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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center aims to promote narrative change

Through open dialogue with community members, center speaks to all faiths, genders and sexualities.
Left+to+right%3A+Emily+Shelton%2C+Courtney+Robinson%2C+Randi+Congleton+and+CJ+Harkness%2C+the%0Ateam+behind+the+TRHT+Center%2C+meet+in+the+Lindsay-Crossman+Chapel.
Courtesy of Hannah Sim
Left to right: Emily Shelton, Courtney Robinson, Randi Congleton and CJ Harkness, the team behind the TRHT Center, meet in the Lindsay-Crossman Chapel.

The Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center is encouraging facilitated discussion with students, faculty and staff of all faiths, genders and sexualities.

“TRHT as a Campus Center really is working to promote narrative change and dialogue within the BW community,” said Emily Shelton, a recent graduate and TRHT Center intern.

Incentivized by the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, the idea of the TRHT Center was proposed as a way to help the campus climate.

“One of the tasks of this group was: what initiatives, what tools, can we implement that can be a part of the solution?” said CJ Harkness, director of Spiritual Life and one of the main officers of the TRHT Center.

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Although inspired by the BLM Movement, the TRHT Center is not exclusive to any race, religion, gender or sexuality. It is also open to both students and faculty.

“It’s a campus center that provides a space for faculty, staff and students to engage across differences,” said Randi Congleton, TRHT Center officer. “It provides a space where you can have facilitated dialogue across differences that move towards the goals that CJ just mentioned.”

The TRHT Center hosts these conversations through jacket circles. A jacket circle is held to discuss and listen to each other’s stories.

Elanna Su, a sophomore History student, attended the jacket circle held for the National Day of Racial Healing on Jan. 16.

“It was a diverse group of people who were listening to each other,” Su said. “When I sit there, I’m thinking, I’m listening, I’m not trying to think of what I’m going to say.”

Cogleton said that any student organization, class or group of faculty interested in having a facilitated conversation can request a jacket circle with the TRHT Center.

The next meeting will be a collaboration between the TRHT Center and AmeriCorps on Feb. 28.

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