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K-State Today

April 28, 2021

Diversity Action Plan update: Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation plan

Submitted by Thomas Lane and Adrian Rodriguez

Dear K-State community, 

Over the past several months, the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation workgroup has been developing a plan as part of our Action Plan for a More Inclusive K-State. The focus of the workgroup is to build a year-round series of intentional activities to help heal our communities and produce actionable change. The workgroup is using the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, or TRHT, model, a comprehensive, national and community-based process developed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, or AAC&U. 

We are writing today to share the initial activities for the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation plan for K-State and invite all members of our community to participate. The plan includes the following actions and activities: 

  • Seek selection by the AAC&U as a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center. The TRHT Campus Center will focus on creating awareness about racism's effects and promoting racial and social justice. The center is envisioned to be co-located with the K-State DREAMzone at the portal entrance to the Morris Family Multicultural Student Center, 3 K-State Student Union.
  • A series of healing seminars and workshops, as well as the introduction of healing spaces will begin this spring with a full academic year program calendar to be released soon. We invite you to engage in two of the spring 2021 programs.
    • Poetry as Resilience and Healing Art, a virtual event to celebrate National Poetry Month from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 28. This event is sponsored by Adventure Out, Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, and Intercultural Learning and Academic Success with Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Registration is required.
    • An advanced Safe Zone workshop, "The Art of the Healing Circle," is offered at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6. Registration is required.  
  • The "Lift Every Voice" podcast will launch this summer. The podcast will feature interviews with university and student organization leaders, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, or DEI, champions, and the latest information on DEI programs, initiatives, and cultural enrichment and celebration at K-State. Co-hosted by Maria Izquierdo, sophomore in human ecology, pre-nursing, and Hispanic American Leadership Organization student leader, and Dallas Rice, senior in electrical engineering and Black Student Union student leader, the podcast is sure to challenge and inspire our community. The program is sponsored by Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs in partnership with Lafene Health Center. A full program calendar with a schedule of the biweekly episodes will be available soon.
  • The Division of Student Life will institute a DEI staff recruiting and hiring training program. The division intends to pilot the training and share lessons learned with other units that may adopt a similar program. There are two initial training sessions scheduled with a full training calendar for the 2021-2022 academic year coming soon. Initial training sessions focus on DEI recruiting and hiring best practices, and a division retreat for sharing equity plan updates, co-curricular equity goals, and a discussion on metrics and outcomes.
  • The Division of Student Life is also instituting a DEI policy, procedures and practice evaluation and support plan to identify and remove institutional barriers and biases that may exist in division units and areas. The division also intends to pilot the evaluation and planning effort and share lessons learned with other units that may adopt a similar process. A 2021-2022 academic year evaluation and support plan calendar is in development. 

The K-State community has demonstrated a commitment to coming together to institute transformation and sustainable change. We have the opportunity to address historic and contemporary effects of racism and promote healing for all members of our community. We invite every member of the K-State community to connect through the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation process to help make a better K-State. 

Sincerely,

Thomas Lane
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Adrian Rodriguez
Associate Vice President for Student Life and Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs

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