Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
TRHT seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious beliefs created by racism – the main one being the belief in a “hierarchy of human value.” The TRHT Framework consists of five areas, and the first two – Narrative Change and Racial Healing and Relationship Building – are foundational pillars for all TRHT work. The remaining three areas are Separation, the Law and Economy.*
In June 2017, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation committed approximately $24 million in 14 multi-sector collaborations in communities across the U.S. to implement the TRHT process using a framework designed through an engagement process involving leaders and scholars as representatives of more than 144 national TRHT individual and organizational partners.
The Council of Michigan Foundations received a grant to support TRHT efforts in four Michigan sites: Battle Creek, Flint, Kalamazoo and Lansing. The Michigan TRHT initiative brings together multi-sector players to collectively advance narrative change, racial healing and relationship building. Each community brings a unique intention to their work that is shaped by local happenings, historical frameworks and public perceptions.
CMF serves as the coordinator of the Michigan TRHT initiative and facilitates the TRHT Michigan Advisory Council, which identifies priorities for the Michigan sites to collaborate effectively and implement state-wide strategies. The Michigan sites also collaborate through a Learning Community which serves as a vehicle for learning, sharing and strengthening the work between the communities involved.
*Text from healourcommunities.com
TRHT Kalamazoo has been hosted by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation since 2017. Local TRHT work and programming is led by a 15-person team that consists of community members from a variety of sectors and backgrounds. Some highlights of TRHT efforts in Kalamazoo include:
Legal Sector Engagement & Police Cadet Training
The Law Design team developed a cultural awareness training for local police cadets at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The training was the first of its kind in any police academy in Michigan. The training focuses on relationship building, reviewing discriminatory civil and criminal laws and public policies, and recommending solutions for a just application of the law. The team hopes to institutionalize this training for all future police cadet classes.
The Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE) awarded an Innovation fund grant to community partner organizations in Kalamazoo through the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to engage the community and collect data to better understand housing issues. The data collected by TRHT Kalamazoo, the City of Kalamazoo, MDCR, ISAAC Kalamazoo Housing Task Force and the Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan has been used to develop local legislation that addresses structural racism and inequality within local housing practices.
Coalition for Inclusive Communities
Through a grant from Community Foundation Leads (CFLeads), the Economy Design team is working with a network of local employers to provide access, mentorship and resources to people of color.
TRHT of Metro Lansing is implementing a collective racial equity and healing justice agenda for the region. Informed by the experiences of those most directly impacted by systemic racism, TRHT Metro Lansing is working to document measurable results in educational and economic equity. Simultaneously, TRHT Metro Lansing's work is organized to build power with directly impacted communities while equipping allies to advocate for policy and systems transformation. In addition to the tools provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, TRHT Metro Lansing is fusing elements of Emergent Strategy, Momentum, People’s Assemblies, Collective Impact and Movement for Black Lives, as well as innovations created locally, to support youth organizing and popular education.
TRHT of Metro Lansing's theory of action is rooted in the community organizing principle of learning by doing. Based on input from members, it has launched a TRHT Learning Community to support racial equity and healing justice practitioners, activists, organizers, elected officials, and institutional leaders. The Learning Community consists of a newsletter, workshops, trainings and consultation. The TRHT Learning Community is open to anyone willing to challenge assumptions and learn from the voices and perspectives of those whose lived experience has been impacted by policies and systems built to maintain racial hierarchy.
TRHT Metro Lansing is hosted by One Love Global Inc., a Black-led community-based organization with a mission to promote peace, justice and opportunity. Their primary focus is investing in young organizers to lead policy and systems transformation. Their approach to TRHT is one that leverages existing racial equity and healing justice work statewide and nationally.
Stay tuned for updates from Battle Creek!
Stay tuned for updates from Flint!