Hamline wins grant to build healing center

Published 9:33 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ST. PAUL — A university in eastern Minnesota has won a $30,000 grant to create a center for racial healing.

Hamline University was one of 10 colleges awarded a “Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation” grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities last week, according to a press release.

The grants will be used to build centers that aim to address the conscious and unconscious biases and misbeliefs that contribute to racial tension and violence in the U.S.

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Fayneese Miller, the university’s first black president, said the need for dialogue is more urgent than ever following deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

Miller said the events in Charlottesville brought back memories of growing up in Danville, Virginia, in the 1960s, a time when civil rights activists were beaten and schools were segregated.

“To me, this is a pivotal moment for higher education,” Miller said. “We cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore what’s going on around us.”

Associate Provost Jill Barclift, who is overseeing the project, said the plans for the university’s center are in the early stages of development.

Miller said her goal is to start conversations about what racial healing looks like.

“We’ve got to somehow engage other communities,” Miller said. “Otherwise, we’ll have the same people at the table talking about the same thing.”