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Exploring the Impact of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation in Kalamazoo

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo, hosted by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF), has released an impact report reflecting on the impact of TRHT in the community over the past few years. 

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Kalamazoo, hosted by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF), has released an impact report reflecting on the impact of TRHT in the community over the past few years. 

TRHT Kalamazoo is one of the 14 TRHT sites nationwide and one of four in Michigan including Flint, Lansing and Battle Creek. It is a community-based movement to bring about transformational and sustainable change to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. 

CMF is the statewide convener supporting the four sites and the initiative is led by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). 

We’re sharing more from the Impact Report highlighting how TRHT Kalamazoo has evolved from 2017-2021 and its impact on the community.

•    TRHT Kalamazoo has grown from 55 partners engaged in 2018 to 646 in 2021.

•    83% of TRHT partners reported change in their organization as a result of TRHT participation in 2020 compared to 26% in 2017. 

•    91% of people report a change in their personal behavior or habits as a result of TRHT participation.

The impact report shares key highlights from the various core programs TRHT Kalamazoo has created over the years, as well as the work being led by various partners.

Racial Healing

Over the past three years, TRHT Kalamazoo has been building its capacity to facilitate racial healing throughout the community. According to WKKF, "racial healing is to restore to wholeness; to repair damage; and to set right. Healing a societal racial divide requires recognition of the need to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, while addressing the consequences of those wrongs."

•    The TRHT Kalamazoo Racial Healing Circle Practitioner Cohort has built an organizational structure to deliver in person and virtual healing experiences for the community. 

•    44 individuals across the community have participated in a workshop to learn how to facilitate racial healing circles. Six of these individuals have become lead practitioners who facilitate workshops and help train others to become practitioners.

•    Healing practitioners have hosted 17 healing circles and 12 virtual healing experiences over the past three years. 

•    In 2020, TRHT Kalamazoo partnered with Rootead Enrichment Center to launch the Black & Brown Therapy Collective with the goal of connecting residents to therapists of color.

•    In response to the pandemic, TRHT Kalamazoo Virtual Healing Project was created as a way to continue to create and deepen relationships, share resources and support each other collectively.

•    The Virtual Healing Projected launched the Essential & Frontline Worker Webinar Series to support frontline workers during the pandemic. The series provided practical tools for holistic wellbeing and a space to discuss health and wellness.

Law Design Team

The Law Design Team works to build bridges between community and law enforcement through racial healing. The team is leading projects like the biannual Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Police Academy Expanding Our Horizons: A Cultural Awareness Experience and the Advocates & Leaders for Police and Community Trust (ALPACT) Kalamazoo Group. 

Expanding Our Horizons events are designed to expose community members and police academy cadets to racial healing and the history of racism in the U.S. The Law Design Team has hosted five workshops for the KVCC Police Academy with 214 participants. 

Program participants shared their reactions to the events which are highlighted in the report:

•    94% felt these events helped build or strengthen relationships with members of the community.

•    96% felt that these events provided a space for them to talk truthfully and openly about race and racism. 

•    94% indicated an interest in attending another racial healing circle of similar event. 

ALPACT’s goal is to enhance the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve by addressing the divisions that exist now. So far, the Law Design Team has held community forums, book discussions and invited speakers and consultants with expertise on police reform. 

Housing Task Force

TRHT Housing Task Force formed a partnership with Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community (ISAAC) Housing Taskforce and produced a report and recommendation that helped pass the Housing Equity ordinance by the Kalamazoo City Commission. 

The ordinance sought to expand housing protections, create a Civil Rights Board, protect against predatory application feeds, protect against blanket rejections and remove religious exemptions for public accommodation-type housing. 

The Housing Task Force led this work by hosting workshops and healing circles on housing equity. They met with residents, landlords and advocates who knocked on over 1,700 doors. 

The Impact Report also shares highlights from TRHT projects and design teams like TRutH Talks, the Historical and Cultural Landscape Project, Narrative Change Arts Design Team, Economy Design Team and Education Separation Design Team. 

Over the years, partners of TRHT shared that they have seen the impact of TRHT grow in the community. 

In 2020, 83% of partners believed that TRHT has had a moderate or great impact in the Kalamazoo community compared to 26% in 2017. 

Want more?

Read the full Impact Report. 

Learn more about TRHT Kalamazoo. 

Save the date for the sixth annual National Day of Racial Healing taking place January 18, 2022.