OSU-Tulsa becomes the latest campus to run ‘racial healing circles’

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa will establish “racial healing circles” on its campus.

Other universities across the United States have been establishing similar initiatives.

Oklahoma State University-Tulsa will join other campuses across the United States in creating “racial healing circles.”

According to the university’s website, the new “Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation” is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s nationwide initiative to “address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.” 

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According to the Kellogg Foundation’s website, each of the fourteen TRHT initiatives across the United States received between $1.5 and $4 million in funds that last between two and five years. In 2017, the organization committed $24 million to fulfill the projects.

OSU-Tulsa Communications Coordinator Aaron Campbell told Campus Reform that the center’s activities “will be donor and grant funded.” The center “has applied for a Kellogg Foundation grant and is awaiting an award decision,” while OSU-Tulsa “is paying a small stipend to the acting director of the center, who is a faculty member.”

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Among the TRHT center’s first initiatives will be “racial healing circles” — which involve “conversations between participants to discuss experiences with race and conscious and unconscious biases.”

Racial healing circles — which are run by “trained racial healing circle practitioners” — provide “opportunities to reflect and acknowledge the participants’ unquestioned assumptions and biases in a way that is non-threatening and encouraging.” 

Participants become able to “confront the historic and contemporary causes and effects of systemic racism while being empowered to promote equity and social justice.”

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Campus Reform has reported on several instances of colleges establishing “racial healing circles” and “Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation” groups.

For instance, a University of Kentucky professor hosted a free six-week virtual series of racial healing circles to “allow Black community members to discuss racial identity development, racial socialization and cognitive, emotional and somatic responses to racism.”

Participants were able to join sessions such as “Surrendering Superwoman Syndrome,” “Healing While Black,” and “Family Matters” — geared toward Black women, men, and families, respectively.

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Likewise, a group of professors is attempting to launch an official “United States Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation” movement alongside a similar push from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Campus Reform reached out to Oklahoma State University-Tulsa for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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