive path toward justice. But a new effort to establish a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation center, spearheaded by a consortium of St. Pete higher education institutions including University of South Florida St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg College, Stetson University College of Law, and Eckerd College, aims to do precisely that.
The process began in summer of 2020, when USF St. Petersburg’s regional chancellor Dr. Martin Tadlock first convened a taskforce of campus and community leaders focused on finding solutions to pervasive racial injustice in St. Petersburg. Stakeholders from local nonprofits, colleges and universities, and the City of St. Petersburg came together to explore models of social justice advocacy and discovered the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation™ (TRHT) framework.
The framework identifies “false beliefs in a hierarchy of human value” as central to creating and sustaining racism, and understands dismantling those beliefs as a first step toward achieving racial equity.
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