University Establishes Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center


Logo for the national Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center program.

JSU is one of 28 universities from across the US selected to serve as home to a new Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center supported by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Kellogg Foundation.

The goal of the center is to break down racial hierarchies and dismantle the belief in the hierarchy of human value. It will lead efforts to create a campus that respects and values all humans equally.

The initiative is led by Dr. Erin Rider, assistant professor of sociology; Michelle Green, director of the Integrated Studies program; Pete Conroy, director of strategic partnerships and projects; Quadarius Whitson, a student majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences; and Kris Butcher, superintendent of the Freedom Riders and Birmingham Civil Rights National Monuments.

The center will kick off the Spring 2021 semester with a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 11, followed by a National Day of Racial Healing event on Jan. 19. Racial Healing Circles will also be scheduled throughout the semester to facilitate discussion and transform hearts and minds.

As partners with the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, the university will recognize the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides this spring, starting with a lecture by Freedom Rider Charles Person on Feb. 9 (more information will be shared on the university calendar soon). Students, faculty and staff are also invited to volunteer for the Freedom Riders National Monument, the Amtrak Trails and Rails program and Community Volunteer Ambassador program. Learn more online or email

For more information about the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, email the team at