I am thrilled to announce North Hennepin Community College has been designated a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center!
NHCC was one of 14 new campus centers nationwide designated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities because of the great work we are already doing on campus and in the community. We are the first and only community college in Minnesota with this designation, and it will allow us to partner with other institutions around the country to continue activating change for racial healing and racial equity.
Beginning with the inaugural cohort of Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers at 10 American Association of Colleges and Universities member institutions in 2017, the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort has grown into a dynamic and diverse network of host institutions, including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions, faith-based institutions, and large research universities.
The new centers bring the total number of campus centers to 71, continuing momentum toward American Association of Colleges and Universities goal of establishing at least 150 self-sustaining, community-integrated campus centers at higher education institutions nationwide.
This is an effort and move in the right direction for NHCC to be a connector, to spark conversations at the college and with different entities in the community, because only together will we be able to move forward. We believe in this because we live here and we want this community to thrive.
NHCC first attended the TRHT Institute in June 2020 with representation from the City of Brooklyn Park, and again in June 2022 in partnership with the City of Brooklyn Park and CCX Media.
NHCC’s most recent representation included North Hennepin Community College chief diversity officer Eda Watts, faculty steward Deane Newborg, and director of marketing & communications Liz Hogenson; city of Brooklyn Park Racial Equity, diversity and inclusion manager Davis Marcellus; and CCX Media special projects coordinator Tamisha Touray, and create coordinator Javier Cedillo.
Since the 2022 TRHT Institute, NHCC and the City of Brooklyn Park launched a pilot program, the Racial Healing Action Collaborative in October led by Watts, Newborg and Davis, a new initiative designed to activate action planning in support of equity and inclusion within the college and broader community.
City of Brooklyn Park attendees include city manager Jay Stroebel, assistant city manager Josie Shardlow, director of finance LaTonia Green, Fire Chief John Cunningham, director of community development Kim Berggren, director of parks and recreation Brad Tullberg, director of operations and maintenance Dan Ruiz, IT manager Keith Ehrlichman, communications manager Risikat Adesaogun, human resources manager Sara Kriewall, Police Chief Mark Bruley; and North Hennepin Community College attendees include faculty Amy Harms Hoad, and Hogenson.
In addition, Watts is leading anti-racism sessions with NHCC’s leadership team, including interim provost Julio Vargas-Essex, interim vice president of student affairs Lindsay Fort, interim associate vice president of academic affairs and workforce innovation Nerita Hughes, interim vice president of finance & facilities Dawn Belko, chief information officer Joseph Collins, and chief human resources officer Victoria DeFord.
Community members who are interested in learning more about participating in the Racial Healing Action Collaborative are encouraged to visit nhcc.edu/diversity to submit an interest form.
Rolando García is president of North Hennepin Community College.
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